NFL bye weeks are incredibly important for NFL teams and fantasy football players alike.
For NFL teams the timing of a bye week can be crucial. Early bye weeks lead to a very long stretch for the remainder of the season, while late bye weeks can derail a team’s momentum in crunch time.
For fantasy football players, whether it be season long or daily fantasy, it’s very important to pay attention to NFL bye weeks. Season long fantasy football players need to make sure they have enough depth on their roster to be able to swap out players on bye, without hurting their lineup too much. Daily fantasy players should still pay attention to NFL bye weeks, as players can perform better coming off extended rest.
While the 2017 NFL schedule has yet to be released, typically the season schedule does bye weeks a certain way. The first bye week for any NFL teams usually comes on week 4. Since three NFL games are played on Thanksgiving Day, there are no byes during Thanksgiving NFL week (Thursday-Monday). This means all 32 NFL teams play on this week. Bye weeks usually stop around the 11th-13th week of the NFL season.
2017 NFL Bye Weeks
The 2017 NFL schedule has not yet been released. This page will be updated with all NFL team byes once the 2017 schedule is out.
2017 Fantasy Bye Week Concerns By Week
NFL Bye Weeks and Season Long Fantasy Football
While it’s important to stay aware of NFL bye weeks in fantasy football, you shouldn’t worry too much about them.
Your primary concern in fantasy football should be having the best roster you can. Even if 3 of your top players all had byes on the same week, this would be only one week in which you put yourself at a disadvantage. By focusing too much on not overlapping your players’ bye weeks, you could end up with a suboptimal fantasy team every other week of the season. The point is, it’s better to lose one week due to overlapping byes, than it is to lose multiple weeks because your fantasy roster just doesn’t have that great of players.
Another thing to keep in mind is that with injuries being so frequent in the NFL, you have no idea what your roster will actually consist of when bye weeks come around. If you draft 3 players with bye weeks on week 9, there’s a good chance your roster could have changed dramatically by the time week 9 actually rolls around.
Now that we got that out of the way, what should you actually do when you have players on bye weeks?
Throughout the season, make a habit of checking who’s on bye each week. Right now go ahead and bookmark this page and make a habit of checking back here every Monday so you’re able to adjust your roster for the upcoming week. Swap out your roster with players from your bench and pick up players off the waiver if you need to.
Best of luck this season!
History of the NFL Bye Week
The NFL was founded in 1920. When the league started, there was no set schedule for games and teams would play anywhere from 8 to 16 games per season. In 1947 to 1960 each NFL team began playing a set number of 12 games per season.
Planned Bye weeks in professional football were first started by the American Football League when the league started in 1960. Each team in the AFL played a balanced schedule of 14 games over a 15 week season.
The competition from the AFL forced the NFL to introduce a similarly balanced season schedule. In 1961 the NFL created a 14 game schedule, with each NFL team playing the same number of games. Unlike the AFL’s schedule, the NFL schedule was played over 14 weeks from 1961-1977. The only exception to this came in 1966 when the NFL had an odd number of teams, leaving one team each week on a bye.
1966 also brought with it the merger of the two football leagues. The 2 leagues continued to play separate schedules until 1969, however in this time they played the AFL-NFL Championship Game at the end of the season (now referred to as the early Super Bowls).
In 1990, the NFL re-instituted planned by weeks into the schedule. Each team would play 16 regular season games over 17 weeks. In 1993 the NFL experimented with adding an additional bye week. That season 16 games were played over 18 weeks, though the NFL reverted to a 17 week season the following year.
Since 1994 the NFL has stuck with the 16 game, 17 week season. The only exception to this was in 2001, where a league wide bye week happened after the league postponed play due to the September 11 attacks.