Fabiano’s Fantasy Focus: 2014 Pre-Season Notes

The 2014 fantasy football season is here! Whether you’re a first timer or an experienced fantasy football veteran, NFL.com has the league for you. Set up your FREE and customizable league on NFL.com today!

Each 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 (August 6) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.

Are you expecting big fantasy numbers from DeSean Jackson this season?  “His arrow is pointing down. [He’s] maybe the second option in Washington behind Pierre Garcon. You’ve got Jordan Reed there. You’ve got Andre Roberts there. Santana Moss. You’ve got Morris in the backfield so the targets are not going to be there and the opportunities are not going to be there. If you look at DeSean Jackson’s track-record before last year, he averaged fewer than 60 catches a year. He wasn’t a world-beater. He had one good year from a fantasy perspective before last year and that was really it. So DeSean to me, is no more than a three in 2014. You can’t draft him based on what he did last year. You just can’t do it.”

Do you expect Julio Jones to pick up where he left off last season before his season-ending foot injury? “Everything that we’ve seen from Julio Jones has been positive. In the off-season, in training camp. I don’t know that he is a huge risk and if you think he is than draft Brandon Marshall. Take a guy right around that same sort of value. Julio can be a top five receiver easy in fantasy. Before he got hurt last year he was on pace to have over 100 catches and he would have been the highest scorer in terms of yardage based on what he did the five or six games he played…if he stays healthy, he’s going to be great. I would go ahead and draft him in the second-round with confidence.”

What rookie quarterback do you see having the biggest fantasy impact? “You know me with rookie quarterbacks…Manziel would be the only guy. I don’t know if he’s going to open the season as a starter but at some point you figure he is going to be the guy in Cleveland. Brian Hoyer, to me, is nothing special if we’re talking about fantasy football. He wouldn’t even be drafted in most leagues. So if Manziel gets the job at some point or another he’s worth rostering. You know this, I love guys who can run with the football…[Blake] Bortles doesn’t look like he’s going to play all year. He could but I don’t like the talent around him right now. Teddy Bridgewater…possibility for maybe him to start at some point in Minnesota but Matt Cassel is the favorite in Minnesota right now. Really the only quarterback who’s draft able in his first year in Johnny Football.”

Why so much more hype for Gio Bernard than Andre Ellington? “Well, I think because Gio to me is just a more talented running back. He’s a guy that can catch the ball out of the backfield. He’s got unbelievable explosion. Anytime he touches the football he can take it to the house. Ellington, has some of the same skill sets. I think he’s a smaller guy in terms of his stature and I think what we saw from Gio last year is like the first step in his rise to stardom.”

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