Fabiano’s Fantasy Focus: 2017 Pre-Season, Volume IV

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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 (August 15th) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.

Ezekiel Elliott has appealed his six-game suspension but as we sit right now, where would you take him in drafts? “Well, I have seen people say they wouldn’t draft him until the fourth round, I have seen people say they wouldn’t draft him in the third round and I would argue that he won’t be there in the third or fourth round. If you look at the championships of fantasy football that are going on in Las Vegas right now, he’s going in the second round still. He’s not going to be a first-rounder, not missing that many games, and we have to assume he’s going to miss six. But if you draft him in the second round you could end up being in really good shape if you manage your team correctly through the first six or seven weeks because the Cowboys have a bye week in there, as well. I wouldn’t be afraid to draft him in that second round. I’m not talking about the beginning of the second round, I’m talking about the middle-to-late. Do you have to have backfield depth if you make that move? Of course you do. You have to draft Darren McFadden potentially. You have to look for players who are undervalued at the running back position. I’m not adverse to taking risks like this. I understand it’s different because Bell only missed two games. I drafted Le’Veon Bell in every league I could in the second round and in some cases at the turn in the first round. It paid dividends for me. Again, longer suspension. Right now it’s six games. I still say, based on his skill set, based on the offense, based on the offensive line he is worth taking the risk at the end of the second round.”  

Will a new home for Sammy Watkins in LA equal more or less fantasy production? “I dropped him down a few spots at wide receiver. I didn’t drop him too much. If Jared Goff stinks, Watkins will stink and Todd Gurley is likely to see continued stacked fronts and that could affect his fantasy value. But if Goff progresses a little bit this season, all of a sudden, Sammy Watkins is still maybe a pretty good wide receiver two and maybe Todd Gurley improves after what was a disappointing 2016. So Watkins was on the boarder line of wide receiver two, wide receiver three for me but I liked him much more when he was with Tyrod Taylor in Buffalo. I have question marks just like everyone else does about Jared Goff but that trade blew up my rankings.”

So does Goff make sense as a late-round pick? “The position is so deep, the answer is no. This is still an offense, listen, Sean McVay is a young guy who had success with Washington under Jay Gruden, they’re not going to put the ball in Jared Goff’s hands and make him the centerpiece. This is going to be Todd Gurley. They’re going to want to run the football. This is a good move for Jared Goff on the field but I would be very surprised if Goff is anything more than a potential match-up based starter in some deeper leagues throughout the course of this year. I just don’t foresee Goff, right now, being someone who is drafted and who is a prominent part of fantasy teams because of his struggles last season.”

Staying in the NFC West, what do you make of Seattle’s crowded backfield so far? “What did I say all along about Eddie Lacy? I’m not a fan. That was a situation where Thomas Rawls was not going to go away and clearly he’s not. At this points he’s been running with the one’s in camp, he ran with the one’s in the first pre-season game. We’ll see what happens if that changes but even if Eddie Lacy eventually becomes the starter which you would think he would considering he’s making $5.5 million in his contract, it’s going to be a committee. Thomas Rawls was fantastic two years ago when Marshaun Lynch when down. Last year he was just hurt and couldn’t get it going health-wise and the offensive line had issues. C.J. Prosise is going to have a roll as a pass-catcher in that offense. This is not a situation where Eddie Lacy is going to come in, like he did in Green Bay in his first two seasons, and be a featured back. It’s just not going to happen so do not reach for Eddie Lacy. That’s going to be a committee situation.”

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