Fabiano’s Fantasy Focus: Post Free-Agent Frenzy

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Every Wednesday 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 (April 2nd) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.

What are your general thoughts on the free agent movement from a fantasy perspective? “In terms of players who changed teams a lot of it wasn’t good from a fantasy perspective. LeSean McCoy in Buffalo…he leaves a very good system in Philadelphia but, let’s be honest, he was phased out of the goal line work last year…now he goes to Buffalo and he’s going to see the ball 350-400 times. So I guess I would consider him a winner as someone who changed teams but DeMarco Murray—that was not a good move for his fantasy value. Jimmy Graham—not a good move for his fantasy value. Jeremy Maclin—not a good move for his fantasy value. Julius Thomas same thing…Brandon Marshall another guy. So there are a lot of losers from free-agency in terms of teams and players who will be wearing different uniforms.”

Who helped their fantasy stock the most to this point? “You’re looking at, for example, Alshon Jeffery because Brandon Marshall is no longer in Chicago so you’re talking about a player who could see more targets and is no the clear number one wide receiver there, although I believe he was last year, as well. Mark Ingram. The Saints look like they’re going to a more balanced offensive attack, right? Kenny Stills traded. Jimmy Graham traded. In that trade they acquired Max Unger who is a pretty good run-blocking center. So Ingram you would think is going to see more burn. Last year he was a pretty good fantasy option and he missed several games because of that hand injury. That’s where you’re seeing players who “won” via free-agency. Russell Wilson is another one…Carlos hyde is another one.”

“What’s your gut on Adrian Peterson from a fantasy standpoint? “My gut or my heart (laughing)? If Peterson’s wearing a Cowboys jersey in 2015 he’s the number one pick in fantasy. Listen, I love Le’Veon Bell. I love Eddie Lacy, Jamaal Charles. Peterson’s the number one pick .You talk about a guy who’s going to be ticked off running behind arguably the best offensive line in the National Football League. Oh, boy. Listen, fantasy owners should just be salivating over that. I still have him as a top five running back. I moved him up…Peterson’s a cyborg. He’s not human. He rushed for over 2,000 yards less than a year after having a major knee reconstruction. If he stays in Minnesota it’s not the worst thing in the world unless his attitude gets in the way because Norv Turner has a history of running backs who have put up huge fantasy numbers in his system. Listen, Matt Asiata was a top 20 last year and he didn’t ever start half the games.”

Thoughts on Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston? “I’m not drafting either one of them…listen, Geno Smith was the best rookie [quarterback] two years ago and that’s not saying much. Last year we didn’t see a lot of production from the rookie quarterbacks, either…I’m not going to be drafting Mariota or Winston to be quite honest with you maybe late rounds at best. The thing that scares me about these two guys and people might think I’m crazy for saying this but give the last Oregon quarterback who did anything in the NFL? You’re talking about Dan Fouts. If you go to Florida State the only quarterback who came out of that school and did anything in the NFL in the last 15-20 years is Brad Johnson…I don’t think either of these guys is a lock to become an NFL superstar.”