Fabiano’s Fantasy Focus: 2020 Pre-Season, Volume II

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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.

If you’re looking to really lock in on your draft approach when dealing with the COVID-19 unknown, what advice would you give? “If you draft Dalvin Cook, you have to try to get Alexander Madison. If you draft Kenyan Drake, at some point you’re going to want to try to get Chase Edmonds. It just makes sense because of what’s going on right now with all the uncertainly going on. There’s even been some leagues out there that have just gone to Team QB. So…if you get Jameis [Winston] and Drew Brees, that’s pretty good, right? So that may impact the rankings. Say, Dak Prescott and Andy Dalton…of course, I had to throw the Cowboys in there.”

With the pandemic, paired with two less pre-season games, is it best to push drafts back as late as possible this summer? “Especially this year, don’t draft until the last-minute. I’m doing a fantasy baseball draft next week…I’m going last-minute because the last thing you want is to have a draft too soon and suddenly Aroldis Chapman gets Coronavirus. Now, you’re screwed at closer – as a baseball example.”

Where do you see Michael Thomas coming off draft boards this year? “I have Michael Thomas at [number] four but in a lot of leagues that I’ve been in he’s been falling to six, seven or eight because, Brad, running back is so important this year – even more than in past years. But I have Thomas at four, [Alvin] Kamara at five. Derrick Henry at six, Joe Mixon at seven, Davonta Freeman at eight. Miles Sanders at nine and Nuk Hopkins at 10. But again, I’ve been in drafts where 12 teams have picked and 11 of them were running backs. It all depends on what your strategy is. I’m going running back, running back in all my leagues.”

So will there be more value late in drafts at the wide receiver position? “Wide receivers are going to be readily available, and really good ones, in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth rounds so make sure you go after those running backs early because I promise you, unless you’re in a unique scoring system, running backs are going to go quick and they’re going to be gone and you’re going to be scratching your head thinking, ‘What am I going to do at my RB2 week in and week out.”

How will Teddy Bridgewater fare in Carolina? “I didn’t see him drafted in a lot of leagues, outside of super flex leagues and two QB leagues. Last year when he started for the Saints he only averaged 15-plus fantasy points. It wasn’t much and that was a better cast of characters than he has in Carolina. I feel like he is going to be a matchup-based QB2 during the course of the season who’s not going to have a massive impact on fantasy and that’s nothing against Teddy. Deep position and that team is going to run through Christian McCaffrey.”

What do you make of the Eagles’ wide receiving core? “So Alshon Jeffery’s status is really up in the air to begin the season. He’s probably going to end up being on the PUP list. So, I’m seeing, DeSean Jackson…you know what we’re seeing off the field with him…but it doesn’t look like he’s going to be suspended. I’ve seen him move up a little bit. Jalen Reagor, the rookie who a lot of people love, I’ve seen him move up in a lot of people’s drafts. But, keep in mind, they’ve got Zach Ertz, they’ve got Dallas Goedert. They’ve got a lot of mouths to feed in that offense. I don’t see any one Eagles’ wide receiver being any better than a wide receiver three in fantasy and probably an unreliable one at that.”

How about D.K. Metcalf in Seattle? “Love him. Breakout potential. Although some would say he broke out last year but I don’t think so because he didn’t finish in the Top 30 in wide receivers but he was really good in the second half of the season. This all depends on what the Seahawks do. They’ve been tied to Antonio Brown. If Antonio Brown ends up in Seattle, that’s going to put a little bit of a hurt on D.K.’s ceiling. But if it’s just D.K., Tyler [Lockett] and Phillip Dorsett, D.K. is certainly going to be one of my breakout candidates at that wide receiver position this season.”

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