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Make Covid-19 Work For You

Covid-19. The mere mention of the word brings all sorts of feelings to an individual. The pandemic in 2020 has truly changed our way of life. However, in this article, Brian Bailey (@TheFFAviator) will try to explain to you how you can use Covid-19 in a truly unique way during the fantasy football season.

I don’t have to tell you that 2020 has been a very strange year. We are in the midst of a global pandemic that has caused a disruption to sports, social events, family gatherings, education, careers … pretty much everything has been affected by Covid-19 this year. Oh yeah, and most of our waistlines have felt the wrath of this pandemic! Amongst all this chaos, there are companies that have flourished and who have taken advantage of the situation. Purell, Amazon, Skip-The-Dishes, and every toilet paper company! Companies shouldn’t be the only ones profiting from Covid-19.

Why shouldn’t we take advantage of Covid-19 to possibly benefit our fantasy football dynasty rosters? We deserve something positive in this hell hole of a year! If you are rebuilding or retooling your dynasty team, you have an opportunity to cash in on a year that has been kicking you in the butt. It is time to take advantage of Covid-19 and use it to build equity on your roster.

There will be situations that arise this year that will make weeks challenging for fantasy teams that lack depth. Players will become unavailable due to Covid-19 and will miss multiple weeks. It is in these situations where you can capitalize and make your move. This isn’t a sleazy move or trying to take someone to the cleaners type of scenario. That isn’t my style or the type of fantasy football player I am. If you are new to dynasty or want to read more about trading in dynasty, you should click here (need to add hyperlink) to read a previous article that I wrote. If your team is in the middle of a rebuild or is just underperforming due to injury or Covid-19, you may be able to make trades to gain value on your players and roster while still keeping your initial plan to rebuild. This in turn will result in better draft picks for the following year.

What do I mean by this? Let's look at an example of a similar situation that I was in last year. I had a team in a dynasty superflex league that was underperforming. It was just one of those years. I had lost Andrew Luck to retirement, Juju Smith-Schuster was hurt and not performing without Big Ben Roethlisberger, Evan Engram was hurt … again, etc. I did have Dalvin Cook on this team who was having an amazing year. When Saquon Barkley went down with his high ankle sprain in week three I saw an opening and made a move. The manager of the team that Saquon Barkley was on had spent a lot in draft picks to acquire players to bolster the roster to try and win that season. I knew that he had a lot invested in the season and being without Barkley for the 6-8 weeks that was initially reported, would hurt his season. I offered him a trade of Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison for Saquon Barkley. He accepted and it worked for both teams. He was able to continue forward with his title hopes and I was able to gain equity in moving up a RB tier, while still limiting my chances of winning games to ensure a high draft pick in the offseason.

What should we be looking for during the season to be able to take advantage of this?

The managers that will be your targets when using this strategy are the ones that are trying to make a run for the playoffs. Knowing your league is key here. Every manager has different tendencies. You may look at a team in your league that you would consider a rebuilding one, but that manager may be trying to make a push to make the playoffs. Knowing who they are is essential so that you know who to target as players start getting marked as out under Covid-19 during the season.

Taking advantage of this possible scenario isn’t to be misconstrued with taking advantage of other managers. The goal here is to use this unique situation to better your team during a rebuild, but at the same time, you are helping the other manager to reach their goal of making the playoffs and trying to win a championship. So really, it is a win-win for everyone involved.

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Who should you target in a trade?

If a player goes down to Covid-19 and you decide to make your move, you are going to have to put forward a trade to the other manager that is appealing to them. When you send an offer, don’t send a cuttable wide receiver for another manager's starter. It is insulting and you should be embarrassed to offer it.

If you have an older player on your team that you would like to move but have found it difficult because of his age, this could be the perfect time to move him. If your veteran player is producing, you should be able to flip him for a younger player of similar value or tier. Depending on how desperate the other manager is for production, you may be able to get a draft pick on top of a player in the trade. If healthy and producing, take the opportunity to deal players that are in danger of seeing their value plummet off a cliff after this year. For example, players like Todd Gurley, Le’Veon Bell, AJ Green, Adam Thielen, and Drew Brees.

Another hypothetical opportunity could be If David Montgomery is designated out due to Covid-19 and is set to miss multiple weeks. In this scenario, you may be able to take a player on your roster like Le’Veon Bell and turn him into a younger asset like David Montgomery. You will be getting a running back that is five years younger and may be valued more than Bell by the beginning of the 2021 season. Sometimes the best trades you can do in dynasty are the players you are able to trade away - not the players you are trading for. That is another concept that I talked about in my past article. (Add another HyperLink)

Ask For Draft Picks As Well

Even if you don’t have any veteran players on your re-building team you should still be making moves to increase the depth and value on your team by getting a draft pick thrown in on any potential trade. Every bit of draft capital helps in the long run during your rebuilding phase. If a manager's WR2 goes down and you have a comparable one, send a trade offer to the other manager and ask for a draft pick thrown in on top of a player. If another manager has a tough matchup on a certain week and you are able to allow him to still compete while one of his players is out due to Covid-19, then he may be tempted to throw in a third-round pick to get the deal done to continue on that championship run.

For example, If DJ Chark is declared out due to Covid-19, and you have Terry McLaurin on your team, you should be proactive and send a trade offer to that manager in the hopes of acquiring Chark and a draft pick for McLaurin. You will get to know the other manager and his situation in season to make the best trade offer. You can ask for a third-round pick on top of Chark if he is desperate for a win. If McLaurin has a good matchup, you may even be able to squeeze a second-round pick if you throw in a third-round pick of your own. If the Chark manager is hesitant, make sure he knows that by draft time he is really only moving back a few spots once he wins the league. His last pick in the second round, and moving back to an early third is a small price to pay for a victory and staying within contention. Yet it is a great move up for you! Start building that bankroll of draft picks for next year. Every little bit helps!

All these tips can be used with injured players as well. You may be able to turn a player that you are unsure of for the 2021 season into an asset that you like better for the future. Go out and target that Courtland Sutton owner if he is a contender. You may be able to get him for a discount. On a team that I am competing in, I traded away Courtland Sutton for Kenyan Drake. It worked for both teams because my winning window is NOW and the team acquiring Sutton is rebuilding. He will now have an asset that is not as valuable this year but is more beneficial long term for his team.

This fantasy football season, let's use these tips to make our teams stronger if we don't have the capital to build a winning roster. It’s not always the big trades that you do that end up giving you the greatest gains for your team. Let’s yell from a mountain top ... “Screw you 2020! Screw you Covid-19! Screw you injuries! I’m going to use you to make my team better and contend for a championship next year.”

Thank you for reading my article. Do you agree or disagree with my take on Covid-19 and the upcoming fantasy football season? Please leave a comment or feedback on Twitter @TheFF Aviator.

Edited by: Joe Simonetti (@joesimonetti77)

Graphic work: Dan Made Graphics (@DanMadeGraphics)