In-Season Management, Part 1 – Bye Weeks and Thursday Games

The road to a fantasy football championship does not end with the draft. It is only the first stop on a season-long journey. These in-season management articles, in three parts, will provide an overview of the key areas of which team owners must be aware during the season. With this information, alert and fully-engaged team owners will be able to navigate their team to the desired destination – a fantasy football championship. This first article will address bye weeks and Thursday games.

Bye Weeks

Since 1990, the NFL has instituted a bye week system in their game scheduling. This scheduled one-week break benefits NFL teams by providing a period of time for healing, rest and recuperation. (It also increases television revenues by extending the season from 16 to 17 weeks.) As bye weeks are scheduled from week 4 through week 11, the bye comes too early in the season for some teams and too late for others. In the interest of fairness, however, bye week schedules change year to year.

Bye weeks have the opposite effect on fantasy football team owners. They create additional work in that starting line-ups must be adjusted to ensure no starting positions are populated by players on a bye. Surprisingly, many team owners fail to do just that. Successful team owners avoid this behavior and replace players on a bye with the best possible substitute from their reserve/bench players or through a smart free agent acquisition. Games can often be won or lost by less than one fantasy point, so don’t give your competition an advantage by starting players who are on a bye. Be a fully-engaged team owner – manage your roster to maximize your fantasy point potential.

Thursday Games

Thursday games are not just on Thanksgiving anymore. The NFL has expanded their weekly schedule to include games on Thursday night and broadcast them on the NFL network. If, as stated above, bye weeks create additional work for team owners, then Thursday games increase the urgency of that work.

For example, if a fantasy team’s starting running back is on bye and the planned substitute’s NFL team is scheduled to play on Thursday, then the fantasy team owner not only needs to make the line-up change, but must do so prior to the start of the Thursday night game. If a free agent is needed to fill a spot in the starting line-up, then the amount of time available to acquire him is reduced. So avoid the terror of waking up on Friday morning just to realize you forgot to set your line-up for the Thursday night game – be a fully-engaged team owner each week. Don’t forget – successfully managing your fantasy football team is no longer just a Sunday/Monday endeavor.

Another area with which team owner must concern themselves is what to do when a player gets injured during the season. Check out my next article in this series, “In-Season Management, Part 2 – Player Injuries.”

Related articles at Fantasy Football Impact:

Return to the In-Season Management Strategies overview page

In-Season Management, Part 1 - Bye Weeks and Thursday Games

Disclaimer: Fantasy football is a game of speculation; therefore, Fantasy Football Impact disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, regarding player performance or results associated with its opinions or advice.