One aspect of fantasy football drafting that raises all sorts of question marks is what to do about bye weeks. I am involved in a league with a limited number of roster moves, which means teams have to be a bit more strategic in filling their bench with bye week replacements. I am also in a 14-team keeper league with no roster transactions, which often leaves the bench filled more with upside and handcuff type guys.
Whatever your strategy, it is valuable to know when bye weeks are approaching, so you can adjust your roster accordingly. While there is no excuse not to be checking your roster each week, during bye weeks it is especially important. Here is a rundown of all the bye weeks this season. Byes start with the Colts and Steelers in Week 4, and wrap up with the Vikings, Giants, Seahawks and Titans in Week 11.
|Week 4||Indianapolis, Pittsburgh|
|Week 5||Dallas, Detroit, Oakland, Tampa Bay|
|Week 6||Carolina, Chicago, Jacksonville, New Orleans|
|Week 7||Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia, San Diego|
|Week 8||Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Houston|
|Week 9||New England, New York Jets, San Francisco, St. Louis|
|Week 10||Arizona, Cleveland, Green Bay, Washington|
|Week 11||Minnesota, New York Giants, Seattle, Tennessee|
As you sort through your potential bye weeks, one position that is as important as any to consider if quarterback. If you draft one of the big five QBs (Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford, Cam Newton), you are probably either waiting late for a backup, or not drafting a backup at all.
While you would be perfectly fine with that kind of strategy, you do still need to factor in their bye weeks. For example, Aaron Rodgers will be on his bye week in Week 10. Potential replacements that week include 49ers QB Alex Smith, who faces a questionable Rams defense at home, or Ravens QB Joe Flacco, who faces a very questionable Raiders secondary at home.
If you have Drew Brees, maybe you grab Mark Sanchez (or Tim Tebow if he's starting) against a potentially questionable Colts squad. If you have Tom Brady you could go with Flacco on the road in Cleveland, or Josh Freeman against the Raiders.
These are decisions that will develop as we learn more about the various defenses around the league, but you get the idea. The bye week can be a pain, but it can also be your friend if you plan accordingly.
For more fantasy football news, rankings and analysis, check out SB Nation Fantasy.