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When drafting, bye weeks are always important to look at as they can dictate what players you can’t draft and which backups to draft. Oftentimes, there’s two different strategies I use: target players with different bye weeks with my first few picks and avoid any with duplicate byes or purposely target players I like with the same bye. Whatever strategy you choose to go with, both come with different amounts of risk.
2019 Bye Weeks Schedule
Week 4: New York Jets, San Francsico 49ers
Week 5: Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions
Week 6: Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, Oakland Raiders
Week 7: Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 8: Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens
Week 9: Cincinnati Bengals, Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints
Week 10: Denver Broncos, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins
Week 11: New York Giants, Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans
Week 12: Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Arizona Cardinals, Minnesota Vikings
If you explicitly attempt to avoid players with the same bye week, you might be missing out on a player you like or one that has a lot of potential. Likewise, drafting players with the same bye could result in missing out having a more mixed roster. For my drafts, I typically start out with the former and ensure my team is filled with at least 2-3 players at the top of my draft board.
While this and any other strategy is surely not foolproof, having your team filled with a few stars and backups that could easily fill in without conflicting bye weeks is ideal. Some bye weeks to keep an eye on for 2019 include Week 9, 10, and 12. Both NFC Championship teams, the Saints and Rams, along with the Falcons are off in Week 9. Six teams including the Patriots, Eagles, and Texans will take a break the following week. Finally, Week 12 byes include the Chiefs, Chargers, and Vikings.
How Many QB’s is enough?
Quarterbacks are almost never drafted early on but provide one of the most important sources of points in a weekly lineup. For me, I like to target at least one high-end QB that ranks within the top 5-8 in preseason rankings and one with some type of upside later in the draft. By doing this, I guarantee myself at least one reliable QB that I’d expect to be in my lineup on a consistent basis.
While the first QB I draft is likely one I pick based on skill, the second QB drafted must have a different bye week. Therefore, even though he might have breakout potential, I become wary and even avoid him for having the same bye week as my presumed starting QB.
Targeting Players on the Same Team
Some teams offer multiple players that are very skilled and could be target during the first few rounds of drafts. These could include Ezekiel Elliot/Amari Cooper, Alvin Kamara/Michael Thomas, Melvin Gordon/Keenan Allen, Devante Adams/Aaron Jones, Joe Mixon/AJ Green, Julio Jones/ Devonta Freeman, Odell Beckham Jr./Nick Chubb, and Dalvin Cook/Adam Thielen/Stefon Diggs. Typically, I avoid drafting any of these pairs as I would be investing 2 of my presumably top 3 or 4 picks on players with the same bye week. This limits the potential of my lineup and would force me to find potentially two backups for a certain bye week.
When to Draft a Kicker
Bye week kickers are very interesting. If you have a very high end kicker, you may need to drop one of your backups in an effort to place your star kicker on your bench and take one from the waiver wire in his place. Otherwise, you can take your chances by dropping whoever your kicker is for a replacement during his bye week and hoping he’s still available the ensuing week.
Leave a Spare
Whatever your draft strategy is, I always make sure to leave myself an extra roster spot in the event of injury or potential waiver wire pickups on a bye week. This spot is usually filled when my star QB, RB, or WR has a bye and I simply don’t want to drop them. Similarly, you can use this as a TE substitute or a place to stream kickers or defenses throughout the year. At times, you might even need two open slots if you invested multiple top picks in players with the same bye.
- 2020 NFL Bye Weeks Schedule
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