Ian Allan answers your fantasy football questions. In this edition: Does a COVID-19 diagnosis make Ezekiel Elliott a safer fantasy pick? Offseason player movement grades. And a grade dynasty-league kicker question.
Just curious your take on the draft and COVID-19. Would you be more inclined to take a player who already tested positive, like Zeke, knowing the chances of them getting it again during the season are virtually nil? You would be eliminating the chance of losing them for 2-3 weeks during the season because of the virus. Of course they could still be injured, but it at least takes out one variable.
John Ruppe (Fort Myers, FL)
The novel coronavirus is a huge variable. We’ll see, but I expect it will knock out at least some of the 256 regular-season games. And inside whatever subset of games are actually played, there will be positive tests. What kind of impact those have on players remains to be seen. I would expect some (maybe most) will be affected only modestly, missing 2-4 games. But some could be more adversely affected. There are a bunch of guys in the league who weigh over 320 pounds. What kind of impact will it have of them? And will some of the speed/cardio guys have long-term injuries to their lungs?
So if we have a player who contracts COVID-19 right now and returns to full health, I think that’s a selling point in his favor. He would then have immunity against that pitfall. We’ll see how it plays out with Ezekiel Elliott; he said yesterday that he was feeling good. I don’t think it’s enough to push him ahead of Christian McCaffrey or Saquon Barkely on my board, but he’s looking like a top-5 overall pick.
Fantasy kicker question. My league awards bonus points for 50+ yard field goals. My Dynasty kicker is Browns Austin Seibert. Would you keep him or draft Eagles Elliott, Cardinals Gonzalez or Colts McLaughlin? I like the idea of a dome kicker and warm weather teams kicking late in the season? Thoughts?
Howie Fishman (Hermosa Beach, CA)
With Jake Elliott, you run into the issue of his team being awfully good at scoring touchdowns rather than settling for field goals. The Eagles have ranked only 16th and 22nd in kicker scoring the last two years. With McLaughlin, I’m not confident enough right now that he’ll even be in the league. Adam Vinatieri in late April indicated he wants to play. I think there’s still some chance the Colts bring him back. I think it’s either Gonzalez or Seibert, and I don’t think there’s a huge difference between them. I’ve got Gonzalez a little higher on my board. Both of those teams seem to be headed in the right direction.
I just got my paper copy yesterday, and I'm still in the process of devouring it. I did notice that Offseason Report Card got cut this year. I know it was always a little weird to have exactly one non-fantasy article in the mag each year, but I've been a big fan of it over the years. Did it get bounced for the pandemic article, or is it gone for good? And thanks for another year of excellence!
Casey Plain (Evanston, IL)
Exactly. We felt it was important to include an article on COVID-19. We made this decision after Andy had already done most of the work on the Offseason Report Card article. But I think you’ll see him post most of that work on the website soon.