Fabiano’s Fantasy Focus: Week One, 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 (September 6th) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.

General question-millions of people play fantasy. Do you ever see its popularity slowing down? “It’s grown every single season and we’re picking up players who are just casual fans and I think that is where a lot of the growth has been. The upward movement in popularity in terms of fantasy sports…I’ve been in this business almost two decades and I’m still amazed. What I do like is that younger people are playing now, too. As long as the NFL continues to be as popular as it is, fantasy football will be extremely popular and it’s not going away.”

Where do you come down on new Minnesota Viking Sam Bradford? “I don’t really move him one way or the other. I’m not really a big Sam Bradford fan. He’s a QB2. He’s a guy maybe you use when the matchup is favorable in DFS or maybe standard scoring leagues but Bradford doesn’t move the needle for me. He’s kind of in the same tier as Teddy Bridgewater so I think…if Sam Bradford is worth a first-round pick, what is Cam Newton worth? Fort Knox? They paid a hefty price for that. I don’t even know if Bradford is draftable in a 10 or 12-team league.”

Draft question: Todd Gurley or Adrian Peterson? “Gurley, no question. I’m all over that bandwagon that is Todd Gurley. I think he’s going to be the next great fantasy running back.”

Better to build your team around: Gurley or Odell Beckham, Jr.? “It really depends on where you are in your draft in the first round and what you’re scoring system is. If you’re in a PPR league OBJ is going to have more value, no question about it. If you’re in a standard scoring league and Gurley’s out there I would take him. I know a lot of people are down on running backs this year. I said it all pre-season. This is the year that the running back returns. We’ve got a lot of good running backs who are now going to see themselves in featured roles and Gurley only started 12 games last year and still finished fifth in fantasy points. He rushed for 10 touchdowns and over 1100 yards.”

Thoughts on accurate draft position for Jamaal Charles? “I’ve actually seen him fall into the fourth round. I understand there’s risk here. Looks like he won’t play in Week 1 so Spencer Ware is the guy you want to go get either as a handcuff or maybe just a one week RB2. But how long Charles is out is sort of a question mark. Now we’ve drafted guys like Le’Veon Bell in the first or second round knowing he’s going to miss three games. Remember, Jamaal Charles, he’s a little bit older based on running back age. He was the best running back in fantasy football before he got hurt last season. So, falling into the fourth round to me, that’s a steal.”

What quarterbacks do you like in Week 1? “Forget what Andrew Luck did or didn’t do last year I love him against Detroit. In fact, I think that’s going to be a high scoring game so start Matt Stafford, as well. Need a sleeper? Dak Prescott against the Giants. You knew I was going to go there! I also like Eli Manning in that matchup. Tyrod Taylor is a guy I would start at quarterback, too.”

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