Fantasy Football WR Preview - Bye Week Strategy
Adam Ronis breaks down his bye week strategies when it comes to the wide receiver position.
Imagine missing out on the breakout season of Mark Andrews or Darren Waller last year because they had the same bye week as the first tight end drafted. Imagine missing out on Lamar Jackson 's dominant season because of a common bye week with the other quarterback drafted.
This happened for many people last season. I am here to tell you don't let it happen again. Often times, bye weeks are paid attention to way too much. Sure, it's ideal to have some balance and different bye weeks across the board, but it won't always work like that. Others might prefer to have a lot of bye weeks at the same time.
While most people don't worry about bye weeks for running backs and wide receivers due to the multitude of players at those positions on the roster, it's common for people to take them into account for quarterbacks and tight ends. Many people won't take a quarterback with the same bye week as their starter. Why? It's only one week of the season. Why worry about Week 8 before the season?
Many things change throughout the season. Injuries happen and players emerge off the waiver wire. If it works out that both the quarterbacks have great seasons, there's always the chance to trade one of them. For example, last year Dak Prescott and Lamar Jackson had the same bye week. It was possible to get both of them in a draft. Some might have passed on one of them since they had the same bye week. It clearly wasn't worth it.
Two years ago, Patrick Mahomes was taken as a backup quarterback in most leagues. There were people who likely passed on him as a backup since he had the same bye week as their starter. A huge opportunity missed all due to one week of the season. Football is a week-to-week game and while it's ideal to have the byes spread out, it shouldn't prevent you from missing out on a potential breakout player.
The same goes for tight ends. For those that like to draft at least two tight ends, people could have missed out on Andrews or Waller last season since the first tight end they took had the same bye week. Passing on one of those tight ends might have resulted in landing Jimmy Graham , Jordan Reed , Trey Burton or Chris Herndon instead. That could have been the difference between making the playoffs or even winning a championship.
Obviously, in best-ball leagues it's different. If you only draft two quarterbacks or tight ends, the same bye week isn't the solution since that week will get a zero from the position. Instead, take a third one at the position.
Go back and look at your rosters from last season. Compare the team you drafted to the final roster. You will be surprised, in most cases, at how different the rosters look. In a FFWC online championship league that I won, 11 of 20 players I drafted were on the team at the end of the season. In another online championship league that I finished with the most points, but lost in the playoffs, 12 of the 20 players I drafted remained on the team at the end of the season.
That's another reason why the byes shouldn't be a concern. The roster turnover during a season is more than most think unless you were fortunate to nail a draft and the percentage of this occurring is low.
What if you draft two tight ends, they both turn out to be good and a trade isn't made and in Week 9 both have a bye week? A nice problem to have that everyone would take. In this instance, go to the waiver wire and plug in a tight end for the week.
As for wide receivers and the bye weeks, it shouldn't be a factor in determining whom to draft. It can be used as a tiebreaker for two receivers ranked very closely if it's a third receiver on the roster and the first two have the same bye. Still, taking the best player is the best option.
For example, six teams have a bye in Week 8. There's a situation in which a roster of DeAndre Hopkins , JuJu Smith-Schuster and Terry McLaurin can be on the same team. All have a Week 8. Marquise Brown , Will Fuller or Brandin Cooks could be targets for an owner in the middle rounds. They also have a bye in Week 8. If you're extremely high on one of these players, don't pass on them because of four receivers with the same bye week.
An owner can make a trade by then, one or two of them could be hurt by the bye week or a wide receiver could have been added off the waiver wire with a different bye. There are so many variables that change during the season, it's foolish to worry about the bye weeks during a draft.
The goal is to draft the best roster possible and in the second half of drafts, there are always a handful of players you see with breakout potential. Don't pass on them due to bye weeks. There's plenty of time to figure things out.