Don’t let bye weeks bite you

Yesterday, I introduced the subject of NFL bye weeks and how they can adversely affect your fantasy team. Like with many problems in life, adversity results from poor planning. You should have a bye week schedule available to check at all times, from the start of the season.

Note what I didn’t say. I didn’t say you should be worrying about bye weeks before the season starts. This might cloud your thinking before and during the draft. Some advocate planning your draft to avoid having multiple starters out in the same week, but I am not one of them.

Neither is Greg Alan of 4for4 Sports, who wrote a very scholarly piece several years ago on this subject. Alan, who had a computer science and statistics degree, actually wrote a program to simulate 50,000 NFL schedules and see if it made a difference to draft based on bye weeks.

Okay, now that might be a bit excessive, but I liked the spirit of the idea. Alan’s conclusion was that it was actually better to have all of your starters on a bye during the same week. The idea was that you concede the loss that week and are at full strength the other weeks.

Of course, this idea is not practical, but my conclusion is that you should always draft your best team but then study the bye weeks of everyone on your team roster after the draft and see if you have any weeks where you won’t be able to complete your starting lineup.

I shared yesterday about my problem two weeks ago, in week 5, when I had Jordan Howard, Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and the Chicago D/ST on the bench. Since I had two tight ends and multiple wideouts and backs, my only need was to stream a defense.

I won in week 5 but lost badly last week when I had all four players back. The problem for me is not being prepared for bye weeks but having a strong enough team to make the playoffs in a competitive league. Remember, making the playoffs, not winning every game, is a the goal.

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