Every year I struggle with at least one bye week. It’s near impossible to build a completely balanced team that isn’t vulnerable at some point during the season - particularly if you stacked bye weeks throughout your roster. I have a squad that has Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, and Drew Brees headlining and, needless to say, this is the week that I’ve penciled in a loss. Some of you, like fellow contributor Patti, may have stacked your teams with Bears players and suffered a similar situation in week 5. (Patti joked her roster looked like a boy band song from the 90’s - Bye Bye Bye).
But how do we combat the bye week blues and is there a way to turn them into an advantage? One thing to do around this time is to try and steal a week - particularly if your team is around the .500 mark and you can’t afford to give away any games. This might be when you shop players who haven’t had their bye week for players that have, thus stealing a start. On the flip side of things, if you’re off to a fast start, try to poach players currently playing their bye for immediate help to teams that may be desperate for a win.
If you’re not able to swing a trade, my advice would be to play a high variance player that’s either out on the wire or rotting on your bench. I don’t want a boring possession receiver who will likely get me 4 points - I want a guy who is either going to post a zero or a 70 yard TD. If you can spike a high variance score, you might be able to survive the worst of your woes. A great example was Christian Kirk last week - he caught a huge 75 yard score but was relatively quiet after that. Kirk may grow into being a consistent weapon, but right now he’s a high variability guy. Tarik Cohen is another good example from week 4 and maybe going forward. He’s my one Bear I drafted from the WCG Tourney and he fits this mold incredibly well.
Having some roster flexibility is good. Being able to have a spot or two dedicated to the churn of the waiver wire can help cover bye weeks and grab players that may develop into starters before they have demand on Tuesday nights for waivers. Speaking of waivers - always check the transactions on Wednesday morning. Some owners may have flushed a player they have lost confidence in or made a move to cover a bye week, pushing out talent to the pool. This secondary waivers market can be just as fruitful as the shiny new toys. I was able to grab Sammy Watkins from a owner with a quick drop trigger after a no-show in week 1.
Finally, we talked about the Alvin Kamara / Mark Ingram situation last week. I said I wasn’t worried and while I’m still not worried - I’m not nearly as confident. I went back to my preseason rankings to remind myself of what my thinking was in the preseason. My level-headed self in August expected Kamara’s value to drop back once Ingram returned. It’s amazing what an incredible start will do to change your mind. I wouldn’t freak out and trade him but the crazy returns from September just aren’t going to continue as long as Ingram is the designated goal line back.
Where’s everybody at this week? Hit up the comments below or @gridironborn on Twitter for free advice.