ANNOUNCEMENT - Start of Season
Only two days left until the NFL starts into its 2020 season. To be exact, on Thursday at 8:20 EDT when the defending champions Kansas City Chiefs host the Houston Texans. The kickoff time is the deadline for the bracket predictions.
Speaking of which, @LudicrousSpeed has both the fourth seed (Jaguars) and fifth seed (Patriots) advance to the divisional playoffs, so he has to go over his playoff predictions on the AFC side again. The NFC side is fine.
The deadline for any given pick is the respective kickoff time as it is listed on NFL.com.
In previous years you were supposed to predict the spread for the Monday Night game, but this year we'll do away with spreads during the regular season completely. Instead the Sunday Night game receives more weight; if you predict its winner correctly, you earn a tie-breaker point for the standings. In week 1 it's the game Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams. This is highlighted in blue in the Google spreadsheet that hosts all predictions.
Another rule change that I've decided on is that reminder PMs will go out as soon as someone missed a Thursday game. In previous years it wasn't until a game week was over that a reminder went out, but the number of players this year will be low to begin with, so the usual harsh penalty would come with the risk to decimate the prediction league even further. This can't be afforded.
I've sent a PM to the people who participated in 2019, but have yet to sign up for the league. This may or may not boost our number of players.
Regardless, the playoff format will most likely be changed to a minileague where everyone* starts from scratch again during the NFL playoffs. We can't do a proper knockout round with so few players. After the first ten playoff games are in the books where winners and spreads will be predicted (six games in the wild-card round, four in the divisional playoffs), we'll proceed with a brief knockout stage. Specifically, the #1 of the minileague will play against the #4, and the #2 against the #3. So Championship Games in the NFL will serve as our usual semifinals, followed by the Super Bowl as the final.
Due to the shortness of the knockout stage, we'll forego the traditional homefield advantage rule, so no extra room for error for the higher seed. In the case of a tie in record and spread, the higher seed will advance.
*Everyone refers to all players who met the requirement of submitting at least 230 picks for the regular season. Right or wrong doesn't matter, just the general level of participation.