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Published: June 28, 2016 at 05:45 p.m.
Updated: June 28, 2016 at 05:54 p.m.

Fabiano's fantasy summer crushes

I'm a child of the 1970s-1980s, so some of my earliest memories of Hollywood include the original "Star Wars", "Rocky" and "Grease." Of course, I had a major crush on Olivia Newton-John. One of the most popular songs in that historic flick was called "Summer Nights," which comes to mind when I compile my annual list of fantasy football players I love heading into the upcoming NFL season. "Summer lovin' had me a blast, summer lovin' happened so fast." Sometimes these players go on to make beautiful fantasy music. Last season, the list included Cam Newton, A.J. Green, DeAndre Hopkins, and Amari Cooper. Of course, some players break your heart like C.J. Anderson and Carlos Hyde, but that's what happens when you put your "fantasy" feelings on the line. With the summer here and fantasy fans gearing up for drafts, now's the time to release my Summer Lovin' list for 2016. These are the guys I'm going to be targeting in all of my drafts. You should too.

10 Photos Total

  • Johnson started just five games in his rookie campaign, but he still finished seventh in fantasy points among running backs. We all know coach Bruce Arians likes to use a featured runner, so imagine what D.J. could do with a full season of touches? He's a first-rounder. 10

    Perry Knotts/Associated Press

    David Johnson, RB, Cardinals

    Johnson started just five games in his rookie campaign, but he still finished seventh in fantasy points among running backs. We all know coach Bruce Arians likes to use a featured runner, so imagine what D.J. could do with a full season of touches? He's a first-rounder.

  • In the last two years, the Cowboys made DeMarco Murray the No. 1 fantasy runner (2014) and resurrected Darren McFadden from the dead. Enter Elliott, who is the unquestioned No. 1 rookie back and more talented than Murray or McFadden. He will be a top-five running back. 9

    James D. Smith/Associated Press

    Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys

    In the last two years, the Cowboys made DeMarco Murray the No. 1 fantasy runner (2014) and resurrected Darren McFadden from the dead. Enter Elliott, who is the unquestioned No. 1 rookie back and more talented than Murray or McFadden. He will be a top-five running back.

  • I have long been a fan of Miller. Want proof? Check out this column where I mentioned him in 2013. With his move to Houston, I love Miller even more from a fantasy standpoint. He's the new Arian Foster for coach Bill O'Brien, so I'm expecting a monster year. 8

    Erik Williams/USA TODAY Sports

    Lamar Miller, RB, Texans

    I have long been a fan of Miller. Want proof? Check out this column where I mentioned him in 2013. With his move to Houston, I love Miller even more from a fantasy standpoint. He's the new Arian Foster for coach Bill O'Brien, so I'm expecting a monster year.

  • There's a little cause for concern here for Watkins, who is coming off foot surgery and could miss all of training camp. Barring any setbacks in his return, however, I'm still all in. Just look at what Watkins did in the second half of 2015. He's the real deal. 7

    Paul Jasienski/Associated Press

    Sammy Watkins, WR, Bills

    There's a little cause for concern here for Watkins, who is coming off foot surgery and could miss all of training camp. Barring any setbacks in his return, however, I'm still all in. Just look at what Watkins did in the second half of 2015. He's the real deal.

  • Allen was on pace for a ridiculous 134 catches, 1,450 yards and eight touchdowns last season before he suffered a lacerated kidney, so I'm not sure why more people aren't talking about him. Now that he's 100 percent, I see Allen finishing as a top-10 fantasy wideout. 6

    Greg Trott/Assocaited Press

    Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers

    Allen was on pace for a ridiculous 134 catches, 1,450 yards and eight touchdowns last season before he suffered a lacerated kidney, so I'm not sure why more people aren't talking about him. Now that he's 100 percent, I see Allen finishing as a top-10 fantasy wideout.

  • Hyde was on this list last season, and he left me feeling like Daario Naharis in the season six finale of "Game of Thrones". Still, the Ohio State product is still in a great position to break out under coach Chip Kelly. If he avoids injuries, Hyde could be a monster value. 5

    Ben Margot/Associated Press

    Carlos Hyde, RB, 49ers

    Hyde was on this list last season, and he left me feeling like Daario Naharis in the season six finale of "Game of Thrones". Still, the Ohio State product is still in a great position to break out under coach Chip Kelly. If he avoids injuries, Hyde could be a monster value.

  • Parker looked like a star in the making toward to end of last season, and new coach Adam Gase will bring out the best of this second-year wide receiver. Playing alongside Jarvis Landry, the Dolphins have their best pair of fantasy wideouts since the Marks Brothers. 4

    Jim Mahoney/Associated Press

    DeVante Parker, WR, Dolphins

    Parker looked like a star in the making toward to end of last season, and new coach Adam Gase will bring out the best of this second-year wide receiver. Playing alongside Jarvis Landry, the Dolphins have their best pair of fantasy wideouts since the Marks Brothers.

  • The tight end position is on the rise, and Fleener is a part of the reason. He'll now be featured in aSaints offense that loves to use the position, and it doesn't hurt to have a veteran quarterback like Drew Brees at the helm either. Fleener should bust out in 2016. 3

    Gerald Herbert/Associated Press / AP

    Coby Fleener, TE, Saints

    The tight end position is on the rise, and Fleener is a part of the reason. He'll now be featured in aSaints offense that loves to use the position, and it doesn't hurt to have a veteran quarterback like Drew Brees at the helm either. Fleener should bust out in 2016.

  • Moncrief put up better than 700 yards last season, and he did it without Andrew Luck for nine games. With Luck back under the center, I wouldn't be surprised if both Moncrief and T.Y. Hilton each finished with 1,000-plus yards. The former could be a major draft bargain. 2

    R Brent Smith/Associated Press

    Donte Moncrief, WR, Colts

    Moncrief put up better than 700 yards last season, and he did it without Andrew Luck for nine games. With Luck back under the center, I wouldn't be surprised if both Moncrief and T.Y. Hilton each finished with 1,000-plus yards. The former could be a major draft bargain.

  • Green has long been a fantasy darling, and now he'll get a chance to prove himself as a member of the Steelers. With Heath Miller (retirement) and Martavis Bryant(suspension) no longer in the mix, the athletic freak out of LA-Lafayette should bust out this season. 1

    Ladarius Green, TE, Steelers

    Green has long been a fantasy darling, and now he'll get a chance to prove himself as a member of the Steelers. With Heath Miller (retirement) and Martavis Bryant(suspension) no longer in the mix, the athletic freak out of LA-Lafayette should bust out this season.