Fabiano’s Fantasy Focus: Training Camp, Volume II

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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.

What are some names who may be getting some hype but may not equal fantasy success? “Well, I’ll tell you this. There are a lot of rookie running backs who are getting a lot of hype. A ton. A lot of it is warranted, Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook and Joe Mixon, of course. Leonard Fournette. But you have to beware of some rookies people might look to reach for. For example, Samaje Perine. Rob Kelly is still in the mix there. Maybe Perine takes the job, maybe he doesn’t. That to me could be a committee situation so you have to be careful with that in Washington. Yuo have to be smart. There are a lot of talented rookie running backs this year, more than any other in the last decade or so.”  

Where are you on Adrian Peterson down in New Orleans? “It’s a hard situation to decipher. Mark Ingram has long been extremely underrated in fantasy football. Last year he was extremely inconsistent but he still finished as an RB 10. A guy who can catch the ball out of the backfield,  as well. I think he’s going to be the projected starter but I can’t see a scenario where Ingram is the featured back. In fact, I can’t see a scenario where this isn’t a shared backfield committee when it comes to running the football. Now Ingram is going to have more catches. You also have Alvin Kamara who they drafted out of Tennessee who’s going to be pass-catcher who may mold into a Darren Sproles. But, there are going to be games Brad where Adrian Peterson is rolling and Ingram isn’t going to see much of the field and that’s a guarantee. There are going to be games where Mark Ingram is going to be running the ball effectively and Peterson wont’ see as much of the field. Now would I draft either one of them? I never say never. I wouldn’t draft Ingram as more than a flex. I wouldn’t draft Peterson as more than a flex or an RB4 because I want to minimize my risk when it comes to that. Adrian Peterson has a lot of carries on him. The guy is in his early 30’s…but can I see a scenario where Adrian Peterson rushes for 800 yards, six to eight touchdowns and is actually better than Mark Ingram? Yes, I absolutely can. You have to decide where you feel comfortable drafting a guy like A.D.”

With that being said, what do you project Ingram’s value being this year? “Anyone who believes that Mark Ingram is projected to be a Top 20 fantasy running back in a standard scoring league absolutely, positively is projecting Adrian Peterson to miss games. Because I can’t see a scenario where Ingram is a Top 20, standard scoring RB and Peterson doesn’t miss maybe two to four games because there’s a lot of carries to give to those two backs. I just don’t see one of them tipping the scales much more than the other.”

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A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.