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Fantasy Football Strategies That Worked in 2020

There is no doubt that the 2020 NFL season was far different than any other. We saw multiple postponements, games played on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and countless players and coaches being sidelined due to COVID. Then there were the injuries...

Altogether it was a year we'd like to forget, but we must learn from the past in order to prosper in the future. We hope 2021 is closer to the norm but there are still lessons we can take away from the past season when preparing for our next set of fantasy drafts.

The RotoBaller NFL staff recently shared their thoughts on which strategies were most effective in dealing with the unknowns of 2020 and how we can use them to our advantage in 2021

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!


The best strategy to deal with the 2020 season was ___.

Accept the fact that player availability could change at any time - far beyond what managers had become accustomed to in previous seasons. I believe that it made us all more proficient at adapting to unexpected developments, which will serve us well in 2021 and beyond. We were also reminded that you can be rewarded for remaining patient with rookie running backs. -Phil Clark

Being patient with rookies and breakout targets. -Scott Engel

Zero RB. If you had a top-three pick and drafted Christian McCaffery, Saquon Barkley, or Ezekiel Elliott, you were basically fighting an uphill battle all season. You could have fielded a strong RB group by waiting and grabbing James Robinson, Antonio Gibson, David Montgomery, or scooping Mike Davis off waivers. -Eric Samulski

Obviously waiting on QB worked wonders. But oddly enough, this was a year where Zero-RB worked out great for managers due to injuries and COVID. -Brandon Murchison

Be as flexible as possible every week. -Dan Palyo

Draft healthy guys with high snap counts. Volume is king. -Aaron Burger

To have plenty of high-quality depth, especially at the running back position. There was a wave of injuries to big-name RBs early on, most notably Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley. The unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 inactives also forced fantasy managers to adjust on the fly. If you failed to draft any impact players in the middle and late rounds, you likely struggled in deeper leagues. -Keith Hernandez

Use the waiver wire proactively to target promising pickups as soon as possible. Grabbing the right player before a great matchup or stashing the right RB as an insurance policy can make all the difference down the road. -Pierre Camus

Work the waiver wire for quality depth, rather than use your bench for lottery tickets. -Steve Rebeiro

Skillful research and the ability to adapt to the ever-changing unknown. -Spencer Aguiar


I wish I would have traded for ___ early on.

David Montgomery -Scott Engel, Brandon Murchison, Dan Palyo, Steve Rebeiro

Justin Herbert -Aaron Burger, Collin Hulbert, Ellis Johnson

Stefon Diggs -Spencer Aguiar, Chris Mangano

Jonathan Taylor -Pierre Camus, Eric Samulski

James Robinson -Keith Hernandez

D'Andre Swift -Mike Riggall


I wish I would have gotten rid of ___ by mid-season.

Ezekiel Elliott -Dan Palyo, Eric Samulski

Kenny Golladay -Pierre Camus, Scott Engel

Michael Thomas -Steve Rebeiro, Mike Riggall

Keenan Allen -Brandon Murchison

Clyde Edwards-Helaire -Aaron Burger

Todd Gurley -Ellis Johnson

Julio Jones -Spencer Aguiar

Tyler Lockett -Chris Mangano

Christian McCaffrey -Collin Hulbert

Russell Wilson -Keith Hernandez


My early strategy for 2021 drafts is _____.

Get an elite tight end early. -Scott Engel

Elite tight ends before anything else. -Collin Hulbert

Draft Travis Kelce! -Steve Rebeiro

Draft the guys whose value is down after 2020. Lots of players -- Michael Thomas, Ezekiel Elliott, Kenny Golladay, Odell Beckham Jr. -- are going to be available at a discount next year. Take advantage of that. -Justin Carter

Look at the elite players that were "busts" in 2020. For example, Michael Thomas is a steal if he slides into the second round. Same with Joe Mixon or Aaron Jones at the back of the first. From there, snag consistent, reliable players. -Ellis Johnson

Remain flexible. Once each draft begins it is wise to avoid internal overthinking concerning robust RB vs. Zero RB etc, and stay focused on the flow of that specific draft. Davante Adams fell to me at #16 in one league last summer. -Phil Clark

To be flexible with strategies in roster construction and to be open to changing my mind on certain players. I won't be opposed to the idea of spending big early on a high-end, dual-threat QB or TE while waiting on the deep WR position. -Keith Hernandez

I will still look to address the RB position early in drafts because as we continue to see, depth is king at the position as the growing committee mentality can be frustrating. -Brandon Murchison

Take more chances on rookies and potential second-year breakouts. There is no longer a waiting period for young players to be a big part of the offense at any position. -Pierre Camus

Target second and third-year studs. -Aaron Burger

Come out of the first two rounds with a stud RB and WR, and then go best player available from there on out. -Mike Riggall

I'm going to focus a lot more on concentrated offenses, like we do with DFS. Certain offensive systems funnel touches to a small number of players which gives those players more stable value and helps give you a solid floor to then take risks in other spots. -Eric Samulski

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