If the NFL lockout does not end in time for there to be a 2011 season, there will be no fantasy football.
Call me Captain Obvious.
So in order to promote optimism, I am going to stray from the doomsday talk. Fantasy owners, however, do need to prepare for another alternative—strike-shortened football.
Many experts thought the lockout could last through training camp and the preseason and start to eat away at the NFL regular season. If there were NFL predictions found at BetUS of that scenario coming to fruition, it would be looking good right about now.
But what would it mean for fantasy owners and for the 2011 fantasy football season? Five things fantasy owners need to know if the NFL season is strike-shortened:
1. Fewer live drafts
The biggest downfall from a fantasy football perspective. If the season springs up all of a sudden in the middle of September, fantasy owners will be scrambling to have a live draft. Chances are they will not be able to assemble one in time and will have to use the power of the Internet to draft.
2. Unreliable depth charts and injury information
Teams often are deceiving with depth charts, injury reports, etc. So what makes you think it would be any different heading into a strike-shortened year? If anything, deception via depth chart will be augmented so that teams can catch opponents by surprise.
3. Wildly varying fantasy rankings
Not having access to reliable depth charts and not getting to see young players perform in training camp or overtake veterans in the preseason is really going to screw with fantasy experts. The good news? Everyone will be in the same boat.
4. More injuries
Training camps and preseason do more for football than provide fodder for NFL fans. They get the players in football shape. Training camp injuries like hamstring pulls and other muscle-related ailments can be hashed out before the start of the regular season in a normal year. I expect there will be more of these types of injuries at the start of a strike-shortened season.
5. Less regular season
The most obvious of the five. If the NFL season is shortening, so too is the fantasy football regular season. Typically 13 games in most leagues, a shortened fantasy season means more pressure every week to qualify for the postseason. Less time to make up ground!
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