Fabiano’s Fantasy Focus: 2019 Pre-Season, 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 (August 5th) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.

What is new on your end Mr. Fabiano as we kick off a new season? “Well, I got some exciting news: “NFL Fantasy Live” is going to be moving up into the 6:00EST/3:00PST right before “NFL Total Access” on NFL Network starting September 2nd and that’s a big deal for us. So, we’re really excited about that. To be able to get in there right before our flagship show on NFL Network, that’s huge.”

What’s your fantasy take on Todd Gurley moving forward? “So, I have him as a second-round pick now and, to be honest with you, a lot of the mocks I’m doing…he’s falling to me at the end of the second round and I can’t not take him (laughing). I get it. There’s concern after what happened at the end of last season…but at the end of the day, the addition of Darrell Henderson may be a good thing because it may keep Gurley out on the football field and healthier than he’s been because he’s seen a lot of touches over the last two seasons.”

With Gurley sliding a bit, are there any running backs moving up draft boards? “Le’Veon Bell and David Johnson are moving up at the running back position into the first round because Todd Gurley has moved out of the first round. You’re looking at Lev Bell potentially being a top five pick. You’re looking at David Johnson potentially being a top eight pick and if Le’Veon Bell or David Johnson don’t strike your fancy, you could see Nuke Hopkins or Davante Adams taken fifth or sixth overall in your leagues.”

A lot of buzz here in Arizona about Kyler Murray. Where does the rookie sit in your perspective? “I have, are you ready for this Cardinals’ fans, Kyler Murray ranked ahead of Tom Brady and Drew Brees! I have a very unhealthy fantasy man crush on Kyler Murray. I’m going to have to get therapy. I love him. He’s my 10th-rated quarterback now.”

Why do you have him slotted in your top 10 when he’s yet to take an NFL snap? “Here are a couple of reasons why. First, that offense…when you look at running as many plays offensively as the Cardinals are projecting, that’s a lot of opportunities for that quarterback to score fantasy points. Also, when you look back at the last decade or so or two decades, almost all of the rookie quarterbacks who have made major fantasy impacts, have had a lot of success running with the football. Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III, Dak Prescott, Vince Young. There are a lot of really good first-year quarterbacks who thrive for fantasy owners because of what they can do on the ground. Kyler Murray is coming off a season with over 1,000 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. All of the reports…have been glowing on this guy. Now, maybe I’ll be wrong and maybe he’s going to struggle. He is a rookie so there are going to be growing pains but I just feel like what he can do, especially with those feet, make him a big-time sleeper/breakout candidate this season.”

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