Fabiano’s Fantasy Focus: 2019 Off-Season, 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 (May 2nd) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.

Right off the top, what are your fantasy views on Kyler Murray? “Oh man, I love him. You know me, I’m not big on quarterbacks-especially rookie quarterbacks. But let’s look back a decade or even more at the rookie quarterbacks who made an immediate fantasy impact: Robert Griffin III, Vince Young, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott. What did all those guys have in common? They could run with the football. Kyler Murray rushed for over 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns last year with Oklahoma. He was extremely accurate, as well…I think Murray is going to be overdrafted in a lot of re-drafts because of the hype and I understand that. If I can get Kyler Murray somewhere in the ninth, 10th, 11th round of a re-draft…as my QB2, I would love it. I really do think Kyler could end up being a Top 15 quarterback in his rookie season.”

What’s Antonio Brown’s fantasy impact in Oakland going to be? “Well, A.B. blocked me on twitter so I’m not going to get too down on him but, ya’ know Brad, regression in the touchdown category was inevitable even if he stayed with Pittsburgh. I love Derek Carr. I get it. He is not at the level of Ben Roethlisberger and that offense…they threw the ball a ton last season. They averaged about 43 pass attempts per game which led the league. The Raiders were more in the middle of the pack. Maybe that changes with A.B. [He] is a second-round pick. I have him at sixth at wide receiver.”

What was the biggest fantasy takeaway you had from the 2019 off-season? “The one player who I believe saw the greatest increase in his fantasy value I believe is Baker Mayfield. Baker Mayfield showed some flashes and potential as a rookie. He wasn’t a Top 10 fantasy quarterback, I believe he was 16th. But I have him sixth at quarterback. I have him right behind Mahomes, Rodgers, Luck, Watson and Russell Wilson. They added [Odell Beckham]. At some point Kareem Hunt will be back. This offense looks like it could be just unbelievably productive and so Baker is probably the guy I would say has seen the biggest increase in fantasy value.”

Any other big picture takeaways from this draft class? “We’ve got some other players who are up-and-coming that are helping deepen some fantasy positions like at running back. Tight end is another position that I think you’re going to see a resurrection very soon with Noah Fant coming out, with T.J. Hockenson coming out, with Irv Smith coming out. I think there’s going to be some depth at that position with Hunter Henry coming back and O.J. Howard coming back from injury, as well. It’s going to be fun, my friend.”