Unfortunately, our nation is once again faced with the proposition of bracing for an impending storm as Hurricane Irma moves toward South Florida. Of course, our thoughts and well-wishes are with the people of the region who will feel the effects of Irma in the weeks, months and years to follow.
As a result of this Category 5 hurricane barreling toward the Miami shore, the NFL announced Wednesday morning that the Buccaneers and Dolphins Week 1 game will be postponed until November 19th. Both teams had their bye in Week 11 so it was a logical step in a non-ideal predict for all involved. With the two clubs' opening contest off the ledger, Tampa Bay and Miami will play 16 straight games for the 2017 NFL season. No question that will be a challenge and it's an unknown variable to account for, but there's little doubt that the players, coaches and team employees will take the tradeoff to spend this time with their families and members of their community.
On a much more trivial note, this rescheduling will create some ripple effect on our fantasy football teams. Here are some quick-hitting "what you need to know" tidbits due to this game being moved from the opening weekend back to November:
The points for the Buccaneers and Dolphins game will count for your Week 11 matchup. You wouldn't think this needs to be said, but better safe than sorry. The fantasy points accrued for when this game actually goes down in a few months will count for that week and will not be retroactively added to your Week 1 lineup. Makes sense; keep it moving.
Doug Martin will now make his 2017 debut in Week 5. The starting Buccaneers back must complete the final three games of a suspension before he can take the field this year. Since Week 1 is now technically a "bye" for the Bucs, that cannot count toward his three games missed. He will not be eligible to play Week 4 against the Giants and will be officially back for Tampa Bay's Thursday night tilt with the New England Patriots.
Get all Bucs and Dolphins out of your lineup before the Week 1 kickoff bell officially tolls. As mentioned, if those players are in your starting lineup, you will be awarded a zero. Here's a rundown of the fantasy relevant players you need to make sure you bench for this week and some options to replace them from some of our waiver-wire pieces this week here at NFL Fantasy: