After months of negotiating, the NFL and the NFL Players Association have struck a deal on a new collective bargaining agreement ahead of the still-scheduled March 18 start to the 2020 league year.
This new CBA includes plenty of changes, but none are bigger than the expansion to a 17-game regular season, which can begin as early as the 2021 season. This has, of course, big implications for the NFL season, but for die-hard fantasy football fans, thoughts immediately turn to what this agreement will mean for the fantasy football universe.
The first takeaway, of course, is that there will be one extra game on the fantasy football calendar. It remains to be seen how the big sites like Yahoo and ESPN are going to handle scheduling, but most likely we'll simply see another week of fantasy football regular season action, with the fantasy playoff format remaining the same. This gives an extra week for the strongest teams to emerge on top, and will reduce the number of tiebreaker situations.
An extra regular season game would also give a slight boost to the value of players who either start the season suspended or sidelined by an injury. Missing a starting player in the first few weeks won't have quite as big an impact on your team, as you'll get one more active game out of the player on the back end to make up the difference.
We could also see NFL teams take a more cautious approach with their players, erring on the side of resting banged-up players while also possibly pulling more starters in the late weeks of the season. There's less incentive to push somebody who is playing hurt if you know you're going to need them healthy for longer, and also that there's an extra game to make up for their absence.
The fantasy football playoffs already tend to leave out Week 17, and an extra week of NFL action could see top teams dialing back superstars' workloads for two or three weeks at the end of the year, instead of just one as we usually see. We could start to see an increase in unheralded players becoming game-changers in the fantasy playoffs as a result of this.
The answer to this could be increasing the number of bench spots available on a standard fantasy football roster, as well as adding I.R. spots to stash banged-up players without having to drop key pieces. Staying vigilant on the waiver wire and dialed in to injury news will become even more important than it already is.
All in all, these are exciting changes for the fantasy football world, because playing more games with an increased importance on managing your fantasy roster will really create an edge for dedicated fantasy players.
Join FanDuel Sportsbook Today. New users get a risk-free bet up to $500. Join Now.
Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.