Every summer leading into and throughout the NFL season, Sports Illustrated and SI.com Senior Fantasy Analyst Michael Fabiano joins Sports360AZ.commto share his insight on building and developing your fantasy team for success.
Here are some hi-lights from our most recent conversation (August 25th) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.
You mentioned Jordan Howard and Matt Breida. Where do you see those two coming off draft boards? “They’re going to be picked probably as running backs 3’s and 4’s. I would Breida is probably more of a 4. Howard’s probably on the borderline of 3 or 4. You’re not looking at Top 50 picks here. These guys are probably going to be going off the board in the seventh or eighth round – somewhere in that time.”
Speaking of crowded backfields – what do you make of the Lions’ situation? “D’Andre Swift I believe is going to lead this backfield in touches. They didn’t draft him where they did to put him in a true committee situation. That might be what we open the season with. Kerryon Johnson, of course, also a young talented running back, but he has not been durable at all in his first couple of years in the National Football League. So, ultimately, I believe this will be D’Andre Swift’s backfield but he isn’t going to be a true featured back like Zeke Elliott or Saquon Barkley for example. It’s not going to be a scenerio like that. He will lose touches to Kerryon Johnson in this backfield. But it all depends on how long Kerryon Johnson can avoid injuries because, in his first two NFL seasons, he hasn’t been able to do it.”
Besides Saquon Barkley and Evan Ingram, what Giants’ skill players are worth drafting? “I love Daniel Jones. I think he could end up being this year’s Lamar Jackson or Patrick Mahomes. Not statistically, in terms of putting up those gaudy numbers, but just that late-round quarterback who ends up being a Top 10 player at that position. He can even run with it a little bit. The Giants’ defense is garbage which means he’s going to have to throw the football a lot. Maybe some garbage times points? All three of their top wide receivers are draftable when you talk about Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate and Darius Slayton. Tate’s probably got the best floor. Sterling Shepard may come with the biggest risk but he could be pretty consistent, too if he can avoid injuries. So, those are some of the Giants I’d be targeting. There’s actually quite a few and that offense could be pretty good if Daniel Jones takes the next step and I think he could.”
Are you worried about Kenyan Drake, who’s wearing a boot out here in Arizona? “I’m not. He actually Tweeted out and said, ‘Hey guys, don’t worry! I was in a boot at this time last summer, too.’ You never want to hear of a guy who’s a first-round pick or a second round pick in a boot at this point. But, from everything that I’ve seen and read and you heard it from Kenyan Drake’s Twitter, he should be fine. He’s a first-rounder. At worst, a second-rounder. Came in last year after the trade and was dynamite. I will say this, though. Don’t underestimate Chase Edmonds. He could make a bigger impact in this offense than a lot of people in the fantasy industry are predicting at this point.”
Do you see Courtland Sutton as a wide receiver one this year? “In Denver, yes. In fantasy, no. I think he’s a wide receiver two. But, I also feel like a lot of people in the fantasy business soured on him a little bit when the Broncos went out and drafted Jerry Jeudy and drafted K.J. Hamler…they’ve got a lot of options. Courtland Sutton is next level. This guy could be good. In a best-case scenario, he could end up being a low wide receiver one in a 12-team league or a 14-team league. Overall, I see him as more of a wide receiver two-type. The big question mark is, is Drew Lock ready to take that next step in his development as a quarterback in the National Football League and be reliable enough, consistent enough and accurate enough to make Courtland Sutton a stud? That’s the big question mark but I still see Courtland Sutton as a Top 20 fantasy wide receiver at worst.”
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