Fabiano’s Fantasy Focus: 2017 Training Camp, Volume I

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Every week during the season NFL Network and NFL.com Senior Fantasy Analyst Michael Fabiano joins Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat to share his insight on building and developing your fantasy team for success.

Here are some hi-lights from our most recent conversation (July 18th) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.

As training camps ramp up is there really any “down time” for fantasy football interest on a worldwide basis? “Nah, it’s still growing. The industry just continues to grow year in and year out…it’s an industry that has grown and will continue to grow. You’re even seeing analysts out there who now are almost analyzing like scouts. They almost look like they are writing for NFL teams who are getting ready to draft players in April and May. The level of the analysis has gone through the roof, too. It’s been great for me to see because I’ve been in this business for so long. I never thought that it would get to this point.” 

Number one overall pick from your view heading into the 2017 season?  “How do you go against David Johnson. Best player in fantasy last year at the running back position. When you’re a running back and you outscore all but three quarterbacks, that’s ridiculous. He’s special. He is Marshall Faulk, LaDainian Tomlinson, Priest Holmes special. Very versatile. A guys who’s talked about wanting to go 1,000 and 1,000 (rushing and receiving). Boy, I hope he does it. You know I have a relationship with David. He’s a great guy. I root for him and I just don’t see there being another player. David Johnson, for me, is the guy who will be the consensus overall number one pick in fantasy drafts.”

Does Ezekiel Elliott’s off-field issues make you think twice about where you select him? “Look back just last year with Le’Veon Bell. One of the questions I was getting asked constantly was, ‘where do I draft Le’Veon Bell? Where do I draft Le’Veon Bell?’ I told people: he’s still a first-round pick and if you can get him in the second round, it’s stealing. He only played 12 (games) last year and he still averaged about 20 fantasy points a game. It was ridiculous and he finished fourth in points at the position. Ezekiel Elliott: maybe he’s not as good as a pass-catcher as Le’Veon Bell. Maybe he’s not as good as an overall running back as Le’Veon Bell but he’s still damn good and we saw that last year. So, for example, if the NFL comes out and says Zeke’s out four games, if I’m drafting third and he’s there, I’m taking him. Maybe I need to focus on getting Darren McFadden in the middle to late rounds. I need to make sure that the back-end of my backfield has some depth in it. Maybe I draft Jacquizz Rodgers, which is a smart move, because Doug Martin is going to miss the first three games so Rodgers is a late-round guy you can start over the first three weeks of the season. Now, if you get into him missing (more than two games), then you have to think about moving him down a few spots (on your board) because four games is a quarter of the regular season.”