Much to the chagrin of baseball aficionados and fantasy players, things have been relatively quiet regarding MLB and its plans for the impending 2020 season.
Fantasy baseball commissioners should use this time to prepare their leagues for what could be a frenzied start to the season.
First and foremost is your draft. If you are in a keeper or dynasty league and drafted already, you’re going to have to play the cards you’ve been dealt. Declaration of keepers should lock in rosters for the long haul. But though some may whine and cry, if you are in a redraft league, there is nothing wrong with throwing out the earlier results and starting fresh.
Too much has changed with regard to player values between an early-March draft and today, so imagine what it will look like if the season doesn’t open for another two months from now. Players like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Lance McCullers will, in fact, begin the season on-time. Pitchers like Chris Sale and Noah Syndergaard are now lost for the season.
Expanded rosters change the potential playing time for non-marquee names. Rookies will be handled much differently. How in the world can you look at a draft from a month ago and think it is even remotely relevant?
The lack of a true start date means commissioners are going to have to create a fluid plan for their drafts. Getting 12 people to agree on a draft date that works for everyone can be a daunting task, especially with the way people are living right now, so setting up a series of potential draft dates is necessary. Grab three or four days in late-May and June, lock them in now and settle on one once MLB declares its Opening Day.
And while you’re at it, make sure your league structure is properly adjusted. Trade deadlines should go by number of games left in the regular season, not by date. If you are in a head-to-head league, start mapping out exactly when your playoffs will begin as well as whether or not you need to reduce the number of teams who make the playoffs in a truncated season.
Being a commissioner can be a thankless job, but this is not the time to worry about gratitude. This is a time where your league needs your leadership more than ever. Continue to make adjustments, continue to tweak your plans and keep everyone informed. They’ll be hoisting you on their shoulders for saving their fantasy season soon enough.
Howard Bender is the VP of operations and head of content at Fantasy-Alarm.com. Follow him on Twitter @rotobuzzguy and catch him on the award-winning “Fantasy Alarm Radio Show” on the SiriusXM fantasy sports channel weekdays from 5-7 p.m. Go to FantasyAlarm.com for all your fantasy baseball advice.