Fabiano’s Fantasy Focus 2020 Pre-Season, Volume VII

Arizona Sports News online

Every summer leading into and throughout the NFL season, Sports Illustrated and SI.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 (August 4th) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.

What’s caught your attention this week? “What I’m noticing is there’s a lot of concern about these players opting out. We’ve seen eight or nine Patriots already opt out. The Jets lost C.J. Mosley. Damien Williams has opted out. There have been a lot of names. Devin Funchess has opted out and I think there’s concern out there that maybe Matthew Stafford could opt out. Remember, he tested positive for COVID. His wife, God bless her, went through some serious health issues over the last year plus. So there could be other big names who opt out here before the deadline on Thursday and that’s a big point of contention in the fantasy world.”

So how do approach Stafford if you have your draft coming up? “If you’re drafting right now, Brad. Matthew Stafford has lost oa little bit of that luster because there is that looming possibility where he could decide that he doesn’t want to play this season because of the condition of his wife. He has young children, as well. So, it’s something we all have to deal with and whatever decision Stafford makes, obviously, it’s going to be the best for him and his family.”

Do you believe the NFL is going to play this season – regardless of what’s happening with the COVID numbers? “The NFL is doing everything they can. It’s one of those situations where it’s like…the NFL is going to do everything they can to plow through any issues they may have with this pandemic and play this season in whole. Hopefully, people like us and the fans out there, hope this does happen and we do get through a season, through the playoffs and crown a Super Bowl Champion. Maybe the Cowboys (laughing)?”

Do you see any dip in Lamar Jackson after blowing up in 2019? “Yeah, but not a major one. It is something that fantasy owners always have to keep in mind. When a player is coming off a magical season, chances are he’s not going to duplicate it. That doesn’t mean he’s going to be bad, Brad. But when you’re coming off a season like Lamar Jackson had, he’s probably not going to average 27 points a game. Maybe he’s going to average 22. That’s a five-point per game dip but that’s still damn good! Like Patrick Mahomes two years ago, best fantasy season of all-time at the quarterback position, right? Last year, almost half as many touchdown passes. He missed a couple of games but he went from averaging over three touchdowns a game, to just two. He was still really good. He averaged over 20 points a game but he wasn’t as good. I feel like the same is going to be true in the case of Lamar Jackson. He’ll be tremendous but 27 points per game is a lot to ask in back-to-back seasons.”

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