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

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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 27th) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.

We’ve seen what’s happened with COVID and Major League Baseball. What sort of protocol should fantasy leagues do if the pandemic hits the NFL this season, as well? “This should be a reminder that, assuming we have a football season and we’re all hoping there is one, you’ve got to make sure that your commissioner changes the rules. Adds more bench spots. Adds more injured spots. Designates COVID-19 spots. In my baseball league…I had to drop like three or four guys. In football you’re not going to have that luxury. You can’t trust that your team is not going to have some sort of negative effect from the coronavirus and we are getting hit in the face hardcore with a big slap of reality with this outbreak [with the Marlins].”

Let’s break down the Texans’ wide receivers going into camp. “I mean, you want to talk about a talented but high-risk group. Brandin Cooks has had, what, five concussions during the course of his career. He would be the guy I would be targeting in Houston. Then you have Will Fuller. Super productive when he’s actually active but he’s been injury-prone, too. Randall Cobb. Had a good season with the Cowboys last year but has had his assortment of injuries during his time in the National Football League. Kenny Stills is in the mix, too. Keke Coutee is there, too. That wide receiving core could end up making or breaking DeShaun Watson as a passer in 2020. That’s why we’ve seen DeShaun Watson’s value drop just a few spots at the quarterback position.”

Will some rookie running backs possibly start slower with no OTA’s to help learn the system and pass protection schemes? “You could see that in a lot places. Indianapolis with Jonathan Taylor. I think it’s going to be Marlon Mack to open the season. In Tampa Bay, Ronald Jones – although he hasn’t been great in pass protection. Maybe that helps his cause to be the Week One starter over Ke’Shawn Vaughn. That’s all stuff that we have to learn. Time will tell.”

What do you see with the Chargers’ skill players? “Austin Ekeler is a first round pick in my opinion. The real battle to watch there is between Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelly. I like Kelly. Keep in mind, last year when Shane Steichen took over as OC, there were plenty of touches to go around with both running backs so Jackson or Kelly could be a nice sleeper. Keenan Allen sees his value drop somewhat because Philip Rivers is no longer in the mix. I still see him as a wide receiver two. Mike Williams is still a wide receiver four or five. Hunter Henry is a tight end one without question. The only thing we have to worry about with Henry is avoiding injuries. If he can do that, I feel he’ll be a top eight player.”

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