The word on the street is that there will definitely be a 2020 season. In fact, Rob Right Said manFred said he guarantees that there will be a season. In its worst form it will be a 48-game season. The players want 89 games and the owners want 76 games. Or something along those lines. As most of you might know, the sticking point is, of course, salaries.
The salary dispute is mostly irrelevant to us. All we care about is if there will be a season. Both the NHL and NBA are returning. MLB will follow suit. MLB actually has the authority to impose a 48-game season if a deal cannot be reached. The timeline on this is not clear yet, but I’ve got to think by next week a decision has got to be made. With that in mind, we’ve got to start being proactive about what a 2020 fantasy season might look like.
After a bit of soul searching, here is what I am proposing to my primary head-to-head points league. Just to set the context our league is a ten-team league where we play two matchups each week. Our season consists of 22 weeks of regular season followed by two rounds of two-week playoff matchups. Our roster size is 30 and we can keep six players for as many years as we want. For the sake of this discussion our scoring system is irrelevant, but I do believe that it’s a bit skewed towards starting pitchers. Nonetheless it does not impact my proposal.
First order of business is the draft. Fortunately we did not hold our draft before the season was shutdown. Truth be told, no league should have held a draft. I’m a firm believer that a draft should not be held more than ten days prior to opening day. I actually prefer the seven day threshold, but ten is the max. And let’s face it, it’s 2020 and just about every draft is hosted online. There’s little to no excuse to not being able to find a day that works for everyone. We’re all busy, I know. Yadda freaking yadda.
If you’ve drafted, oh well. You now have your 2020 team and concentrate on figuring out how to handle the season. I thought about forgoing the draft and just rolling our 2019 rosters forward, but that feels dirty. As I mentioned earlier we can keep six players out of 30. I don’t think that’s enough players given the circumstances. I am proposing we keep half of our rosters. Then we have a shortened draft for the remaining half. In leagues that only allow you to keep a player for a certain number of years, this year should not count. For the rest of you, I think you also need to consider increasing the number of keepers for just this season. And if you’re in a redraft league, well, then just draft away.
Next up is the regular season matchup format. We play two teams every week. That is just not going to cut the mustard. Bonus points to anyone that can tell me the origin of that phrase without looking it up. Let’s say we get 60 games. If teams play six games a week, that give us ten weeks of fantasy baseball. Subtract at least two for playoffs and that leaves us with eight. That’s just not enough matchups. I wish our league had to option to make it four opponents per week, but it does not. If yours does, then I think that’s the hot play. Instead, our league has what it calls “Breakdown Standings”. This shows us what each teams’ record would be if they played every team each week. I have often referred to this as the best indicator as to which are the best teams in the league. I am proposing we use this for determining our 2020 standings.
As for the playoffs, I’d like to see the top two teams face off in a two-week head-to-head matchup. This isn’t so bad for 10-team leagues, but to only have two teams make the playoffs in 12-team+ leagues is kinda light. I guess you could go top four teams and have two one-round matchups. I’m a big fan of two-week playoff matchups, but in a shortened season I guess the phrase “beggars can’t be choosers” applies. Bonus points on that one too.
It’s not perfect. Far from it I’m sure, but it’s something. The whole purpose of a 2020 fantasy season is to ensure continuity for our league and to bridge the gap to the 2021 season when hopefully things will be back to normal.
And I do my little turn on the catwalk…
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