Fabiano’s Fantasy Focus Week XV, 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 9th) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.

General question: are there certain players this year, like maybe Randall Cobb, that you’ll never draft again? “I mean, I never say never to anybody but there are trends I try to avoid. I didn’t want to draft DeMarco Murray this year because of the all the carries and the move to Philadelphia. I didn’t want to draft Peyton Manning this year based off what he looked like at the end of 2014. Randall Cobb has been a disappointment but keep in mind too that they lost Jordy Nelson back in the pre-season and that was a huge loss for them. Jordy is a guy defenses really have to pay attention to. When you get a guy like that out of the lineup Randall Cobb is going to be gaining more of that defensive attention. To be quite honest with you, he started off really well and then everything fell apart…if you have depth at wide receiver, he should be on your bench.”

I know he played pretty well against the Cowboys but who are some late-season waiver wire or plug-and-play guys who could replace Cobb? “Give him a seat on your bench if you were able to draft Allen Robinson or Eric Decker or if you were able to grab Martavis Bryant before he came back or drafted him and sat on him. There are better options at wide receiver depending on how deep you are.”

If you have to make a tough decision setting your lineup down the stretch, what advice would you give? “[Be wary of] quarterbacks who are going up against the Broncos, wide receivers going up against the Broncos. The Carolina Panthers have been really tough on quarterbacks, as well…the Jets have been really tough on running backs. Baltimore has been pretty tough on running backs, as well. Sometimes match up doesn’t mean as much as opportunity, especially when positions are thin…those are some defenses you want to, at least shy away from and temper your expectations…this is a year more than any other that at deep positions, like quarterback and wide receiver, you can play the match ups. You don’t have to be afraid to bench Randall Cobb just because you drafted him in the second round. Don’t be afraid to bench T.Y. Hilton just because you drafted him the second round. Keep that in mind, more than ever this year you’re seeing less heralded players putting up really big numbers. When Blaine Gabbert rushes for more yards in one week than Adrian Peterson and Todd Gurley combined, you know it’s a little bit wacky.”