Fabiano’s Fantasy Focus: Week 15, Volume I

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

Here are some hi-lights from our most recent conversation (December 11th) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.

What’s the latest with the Chargers backfield heading into TNF? “Our Steve Wyche is reporting that both Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler will be unlikely to play in this game so if you have yet to add Justin Jackson or put in a claim for him you need to do it now because it’s very rare that a number one running back, which Jackson would be in a dynamic offense, is ever available on the waiver wire in Week 15 and the matchup is very good against the Chiefs. So suddenly Justin Jackson went from a guy who’s barely on the fantasy radar four weeks ago to someone who is now maybe not a must start but a pretty darn good start.” 

What’s Tyreek Hill’s status against Los Angeles? “I know there’s reports that he’s got a foot injury but it would be hard for me to see a scenario where Tyreek Hill is not out there on the gridiron. It would have to be a really bad injury because this is a really huge game for both teams.”

Marcus Mariota or James Winston this week? “That is a tough call. It’s so tough in fact that I’d tell you to go pick up Josh Allen and play him. If you can’t get him then I would go with Mariota. Neither matchup is great but there is nothing about Jameis Winston playing in Baltimore that I like. Nothing. That defense is really tough, especially on their home field so I would fade Winston if possible.”

Derek Carr or Josh Allen? “Josh Allen. It’s hard to hear Derek Carr’s name listed but he’s got a really good matchup against Cincinnati. I don’t trust him in the fantasy playoffs and I wouldn’t if I could find an alternative. Here’s a stat for Josh Allen which is unreal. We’ve been doing this for years, right? Josh Allen has rushed for 335 combined yards in his last three games. That’s the most rushing yards by a quarterback in a three-game span since 1970. In terms of throwing the football, we know he’s got a cannon but he turns the ball over a ton. He had three turnovers last week but it doesn’t hurt you because he’s giving you 100 yards on the ground every single week. So, believe it or not, Josh Allen is a very startable asset because of what he can do as a runner.”

As a fantasy owner, should I be nervous about the Rams taking their foot off the gas late in the season? “Let’s put it this way, you can consider yourself very lucky if you survived last week and Jared Goff was your quarterback and Todd Gurley your running back. I would say anyone who had Gurley and had a first-round bye, they dodged a huge bullet because most teams that had Gurley last week went down. Goff was a guy who I told people to be wary of last week. Cold weather. Great defense. Road game. But now he’s got the Eagles. Jared Goff is going to be my Start of the Week in Start ‘Em. Sit ‘Em among quarterbacks. Why? He’s back at home. The weather will be nice in Los Angeles (hopefully). There is a chance for some rain so keep tabs on that. I keep my Rams in my lineup, no questions asked.”

What am I to do with James Conner this week? “Well, hopefully you picked up Jaylen Samuels and I know that Mike Tomlin said he’s not ruling out James Conner so keep tabs on his status throughout the week. It would be great if he came back against the Patriots but Samuels is a guy we told you to pick up last week and even weeks earlier because you always want to handicap your top running backs as you get into the playoffs. Samuels was targeted seven times, caught all seven targets. He is a guy that is not only going to help you in standard but in PPR, too because of his ability to catch the ball.”   

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