Fabiano’s Fantasy Focus: Preseason Vol. VIII – The Bargain Bin

Every week during the NFL season, Sports Illustrated Senior Fantasy Analyst Michael Fabiano joins Sports360AZ’s Brad Cesmat to share his insight on building and developing your fantasy team for success.

In our most recent conversation with Michael (Aug. 31) we discussed Cam Newton’s exit from New England, and mulled over some players who might prove to be bargains once the regular season begins. Here are the highlights:

With J.K. Dobbins Out For The Season, What’s The Scoop On Gus Edwards?

“Here’s the thing with Gus – very effective runner, he’s got a good yards per carry average, he’s going to get the majority of the carries in an offense that runs the ball a ton – that’s all good. He doesn’t do a lick in the passing game. I would suggest that he’s probably, for me, more of a low RB2 to high flex starter. I certainly like him, there’s no doubt about that. Gus is the guy to get right now unless the Ravens go out and sign a running back, and that is certainly within the realm of possibility.”

Chase Claypool Seems To Be Flying Under The Radar A Bit. What Kind Of Production Do You Expect From Him?

“I think he’s taken that first step to potential fantasy stardom. I have seen him drafted as the second Steelers wide receiver in fantasy ahead of JuJu Smith-Schuster. Diontae Johnson has been the consensus number one Steelers wide receiver but Claypool might have the most upside. He is a tremendous playmaker and a guy that certainly knows how to get in the end zone. The Steelers are going to try to run the ball more this year with Najee Harris. The offensive line has got some question marks but as long as they can keep Ben Roethlisberger upright I still feel like Claypool will get his. I like him as a high WR3.

We Talked About Darrell Henderson Last Week. What Are You Expecting From His Backfield Partner Sony Michel?

“Sony Michel is a former first-round guy who is in the prime of his career. It’s not like the Rams went out and got Todd Gurley, who’s over the hill. They got a guy who can still get the job done. He was having a good camp with the Patriots, so to me, Sony Michel makes sense as the early-down guy and the goal-line guy and Darrell Henderson makes sense as the pass-catching compliment. I would not be surprised if at some point during the course of the season, maybe going into week one or week two, that Sony Michel starts.”

Shifting Topics, Is Julio Jones A Must-Start Against The Cardinals In Week One?

“I’ve had three or four drafts in the last two days and I’ve gotten Julio a couple of times. Every time I hit the button to draft him [I hesitate] because of the injuries last year, new team, run-based offense with Derrick Henry. The Malcolm Butler situation aside, you’re starting Julio Jones if he’s active. He’s going to be your WR2, maybe you have him as a WR3. If you do, kudos, but he’s going to be a guy who’s going to be active to start the season and we’ll see how it goes in that offense.