NFL Pre-Season is coming to an end. Rosters are being finalized. Fantasy Drafts are starting. But one concern among fans and players remains…
How will COVID-19 affect the NFL Season?
According to the most recent official report:
- 88.5% of players have had at least one shot of the vaccine
- 20 of the 32 teams are at least 90% vaccinated
Based on these findings, perhaps the concern surrounding unvaccinated players isn’t as great as it seems. For comparison, 47.1% of the United States is unvaccinated. The NFL’s population is 10% unvaccinated and continuing to drop.
However, there are still important rules the NFL has established regarding COVID-19.
- Vaccines are not required
- Unvaccinated players must get daily COVID tests
- Positive tests result in 10 day quarantine
- Unvaccinated players must quarantine for 5 days if they come into contact with an infected individual
Most importantly, if a team has a COVID outbreak among its unvaccinated players and the game cannot be re-scheduled during the 18-week season, they will have to forfeit the cancelled game and have it count as a loss on their season record. Teams also have the freedom to enforce individual rules. As a result, some teams have a fully vaccinated roster.
Implications for the Fantasy Football Season
The risk of COVID-19 issues affecting your fantasy roster, while not technically high, is something to consider. Situations like the one involving Cam Newton are why you need to be careful while drafting. Other players like DeAndre Hopkins, Cole Beasley, and Kirk Cousins have said they refuse to get the vaccine. While players like Ryan Tannehill received it just to avoid the strict NFL protocols.
This requires a constantly observant fantasy player to:
- Possibly prioritize players on teams with higher vaccination rates
- Constantly track the COVID status of players
Fortunately, SportAI is doing that for you with the power of AI. After a successful beta launch, we are launching on the app store in time for the NFL season! Time to democratize the Fantasy Sports analytics process.
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