Fabiano’s Fantasy Focus: 2016 Draft, 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 (May 2nd) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.

Was Ezekiel Elliott the biggest “winner” when it came to landing destinations? “I don’t see how it could have been anybody else, Elliott was the class of the running back draft. The guy who can come in and be a three-down back at the next level joins a team with obviously one of the best offensive lines in terms of run blocking in the entire league. A team that needed a running back. I know they signed Alfred Morris but Alfred Morris has been in decline the last two or three years and you’re looking at a potential top ten fantasy pick…the running back position is thin and when you talk about a guy that can come in and do everything as a running back: run it, catch the ball out of the backfield pass block. It’s going to be tough for the Cowboys to take him off that football field. He’s going to get a lot of touches.”

Guessing you’re not high on the Titans selecting Derrick Henry from a fantasy perspective? “When the Titans picked him in the second round I almost gasp. I was like, ‘what?!’ We were thrilled when DeMarco Murray went to Tennessee where he’d be allowed to be a featured back for the first time since he left the Dallas Cowboys. Even though Mike Malarkey is saying the right things..he’s quoted as telling DeMarco, he’s still our guy. Do you draft the reigning Heisman Trophy-winning running back in the second round and not use him? I don’t know. To me I’d be shocked so Murray’s value took a hit and to be quite honest with you, in seasonal leagues Derrick Henry’s value took a hit.”

Now that the draft is complete, how many rookies are you seeing in the first three rounds of most mock drafts? “One. Elliott that’s it. Corey Coleman’s not going to go until the later rounds. Derrick Henry’s not going to go until the middle-to-late rounds. Kenneth Dixon’s not going to go until the middle-to-late rounds. With rookies, as a whole, they don’t make a huge impact…there are some rookies I have liked who have made an impact because of the opportunities like Corey Coleman. Great, dynamic playmaker who’s in a great spot with Cleveland who doesn’t have a number one wide receiver because Josh Gordon is still suspended. Josh Doctson could be the best fantasy receiver in this entire class but it won’t be in 2016 because the Redskins have a lot of mouths to feed in the offense.”

What were your overall “big picture” thoughts on last week’s draft? “I would contend that from a fantasy standpoint this draft stunk because outside of Elliott and maybe three or four wide receivers that were drafted…all that happened in this draft was confusion. Confusion in Chicago’s backfield. Confusion in Tennessee’s backfield. Everyone loved C.J. Anderson coming back to the Denver Broncos, then they re-sign Ronnie Hillman and they draft Devontae Booker. Confusion. I would still say Anderson’s the guy but now there’s another back who could snake some carries away from him.”

Of the quarterbacks who drafted high which will the first to appear on fantasy radars? “Maybe Paxton Lynch because I think he’s got a legitimate shot to start right out of the gate. Listen, I hope these guys succeed. I’m not a big fan of Jared Goff from a fantasy standpoint. He’s in a run-based offense and he can’t run with the football…if you look at the rookie quarterbacks over the last 10 years who have been very successful, they all ran with the ball. Cam Newton. Robert Griffin III. Vince Young. Andrew Luck scored five rushing touchdowns. Goff’s not going to do that. He rushed for -114 yards in college.”

What do you make out of the Eagles’ quarterback situation after drafting Carson Wentz second overall? “Carson Wentz is going to be sitting. Maybe he’ll start at some point in the season but Sam Bradford’s there, even though he’s pouting at this point. If Bradford isn’t there for some reason or another, I don’t know they could get out of that contract. They can’t trade him. If Bradford [leaves] it will be Chase Daniel.”

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