Fabiano’s Fantasy Focus: Week 16, 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 18th) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.

Let’s start with your biggest takeaway from Week 15. “This past week was crazy with all of the big name quarterbacks who just absolutely tanked: Brees, Cam Newton, Brady, Big Ben. It was a very odd week. The list goes on and on. You would have been better off to start Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson. Four rookies this past week instead of some of this big names.”

Better play this week: Matt Ryan or Jared Goff? “For me the better play this week would be Matt Ryan. It’s odd. It’s like Goff morphed back to his rookie season over the last few weeks. I know the offensive line has some issues. Todd Gurley is still banged up right now.”

DeAndre Hopkins and Josh Gordon are my two main wide receivers. Do I need to look to pick up help this week at that position? “Well, Nuke is always tremendous and I think Gordon is fine. The matchup isn’t great this week but it also depends on what’s out there. If Dante Pettis is out there he could potentially be somebody you plug and play.”

Baker Mayfield of DeShaun Watson? “I love Baker Mayfield’s matchup this week but I’m still going with DeShaun Watson. Mayfield is a streamer for players who don’t have a better option at quarterback and I feel like DeShaun Watson is a better option at quarterback this week against Philadelphia.”

Here in Arizona we know all about Kalen Ballage. Is he a viable play this week in Miami? “I don’t know what Adam Gase has against Kenyon Drake but he just won’t give him a featured role. When Frank Gore went out last week it was Ballage who saw more touches than Drake and I could see that moving forward. The Dolphins right now are not looking like a team that’s going to the playoffs so Ballage could end up seeing more snaps and more touches than Drake this week, regardless of the matchup which isn’t great for either one of the two against the Jaguars. Although the Jaguars did give up a big game to Derrick Henry a couple of weeks ago but overall, they’ve been pretty tough on runners.” 

Cooks, Lockett or Gronk at my flex for the championship? “Gronkowski has disappeared. I don’t what tight end alternatives his team has but Gronk has disappeared. For me it’s Brandin Cooks but it also depends on that matchup. It’s a tough call. I’m going to switch that up, I’m going to go Lockett against the Chiefs. I’m going to go Lockett now that I think about it.”

Better play this week: Browns defense against Cincinnati or the Texans against Philly? “Great match-ups for both. I kinda like the Browns. I really do. This is a Bengals offense that is without Andy Dalton. They’re now without their top two wide receivers in A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd. So it could be Alex Erickson catching passes from Jeff Driskel. Plus, the Browns are going to be playing on their home field so that is a recipe for some fantasy points.”

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