Not all bye weeks are the same
July 17, 2014
 
We believe that focusing on teams with unfavorable 3- to 4-game stretches in the schedule is far more important than tracking a particular player’s bye weeks when preparing for your fantasy draft.  Our Schedule Analysis, which is included in the Preseason Draft Guide, identifies several teams with favorable and unfavorable schedule runs throughout the 2014 season.  However, strategically navigating around bye weeks will continue to be a major component of success in college fantasy football.  Before you hurry off and start digging into team schedules, you must accept that bye weeks are unavoidable, but manageable, and some are more important than others.


You see, a bye in Week 3 is not as significant as a bye in Week 13, when a spot in your league’s championship game is on the line, not to mention a top-spot in your league’s payout hierarchy.  If you are a lower-seeded team in a league with a quarter-final round, Week 12 will become the most important bye week as your league’s regular season draws near.  If you project as a higher-seeded team in your respective league’s playoff bracket and all you care about is winning the championship, then Week 14 should rest atop your bye week tracker.  However, we firmly believe that there is no more important bye week than the one that affects your league’s semi-final round.  Here’s why:
  1. You cannot win the championship unless you play for the championship, which means you have survived and advanced a semi-final matchup.
  2. Whether you win your league or finish as runner-up, you are likely guaranteed a generous payout, if your league awards a monetary prize.  That’s still a win to us!
     
You may start planning for those end-season bye weeks now, but we suggest shelving bye-week strategies during draft day and revisit this list toward the end of the season, when it’s most useful in planning a late-season trade to bolster your roster for an upcoming playoff round.


Week 12 Byes (week of Nov. 15)
Baylor
Boston College
Colorado
Colorado State
Connecticut
Florida Atlantic
Fresno State
Georgia State
Houston
Iowa State
Kansas State
Louisiana Tech
Louisville
Michigan
New Mexico State
Ohio
Old Dominion
Ole Miss
Purdue
Syracuse
UAB
UCLA
Virginia
Washington State
West Virginia
Wyoming
Vanderbilt
 
Week 13 Byes (week of Nov. 22)
Georgia Southern
Georgia Tech
Idaho
Kentucky
LSU
Miami (OH)
Navy
North Carolina State
Southern Mississippi
TCU
Temple
Texas
Texas A&M
Troy
 
Week 14 Byes (week of Nov. 29)
Army
Central Michigan
Florida International
Oklahoma
Oklahoma State
Tulane
   
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