Fabiano’s Fantasy Focus: 2020 Pre-Season, Volume XI

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 18th) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.

What are the biggest fantasy storylines now that camps have opened around the league? “How are the rookies doing in terms of their transition over from the college to the pros because that’s going to be a big fantasy storyline. Which rookies will be effective, especially at the wide receiver position? You talk about guys like say, Jerry Jeudy, Justin Jefferson, Jalen Reagor, CeeDee Lamb and others and you wonder whether or not they’re going to make an instant impact, considering they haven’t been with their teammates. No OTA’s. No pre-season. So this is sort of the first time they’re with their teammates and actually practicing. I feel right now, more than any other time, a lot of us out there are really leaning on beat reporters and Twitter to find out who’s doing what. How’s Ben Roethlisberger looked throwing the football to Diontae Johnson? How does Joe Burrow look spinnin’ it to A.J. Green? So we’re all sort of trying to follow along on social media…this is a very good thing that social media brings us.”

In the first week or so of camps, from what you’ve seen, have you already made some tweaks on earlier player assessments?  “Not yet. It’s too soon. It really is. I have moved Miles Sanders up a few spots, based on what was said earlier this week, in terms of him being the featured back in Philadelphia. Every morning Brad, I wake up and I check Twitter and I check social media and I check my NFL updates because I don’t want to read that the Eagles signed a running back. So far, they haven’t done that. Even with Devonta Freeman out there, they haven’t done it which means Miles Sanders is going to be the guy. So, I moved him up a little bit. If you hear a guy looks good coming off an injury for example, like we’ve seen with Ben Roethlisberger. The reports seem like he’s alright. Although there is a report out there saying that maybe he’s short-arming some of his passes. This is all kind of stuff that we have to compile information on. Not only over just a two or three-day span but in the entirety of camp as we head into Week 1 which is in less than a month.”

Are there enough good players, including A.J. Green, around Joe Burrow in Cincinnati? “Really good players! They could have a very underrated offense in 2020 if things go well. A.J. Green looked really good and then we saw a report that he tweaked a hamstring. It’s not supposed to be a big deal but I don’t like hearing that! He didn’t play last year. The year before he was banged up. These soft tissue injuries…I don’t like hearing about them. I would rather hear that A.J. Green is good to go and there’s nothing wrong with him. With that being said, I’m targeting him as a wide receiver three because the discount is sort of baked in. We know he has the potential to be a Top 10 or Top 12 fantasy wide receiver but we’re all afraid that the injuries are going to creep up again which is why you can get him right now, probably in the seventh round in most drafts.”

What do you make of the Raiders wide receivers?  “Good luck! Honestly, I don’t know. I have Henry Ruggs III ranked the highest right now at that position in Las Vegas because I feel he has the highest ceiling. But you’ve got Hunter Renfro and you’ve got Tyrell Williams. They drafted Lynn Bowden. They’re got Darren Waller who was one of the elite tight ends in fantasy football last year. This is one of those situations where I can honestly say, I have no idea. I am not drafting any Raiders’ wide receivers in any prominent role. Henry Ruggs is probably a wide receiver four. [Bryan] Edwards and Tyrell would be five’s. So would Hunter Renfro. Darren Waller clearly in the mix. He’s going to be a top five or six tight end.”

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