Sunday, August 12, 2012

2012 Fantasy Football Strategy: Shift of Bye Week Perspective

I would like you to think about this for one second. Which scenario would you rather have:
1)  Have your fantasy football team operate at 100% for 10 games, but only 80% for six games.
2)   Or have your fantasy team operate at 100% for 15 games, but only 50% for one week.

Personally, I’ll take option number two.

However, when you really look at your fantasy football schedule, you are constantly ending up with option number one. The reason is player bye weeks.

Bye weeks this season last from Week 4 to Week 11. Four NFL teams have bye week each week except for Week 4 (only two teams) and Week 7 (six teams). So, throughout these weeks, your team is not performing on the highest level because one or more of your starters are on their bye week.

But, there is a strategy to achieve option number two. A sort of loophole that only some nerdy fantasy sports blog writer could point out. What if… rather than drafting your players to have alternating bye weeks, you instead intentionally drafted so that all of your starters shared the exact same bye week.

Doing this would enable you to play at complete full strength for 16 of the 17 weeks. Compare that to the 9-12 weeks that every other fantasy team in your league is at 100% full strength. Sounds pretty nice, yes?

Of course, the week when all of your starters are on a bye week is kind of a bummer, but I see no harm in taking one semi-automatic loss when you know that your team will be clicking on all cylinders for the rest of the season.

So, we have defined our theory. Let’s put it to a practice run. Looking at for the average draft position of players, and here for the bye weeks of every NFL team, we can see that it is actually pretty viable for a number of NFL Weeks.

For example, Week 5 has four teams on bye: the Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Assuming that you are in a 10-team fantasy football league, with a mid round pick, you can compile an entire starting lineup with players that share this bye week.

Round 1: Calvin Johnson (ADP Round 1, Pick 6), Darren McFadden (1.10)
Round 2: DeMarco Murray (2.04), Matthew Stafford (2.07)
Round 4: Doug Martin (4.04), Dez Bryant (4.10)
Round 6: Miles Austin (6.02), Tony Romo (6.03), Vincent Jackson (6.10)
Round 7: Jason Witten (7.07)
Round 9: Denarius Moore (9.03), Kevin Smith (9.04), Titus Young (9.07)
Round 10: Brandon Pettigrew (10.06), Darrius Heyward-Bey (10.07)

Personally, I would be pretty happy leaving on draft day with a team that looks like this: Tony Romo, Calvin Johnson, Vincent Jackson, Miles Austin, Doug Martin, DeMarco Murray, Jason Witten.

Options to make this a reality can be found in nearly every bye week. Saint, Bears and Panthers all fall in Week 6; Ravens, Bengals and Texans in Week 8, Giants, Seahawks and Titans in Week 11.

So if you are in a league that is a bit of a bore to you, or you are looking for a challenge, give it a try. I will be using it in at least one league this year, and will share my draft with you here.

Don’t forget to stay tuned to God Hates Losers throughout the season, as we will be having strategy updates, weekly player rankings, pick’em, sleepers and one-on-one answers to any fantasy football question you can think of.

Tell your friends about us! And good luck in your draft!

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