Fabiano’s Fantasy Focus: Week 13, Volume II

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 (December 1) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer. 

Is Deebo Samuel a must-start the rest of the season? “I don’t know if it’s a must-start, but he’s a pretty good start. I love Deebo and thought he was going to break out coming into this season. He had a very good second half of 2019. Super talented guy and with no George Kittle, the guy is going to be there. At worst, he’s going to be a really nice flex starter for the rest of the season. He just has to avoid injuries and that’s been the problem this season.”

It’s been a mess in Philly with Carson Wentz. How should fantasy owners feel about him at this point? “I hope you don’t have him as your starter. Quarterback is a deep position and he looks bad. Here’s the crazy thing, though. That crazy hail mary touchdown pass at the end of the game on Monday night, it got him almost 19 points. He was a top-8 quarterback. It’s crazy, but it is what it is. He’s not even a matchup starter. Seattle’s defense hasn’t been good. They’ve been playing better and Wentz ended up with 19 points, but it was luck. He’s got Green Bay this week and I can’t play Carson Wentz.”

Who are some quarterback options on the waiver wire this week? “Ryan Fitzpatrick should be the number one quarterback picked up this week (pending Tua thumb injury). He had a very good game against the Jets with more than 19 fantasy points and now he’s got the Bengals – another revenge game. Fitzpatrick could be a top-12 quarterback this week. Kirk Cousins has also given you 20-plus points in three of his last four games. He’s got the Jaguars and that’s a good matchup. Derek Carr, he sucked last week but he’s got the Jets. Philip Rivers has got Houston, and if you’re really desperate, Mitch Trubisky, Mike Glennon, and Colt McCoy are the ultimate desperation moves.”

How about at running back? “I’d say Cam Akers. I don’t know if he’s going to be the top guy of the three-headed backfield monster in LA, but he’s clearly been the best back in the last couple of games. James White only had six touches but he had two touchdowns. With no Rex Burkhead, he’s a flex starter moving forward. Frank Gore, the dude is like 100 years old and Adam Gase loves him. He’s got the Raiders this week and legitimately, Frank Gore could be a flex starter. It’s crazy. Devontae Booker in Vegas, and just a reminder: Fantasy playoffs are in a week. Handcuff your top backs. Doesn’t matter who it is.”

Now that we’re later in the season, do you have a biggest fantasy bust this year? “The two guys that come to mind are Michael Thomas and Lamar Jackson. Thomas missed a lot of time because of injury and then punched a teammate and was out for a game, but even when he’s played this year, he’s had one good game and that’s it. The guy was the best wide receiver in fantasy football by a mile last year. Lamar Jackson, his numbers have been very mediocre for him. He was averaging nearly 28 a game last year. This year, he’s not even close. It’s just a reminder that you have to beware of the magical season, even with guys like Christian McCaffrey. He’s been great when he’s played, but he’s been hurt and had so many touches last year. There’s a curse in fantasy football. It’s the curse of 370. When a running back hits the 370 touch mark, they are seriously in jeopardy of getting hurt or not performing the next year. That’s kind of what happened to McCaffrey.”

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