With last month’s draft in the rear view mirror, mock fantasy drafts have begun to surface, marking the unofficial start to the new fantasy football season. There is a sense, however, that times are changing as fantasy football continues to evolve to counter different schematic trends sweeping the league.
Despite Reggie Bush’s ability to stay on the field and deliver a career-best year, Fabiano is approaching the running back’s outlook with a bit of skepticism, if only because so many starting backs–Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, etc.–were injured last season. His fantasy mentality mirrors the league’s shift back towards a more prominent two-back system. With Daniel Thomas likely to earn a bulk of the carries behind Bush, Fabiano sees a more than capable insurance option.
“I want to see what happens this season, but if he (Bush) goes down with an injury, and again before last season he had been somewhat brittle, Daniel Thomas comes in and maybe becomes a sleeper,” Fabiano said. “…With all the running backs coming back from injury, including a lot of the elite names, it’s more important than ever to make sure you give yourself some insurance in the backfield.”
Aside from Thomas, Fabiano isn’t too bullish on some of the Dolphins’ other fantasy options, mentioning that he’s taking a wait-and-see approach with the team’s young receivers. He does, however, see some value in Matt Moore, whom he anticipates will win the starting quarterback job and get an opportunity to prove that last year’s late-season success wasn’t a fluke.
“I actually, believe it or not, rode Matt Moore to a championship last season in one of my leagues,” Fabiano said. “He actually had some really good matchups down the stretch, and Matt Moore wasn’t a bad fantasy option. When the matchup was favorable, he put up some pretty decent numbers.”
Fantasy football owners are subject to the same trends that infiltrate the real games. Because of the emphasis on passing and the end of the single-back workhorse era, you’ll notice a lower premium on running back in your fantasy draft’s first round. With the exception of a few elite backs, the top quarterbacks should dominate the early part of fantasy drafts this year, perhaps Calvin Johnson will be a hot commodity. So, with the first pick in a fantasy draft this year Fabiano would select…
“Arian Foster, no doubt about it,” Fabiano said. “He’s fantastic. This is my 12th year (as a fantasy analyst) and I never ever, ever have gone away from the strategy of drafting a running back in the first round, but I’m going from it this year if I don’t get have on those first few picks.”
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