Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Gain Access Now


Receive free daily analysis


Already have an account? Log In


Forgot Password


Expert Advice
Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Draft Rankings
Draft Simulator
Enter League Settings
Value Picks
Player Comparisons
News and Alerts

The Strategy Behind Bye Weeks in Fantasy Football

As we embark upon the 2016 fantasy football draft season, there are so many components that go into piecing together a good team on draft day. Should you load up on running backs early and often? Should you dip your toe into the Zero RB waters? Draft a quarterback early or wait on the position? Take chances on unproven, high-upside picks or go with proven veterans with limited ceilings? Go after Gronk or wait on tight ends?

Regardless of the draft strategy employed, one thing no fantasy owner escapes is having to maneuver around bye weeks during the football season. Today, I will discuss whether bye weeks matter when drafting a team and how to approach them during your draft.

Editor's Note: RotoBaller offers the best Premium MLB Subscription - only $1.99 per week. All the tools you need to help win your seasonal and daily leagues: Hitter & Pitcher Streamers, Matchup Ratings for every player, Under-the-Radar Surgers for AVG, HR, Ks, plus daily DFS Cheat Sheets, Lineup Picks, Expert Lineups, Stacks and Avoids. 


Bye Weeks in Fantasy Football Can Be Tricky

Everyone has seen this happen at one point or another. A leaguemate drafts a lesser player due to concerns about having too many players with the same bye week, while voicing aloud at the draft, "I can't have too many players out in Week 9, it will kill my team". This is a poor strategy and is never a concern that should enter a drafters mind while making picks in a fantasy draft. It is a sound strategy to almost completely ignore bye weeks when drafting a fantasy football team. Here's the reason why:  When heading into a fantasy draft, the number one goal should be to acquire the best player available in each round. If an owner is allowing bye weeks to decide which players they take, then the best players on the board will not always be the ones that the drafter is taking.

This is the way I break down my bye week strategy thought process. Would you rather:

a). put together the best team possible and have the optimal lineup throughout the season outside of one week where several of your players are on their bye week.
b). put together a team where no byes overlap, but you drafted less than optimal players to do so. Keep in mind you will likely be weakened by missing at least one key player in most weeks where there's a bye.

It makes much more sense to build the best possible team while at full strength week in and week out and then take your chances on the week where byes become an issue. Anything can happen in a given week, anyways. Even with many of your players on a bye, with a bad week from your opponent, you can end up with a victory despite starting normal bench players.

Another reason not to plan around bye weeks centers around the random nature of injuries in the sport. Because of injuries, it is poor planning to draft a team in late August with an eye on who will be off in Week 9 or 10. The fantasy landscape will assuredly be vastly different by the time the final third of the season is upon us, many of your players taken on draft day will be cut for waiver wire gems or traded from your team by the team they reach their bye week.

This isn't to say that bye weeks shouldn't come into play at all. Byes can be used as a tie-breaker if you are having difficulty deciding between two players you value extremely closely. Just make sure that you are comparing two players who are otherwise considered equals. Also, in the event that you are drafting a backup quarterback, which I do not recommend, you will want to make sure they don't share the same bye week. Otherwise, you are just wasting a roster spot.

If having multiple players sharing a bye still makes you nervous, consider the following tip to help offset that dreaded week where all your players are inactive. Keep a close eye on the waiver wire. Use the last spot on your roster to cycle through players who are one injury away from holding prominent roles for their teams. If you pick up this year's David Johnson, then you won't have to worry about the week Le'Veon Bell is on bye because you will have a solid replacement waiting in the wings. This is a much better use of a roster spot than carrying a backup quarterback or extra team defense.

Fantasy drafts can be a stressful time, especially when your name is on the clock. Do yourself a favor this draft season and cross off the column on your cheat sheets where each player's bye week is listed. You won't be needing to look anyways. Not while you are well on your way to drafting the best possible team. Instead of worrying about who has byes and when they are, focus your energy on drafting the best available player each round.

