As of writing, the league's target date for Opening Day is not yet clear. It's doubtful that it's particularly clear to the league, either, as it won't become obvious when we can resume our daily routines until we see how the pandemic unfolds. The league said Monday it is following the CDC guideline to refrain from events with more than 50 people for the next eight weeks. That would put the earliest possible return in mid-May, though there's been speculation that a start in early July is more realistic. It's hard to see the date being settled on any time soon.
The upcoming fantasy baseball season will be affected not just by the date of Opening Day but also by the length of the campaign. While the league hasn't officially abandoned plans for a full, 162-game schedule, it's hard to see that happening given the reasonable timeframes for play to resume.
We don't need an exact date for the start of the season or an exact schedule length to discuss the general categories of players who will be affected by the delayed season, however. The three groups of players whose values figure to be most affected are injured players, starting pitchers with innings questions and prospects. I'll go through each group in detail below.
A handful of players plummet down draft boards every spring due to injuries. For players who are expected back before mid-May, they suddenly project to return before Opening Day and should therefore return to