The Z Files: Anticipating the New Fantasy Environment

The Z Files: Anticipating the New Fantasy Environment

This article is part of our The Z Files series.

While we obviously don't know exactly what the plan will be when/if baseball returns, we're at the point that a few logical assumptions can be made, with associated adjustments in player expectation:

1. The schedule will be abbreviated and likely condensed, with fewer off days and some doubleheaders.

2. Games will probably not be contested in standard MLB parks, though it remains to be seen where play will occur and whether teams will have a home base.

3. A strong likelihood of a universal designated hitter.

4. No formal minor-league season, though some sort of arrangement could exist where limited farm players and perhaps rehabbing MLB players compete in official or unofficial games.

Let's go through each assumption, with a look at some fantasy repercussions.

Abbreviated and Condensed Schedule

There's a lot of discussion on this topic, since there's no practical way a full 162-game season can be played. Many have espoused the potential virtues of sixth starter/swingman types such as Ross Stripling, Josh James and Austin Voth. Deploying dominant middle relievers in lieu of back-end starters is also a common notion. The other popular thought is to secure a top closer, maybe two, with the idea being free agency will afford fewer chances to pick up saves in season. Not to mention, middling closers on competitive teams could have a shorter leash. Personally, I'm in lockstep with all three. Chris Bassitt is my favorite swingman to draft, I like Kevin Ginkel as a middle relief target, and

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Todd Zola
Todd has been writing about fantasy baseball since 1997. He won NL Tout Wars and Mixed LABR in 2016 as well as a multi-time league winner in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. Todd is now setting his sights even higher: The Rotowire Staff League. Lord Zola, as he's known in the industry, won the 2013 FSWA Fantasy Baseball Article of the Year award and was named the 2017 FSWA Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year. Todd is a five-time FSWA awards finalist.
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