Bye Round Ready: Your Complete Guide to Navigating the Dreaded Byes

“The byes…” *shudders* a 3 week patch riddled with uncertainty and coaches at times struggling to scrape a team together…

While this all sounds a little daunting, with a little planning and following a few basic principles, the byes are actually a great opportunity to shoot up the rankings and set yourself up for the back end of the season! Many of the Gill McLachlan’s (league organisers) of the world turn the bye rounds ‘off’ for head-to-head matchups, however, the race to the Hilux and other elite prizes continues.

So, what are some of the basics you need to know and when are teams scheduled for their week off? Glad you asked, let’s dive in:

  • Coaches will receive one extra trade per week (3 instead of 2).
  • Your ‘best-18’ count to your overall score. For example, if you had 22 playing in any of the bye rounds, your bottom four scorers drop off and DO NOT count to your overall score.
  • If you have 18 green dots but (for instance) 8 of them happen to be defenders, unfortunately your bench players (D7 and D8) scores will not count… this is where DPP can be very handy to ensure you get those green dots on the field at all cost!
  • Emergency scores still count if you have a DNP on your field.
  • Bye players are locked at the start of the final game of the round.

When is your clubs bye?

Bye Rounds – Do’s and Don’ts


  • Finish the byes with a better squad than you started with – prioritise getting those rooks and mid-pricers off your ground and trade in players you are comfortable holding the rest of the season!
  • Look to trade in players who have come off their bye – i.e., in R13, trade in blokes who had the bye in R12.
  • Use DPP flexibility to get as many green dots on the field as possible – they are no use to you on the bench in a line where all on-field slots are filled!


  • Sideways trade premiums just because they have their bye that week.
  • Completely tank one round… one weekend is enough to see your overall ranking go to the sh*t!
  • Bring a player in who is about to go on their bye (some circumstances may apply where you could do this, however!). Read on to find out!

Team Structure

“What is the best team structure?” is understandably a frequently asked question when it comes to the byes. In a perfect world, you’d want as many green dots as possible on your field each week so you can drop off some of those spud scores! Realistically speaking, of your squad of 30, you’d want more players having their bye in round 14, the latest of the bye rounds. This way, you can use your R13 and R14 trades getting those players out of your side to others who have already had their bye. More on trading strategy shortly.

I’d generally try and aim for a bye structure of 8-10-12.

Assuming no red dots (hahaha, funny guy!) this would mean, before trades (and selection carnage!), you are left with 22 green dots in round 12, 20 green dots in round 13 and 18 green dots in round 14.

At the time of writing, before my round 7 trades, my bye structure is 13-8-9 without accounting for the inevitable red dots… yup, a bit of work to do here but there are a few guys I can’t see being in my team come round 12 let alone next week! I’m talking popular rooks such as Durdin, Ralphsmith, Alpha Martin and perhaps even Windhager who are set for the R12 bye.

If you have the ‘Fantasy Coach’ subscription, you can use the ‘Bye Detector’ to see how your side is balanced over the bye weeks. If not, it is as simple as ‘let me show you my excel spreadsheet.’

‘Bye Detector’ in full swing – cheers Warnie!

Trading Strategy

So what’s the best way to use my trades during the bye weeks?

Given we have an extra trade each week (thank you Fantasy Gods!), the aim should be to maximise the green dots on your field.

Round 12 is inevitably the most difficult to navigate given no one has had their bye nor is coming off their bye. Astute coaches generally use their trades to patch up their red dots or cull a fattened cash cow or two… Banking some cash for the next two rounds is a common strategy. As previously mentioned, you should be looking to cash in popular rooks such as Durdin, Mead and perhaps even Windhager in the coming weeks who are set for the R12 bye.

In rounds 13 and 14, aim to follow the simple advice of trading someone with a bye to someone who has just come off their bye, thereby maximising your green dots and holding you in good stead to launch from R15 onwards! Sideways trading premos should not be on your agenda – keep getting those rooks and mid-pricers off your field ASAP!

Depending on the next few weeks, guys such as De Koning, Stengle, Rosas, McCartin, Dixon and McComb could be at the top of your list to cull come R13. You could feasibly trade three rooks for another rook and two premos. Depending on your finances, you may be able to get to a couple of big dogs who are coming off their R12 bye such as Crippa and Taranto. Similarly, targeting fallen premiums is always a good shout if the shoe fits. It’s really up to you but if you play it right you will have options galore!

Final Takeaway

At the end of the day, the more green dots you have on your field, the more likely you are to maximise your scoring as any spuds outside your top 18 drop-off! Boy it’s a nice feeling when you see 30’s and 40’s not counting to your overall score.

Whatever you do, aim to hold your premiums and upgrade those rooks and mid-pricers to finish the byes with a better team than what you started with!

After the byes (round 15), we will have 8 rounds of footy left (4 head-to-head matchups and 4 weeks of finals) and 16 trades up our sleeve – make sure you have the upper hand on your mates by being ‘bye-round wise’.

There you have it folks! How are you placed heading into the byes, flex your structure, elite excel spreadsheets and trading strat in the comments below.

Cheers legends,

Fantasy Fanatic #70


9 thoughts on “Bye Round Ready: Your Complete Guide to Navigating the Dreaded Byes

  1. Pingback: AFL Fantasy Round 7 Ready: Captains, Rookie Radar and Final Thoughts | Fantasy Fanatic

  2. Pingback: The Weekend That Was: Round 7 | Fantasy Fanatic

  3. Pingback: Buy, Hold, Fold: Round 8 | Fantasy Fanatic

  4. Pingback: AFL Fantasy Round 8 Ready: Captains, Rookie Radar and Final Thoughts | Fantasy Fanatic

  5. Pingback: The Weekend That Was: Round 8 | Fantasy Fanatic

  6. Pingback: The Weekend That Was: Round 9 | Fantasy Fanatic

  7. Pingback: The Weekend That Was: Round 10 | Fantasy Fanatic

  8. Pingback: The Weekend That Was: Round 11 | Fantasy Fanatic

  9. Pingback: Buy, Hold, Fold: Round 12 | Fantasy Fanatic

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s