Fabiano’s Fantasy Focus: 2020 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 (July 13th) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.

What fantasy advice would you give trying to plan your team around all the COVID-19 concerns? “The big thing is, you need to expand your rosters. If you’re in a simple, 15-round draft – you need to make it bigger. You need to make it 18. You need to make it 20. You have to have injured reserve spots and we haven’t really found out from the NFL yet as to how a COVID player will be treated in terms of his designation. Will it be like an injured player or will it be a different designation like baseball has done. [You may] need to designate spots on your bench for COVID-19 players. It’s not fair…if you have a first-round pick and suddenly one of those guys goes down with Coronavirus and you have to sit on that player for a minimum of two weeks, right?…it’s not fair that you should lose a bench spot for a player who’s got COVID-19.”

First pick in 2020 fantasy drafts is who? “It’s Christian McCaffrey. But it’s very close between McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley. I wouldn’t be surprised if Saquon didn’t end up being the number one running back but McCaffrey, with the workload he’s going to get, he’s still a young man. Had one of the best years at running back in the history of fantasy football last season. So, he’s one, Saquon is two and Zeke Elliott is number three.”

If you’re looking for a rookie quarterback to bring you value this year – where are you leaning? “It’s certainly Joe Burrow. I have talked about rookies a lot on the show. Think about it, Brad. There are have been no OTA’s outside of private workouts some quarterbacks have put together with their teammates. Camp is going to begin in a few weeks. Who knows how that’s going to look. I don’t know if there’s going to be a preseason or not. I would think there shouldn’t be. Why play two pre-season games? That makes no sense. I feel like, in this case…rookie [quarterbacks], wide receivers, tight ends – they’re going to have a harder time transitioning from the college to the pros. Why? They haven’t had all these workouts in the off-season. They haven’t become acclimated to their teammates.”

What do you think of Melvin Gordon making the move to the Broncos? “I have him as an RB2, sort of in the middle of my teens at that position. I do understand that Phillip Lindsay is going to put a dent in some of his touches but I do feel a little bit better about Gordon ever since he did sign with Denver. I don’t feel that Royce Freeman is going to have nearly as big of a role. Gordon’s always been a Top 10 running back. Not anymore but I still think he’s going to be a pretty nice RB2.”

How about Daniel Jones with the Giants? “I love him. This is a Cowboys’ fan from the Tri-State area saying I love a Giant, ok? I’m not saying he’s going to be like Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson in terms of his statistical success but I do feel like he could this year’s quarterback that everyone was able to land late who ends up being a Top 10 fantasy quarterback. I really like Daniel Jones a lot. They improved the offensive line. He’s got weapons in the passing game. Last year he had four games with over 28 fantasy points.”

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