Many fantasy pundits will claim that fantasy football is the easiest fantasy sport to play since there are only 17 weeks in the NFL season and, generally, only 16 weeks in a typical fantasy football season. While that may be true, there are many other factors for fantasy football players to contend with that fantasy baseball, fantasy basketball and fantasy hockey players do not have to contend with. These factors include higher injury rates, platoon situations, weather conditions and one element that is emphasized much greater in a short season; the dreaded Bye Week.
During the NFL season, the schedule will show that some teams will not play a game on one of the weeks starting in week 4 and ending in week 10. On the low end, four NFL teams will be given a week off during this 7-week stretch and as many as six NFL teams will have a week off. This change was introduced by the NFL to give teams a chance to rest and recover from injury….so they say. Of course, the contract with the networks needed to be re-negotiated and became worth much more money to the league with an extra week of games to televise.
Those of us who love fantasy football also looked at it as a change for the better since it would give us another week to compete in the fantasy football season. However, the following season showed all fantasy players the negative side of the change; our season became much more difficult to manage. The change not only affected the week-to-week assignment of starting positions, it also added a new dimension to our draft logic. We now need to look at the bye weeks within each position to make sure we will have enough available players to start each week; assuming we have no injuries or trades. This concern will give a manager pause when evaluating a favorite player, or potential sleeper, to draft and realizing that you have already drafted one or more players at his position that have the same Bye Week.
While most fantasy football websites require a league to accept this issue as a way of life, Maximum Fantasy Sports does offer a solution. They provide a league configuration option known as Bye Week Rollover. If configuring a fantasy football league with this option turned on, managers can chose to use the week prior to a Bye Week as the player’s performance during the Bye Week. There is one catch though; this decision needs to be made before the game starts in the week prior. For example, Team A has Adrian Peterson facing the Detroit Lions in Week 5 and Peterson has a Bye Week in Week 6. If the manager selects the checkbox to “roll over” Peterson’s points to his Bye Week prior to the Week 5 game starting, Peterson’s points will be locked in for Week 6 as well. So, you get a 2-for-1 performance. Now, there is no guarantee that Peterson will outperform any other player on the roster that could be started in Week 6 and, if he gets hurt or has a bad game, you cannot change the fact that Adrian Peterson’s points are already scored for Week 6. In a matchup like A.P. facing the Detroit Lions’ defense, one would think that this is a worthwhile risk. In other cases, such as Jay Cutler facing the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 5 with a Bye Week in Week 6, it may make more sense to let Cutler have his Bye Week on your bench and start another QB during Week 6. The idea of Bye Week Rollover is to provide your league’s managers with an option on how to handle Bye Weeks without having to alter the players on their rosters.