Fabiano’s Fantasty Focus Week XV, Volume II

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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 16th) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.

With so many backfield injuries, who are some good plays this weekend outside of the obvious? “David Johnson. Arizona fans will love that. I think he’s a Top 5 running back right now and may be for the rest of the season as long as he’s the featured guy there…you’ve got to look at the match ups to be quite honest with you right now. Jamaal Charles, Arian Foster, Le’Veon Bell, Marshawn Lynch, now Thomas Rawls—it’s ridiculous. If you handcuffed D’Angelo Williams to Le’Veon Bell or picked him up off the waiver wire you’re sitting pretty. Lamar Miller has a great match up this week against San Diego. Chris Ivory has been a really good value. Doug Martin has been tremendous. Eddie Lacy, three of his last four games have been really good.”

Who are some waiver wire running backs who may still be available? “Denard Robinson, assuming T.J. Yeldon doesn’t play, he’s an RB2 against Atlanta. Bryce Brown, who hasn’t had a carry in the league in about a year, is now looking like the number one running back in Seattle against the Browns. So, believe it or not, a guy who hasn’t played a lick could actually help you get to a fantasy championship. Brandon Bolden, with LaGarrette Blount out, should see most of the carries although it’s impossible to predict Bill Belichick. He’s worth starting this week.”

Is Tim Hightower a reliable option moving forward? “Listen, he had 29 touches last week. Right now the match ups are important but volume is just as important because if a guy is going to give you 20 carries or 20-25 touches in a game, based on the state of the running back position he’s a good play. Darren McFadden hasn’t been particularly impressive this year but he’s been getting a lot of touches and that makes him valuable. You’re going to see that with Bryce Brown this week, potentially with Brandon Bolden this week.”

With the Cards’ secondary playing at a fairly high level is it best to sit most Philly skill players? “I don’t want anything to do with the Eagles’ wide receivers this week. Nothing. I don’t want anything to do with any Eagles this week. Maybe Zach Ertz. That’s about it. DeMarco Murray has been an enormous bust. Bigger than I thought he was going to be. Jordan Mathews has been a disappointment…Ertz is probably the only Eagle I would play and that’s only because the tight end position is just anemic right now.”

What about on the other side with the Cardinals? “On the Cardinals’ side of the ball, you’re starting everybody. You’re starting Johnson. You’re starting Carson [Palmer]. You’re starting Fitz–who’s got a really good track record against Philadelphia. You’re starting John Brown. You’re starting Michael Floyd.”

How do you feel about Eli Manning in Week 15? “Eli scares me this week. People are going to be like, ‘Well, he had a great game last week.’ That’s because it was against the Dolphins and their defense stinks…I don’t like him this week. Not against Carolina. If you look at Carolina’s defense, it’s pretty good. In fact, they’ve given up fewer than 14 fantasy points a game to quarterbacks.”

Speaking of the Giants, what can we expect from Odell Beckham, Jr. this weekend? “He’s going up against Josh Norman. I’m not telling you to bench Odell Beckham, Jr. My ‘Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em’ column is out. He’s listed as a Sit ‘Em but you have to read what I wrote about him. I know you have to play him. He’s maybe one of the three best fantasy receivers in the league, if he’s not the best. But Josh Norman has shut down Julio Jones last week…Mike Evans, Dez Bryant, T.Y. Hilton. This guy is no joke. He has been a statistical death sentence for wide receivers this year. If you’re expecting double-digit points in a standard scoring system from OBJ I think you might be disappointed. I’m just putting it out there.”

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