Every summer leading into and throughout the NFL season, Sports Illustrated and SI.com Senior Fantasy Analyst Michael Fabiano joins Sports360AZ.com to share his insight on building and developing your fantasy team for success.
Here are some highlights from our most recent conversation (October 20th) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.
With Tua now taking over in Miami after the bye, what do you see with his fantasy value moving forward? “He’s certainly worth a look obviously in two QB and super flex leagues. In 12-team leagues I think he’s worth a look. He’ll be a matchup-based starter down the stretch and I feel like in the past we’ve sort of shrugged off rookie quarterbacks. ‘Ah, they can’t do anything.’ Joe Burrow’s been pretty good this year. Justin Herbert has been fantastic this year so I’m not going to do that with Tua. He was a guy that was ridiculously accurate in college. He completed over 71 percent of his passes and he can give you some yards on the ground, as well. So, it’s exciting. It’s a downgrade from Ryan Fitzpatrick because he was averaging over 20 fantasy points per game. I can’t see Tua doing that on a regular basis but I don’t think this is a negative for the players around him.”
Where do you rank Ryan Tannehill now? “I’ve had him in the Top 10 this entire time! He’s been great. I don’t understand why people aren’t starting him every week. Since he took over as the Titans’ starter, he’s been averaging 20-plus points per game. He’s been playing at an MVP level and I’m not saying he’s completely matchup proof, he’s not Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson for any stretch but he’s been playing damn good and I feel like he should be owned in 100 percent of leagues. Tannehill is a guy that I think has proven you can trust him. He got away from Adam Gase and now he’s playing at a very high level. Where have we heard that before?”
If you own JuJu Smith-Schuster, how are you handling him? “With a box of Kleenex because he has not produced and the Steelers have a lot of weapons now. Diontae Johnson was actually leading the team in targets going into last week and Chase Claypool has proven that this guy is the real deal. James Washington can beat you deep and then you have JuJu who is probably the most uninspiring Steelers’ wide receiver, right? JuJu is like a WR3 now in fantasy. The matchup is actually favorable against Tennessee. They haven’t been good against slot receivers in recent weeks but I don’t see a scenerio where Juju’s a week in and week out starter now. I just don’t. James Conner’s running the ball well. They have a lot of mouths to feed in the passing game…[JuJu] has been a pretty big disappointment thus far.”
What’s your take on J.D. McKissic in Washington? “J.D. McKissic – 22 targets and 19 catches the last three weeks and guess who he plays this week? The Cowboys! So he’s a flex option.”
Any final thoughts this week? “There are a couple of things you can guarantee right now. You can start your number one and number two wide receivers against the Cowboys and be in a pretty good spot. Terry McLaurin is a great play this week and then anyone who’s playing against the Jets, start their defense. This week it’s Buffalo. Now we’ve seen there are some teams that are just really, really bad against certain positions. We know Green Bay is really bad against the run. We know Carolina is really bad against the run. We know the Raiders are really bad against the run so you want to be targeting those players in your matchups. Also, keep in mind that the NFL is week-to-week league. Andy Dalton sucked against the Cardinals. The offensive line was bad. That doesn’t mean he’s going to be terrible the whole season. Don’t base your decisions on whether to start or sit a player based on what he did in the previous week because things change every week in the National Football League. Thast’s why it’s so hard to predict sometimes. It’s all based on the matchups and volume…keep that in mind.”
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