Don't Worry About
A question that many fantasy players ask themselves is whether or
not they should worry about bye weeks when drafting. From
experience, I usually try to make sure that my backups donít have
the same bye weeks as my starters if possible but I will not pass on
a backup I like because he has the same bye week as one of my
starters. Injuries will happen, players will surprise or disappoint
and by the time your starterís bye week arrives, you will likely
have picked up another backup on waivers. Some people have asked me
whether or not it matters if your starters are all off in the same
week or if your starters should all have different bye weeks. My
initial impression was that it did not matter enough to worry about
but I decided to test it out.
The hardest part of this analysis was to figure out how to test this
in order to find out the impact different bye weeks strategies have
on fantasy wins. Using statistics from last season, I created an
average team of 14 players (2 QB, 4 RB, 6 WR and 2 TE) who played
all 16 games. For example I took a quarterback who finished in the
top 12 and a backup quarterback who was in the 13 to 24 range. I
tried to choose players who were in the middle of those ranges when
possible. I took these players exact statistics from the first 16
weeks of the season but moved around the bye weeks in order to be
able to test different strategies. I then created five teams with
all the same players but those players had bye weeks at different
times. Here are the five teams I created:
Team A: All starters are off on the same week.
Team B: All starters are off on different weeks.
Team C: No starters from the same position are off on the same week;
top QB, RB, WR and TE are off on the same week.
Team D: No more than two starters are off at the same time and none
at the same position.
Team E: Four starters are off one week and three are off on another
Once this was done I had to find a way to simulate a large number of
seasons to see if one strategy was superior. I wanted this to be as
fair as possible so for every week in a season, each player was
given the number of points he earned in a random week during the
season. For example, player A could have the number of points he
earned in week seven for week one of my simulation and player B
could have his totals from week three for week one of my simulation.
Over a large number of simulations, each team would have the same
number of points scored on average but they would have a different
number each week. Once I had the number of points for each week for
each player, I added them together and had a points total for each
team for 16 weeks.
The next step was to determine the number of wins for each team
throughout the season. What I did is that the top team each week
will earn 1.0 win, the second best team will earn 0.75, third will
earn 0.50 and so on. This gave me a total number of wins for each
team for one season. Finally once I had totals for one season, I
simulated 5,000 seasons and averaged the number of wins for each
team. Here are the results:
As you can see these numbers are all very close to each other and
the biggest difference with the average number of wins is 0.02. That
is the equivalent of one additional win every 50 seasons. You can
see that team A which has all its starters off on the same week have
the lowest number of wins which may or may not be a coincidence.
However, the difference is so small that it is not worth worrying
In conclusion, as you can see there is no advantage whether your
starters all have their bye week at the same time or all on
different weeks. As I had initially thought, bye weeks are not worth
worrying about and you will be in much better shape if you draft
players you like best instead of worrying about bye weeks. In
leagues where you are not allowed to pick up players on waivers you
will want to make sure that your starters and backups at the same
position donít all have the same bye week but other than that,
forget about bye weeks and draft the best players.