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Roster rule changes to consider for 2020 fantasy football

The NFL might still get a full season off, but there will be plenty of roster issues for most teams. We break down what fantasy football players should consider.

A detailed view of the NFL logo on the field during the NFL game between Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on October 13, 2019 in London, England. Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

The 2020 NFL season is on track to start September 10th with its Thursday kickoff game between the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs. The preseason has been canceled, however, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and there are concerns about roster issues in the NFL.

This is going to extend into fantasy football. Drafts have begun, but the bulk of fantasy drafts usually take place in late August. This is meant to reflect the potential for injuries in the first three weeks of the preseason, but even without preseason games, training camp injuries are still an issue.

The question for leagues still sorting out their 2020 plans is how to deal with players that end up inactive or on the new Covid-19 injured reserve list in a given week. Do leagues carry on like normal, or do roster adjustments make sense?

Most league settings can be adjusted before the draft, and plenty of settings can also be adjusted once rosters are set. We came up with a list of some potential rule changes fantasy leagues can consider and polled the SB Nation team site communities about them. Voters at SB Nation Reacts could vote on their top choice, and here are the results for the four rule changes we suggested:

  • Increased Roster Size: 38%
  • Increased IR List: 29%
  • Auto Fill-In for late scratches: 25%
  • Increased transactions: 8%

I’m trying to figure out some options for my own league, and the first three are in play for us — increased transactions is not because there is no cap on roster transactions. My league has one IR slot, and so if we added more IR slots, they would be specifically for Covid-19, and not for any injuries. As for auto fill-in for late scratches, you would assign a player as another player’s potential replacement, and he slots in if the player is deactivated due to Covid-19. We have thought about expanding it to be any late deactivations, so that’s something to consider.

But what would other folks consider above and beyond those four rules? What are your leagues considering to maintain competitive integrity this season?