NFL & Fantasy Football Chat Room

[iflychat_embed id="c-0" hide_user_list="yes" hide_popup_chat="no" height="400px"]

Check out RotoBaller's famous fantasy football draft sleepers and waiver wire pickups list, updated regularly!


Expert Advice
Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Draft Rankings
Draft Simulator
Enter League Settings
Value Picks
Player Comparisons
News and Alerts


Bryce Miller33 mins ago

Dominates White Sox Wednesday
Sonny Gray38 mins ago

Fans Nine In Quality Start
Trea Turner44 mins ago

Runs Bases Wednesday
Jeimer Candelario1 hour ago

Goes Deep Twice In Win
Sam Darnold2 hours ago

Considered The Starter At The Moment
Jaxon Smith-Njigba3 hours ago

Injured In Practice Wednesday
Darius Garland3 hours ago

Teams "Backing Off" Trying To Aquire Darius Garland
Courtland Sutton3 hours ago

Had Offseason Ankle Surgery
Kristaps Porzingis3 hours ago

May Miss The Rest Of The Finals
Josh Jacobs3 hours ago

Taking Part In Mandatory Minicamp
Markelle Fultz3 hours ago

Hoping To Stay In Orlando
Juwan Johnson3 hours ago

Expected To Miss A Good Chunk Of Time
Jeffrey Springs4 hours ago

Fans Two In First Triple-A Start
Ben Lively4 hours ago

Scheduled To Start Sunday
Jackson Merrill4 hours ago

Makes History With Two Blasts
Michael King4 hours ago

Racks Up Season-High 12 Strikeouts
Hunter Renfroe5 hours ago

Doesn't Have A Fractured Foot
Yoshinobu Yamamoto5 hours ago

Moved Back To Saturday
Andrés Muñoz5 hours ago

Andres Munoz Receives Injection In His Back
Bryan Woo5 hours ago

MRI "Was Perfectly Clean"
Kodai Senga6 hours ago

To Throw Two More Bullpen Sessions
Edwin Díaz6 hours ago

Edwin Diaz Will Return To Closer Role
Luka Doncic6 hours ago

Good To Go On Wednesday
Kristaps Porzingis6 hours ago

Won't Play In Game 3
Gerrit Cole6 hours ago

To Make Next Start For Triple-A On Friday
Jack Flaherty6 hours ago

Expects To Start Saturday
MacKenzie Gore6 hours ago

Mackenzie Gore Pushed Back To Friday
Yainer Diaz6 hours ago

Will Be Ready For Friday
Andrew Benintendi6 hours ago

Returns From Injured List
Eugenio Suárez6 hours ago

Blaze Alexander To See Time At Third With Eugenio Suarez Struggling
Corey Seager7 hours ago

Returning On Wednesday
Laurent Brossoit8 hours ago

Maple Leafs Have "Mutual Interest"
Jaccob Slavin8 hours ago

Working On Long-Term Extension With Hurricanes
Corey Perry8 hours ago

Set To Re-Enter Oilers Lineup On Thursday
Evander Kane8 hours ago

Uncertain For Thursday's Game 3
Darnell Nurse8 hours ago

Expected To Play In Game 3
Aleksander Barkov8 hours ago

Practices On Wednesday, Will Travel To Edmonton
Jonathon Brooks9 hours ago

Panthers Non-Committed About Jonathon Brooks' Training Camp Availability
Alvin Kamara12 hours ago

