Fantasy Football: Using bye weeks to your advantage

So you play Fantasy Football!  You had your draft weeks (or months?) ago and grabbed a team full of players you liked.

Now, 4 weeks into the season, half of your team is underperforming.  Well, have no fear – you’re about to get the tips to start gaining some ground on your competition.

While the draft is, of course, the best way to build your team and get it into a position to win, week in and week out.  However, bye weeks are a very underrated and under-discussed method of strategy.

Bye weeks started last week with a handful of teams not playing and they will continue through week 11.

For an experience and proactive Fantasy player, Bye weeks are a great time to set yourself up for a playoff run.

There are two methods I use to really make a push during bye weeks.  I call these the early & often methods.

Be Early

First, get there early.  It’s a bye week.  Check your team very early in the week – maybe Monday morning or, at the least, Tuesday morning when you can make the transactions you need.

Identify what positions you have that where your starters are out on a bye week.  Look at your backups.  Are they available or on bye, too?  Are they healthy?  Have they been performing recently?

Go onto the waiver wire and see who’s out there.  I recommend you sort a number of ways.  Depending on the site you use the usual default is by a pre-ranking.  I dislike those, usually, as it doesn’t take into account recent events.  I would try sorting by points scored.  This will put the players who have scored the most points at the time.

Take a look at the players who’ve been productive – perhaps also look at how they’ve been productive.  Are there points fairly well spread or did they spike one week and do poor the others?  I prefer players who have consistency.  You might strike it rich with the other but you also could come out of the week with a goose-egg at one position.

Check Often

Checking once a week (especially if you check early) is the minimal amount of work you should do.  If you really want to excel during the bye week, keep checking back.  The reason I suggest this is because your fantasy football brethren have to make tough decisions during bye weeks.  And sometimes they don’t make the greatest choices.

So, check in during the weeks.  Maybe even every day.  See who your competitors had to drop in order to get their own bye week fill-ins.  You can come up with some good talent during the bye weeks that can help you get to the playoffs.  And, as anyone who has played Fantasy Football knows, once you get into playoffs it's mostly a crap-shoot anyway.  The key is getting enough good players to get there. 

About Asher Mathews

Head writer for TFDS Sports, covering the Oakland Raiders and NFL at large. Proud Purdue alum. Follow me on Twitter!

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