Fabiano’s Fantasy Focus: 2017 Week 1, 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 (September 5th) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.

What is a bold fantasy prediction from you heading into the 2017 season? “Matt Ryan, who was the second-highest scoring player in fantasy football last year will not be a Top 10 fantasy quarterback. How about that one!? It’s the magical season syndrome. It happened with Cam Newton. Cam Newton has been a great fantasy quarterback ever since he’s come into the league and I always warn people. This is not a recent trend. You can go back to Dan Marino. His first big season, the next season his numbers were down. It happened with Kurt Warner. It’s happened with a lot of quarterbacks. Tom Brady, same situation. Matt Ryan and everything that right with that season in 2016…it’s very likely not going to happen again.”

Better waiver wire pickup this week: Jay Cutler or Tyrod Taylor? “Well, Tyrod Taylor isn’t even a lock to play this week so I would have to go Cutler. I would think there’s an even better option out there. Look and see if Sam Bradford is available. He’s got the Saints this week. That’s a good matchup.”

What do you make of some of the young running backs this season? “I really like the rookie running backs this year. I think you could have four or five finish in the Top 20 in fantasy points at that position. Dalvin Cook, now Kareem Hunt is the new big thing in fantasy football. Leonard Fournette. Christian McCaffery who projects to be a PPR super star. There are a lot of talented guys. Joe Mixon. Maybe he doesn’t start the season so fast because you’ve got Jeremy Hill there and Gio Bernard there but at some point I think he takes that job. One thing people have to remember, expect the unexpected in fantasy football in the National Football League because it’s going to happen.”

Another waiver question: Jacquizz Rodgers or Rex Burkhead? “Wow. I’m going Rodgers. I do think Rodgers can help fantasy fans the first three weeks of the season while Doug Martin is suspended. He is one of my favorite sleepers this week.”

Are you expecting any drop off at all from David Johnson here in Arizona? “Cardinals’ fans will like this one. I am going to predict that David Johnson’s goal of 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving will be met this season. That is why he is the consensus number one overall pick in fantasy football and D.J. if you’re listening, make me look good, man! I can see him go for about 2,2000 or 2,300 [total yards]. That is impressive. You’re going to get double-digit touchdowns. You’re going to get 70 catches.”

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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.