Present For Mandatory Minicamp
Amari Cooper12 hours ago

Absent Again Wednesday
Aaron Rodgers13 hours ago

To Skip All Of Mandatory Minicamp
Keegan Bradley15 hours ago

A Sleeper Pick At U.S. Open
Rickie Fowler15 hours ago

Tough To Trust At U.S. Open
Tom Kim15 hours ago

Striking The Ball Well Heading To Pinehurst
Sahith Theegala15 hours ago

A Major Wild Card At Pinehurst
Tony Finau15 hours ago

Seeking First Major Victory At U.S. Open
Cameron Smith15 hours ago

The Best LIV Bet For U.S. Open
Ludvig Aberg15 hours ago

Trust Ludvig Aberg At Pinehurst
Xander Schauffele15 hours ago

A Top-10 Lock At U.S. Open
LeBron James16 hours ago

"Staying Clear" From Lakers' Coaching Search
Luka Doncic16 hours ago

Reportedly Playing With Pain-Killing Injections
Kyle Lowry16 hours ago

Knicks Tracked Kyle Lowry Following His Exit From Miami
Darius Garland17 hours ago

Trade Market For Darius Garland Cooling Off
Jimmy Butler17 hours ago

Reportedly Eager To Stay In Miami
Jordan Love1 day ago

Packers Could Extend Jordan Love By Training Camp
Dean Burmester1 day ago

A Risky Play At U.S. Open
Dennis Schröder1 day ago

Dennis Schroder Hoping To Remain In Brooklyn
Luka Doncic1 day ago

Probable For Wednesday Night
Kristaps Porzingis1 day ago

Officially Questionable For Game 3
Jon Rahm1 day ago

Withdraws From U.S. Open
Xavier Legette1 day ago

Expected To Be Full-Go For Training Camp
PGA1 day ago

Alex Noren Brings Improved Short Game To Pinehurst
Kristaps Porzingis1 day ago

Considered Day-To-Day For Rest Of Finals
Daniel Jones1 day ago

Expects To Be Ready For Start Of Training Camp
Dustin Johnson1 day ago

Can Dustin Johnson Put A Rough Spring Behind Him?
Jordan Spieth1 day ago

Fighting Poor Form Heading To U.S. Open
Mike Williams1 day ago

On Track For August Activation
Breece Hall1 day ago

Still Sitting Out On Tuesday
Travis Kelce1 day ago

Not Putting Timeframe On Retirement
Tommy Fleetwood1 day ago

Makes Pinehurst No. 2 Debut
Bryson DeChambeau1 day ago

Looks To Continue Major Success
Russell Henley1 day ago

In Top Form Heading To U.S. Open
PGA1 day ago

Byeong Hun An Could Contend At U.S. Open
Jason Day1 day ago

In Excellent Form Heading To U.S. Open
Tyrrell Hatton1 day ago

Back For Another U.S. Open
Will Zalatoris1 day ago

Finding Consistency Heading To U.S. Open
Wyndham Clark1 day ago

Trending In The Wrong Direction For U.S. Open
Jerry Jeudy1 day ago

Sitting With Minor Injury
Amari Cooper1 day ago

Not At Mandatory Minicamp
Deshaun Watson1 day ago

Throwing At Minicamp
Aaron Rodgers1 day ago

Not Present At Minicamp
Joe Burrow1 day ago

Expects To Be Ready For Regular Season
Tee Higgins1 day ago

Still Hasn't Signed Franchise Tag
Phoenix Suns2 days ago

Suns Seeking To Add Three Pieces This Summer
Yuta Watanabe2 days ago

Set To End NBA Stay
Nikola Jovic2 days ago

Aiming For All-Around Improvement Next Season
Klay Thompson2 days ago

Magic Considered A "Natural Suitor" For Paul George And Klay Thompson
Kevon Looney2 days ago

Warriors Expected To Cut Ties With Kevon Looney
Isaiah Hartenstein2 days ago

Thunder Seen As "Top Threat" To Pry Isaiah Hartenstein Away From New York
Kyle Larson2 days ago

Retakes Points Lead After Sonoma Win
Kyle Busch2 days ago

Misses Out On Valuable Points After Getting Dumped By Ross Chastain
Derrick White2 days ago

Will Look For Contract Extension From Boston
Matt Duchene2 days ago

Hopes To Stay In Dallas
Sidney Crosby2 days ago

Penguins Hope To Have "Quiet" Extension Talks With Sidney Crosby
Patrick Kane2 days ago

