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Tony Romo, Dez Bryant's value boosted with new OC


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How will new offensive coordinator Scott Linehan affect the fantasy value of Dez Bryant? -- @DarioPaduano (via Twitter)

Michael Fabiano: Linehan loves to throw the football. Just ask Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson. That's why his arrival in Dallas is great news for the value of both Bryant and Tony Romo. Just take a look at the numbers -- Romo ranked a mere 14th in pass attempts in 2013 and has thrown more than 550 passes in a season just once during his career. On the flip side, Stafford has posted 634 or more attempts in each of the last three seasons. More passes will mean more targets for Bryant, who could end up finishing as a top-three fantasy wideout next season.

Can we trust Arian Foster to be a top-10 fantasy running back next season? -- @gbouton2011 (via Twitter)

M.F.: Honestly, the fact that Foster is coming off back surgery scares me. He's also had one heck of a workload, averaging 318.6 carries in his last three full seasons. I will be keeping close tabs on his rehab, which has been "going well" according to Texans GM Rick Smith. I'll also be watching what the team does to replace free agent Ben Tate. But as we stand with several months of offseason ahead of us, I wouldn't want to take Foster until the second or third round as a No. 2 fantasy runner. There's too much risk involved to even consider him in Round 1.

Where do you see Andre Ellington being drafted among running backs in PPR leagues? -- @hurrell27 (via Twitter)

M.F.: Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said at the NFL Scouting Combine that the team wants to "build our offense around" Ellington, so it's no surprise that he's one of the hotter breakout candidates in fantasy land. A member of my early fantasy man crush list, Ellington averaged more than 5.5 yards per carry and caught 39 passes in limited time as a rookie. While he doesn't have great size at 5-foot-9 and 199 pounds, he can play big in the stat sheets. If he earns a true featured role in the offense, Ellington will be in the conversation as a top-20 runner.

What are realistic expectations for David Wilson? What's his best-case scenario? -- @bradelders (via Twitter)

M.F.: Wilson is ahead of schedule after a surgery on his neck, but there is no guarantee at this point that he'll be back in time for training camp. Much of his fantasy value depends on his rehab, but I'm also interested to see what the G-Men do with the rest of their backfield. Andre Brown is a free agent and could be re-signed as insurance, or the team could go after another veteran like Knowshon Moreno or Maurice Jones-Drew. The Giants could also decide to draft a running back in May, so this situation is unclear at best. Even if we assume the best for Wilson in terms of his health, I don't see him as a candidate to be a true featured runner. Handling a large workload after such an operation doesn't seem smart, and the fact that his pass protection is suspect makes Wilson a candidate to be more of a committee runner in 2014.

Which current free agent can increase his fantasy value the most by signing with a new team? -- @JDaniels815 (via Twitter)

M.F.: I'll go with Ben Tate, who should leave the Texans (and Foster's shadow) and be allowed the chance to start for a new team. While he has had some durability issues, there's a lot to like about the tough-running Tate. A mere handcuff for Foster in his first three pro seasons, Tate is likely to bring No. 2 fantasy back potential with a new team.

Which wide receiver do you like the most in a PPR keeper league: Cordarrelle Patterson, Rueben Randle or Terrance Williams? -- @connorjallen (via Twitter)

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M.F.: I'm going with Patterson, who is also a member of my fantasy man crush list. This kid found a nice statistical groove at the end of his rookie campaign, scoring more fantasy points than any other player at his position over the final four weeks. He'll benefit from the presence of new OC Norv Turner, who has already added 10 plays to the offense for Patterson. This kid has superstar written all over him, and the fact that he could turn into Minnesota's top option in the pass attack makes me like him more than Randle or Williams.

Has Percy Harvin proven himself able to be drafted in the first round? -- @davidrowe55 (via Twitter)

M.F.: Harvin is talented, but I wouldn't pick him in the first round in a wideouts-only league! Sure, we all know he's capable of being a No. 1 fantasy wide receiver. However, his proneness to injuries is a concern for me. Harvin has missed a combined 22 games over the last two seasons due to an assortment of ailments. You also have to consider the trend of bigger-name wide receivers who have gone to Seattle in recent seasons and failed to produce big numbers, such as Sidney Rice, Deion Branch, Nate Burleson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

What do you think about C.J. Spiller? -- @DontEscrowTaxes (via Twitter)

M.F.: Spiller has been in the league four years and has ranked 59th, 31st, 7th and 27th among running backs based on fantasy points. That's an average rank of 31st. During this time, he has also taken a backseat to veteran Fred Jackson. Sure, Spiller was dogged by an ankle injury last season. And yes, Jackson is long in the tooth at the age of 33. But I look at the numbers and wonder if Spiller's 2011 campaign was an aberration. I would pick him as a flex starter, but there's too much risk for me to consider him as anything more.

I'm in a three-keeper PPR league that starts two quarterbacks. Who should I retain from Cam Newton, Romo, Eddie Lacy, Josh Gordon and Demaryius Thomas? -- @RKadouh (via Twitter)

M.F.: You have to keep Newton because of the two-quarterback format, and it's tough to pass on retaining a young running back like Lacy in a league that has a real premium on the position. Your last keeper should be Gordon, though it's a close call with Thomas also an option. The reason I went with Gordon is that Thomas, as good as he is, could lose some of his luster in fantasy land in a year or two when Peyton Manning retires. Gordon, on the other hand, proved last season that he can post gigantic numbers even with mediocre quarterbacks under center.

How much do you factor in the "Super Bowl hangover" when doing your rankings? -- @crispYCHill (via Twitter)

M.F.: I did pay some attention to this trend years ago, but it sort of hit a bump in the road when the San Francisco 49ers lost Super Bowl XLVII. Colin Kaepernick was a top-10 fantasy quarterback, Frank Gore had 1,128 rushing yards with nine touchdowns, and Vernon Davis went off for 850 yards and 13 scores. It would also be difficult for me to disparage the likes of Manning, Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas heading into the 2014 campaign.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!


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