Fabiano’s Fantasy Focus: 2020 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 (July 20th) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.

Outside of Joe Burrow, are you seeing any other rookie quarterbacks getting drafted in standard leagues? “You could potentially see Tua come off the board in some drafts and maybe Justin Herbert come off the board in some drafts but ultimately it’s going to be Joe Burrow. But he’s not going to be picked until the late rounds.”

You’ve always preached loading up at running back early. Why is that trend even more evident this year? “Ultimately, you’re seeing everybody load up on running backs because it’s a position where it’s top-heavy. You’ve got a lot of good, talented young guys and once you get past those top players, you’re looking at confusing committee situations that could potentially go sideways from a fantasy perspective. So you are going to see a lot of running backs go in the first round. You’re going to see a bunch go in the second round. My strategy is running back, running back this season and then you will see wide receivers and good ones like Kenny Golladay and D.J. Moore still on the board in the third round and fourth round even.”

How do you think David Johnson will be with the Texans? “You guys have a lot of thoughts on David Johnson. I try to be optimistic because he’s a great guy and in the first six games of last season he averaged over 20 fantasy points a game before injuries caught up with him. Everything you see from David in social media is him working out and he looks like he’s in ridiculous shape. He’s a physical specimen. He’s ready to go. He’s got something to prove. David comes with risk because of the recent proneness to injuries. But he’s going to be really featured in that offense in Houston. They’re going to give him the ball as much as he can handle it. He’s a great pass-catcher as everyone in Arizona knows. In terms of a runner, we all know what he can do there, too. Carlos Hyde had over 1,000 yards in this offense last year, ok? The only thing that will keep David Johnson from being a very strong RB2 is injuries. I think if he can avoid injuries, he’s going to be in really good shape.”

How about Le’Veon Bell in 2020? “Le’Veon Bell…the waste of talent that happened last year in Adam Gase’s offense was an absolute criminal offense. It really was. Le’Veon Bell is one of the most talented running backs in the league and last year he had ultimately his worst fantasy season since his rookie campaign. I don’t know if that’s the Adam Gase effect because he’s done that before with running backs…umm…Kenyan Drake. Remember him in Miami? So, I know they added Frank Gore and I’m assuming Frank Gore is going to see some touches – not a ton. Gase is familiar with him from their time down in South Beach. Le’Veon’s not a number one anymore. He’s a number two and honestly, if I’m in a 10-team league, I’m hoping to get him as a flex starter. I think you can get him as a three. He’s probably going to be a three in most leagues but to expect him to return to an elite level like he was with the Pittsburgh Steelers I believe is fool-hearted.”

You mentioned Drake. Where do you slot him? “He’s been going in the first round, end of the first round. I’ve seen him go as high as sixth overall.”

How about David Montgomery in Chicago?  “So, Montgomery has been a fourth or fifth-round pick almost across the board in every draft. He’s not going to get to the sixth round in most drafts. For me he’s probably a fifth-rounder as a flex starter. There’s a decent ceiling there but we don’t like what we saw last season. So, there is a little bit of risk involved but he’s a young guy who came into the league with a lot of hype – especially in the fantasy industry. So, I don’t want to pooh-pooh him after one mediocre season. I feel like he’s a 1,000-yard back. A guy who would get you seven or eight touchdowns. Fifth-round tag from me.”

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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.