Blackhawks Not Planning A Reunion With Patrick Kane
Ross Chastain2 days ago

Earns First Top Five Since Las Vegas, but Not Without Controversy
NASCAR2 days ago

AJ Allmendinger Had a Quiet but Very Strong Run at Sonoma
Jacob Markstrom2 days ago

Senators Are "Aggressively" Pursuing Jacob Markstrom
Leon Draisaitl2 days ago

Expects Better Performance From Oilers In Game 2
Vincent Desharnais2 days ago

Re-Enters Oilers Lineup Monday
NASCAR2 days ago

Cam Waters Caught Up In Multi-Car Pile-Up In NASCAR Cup Series Debut
Michael McDowell2 days ago

Recovers To Second At Sonoma After Off-Track Excursion
Denny Hamlin2 days ago

Engine Failure Gives Denny Hamlin His Second Straight Last-Place Finish At Sonoma
Christopher Bell2 days ago

Earns Surprise Top-10 Finish After Mid-Race Crash
Jared Cannonier3 days ago

Suffers Controversial TKO Loss
Nassourdine Imavov3 days ago

Scores Controversial Stoppage At UFC Louisville
Brunno Ferreira3 days ago

Scores Vicious First-Round Knockout
Dustin Stoltzfus3 days ago

2-5 In Last Seven Fights After UFC Louisville Loss
Miguel Baeza3 days ago

Takes Decision Loss
Tyler Reddick3 days ago

Earns 10th Top-10 Finish Of 2024 At Sonoma Raceway
Joey Logano3 days ago

Despite Starting On The Pole, Joey Logano Finishes 21st At Sonoma
Will Brown3 days ago

Supercars Star Will Brown Finishes 31st In His NASCAR Debut
Chris Buescher3 days ago

Puts up Massive Score for Fantasy Owners at Sonoma
Martin Truex Jr3 days ago

Runs Out of Gas on Last Lap at Sonoma, Finishes 27th
Todd Gilliland3 days ago

Keeps Momentum Rolling with Top 10 at Sonoma
Brad Keselowski3 days ago

Avoids Chaos To Place 13th
Chase Elliott3 days ago

Scores Strong Finish of Fourth At Sonoma
Ryan Blaney3 days ago

Quietly Obtains Seventh At Sonoma
Julian Marquez3 days ago

Gets KO'd Early At UFC Louisville
MMA3 days ago

Zach Reese Gets 20-Second KO Win At UFC Louisville
Ricky Turcios3 days ago

Gets Submitted At UFC Louisville
Raul Rosas Jr.3 days ago

Picks Up Submission Win
Dustin Jacoby3 days ago

Gets Upset At UFC Louisville
Dominick Reyes3 days ago

Gets KO Win At UFC Louisville
Cam Waters4 days ago

Will Start 31st In His Cup Series Debut
NASCAR4 days ago

Should DFS Players Roster Bubba Wallace At Sonoma?
Zane Smith4 days ago

Is Zane Smith Worth Rostering At Sonoma?
Tyler Reddick4 days ago

Expect Tyler Reddick To Compete For The Win At Sonoma
Evander Kane4 days ago

Continues Slump In Game 1 Against Florida
Connor McDavid4 days ago

Finishes Stanley Cup Final Debut Scoreless
Brandon Montour4 days ago

Makes Franchise History In Saturday's Win
Aleksander Barkov4 days ago

Sends Out Two Assists In Impressive Win
Carter Verhaeghe4 days ago

Hits Game-Winner In Stanley Cup Final Opener
Sergei Bobrovsky4 days ago

Posts Historic Shutout
Evan Bouchard4 days ago

Looking To Stay Hot Into Final
Nikolaj Ehlers6 days ago

Reportedly Ready To Move On From Winnipeg
Jamie Drysdale6 days ago

Expected To Be Ready For Training Camp After Surgery