Week one of the NFL season officially kicked off on Thursday, September 10th. While sports fans are understandably excited for professional football to return, this season is going to be different – not just for players but for fans, too. Of course, one of the biggest changes is that spectators won’t be permitted into stadiums at the start of the year due to social distancing guidelines and gathering limits.
However, in-person games aren’t the only aspect of football that have been impacted; fantasy football will also look different this season. For example, if a player tests positive for COVID-19 (Coronavirus), they will automatically be ruled “unable to play” for at least two weeks. This could have major implications for any fantasy roster.
Will you be participating in a fantasy league this season? If so, Oskeim Sports is here to help. Read on for everything you need to know about fantasy football during the COVID-19 pandemic:
New Fantasy Football 2020 Rules & League Management Tips
Fantasy football rules are typically quite simple: You draft a roster of NFL players and compete against other teams in your fantasy league. Your team’s players accrue the stats their real-life counterparts get in games. However, this year, there are a few new rules to be aware of. Keep the following in mind if you’ll be managing a league this season:
- COVID-19 Injured Reserve Spots – Unfortunately, there will likely be NFL players who test positive during the season. To account for this, one option is for managers to permit appropriate injured reserve list (IR) spots for these athletes, so it doesn’t count against their total roster.
- More Players – NFL teams have been permitted to carry more players this year in light of COVID-19. If you’re a fantasy commissioner, you should allow teams in your league to do so, too.
- Contingency Plans – If NFL football is shut down at any point this fall, make sure your league has a backup plan to crown a champion. Perhaps you won’t have a playoff, and whoever is in first place at the time will win? Or, maybe you front-load games so that your season ends sooner? Whatever you do, have a plan.
Team Management Tips
Whether this is your first time participating or you’re a reigning fantasy champ, you’ll likely encounter some obstacles this season due to the pandemic. Here are a few tips to best manage your team despite these challenges:
- Pay Attention – Keep an eye on NFL news, as teams this year can activate and deactivate players 90 minutes before kickoff. You’ll want to make sure that any players that have been deactivated are on your bench.
- Draft for Depth – If you can select more players, be sure to draft strategically so that you have depth – especially at the skills positions that generate the most points week in and week out.
- Come Prepared – If there ever was a year not to wing a draft, it’s this year. Know your league’s revised rules and come prepared.