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 (December 1) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.
In Atlanta, who should play – Todd Gurley or Ito Smith? “It’s certainly Gurley once he’s healthy because he’s going to get the job back. Ito Smith didn’t do anything in terms of snaps and touches before Gurley was out. I’ll say this, though. I don’t care who the Atlanta running back is this week, I’m not playing them against New Orleans. Their defense is really good against the run. This is a week to fade those backs.”
What are your thoughts on the Bears quarterback situation with Mitch Trubisky and how it will affect fantasy owners? “Trubisky for me, I’m fine with him because he loves to find Allen Robinson and I want Allen Robinson to score. The Bears were actually pretty fantasy friendly this past week. David Montgomery had a huge game and Allen Robinson had a couple of touchdowns. In terms of fantasy production, I will take that. Against Detroit, I actually like Trubisky too. Their defense is not good and Trubisky has actually had some success against them in his career. I’m not saying start him as a top-12 play in redrafts, but in 2QB or superflex leagues, he’s on the radar.”
On the other side of the ball with defenses, are there any teams you like with favorable matchups for the playoffs? “The Cardinals actually have a pretty favorable schedule. The Cowboys do too but their defense stinks so that doesn’t matter, but the Rams actually might be the best defense based on their schedule. The Browns have some favorable matchups, New Orleans has some favorable matchups, Buffalo as well. But for me, I’m picking up defenses on a week-to-week basis because things change so much in the NFL. It’s so week-to-week right now and a lot of things change on a moments notice. You have to remember what happened last week doesn’t matter in a lot of cases. It’s what is going to happen this upcoming week.”
Who are some wide receiver options on the waiver wire this week? “T.Y. Hilton is coming off his best game in a while. If you’re in a deep league and he’s been dropped, he owns Houston in his career. He’s had 15-plus points in three of his last four games against them and has done really well against the Texans. I’m not saying he’s a great play, I’m saying he’s good as a flex starter based on the trend. Gabriel Davis in Buffalo is going to get more burn with John Brown out. In Jacksonville if D.J. Chark and Chris Conley are both out again, I still prefer Keelan Cole or Laviska Shenault, but Collin Johnson also had a big game out of nowhere. He had a touchdown and nearly 20 fantasy points. Keke Coutee in Houstin is going to be worth an add, Breshad Perriman has given people double-digits in three straight games, and Allen Lazard is going to be worth a look at wide receiver.”
Which tight ends should be considered going into this week? “Kyle Rudolph. If Adam Thielen comes back, then Rudolph loses a little bit of his luster. But I’d still start him if I needed help at that position. Dalton Schultz is another guy who I talk about every week but nobody picks him up. All he does is get targets. He has 26 in his last four games, though the matchup isn’t great in week 13 against the Ravens. And then Logan Thomas is really not a good matchup this week against Pittsburgh, but this dude plays just as many snaps and runs as many routes as any tight end in the league. Maybe don’t play him this week, but Logan Thomas could be on your radar during the fantasy playoffs.”
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