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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 9th) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.
Is it already to the point where you’re playing almost anyone on your roster if they’re playing the Dolphins and it makes sense? “No question. No question. They look terrible and I don’t know how many games that team is going to win. I will tell you this, you’re starting all your Patriots next week, you’re starting the Patriots’ defense, you’re streaming defenses against the Dolphins until they prove us otherwise. That’s going to be the strategy. I could be a defense that’s not very good and if they’re playing the Dolphins in a home game, suddenly they’re going to be an option off the waiver wire if you like to stream defenses. That’s how bad this team is right now.”
Flipping it over to the offense, are there any viable fantasy options in Miami? “They really don’t have a number one wide receiver. At the running back position, they have Kenyon Drake coming off an injury. Kalen Ballage, who did nothing in that contest [Sunday]. Until the Dolphins prove us otherwise, this is a team to target in your matchups both defensively and with your offensive skill position players.”
Here in Arizona, what did you make out the other Cards’ skill players outside of Kyler Murray? “Larry Fitzgerald…if I had to start an NFL franchise, the first wide receiver I would want is Larry Fitzgerald. He’s just tremendous on and off the field. We also saw David Johnson succeeding, as well. Johnson had his numbers looking pedestrian at best until the Cardinals sort of got into the groove and things clicked. So, it was a tale of basically two games for the Cardinals. First three quarters it was like, ‘hey, this looks bad.’ Fourth quarter and overtime, ‘hey, I can work with this.'”
I understand it’s a small sample size but is this what we should expect from David Johnson? “David Johnson was a first round pick and I was expecting this from and it was great to see him utilized both as a runner and as a receiver out of the backfield, as well. He averaged over four yards per carry. So, this is what we expected. I don’t know if we’re going to get the David Johnson from a couple of years ago when he just absolutely went ballistic but we all expect him to be a top five fantasy running back. Although, again, the matchup this week is a bad one. David Johnson is not someone you’re benching in most cases.”
How does Nick Foles injury impact the rest of the Jags’ offense? “The Jaguars are going to have to lean on Leonard Fournette a lot in that offensive attack so Fournette is going to get the ball 20-plus times week in and week out as long as he’s on the field.”
Who surprised you the most after the first week? “I can’t name just one! The rookie wide receivers. Marquise Brown. No one drafted him. Everyone thought [the Ravens] were going to run the ball 65 percent of the time. He went nuts! Here’s the thing: he didn’t play many snaps but when he got the ball he made it count. I was surprised about the Lions with Danny Amendola having such a monster game and I really like T.J. Hockenson but rookie tight ends don’t usually come out and do that. He’s going to be a popular addition off the waiver wire. I wasn’t surprised Todd Gurley’s volume went down. I wasn’t surprised Todd Gurley lost goal line opportunities to Malcolm Brown. Hopefully that’s not the case all season long because that’s really going to hurt Gurley’s fantasy value as a second-round pick. The one thing I always tell people is don’t overreact. Don’t overreact if your player had an awful game. This is a week in and week out league. We learn that every single season.”
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