Fabiano’s Fantasy Focus: 2014 Pre-season Week 4, Volume I

The 2014 fantasy football season is here! Whether you’re a first timer or an experienced fantasy football veteran, NFL.com has the league for you. Set up your FREE and customizable league on NFL.com today!

Each 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 (August 27) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.

In standard scoring leagues what should be your base strategy in the first couple rounds of the draft? “Nine times out of 10 you’re going running back/wide receiver in the first two rounds and to be quite honest with you, there would have to be a significant…run on quarterbacks for me to even think about taking one before the fifth-round. I typically won’t go with one until after the eight-round…there are bargains to be had at quarterback if you do wait.”

When is the right time to look at drafting a defense? “Not until one of the last three picks. They are so difficult to gauge. Last year two of the top four defenses in fantasy football weren’t drafted: the Chiefs and the Panthers. The Seahawks are going to come off the board earlier because they’re the Seahawks and they’re fantastic. I just don’t do it. If I don’t get an elite defense, I’ll play the match ups every single week and I’ll be fine with that. Is it nice to have the Seahawks? Yeah, absolutely. Am I going to draft the Seahawks over getting a sleeper at one of the more important skill positions? Absolutely not.”

What is the deepest skill position when it comes to top-to-bottom talent?  “The depth at the quarterback position is ridiculous. We’re talking about, for example Andy Dalton, he finished fifth in fantasy points among quarterbacks. I’ve seen leagues where he isn’t even drafted. How many times Brad does a player finish fifth in fantasy points in his position and the very next year people aren’t drafting him? If they do draft him he’s not getting picked ’til late…I think I took him in the 12th-round. So that just shows you how deep the position can be. There was a stretch last year where Alex Smith was one on the 10 best quarterbacks in fantasy football. He’s not even being drafted in some leagues this year. That is something you have to keep in mind.”

How concerned should fantasy owners be about the 49ers offensive struggles to this point in the pre-season? “Again, I take the pre-season with a grain of salt. Would I like to see Kaepernick play better? Of, course. Absolutely. But the weapons there, you can’t overlook those. Boldin. Crabtree. Vernon Davis. Stevie Johnson. In the ground game you’ve got Frank Gore, Carlos Hyde so I’m not too worried about it.”

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