An Average Fantasy Manager’s Guide to Surviving Bye Week Hell
One of the most haunting phrases in our language is, “I’ll deal with it later.” If you are anything like me then most of the time you forget about it until the situation reappears, but by then it’s too late. If it’s something not so serious like trying to remember if the oven is still on after you left for a three-day weekend then you can manage that damage. But if you forgot to prepare for Week 7’s BYEpocalypse your only hope is to follow this survival guide.
The NFL is once again showing us how little they care about fantasy football managers around the world. An astounding six teams are on bye this week, leaving many managers stuck in the deep end. In honor of the teams no longer with us here are six ways to make it to next week.
1. Skim For Scraps
This time of year with so many players on bye and midseason injuries taking form, the free-agent pool is quite bare. You are going to need some luck to fill out your roster this week. Consider taking players who were recently dropped due to form, but have favorable match-ups.
Sam Darnold is a serious option at quarterback this week. After a three-game slide, many of the managers who picked him up just recently cut him loose. He’s available in 45% of ESPN leagues and plays the 1-5 Giants. He threw the ball 41 times last week, he’ll score some points against a leaky defense.
2. The One Week Trade
This may get you and your trading partner in some hot water in the league chat with accusations of collusion but desperate times call for desperate measures. We all know that one prick in the league who is hoarding 3 quarterbacks, who has just been waiting for desperate managers to come calling. Play his game but on your terms. He likely needs a win this week just as much as you. Pitch a one-week trade so you both can get over the hump this week. Of course, there isn’t a mechanism to automatically enforce the trade-back clause so it’s up to the honor system. Or you can put your PS5 up as collateral. Get creative.
3. Remember, You’re Not Alone
With so many key fantasy players off this week, you can’t possibly be the only one in your league in a dire situation. With any luck, your opponent is reading this same article wondering how he can pull off a win. If you were both hit hard this week, offer up a friendly wager for your match-up. Make it interesting. Your kicker is more highly rated than his? Call him and suggest you both make it fun by benching everyone but your kickers. You need to be a bit of a salesman for this to work so watch this before. Hopefully, he gets so caught up with the novelty of the idea he accepts the terms without even realizing he gave you an advantage.
4. The One-Team Man
If you are down this far in the survival guide things are looking bleak for you. We are basically throwing Hail Mary’s at this point but every once in a while something immaculate happens. This strategy requires you to take as many players as possible from a low-tier team that plays another low-tier team. The idea is based on hoping this is the week they put it together. Consider the Falcons, Patriots, and either of the Seahawks or Saints. You could probably get the entire Lions team if you want. Who knows maybe Jared Goff will have the revenge game of his life.
5. Be the Funny Guy
Everyone loves the funny guy and it can build you some goodwill for later in the season. If you can make the league chat laugh and be a good sport about it the other managers will respect you. When you need to make some late-season trades the other guy is more likely to make a deal with the guy he finds funny. The best way to execute this strategy is to pick up Tim Tebow and start him. It’s the perfect self-aware joke admitting how screwed you are this week. Everyone will think you are hilarious and you can ride those laughs deep into the playoffs.
6. Give Up
Sometimes it’s okay to just accept defeat. If you are in a situation where you have multiple starters and bench players on bye or injured, it might be worth it to just take the week off. As stated earlier, the free agency pool is pretty empty. It’s not worth it to drop a player who may help you down the road for one guy this week. Most of your players are on bye now so this shouldn’t be a problem that occurs later on. This way you’ll be fully loaded when other managers have to deal with bye week management later in the season.