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 22) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.
What should fantasy owners do with the Julio Jones situation in Atlanta? “If he’s active, I guess you play him, but I don’t know that he will be. He’s missed a couple of games but I’ll tell you this. This would be a nice game for him to be back because you would expect a high-scoring game against Kansas City. If he’s back, you’re very likely going to start him. If he’s not, Calvin Ridley is in play and Russell Gage has been pretty good the last couple of weeks. Matt Ryan surprisingly had a good game last week and I didn’t see that coming, but I still don’t like Matt Ryan unless Julio Jones is active. Then I’d have a little more confidence in him. Julio, if he’s active, play him. If he’s not, expect another big game from Calvin Ridley.”
On the waiver wire, who are some options at wide receiver? “Emmanuel Sanders has got the Vikings on Christmas Day and he’s there de facto number one receiver with Michael Thomas on injured reserve. Keke Coutee has had two or three games where he’s been pretty productive and he would have had a bigger game last week if he hadn’t fumbled near the goal line. Some other names are Tyron Johnson, Rashard Higgins, Greg Ward, and Darnell Mooney. They are all worth looks off the wire.”
How about at tight end? “Logan Thomas, holy cow. He’s been unreal. I didn’t even like him against Seattle last week. They’ve been really tough on tight ends and it didn’t matter. Tyler Higbee is a good play last week and I don’t love his matchup this week against Seattle, but he’s still worth a look if you need a tight end. Austin Hooper also has a really good matchup against the Jets, and Tyler Eifert against the Bears if you are desperate and looking for a bargain.”
It’s championship week. What’s some final advice for owners who have gotten this far? “I know it’s stressful and you’ve gotten through a difficult season, so just go out and play the guys that got you there, but also play the matchups and don’t second guess yourself at this point. If you are making educated decisions when it comes to your lineup, it is what it is. A personal example: I had nine leagues where I was in the semis and I lost in one of them. The league that I lost, I played Keenan Allen, Allen Robinson, and Aaron Rodgers. Had I played Ryan Tannehill, Tony Pollard, or T.Y. Hilton, I would have went to the championship. But I wouldn’t play Tannehill over Rodgers, and I wouldn’t play Pollard over Nick Chubb or Dalvin Cook. I made the right decisions, but I just lost. It is what it is. Make your best and most educated lineup decisions. Don’t kick yourself for making a bad decision. Make educated decisions. Have fun with it because fantasy football is supposed to be fun.”
Any last thoughts? “Merry Christmas everybody!”
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