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

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.

Is CeeDee Lamb’s value dropping because there were no OTA’s and the NFL did away with the pre-season games this year due to the pandemic? “It’s going to take time for the rookie wide receivers to gain a rapport with their respective quarterbacks. In this case, Dak Prescott. Make sure they’re running the right routes, get on the same page as their quarterbacks. But, I still feel like the ceiling is there. CeeDee Lamb is the most talented wide receiver to come out of the draft according to most experts. He lands at a great spot, in terms of the offense, but you also have Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup there, as well. So the target share won’t be as great as if he landed with say, the Jets or the Raiders. So he’s a wide receiver four but an exciting wide receiver four.”

Let’s stick with rookie wide receivers, how about former ASU star Brandon Aiyuk in San Francisco? “He’s a wide receiver four, maybe in some smaller leagues a wide receiver five. You would expect him to see an increase in targets with Deebo Samuel out for maybe four weeks. We don’t really know at this point but he is expected to miss the start of the season and as long as Deebo is out, there’s going to be opportunities out there. Remember, Emmanuel Sanders is gone. He’s in New Orleans right now and they did bring in Jordan Reed. Although, who the heck knows how long Jordan Reed’s going to be out there because he’s had so many injuries during his career. He could have been one of the greats. Aiyuk is certainly worth a look. Late-rounder…with some upside because the opportunities are going to be there with Deebo out for maybe a month.”

If they’re both on the board in the my draft: Saquon Barkley or Ezekiel Elliott? “It’s Saquon. I’m a Cowboys’ fan so you know I’m telling you the truth…but it’s definitely Saquon. He’s a younger back. I can see him getting drafted number one overall, ahead of Christian McCaffrey – even after McCaffrey’s ridiculous season in 2019. Saquon’s got all the tools. We remember what he did a rookie. Last year he was very good in the second half of the season…once he got healthier after that ankle injury sort of slowed him down. It’s Saquon two and then Zeke three.”

Is Ben Roethlisberger still a quarterback you’re targeting late in drafts? “As a QB2, yes. As a QB1, no. Remember, two years ago in 2018 he threw for over 5100 yards and was the QB3 in fantasy. That’s not going to happen again. Not without Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. But he does have some really good young wide receivers in JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington and Dionte Johnson who everyone in the industry loves. They brought in Chase Claypool. Eric Ebron is now in the mix so he’s not hurting for weapons. I think the question with Big Ben is – can he stay healthy? He’s an older quarterback who missed last season and so, that’s the question mark. He could end up being a draft bargain. I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s a QB Top 10, Top 12 in 2020. He is certainly worth a look. No doubt about that as a QB2.”

For more, click here.

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.