Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

 Log In  | Sign Up  |  Contact      

Opt-out Winners and Losers

By Steve Schwarz | 8/6/20

It’s a new world we live in. One in which injuries and drafting are not the only reasons for major changes taking place on both side of the ball. In 2020, teams, fans and fantasy owners also have to deal with Covid-19 illnesses and “opting out.”

While most of the players on the Covid-19 illness list will eventual return to the playing field, those players choosing to opt-out and receive either $350,000 for a high-risk opt-out of $150,000 for a voluntary opt-out are done for the season and won’t play any part of the team in 2020. A number of these opt-outs may have a significant impact on their team and consequently, your fantasy team.

Let’s take a look at some of the opt-out winners and losers thru the first week of August.


Clyde Edwards-Helaire

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, KC– The rookie running back selected No.32 in the first round by the defending Super Bowl champions has “won the lottery.” Already expected to take over many duties from Damien Williams, the Williams opt-out makes CEH a major fantasy factor. Already an upgrade from Williams, CEH joins the No. 5 scoring offense (28.2 ppg) and adds his ability to run on the first two downs with his pass-catching ability. With the likes of Darwin Thompson, Elijah McGuire, Darrel Williams and DeAndre Washington behind him, as long as CEH can block for Patrick Mahomes, he’ll be a monster fantasy option. But you’ll have to be drafting in the first part of your fantasy draft since his latest ADP is 6.7, the fifth running back off the board behind superstars; Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, Alvin Kamara and Dalvin Cook. That a lot of responsibility for a rookie with zero OTA work and zero preseason games under his belt when the whistle blows Thursday night September 10th.

Allen Lazard, WR, GB– Lazard was already a winner when the Packers mystifyingly didn’t select a wide receiver at April draft. Instead, they signed free agent Devin Funchess to a one-year deal in March assuming that was enough, but the former Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts wideout opted out in late July. The move leaves Lazard (35-477-3 and a 67.3% catch percentage) the odds on favorite to play opposite Davante Adams ahead of Marques Valdes-Scantling (46.4% catch percentage) and Equanimeous St. Brown (58.3% in 2018 after missing 2019 due to an ankle injury). The Packers will also be missing both Jimmy Graham’s 60 targets (signed with Chicago) and Geronimo Allison’s 55 targets (signed with Detroit before opting out) leaving 115 targets for Lazard to improve his production to at least WR3 level. With a 155.7 current ADP, Lazard could be a solid 13th-round option with upside.

Jalen Reagor, WR, PHI – The rookie from TCU has fallen into a great situation in Philadelphia. There is no guarantee that starting wideout Alshon Jeffery (Lisfranc) will be ready to start the season or even be himself once he does return. Additionally, the Eagles had brought in veteran speed in Marquise Goodwin only to watch him opt out. That leaves Reagor as the third guy in three-wide sets at a minimum (ahead of JJ Arcega-Whiteside, fellow rookie John Hightower or practice squad guy Greg Ward) and more likely the starter until Jeffery returns or DeSean Jackson pulls another muscle (a nearly yearly occurrence). Reagor has a quality quarterback in Carson Wentz and as an 11th-round fantasy option (ADP 121.1) has giant upside for minimal cost.

Devin Asiasi, TE, NE– Asiasi was one of two tight ends drafted by the Patriots in April, but the other, Matt LaCosse, opted out. That leaves Asiasi as the best receiving tight end on the New England roster with a quarterback in Cam Newton who likes throwing to his tight end … think Greg Olsen. He’s not Olsen, but he should see his fair share of targets.

Preston Williams, WR MIA– Allen Hurns’ opt-out probably wasn’t a big deal, he seemed slotted for a No.4 receiver role, but when Albert Wilson joined him on the list this Wednesday morning, it puts some pressure on Williams to return from his torn ACL and be ready to go. Williams averaged 7.5 targets per game before his injury and if he’s ready to go he’s a shoo-in to pick up a good portion of the 109 targets now available. He owns a 147.7 ADP.

Josh Allen, BUF, Sam Darnold NYJ, Ryan Fitzpatrick/Tua Tagovailoa, MIA and Cam Newton, NE – The offensive coordinators and quarterbacks in the AFC East have seen a great “migration” of divisional defensive players to the opt-out list. The Patriots lost two-time Pro Bowl linebacker Dont’a Hightower and Patrick Chung to the opt-out list. The Jets lost four-time Pro Bowl linebacker C.J. Mosley and traded 2019 first team All-Pro safety Jamal Adams to the NFC. Meanwhile, the Bills lost Star Lotulelei and new rumors have 2019 first team All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davious White on the fence about returning. If true, that’s what I call a boon for all the AFC East quarterbacks.


Patrick Mahomes, QB, KC – In addition to losing Damien Williams to the running back depth, don’t overlook the opt-out of Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. A recent medical school graduate, Duvernay-Tardif spent the offseason on the frontlines of the Covid-19 pandemic. Said the Chiefs starting right guard when he opted out, “Being at the front line during this offseason has given me a different perspective on this pandemic and the stress it puts on individuals and our healthcare system. I cannot allow myself to potentially transmit the virus to our communities simply to play the sport I love. If I am to take risks, I will do it caring for patients.” The Chiefs will try to fill in the hole with veteran Kelechi Osemele, who struggled with the Jets last season and was released in October. Anything that might endanger Mahomes’ health or give him less time to throw, must be concerning to fantasy owners.

Daniel Jones, QB, NYG – The Giants have been struggling on the offensive line for years and the opt-out of Nate Solder, who not only was expected to start at tackle, but also mentor first-round pick Andrew Thomas will hurt. Jones saw the second-most pressures in the league last season (42%) and even Solder’s below average grade (70th of 89) might have helped. He’ll likely be replaced Cameron Fleming (who has never started more than seven games in a season or Matt Peart - zero starts).

Draft Buddy - Fantasy Football excel draft spreadsheet