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 8) with the Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association Hall of Famer.
Is Gabriel Davis a must-add after his performances the last couple of weeks? “I don’t know if he’s a must-add, but he’s certainly worth a look if you need wide receiver help. The matchup for Buffalo coming up isn’t the most favorable against Pittsburgh, but is he worth an add? Sure, in a 12-team or maybe even some 10-team leagues. He has been pretty good the last couple of games without John Brown.”
How should fantasy owners handle the backfield for the Washington Football Team if Antonio Gibson can’t play? “First off, that stinks because he’s been great. That hurts a lot of fantasy fans out there. If Gibson is out, Peyton Barber is probably going to end up starting and being the early down back and then J.D. McKissic will continue to play the role of pass-catcher. I would think McKissic would be more valuable. Alex Smith likes to drop the ball off to his receivers in the short and intermediate part of the field, and McKissic is going to get targeted a bunch. I think both players are startable with Barber as a desperation flex if you’re really hurting at the position without Gibson. McKissic is the better fantasy option, but the thing is he’s already owned in a lot of leagues. If McKissic is out there, get him. I just don’t know that he will be.”
Jalen Hurts is finally getting the nod as the starter for the Eagles. How should owners feel about him? “I know there have been rookie quarterbacks who have played very well this season, but the Eagles offense overall is terrible. It’s been brutal outside of Dallas Goedert. Everyone else has fallen off. Hurts isn’t going to get added in traditional redrafts unless you’re starting quarterback is Carson Wentz. But in that case, you probably aren’t making the playoffs anyways.”
Is Tim Patrick in Denver a must-start? “The matchup on paper this week isn’t great against Carolina, but he’s certainly rosterable. He had a couple of touchdowns last week against Kansas City and he’s kind of been under the radar good. He’s not super reliable, but he’s had some good numbers over the last month-plus. He’s certainly a guy who I would have on my roster and who I would play based on the matchups.”
Who are some solid wide receiver options on the waiver wire? “I mentioned him last week – T.Y. Hilton. He’s got the Raiders this week. He’s had a 21 percent target share in his last two games. T.Y. typically runs his routes out wide, but they also use him in the slot and I think they’ll use that mismatch because the Raiders are terrible against slot receivers. Keke Coutee is another guy, then Rashard Higgins has got a bad matchup this week but you can stash him and maybe play him against the Jets in Week 16.”
We’re coming up on playoff time. Any final thoughts or advice? “I’ve been saying it for the last couple of weeks and I’m telling you folks, handcuff your top running backs. I don’t care who it is. If you have Dalvin Cook, you should have Alexander Mattison or Mike Boone depending on Mattison’s status for this week. If you have Josh Jacobs, you need Devontae Booker. You got to make sure you handcuff those top backs because if you lose a top runner in the next couple of weeks and you don’t have that backup, you’re in trouble. Then one last thing, don’t get too cute right now. It’s the fantasy playoffs. Use the dudes who got you there and don’t get too cute with the matchups. Start the guys who got you there.”
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