- I have been asking the question of whether or not individuals expect the NFL season to happen for the last couple months. With the NHL and NBA in their respective bubbles, and the MLB powering through setbacks on the regular, the overwhelming majority of people do believe the NFL will put its head down and muscle through whatever obstacles that it encounters. Count me among them. So let’s move the question a little...do you think the season will get paused? You might think this is harping on the somewhat negative but...
- The NFL season is three weeks away...I know I’m excited but this is the closest we have ever been to the opening kickoff and things just don't feel the same. That is to say, the hype is lacking. It got me thinking, do we actually need preseason games? Hahaha...just kidding. We don’t. I am a little shocked at how much I miss meaningless exhibition of football though, played by guys who have no chance of playing beyond September 1st. Next question: will this offseason impact the future of preseason games (finally) and if so, what do you think will be the result? I can’t see the NFL abandoning preseason contests altogether, but no way we ever get back to four or five games right? Bonus question: do they change the Hall of Fame induction weekend to be closer to the season next year because there will not be a fifth preseason game for two teams?
- Even though I am feeling very confident about the season, I was wondering if any of your fantasy leagues are doing anything different money-wise to deal with any potential wrenches in the plans? I have a league that is awarding two payouts during the first month of the season just in case that is all we get. Another league I am in is doing a progressive pot where anyone who wants to be in it puts in $10 per week as the season goes and it gets paid out on the last week of the regular season that gets played. At the end of the day, it’s just more ways to gamble I suppose, but these are the only bets I’m willing to place on anything covid-related. I have no interest in any of these prop bets about coronavirus and season-ending events, but I get that people will bet on just about anything out there. What this has really gotten me doing is drafting fantasy teams that are weighted more to the first weeks of the season...has me wondering which Washington players have the best chance of coming out of the gate fastest from a fantasy perspective.
- I’m going to say something crazy in point #4...I think the Washington defense is the one fantasy player I can get my hands on cheaply that has a pretty high ceiling out of the chute. Pretty sure they won’t be coveted by many owners? Yeah. At full strength, the Washington defense should do something that should cause them to score points: rush the passer. With five first-round draft picks along the defensive front (including Ryan Kerrigan), this defense should be stout at the point of attack. Think about it: no preseason games to wear and tear on Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne. No extended summer camp to expose Montez Sweat and Chase Young to unnecessary risks. Most importantly, come mid-September, this defense won’t have already spent 40 minutes per game on the field. I feel like more years than not, we find ourselves talking about an awesome defense in the first month of the season. If that is true again, I could win some early pots this fantasy season.
- It is also at this point each year where I look to one man to be the “guy” for this team out of the gate. It has traditionally been a quarterback, though last year it was Jonathan Allen. This isn’t supposed to be some kind of end-all, be-all thing...just a late August thought about a player that could tip the scales in September our way. If and when a marginal team gets a bounce or two their way early on, it has the ability to change everything. Who knows better than us about the pain of losses in October and November that could have and maybe should have been victories? I’m hanging it on Landon Collins today. One of his key traits coming to Washington was his ability to make plays on third downs. That will be important yes...but I am looking at something else. I think a smart player like Collins will make the most of his defensive line. If things go as we predict, quarterbacks will have less time to get rid of the ball. They will be on the move. A safety with the kind of brain Landon possesses can exploit that. My expectation is that if this Washington team is going to win by the hair on their chin, it may very well be because of one or two plays made by their heady veteran safety. Credit will be spread around of course, but look for #20 to be “the reason” if we are tipping back celebratory glasses of whiskey early this season.
- Sports has just been weird since March. I remember going to a bar to watch the Big East tournament on television for lunch. I had been following the St. John’s vs. Creighton game from my desk and I hurriedly made my way during halftime to catch the second half on TV. By the time I arrived to my seat at the bar, the game had been called...the tournament stopped. From that moment, there has been little to nothing that has been normal. Hockey and basketball are giving us postseasons, but they came after long breaks that have pushed them well beyond where they would normally be placed. Baseball is giving us a cool, albeit odd regular season with a cool, albeit controversial playoff format. It’s just all a little...off. I am thankful for all of it. Truly I am. But it will be football that brings us back to sports normalcy...or so I hope. So what if we don’t have the regular hype of a preseason? So what if the other sports are getting some of their oddness on football...from an emotional standpoint. When the NFL kicks off on time, it will be the first big moment of normalcy in our American society since the pandemic started. Of course, empty stadiums will be difficult (not for us, because, well, FedEx), but the NFL getting this right this fall is such a huge deal. Let’s light this candle!
Looks Like Someone Has a Sixpack of the Mondays
NFL training camps are starting to get the MLB treatment...but so far football seems on track.