COVID adds variables to fantasy football


Cory Sparks / The Advance-Titan

Cory Sparks, Sports Editor

Fantasy football has always been an interesting entity. This year, however, fantasy football owners have even more variables to consider due to the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the league.

With the elimination of an NFL preseason, some fantasy owners are adjusting their whole game plan.

“Fantasy football is definitely different this year. The elimination of the preseason made it so we had to draft completely based on what is assumed of the players,” UW Oshkosh sophomore Maxwell Lippert said. “We don’t get to watch our potential draft options perform beforehand.”

While some fantasy owners changed their entire approach going into the season, others decided they would hardly deviate from their original plan.

“Preseason never really means anything to me besides injuries anyways,” UWO sophomore Jackson Davis said. “But you need to have a good idea of positional depth charts in case someone were to go on the COVID list.”

A few UWO students have some tips to provide for beginners that could be especially useful during a season riddled with adjustments made due to COVID-19 precautions.

“Keep track of injuries and bye weeks. The first year I did fantasy, I had half my team injured, and the other half had the same bye week,” UWO sophomore Sam May said. “Needless to say, I didn’t do very well. Watch your bye [weeks and] injuries and stay updated.”

Watching for injuries is especially important this year considering that in just the first two weeks of the NFL season, Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, Drew Lock, Sterling Shepard, George Kittle, Jimmy Garoppolo and many more are currently hurt.

In this game of strategy, large collections of bye weeks and injuries are not the only things beginners should avoid.

“I would advise against taking too many rookies. Yes, they may have great potential and upside, but they are also rookies,” May said. “They don’t play like veterans and can be inconsistent. For fantasy, consistency is key.”

As for what to do when it comes time to draft a fantasy team, there are a few different strategies to try depending on one’s personal preferences.

“In the early rounds, I always try to target a running back for my first pick. Realistically, only one [running back] will be used frequently during an NFL game,” Lippert said. “Target a really talented running back with your first pick, and even your second pick, unless there’s a really good player still on the board that would be considered a steal in the second round.”

There is also a term that floats amongst the fantasy football community called a “sleeper.” A sleeper is somebody who could be very productive despite the fact that not many people talk about them or consider them talented.

Sleepers typically take off in performance due to an ideal scenario such as a good training camp or someone above them on the depth chart going to another team.

“Jarvis Landry is almost always good for a minimum of 10.5 points and rarely goes in the first 12 rounds if at all. Joe Burrow is also a good sleeper QB,” Davis said.

When getting into fantasy football, especially if money is involved, it is highly encouraged to do extensive research to ensure optimal performance. ESPN,, CBS Sports and many other established news networks with reputable analysts will consistently report on different players with fantasy advice in hand.

Although there is a certain quantity of luck involved, fantasy football is just like anything else in that you must practice and complete research in order to have a great amount of success.