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

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.commto share his insight on building and developing your fantasy team for success.

Here are some hi-lights from our most recent conversation (August 25th) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.

What do you make out of the Dolphins’ backfield? “It’s going to be confusing. I really feel like Jordan Howard will be the early-down back and the guy who will get goal-line work but they’re going to work in Matt Breida, as well. He’s more of the homerun hitter. A guy who can take it to the house every time he touches the football. He hasn’t been super durable during his career. I have Jordan Howard ranked one spot higher because, honestly, it’s going to be hard to gauge who’s going to be the guy week in and week out. I could be Howard a couple of weeks and then it could be Breida. Maybe they’re going to utilize the hot hand. For me, I’d rather have Jordan Howard but it’s super, super close between the two.”

Is Nick Foles set up in Chicago with the skill players he has around him? “Well, let’s see if he’s actually the quarterback in Week 1, right? I mean, they could start Mitchell Trubisky because we haven’t had OTA’s, no preseason. So maybe they start with Trubisky. That’s sort of a competition to watch. I’d rather have Foles from a fantasy perspective but I don’t really believe in either one of these guys. Foles has not proven he can stay durable, outside of his time with the Eagles and Trubisky was a disaster last year. So, more of the interest for me is which guy is going to be throwing the ball to Allen Robinson because he is the most valuable Chicago Bear from a fantasy perspective and, I guess, who’s handing the ball off to David Montgomery to see if he can bounce back from what was a disappointing rookie campaign. But, again, if I was in a two-QB league or a superflex league I’d probably be targeting Foles over Trubisky at this point.”

Is this a bounce back year for Baker Mayfield in Cleveland? “You would think so, right? They added OBJ last year. Now they bring in Austin Hooper. They drafted Jedrick Wills. They brought in Jack Conklin as a free agent so the offensive line should be better. The options in the offense are better with Hooper in the mix and Kevin Stepanski is a guy who has done well with quarterbacks in the past, although it’s sort of a small sample size. Remember back when he was with Minnesota and Case Keenum had a career season. Case Keenum by the way, now in Cleveland. So, if Baker does not get the job done, I would not be surprised to see Keenum start games for the Browns and that’s if the Browns are really struggling out of the gate and Baker struggles because right now there are no excuses. Baker Mayfield has got to be that guy that we saw as a rookie or his job could be in jeopardy. I’m drafting him late as a QB2. Not a lot of risk involved. He’s got a pretty good ceiling. There’s not a lot of risk involved from a fantasy perspective.”

Is J.K. Dobbins worth a late-round flier in Baltimore?  “He’s actually going to be worth more than that to be honest. He’ll be worth a middle-round pick. I love him. If he didn’t end up in Baltimore, we may be talking about him over say, Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Say, if the two switched teams. This is a tremendous three-down back who rushed for over 2,000 yards in his final year at Ohio State. Had over 20 touchdowns. He was one of the best running backs in FBS when you’re talking about yards after contact.”

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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.