Every summer leading into and throughout the NFL season, Sports Illustrated and SI.com Senior Fantasy Analyst Michael Fabiano joins Sports360AZ.com to share his insight on building and developing your fantasy team for success.
Here are some highlights from our most recent conversation (October 13th) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.
How are you viewing Andy Dalton who now takes over in Dallas for Dak Prescott? “Andy Dalton comes in and suddenly has a lot of fantasy value. Now, He’s not Dak Prescott but he certainly needs to be added off the waiver wire. He’s certainly not like Dak Prescott where you’re setting it and forgetting it. He’s in your lineup every single week. That’s not the case with Andy Dalton. He is a former Top 10 fantasy quarterback so he will be one of the most added players off the waiver wire headed into Week Six.”
Do you see Dallas going to a more run-based offense with Prescott out for the remainder of the year? “I know that you hear that the Cowboys will want to lean on Zeke [Elliott] a little more, which might be the case. But, I mean, how many more touches can you give him? He’s already averaging over 20 touches per game and I do feel like the Cowboys’ offense will continue to throw the ball. Maybe not as much. I mean, they’re throwing it like 66 percent of the time but they’ll throw it enough where those wide receivers will still have fantasy success but you won’t have as much confidence without Dak.”
Besides Dalton, who are a some quarterbacks on the waiver wire for owners who had Prescott? “Justin Herbert looks bananas good. Crazy good. This guy doesn’t look like a rookie. The problem is the Chargers have a bye coming up. Derek Carr is worth a look but he also has a bye. Teddy Bridgewater, who I told you to pick up last week, had a very solid game but he’s got the Bears. That’s not a great matchup. Ryan Fitzpatrick, who is the most disrespected quarterback in fantasy football since the middle of last season, is available in a lot of leagues. He’s got the Jets in a revenge game. He’s played for so many teams, half the league is a revenge game. Fitzpatrick is a guy you could pick up this week.”
Let’s stay with injured stars. What are you hearing on Dalvin Cook? “For me, I would project Cook not to play. We’ve already seen reports that he is unlikely to play. Here’s the thing: I don’t think the injury is severe – he tried to come back last week. But, Minnesota’s got Atlanta this week – they stink. Their defense is terrible. They haven’t won a game. They just fired their coach and GM. Then Minnesota has a bye so if the Vikings feel confident that they can give the ball to Alexander Madison, and I think they are confident in him and beat Atlanta, then they get another week where Dalvin can heal up. Then he’s good to go heading into Week Eight. That is what I would project to happen. Madison is a must-start against Atlanta, their defense is terrible against the run. It’s actually just terrible, period.”
Who are some wide receiver waiver wire options? “There are a lot of them. Chase Claypool was very good against Philadelphia. He had four touchdowns! Diontae Johnson can’t stay healthy. He has the Browns this week and then a tough matchup against the Ravens and then the Cowboys. So Claypool is going to be added in a lot of leagues. Henry Ruggs III will be added in a lot of leagues but they have a bye. Laviska Shenault is a very good pickup this week, too. Eight targets last week, seven catches. He’s got Detroit this week. Their defense is bad.”
Any general advice you’d give to owners as we hit mid-October? “Make sure you are active on the waiver wire because you never know when a COVID situation is going to hit, when a guy is going to get hit or when a game is going to get moved. Also, you never know when you might pick up, say – Mike Boone and in a week or two something happens and the players ahead of him are not available because they’re hurt or whatever and suddenly you have this star. Look what happened with Mike Davis. Anyone who drafted or picked up Mike Davis as a handcuff to Christian McCaffrey is laughing all the way to the bank. He’s been great. You always have to be forward-thinking.”
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