By John Camera
As a beginner in fantasy football, and even into a few years where I had garnered success playing it, it’s easy to look at bye weeks and fear them. The thought of having several players, especially your elite ones, all gone for the same week can be daunting. So you carefully scout the best way to avoid it and sometimes, bypass good players for slightly less good players just so you don’t have a bye week conflict. I was very much the same type of player until a break through happened; I stopped caring.
Yes, it sounds extreme to many who still sculpt their team with bye week clutter as a concern. That could lead to one or even two weeks of massive bye-week fill-ins that could leave me susceptible to a big defeat, you may think. While that is a very appropriate concern the truth is that the positives far out-way the negatives.
One week with a blowout loss is very possible in this strategy but unless you play a league that tallies point totals instead of head-to-head wins, this won’t present a big problem. One loss in a 12 game regular season is not a big concern if it means your team will be better than your peers, who drop value picks in your lap in favor of avoiding bye week problems. Embrace the bye week by not even considering it in your drafting.
Imagine the following team, all with players on a Week 8 bye; Marcus Mariota, Leonard Fournette, Todd Gurley, Odell Beckham, Larry Fitzgerald, Martellus Bennett. That’s a pretty great team right? With Beckham as your lead dog, Gurley and Fournette undisputed RB1s in offenses that will feature them, and Bennett and Fitz solid vets in pass-centric offenses, you could dominate week in and week out. A loss in Week 8, and say one or two other weeks, is not a big deal if you are vying for fantasy supremacy in the playoffs.
So in short, the best way to deal with bye weeks are to not worry about them. Draft the best players on your board and worry about replacing them in the lineup when it comes time to. And losing 110-65 is nothing if it means you finish 11-1 or 10-2. So go ahead, draft to your hearts content, and embrace the bye week as something that is not to be feared but instead conquered.