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 2nd) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.

How ready are you for some real football? “Very ready! I still have three drafts to do so it’s a very exciting time and we have a really good game coming up on Thursday.”

Another week, more Ezekiel Elliott drama. How do you suggest fantasy owners play this out? “I wouldn’t expect him to miss regular season games and if it did get to that point, I don’t think he’d miss more than maybe two. At this point, we don’t see an end in sight with that holdout so I still draft Zeke fourth or fifth overall if you’re still drafting. You should also be looking at Tony Pollard or you have to have backfield depth. Let’s also keep in mind that Ezekiel Elliott is a guy that finished as a top 12 running back in a year he was suspended six games. He’s that good. He’s gunna be back. He’s not going to miss the entire season.”

What do make of LeSean McCoy landing back with Andy Reid in Kansas City? “See, this was the biggest move because it messed up a couple of scenarios because we all love Damien Williams and what he showed us last season. It was a small sample size. He’s never been a featured back for 16 games but Andy Reid’s running backs have always had success, even in Philadelphia and with Kareem Hunt and Jamaal Charles in Kansas City. Now we’re in a spot when McCoy goes to Kansas City. He knows Andy Reid and he knows the offense. He’s 31. I do believe he’s past his prime but I wouldn’t be surprised if he moved up the depth chart and was the starting running back at some point this season because he doesn’t need to go to school on the offense. That sort of scenario is going to hurt Damien Williams quite a bit because he was a popular breakout candidate. Williams could keep the starting job, only to see a committee situation emerge with McCoy.”

How about Carlos Hyde being traded to the Texans? “I’m not big on him. I guess it’s a better situation than it was in Kansas City but I think Duke Johnson is still going to be the guy. Carlos Hyde could a dent in his goal-line opportunities but let’s face it, Carlos Hyde has been with how many teams now in the last year? Teams just don’t get rid of talented players. He’s been with the Browns, the Jaguars, the Chiefs. Now he’s dealt to the Texans and before then he was with the 49ers.”

Is Kyler Murray a good play this weekend against the Lions? “Yes, I think he is. Listen, when you’re talking about rookies, you’re looking at skill set. You’re looking at partially what they were able to accomplish in college but, of course, the NFL is a completely different game. You’re looking at matchups, as well. I do think Kyler will be in the lineup on a lot of fantasy rosters this week. The guy rushed for over 1,000 yards in his final college season and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gave you 400-500 rushing yards this year and maybe four or five rushing touchdowns on the ground.”

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