Fabiano’s Fantasy Focus: Week Five, 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 30th) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.

What strikes you most after four weeks of the regular season? “I’ll tell you one thing, this week was one of the strangest I can remember because a lot of big names were bad and I can actually extend that over the course of the season at wide receiver. We’re not seeing some of the production we had hoped we would see from some of the big names. Odell Beckham, Jr. comes to mind. DeAndre Hopkins comes to mind. He hasn’t been the guy we’d hoped he was going to be. You’re also seeing a lot of that from the running back position, as well. Todd Gurley coming off a two-touchdown game and he’s still not a top 15 running back at this point. So, we’ve seen some big names put up some numbers that we weren’t projecting.”

What do you make of the Austin Ekeler, Melvin Gordon soap opera in Los Angeles for fantasy owners of one or both? “My take is when Melvin Gordon is ready to take over a featured role for the Chargers, he’s going to get it. Ekeler will move back to being a stand alone flex. That’s what Anthony Lynn has sort of indicated. Whether or not that’s this week, that remains to be seen. Maybe it’s more of a 50/50 split but moving forward, as long as Gordon’s out there, Ekeler has had his best days as a fantasy running back in 2019.”

Does Ekeler still hold value in that offense because of his versatility? “Ekeler is going to play a role. Remember, he’s a really good pass-catching running back and right now, the Chargers are down Mike Williams, Travis Benjamin, Hunter Henry so Ekeler is still going to have some stand-alone value. But if you’re expecting to put up top five numbers every single week at that position it’s not going to happen. It’s very likely that Melvin Gordon is going to end up being a top 10 fantasy running back for the rest of the season.”

Where are you with Ronald Jones in Tampa? “Every week the snaps and the touches are volatile between him and Peyton Barber but clearly he has a higher ceiling and I loved the way he looked [Sunday] in a little bit of a homecoming there. The USC product looked great and worth a look off the waiver wire, without question. The bye weeks are coming. We have another week where only two teams are off but progressively we’re going to see more and more teams so he’s somebody to definitely pick up as a potential flex starter when we get deeper into bye weeks. He’s also got some upside and we saw that [Sunday]. Definitely worth a look.”

How about Wayne Gallman with Saquon Barkley still on the mend? “Barkley is sort of a physical freak and there are some reports out there that suggest he’s going to beat the timetable he was originally given but I’m not saying you’re getting two touchdowns from Wayne Gallman but at least for one week, they made fantasy owners who have Saquon Barkley forget that they had him. Touches and volume are key in fantasy football. The one problem you have is a very tough matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. I think Gallman is going to be a flex starter this week and you need to temper your expectations after a big week against the Redskins.”

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