5 things we've missed without an NFL preseason
The NFL made the decision to officially scrap its 2020 preseason on July 25 due to mounting concerns over player safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. From breakout performances to fantasy football intel, here are five things we lost when the NFL preseason games were taken away.
1) No breakout players
Each year, there are a handful of individuals who make a name for themselves in the preseason. Whether it’s a late draft pick that nobody expected to contribute right away, or a player who wins a tough positional battle, there are always players who solidify their roster spot and make fans hopeful that things might be better than expected. Since teams won’t have a chance to experiment as much with the games all meaning something, there are players who may never get their opportunity had they gotten some precious preseason snaps.
2) No early answers
Will Tom Brady make Tampa Bay a true Super Bowl contender? Will Joe Burrow settle in in Cincinnati? Will the Browns actually do something with their talent this year? We often get some early insights into these types of questions with the preseason, but we have been denied those things in 2020. Instead, we will have to wait until the actual regular season to see how the rust wears off, how players fit in in their new surroundings, and whether a migration to Florida will work for Brady and Gronk.
3) No fantasy impact
The aforementioned positional battles usually get decided during the latter parts of the preseason, which allows those who partake in fantasy football to get a bit of an edge. Instead, this year people will have to fly blind into their draft, hoping the players they take with their early picks are able to get off to a solid start despite not having any competitive snaps. We also have to hope that some of those "sleepers" get plenty of caffeine for Week 1, or they may not get many chances to shine until it’s much too late for our fantasy title hopes.
4) No false hopes
Look, we are all guilty of watching our team in the preseason and allowing ourselves to get excited. I’m a Jacksonville Jaguars fan, and the preseason is like a bit of a drug. It lulls me into a false sense of hope, believing my team might actually do well because they won a preseason game by four touchdowns. And then the season starts, and I’m quickly reminded that I’m a Jaguars fan, and I will never be happy because my team simply isn’t good. You know, on second though, maybe I DON’T miss the preseason after all...
5) No football in August
As much as we all say we dislike the preseason, we all miss football and wish we had some games to watch in August. There is still a chance that this experiment will fail, and the season might get tossed aside, which would suck for all involved. But we usually are talking about the final roster cuts and getting excited for our teams’ season right about now, and that has been taken from us. It has been more than six months since we saw a competitive snap, and normally we are counting down to that first Thursday night. Yes Hank, we ARE all ready for some football, even if it’s just preseason.