NFL will test fantasy owners' resolve with 9:30 a.m. ET kickoff in 2014

Wednesday December 4th, 2013

The Falcons and Lions will kickoff their 2014 game in Wembley Stadium at 9:30 a.m. ET.
Christopher Lee/SI

Already excited about owning Calvin Johnson next year? Can't wait for the return of Julio Jones? Well, make sure you're up bright and early on Oct. 26, 2014. Otherwise, you might not have either of them in your lineup.

The NFL announced that next year's Lions-Falcons game in London will start at 9:30 a.m. ET, 6:30 a.m. PT. That's right all of you night owls and West Coasters. You might need to do some lineup tweaking on Saturday night, or make sure you're awake to check the inactives that morning. Otherwise, you risk having one of your best players on your bench or an inactive guy in your lineup.

In all seriousness, the rhythm of fantasy football could benefit from spreading the games out a bit. With a jam-packed early slate, most fantasy football owners don't get to watch more than two games at a time before the afternoon games roll around. At that point, there are usually no more than six games left, and that includes the Sunday and Monday night affairs. If you consider that many owners are focusing on their hometown teams when they play rather than their fantasy squads, too many fantasy players will go the entire season without seeing some of their best players in action. Maybe that was fine in 1993, but that should not be the case in 2013.

Imagine a 16-game week in which the league begins six of its 13 non-prime time games at 1 p.m. ET, three at 2 p.m., and four more at the usual 4 p.m. slot. That staggered start could allow fantasy owners to consume more of the game they love without jeopardizing the on-field product by playing games on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. And, most importantly, it would help us all avoid those pesky early-morning starts. Until then, I'll see you all around the TV at 9:30 am next season. Who's bringing the breakfast nachos?

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