How Will COVID-19 Affect Fantasy Football Drafts This Year?

As you make your picks for your fantasy football league this year, you’re probably wondering if the COVID-19 pandemic will affect the sport. Find out here.


Fantasy Football is going to see major changes in 2020. 

As potential drafts hang in limbo across fantasy football leagues, fantasy owners are itching to draft. If there is an NFL season what will the effects of COVID-19 have on fantasy football?

The possibilities are endless. 

This epidemic has already affected the start of the 2020 NFL season. The NFL has shortened the preseason scheduled games from four to two and could ax them altogether. There will be no jersey swaps postgame and OTAs/rookie minicamps are strictly virtual participation. 

Who knows when training camp is going to start, but one thing is certain, Fantasy Football never sleeps.

What should you plan for heading into your league? Here are a few potential effects COVID-19 will have on the upcoming season. 

Fantasy Football Draft Times

Luckily for some leagues, a shortened or lack of a preseason could be beneficial. 

Player injuries happen every offseason. Although a lot of injuries happen in practice, a delayed start to the season and lack of preseason games could have major positive and negative implications. 

Without acclimating to the climate of the NFL, players may not be ready for full contact without preseason games. This also means the studs of the NFL could have even more impact considering the gap in talent. 

By midseason, players are usually at their peak. The earlier your league drafts, the less likely your team will be healthy during a normal season. By the time the season rolls around, we could have a short schedule.

A delayed fantasy football draft could result in healthier teams, but it could result in an even slower start for a few players.

Rookies Will Likely Struggle

Without rookie minicamp, rookies could struggle early. 

Even though they’re getting mental reps and plenty of exposure to their playbook, the NFL is a different beast than the NCAA. There are some exceptions to this process (Cam Newton’s rookie year in 2011 and Saquon Barkley’s in 2018).

Transcendent talents like Adrian Peterson or Julio Jones were destined to dominate the NFL. In college it was obvious they had a bright future. These few cases aside, without proper time to get around the team, there will be hiccups. 

Consider stashing rookie picks for later rounds. Fliers on rookies could need a push back for Week 1 starters moving rookies into the teens. No matter what level you think these players are at, acclimation to the NFL takes time. 

This is where backups come in handy. 

Draft Player Handcuffs

Drafting backups is a common yearly occurrence due to a long line of injury concerns. This year you’ll have another factor — COVID-19 testing. 

Players will sit out of games if they test positive for COVID-19. Although we aren’t sure if they’ll have to quarantine the 14 recommended days, this is perfect reasoning for backups. 

Back up running backs are the most popular option in most fantasy football leagues

Top-end running backs are a valuable asset in PPR leagues. Think of the potential falling out you could see if your Week 1 RB1 comes down with COVID-19. Invest in a mid-round back up to make sure whatever running back you have will provide you with a second starting option. 

This could be players like Christian McCaffrey and Reggie Bonnafon, Ezekiel Elliot and Tony Pollard, Alvin Kamara, and Latavius Murray. These backs are already considered high priority handcuff players. Invest in their backups. 

Chemistry Issues

Every offseason, quarterbacks and their receivers get together to run routes and go over the playbook. 

Although some players like Tom Brady and Cam Newton have been throwing around, there are limitations. In states with enforced regulations, potential issues could arise with getting workouts set up. 

Chemistry is key during the season. A quarterback and wide receiver rely on each other to know where they’re going to play after play. Without practice, routes become robotic and easily predictable. This is especially concerning for quarterbacks with new teams like Teddy Bridgewater and Nick Foles. 

These issues could also exist with new head coaches and their coordinators. Lack of time and reps results in misunderstandings and miscommunications. Only a few teams return their head coach, offensive coordinator, quarterback, and top four receiving options yearly. 

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. Consider holding out on these types of situations when you’re going through a fantasy football draft. 

This Happened Before?

An unprecedented situation like COVID-19 means changes to your fantasy football season. In fact, 2011 might be the best comparison.

The 2011 NFL Season was affected by a lockout with a training camp opening in 2011. There were evident alterations to an abbreviated season. The 2020 season could cut regular-season games, no one’s sure. 

Modeling your knowledge about shortened season could come in handy by studying the 2011 season. But hey, if the NFL season is delayed, go play some of the new online Slingo Games to pass the time. 

The hope is sooner rather than later the league’s season will be on the clock. 

Sports News and Communities

If you’re stuck waiting and prepping for your fantasy football season to begin, we’re right there with you. 

Make sure you’re prepared when your season kicks off. In unprecedented times with COVID-19, we might have an NFL season unlike any other. Sports across all leagues have been affected. 

If you’re in need of reliable sports information and news, we‘ve got you covered. Our blogs are updated daily to make sure you’re staying in the loop. Stay informed on breaking news, betting odds, fantasy, or anything in between.

Make sure you’re ready for your fantasy football draft. Keep reading for more helpful information.