DFS Roundtable: Any Advantage Coming off a Bye Week?

Is there an advantage with teams that are coming off a bye week?

The Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles are all coming off a bye week and all but the Raiders will be playing on the road this week. Is there an advantage with teams that are coming off a bye week for either them with the two weeks rest or possible for their opponents? What players would you consider targeting from the Week 10 bye week teams (Baltimore, Kansas City, Oakland, or Philadelphia) this week?

John MamulaEach team reacts differently the week after a bye week. Often it can be traced back to coaching, for example, Mike Tomlin's Steelers have recently struggled with an extra week to prepare. Prior to narrowly defeating the Colts this past Sunday, Tomlin's teams have gone 0-3 the week after a bye. The Chiefs are the team that has my attention as Andy Reid is masterful with a 16-2 all-time record after a bye week. If that isn't enough of an incentive, the Chiefs face the 1-8 Giants, who have allowed 82 points in their past two games. Alex Smith, Kareem Hunt, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill are all in consideration for cash games and GPP tournaments in this prime matchup. 

Justin BonnemaI don’t think there is any particular advantage for a team coming off of a bye unless they’re getting a significant return from an injured player. But as John mentioned, some coaches just take advantage of that situation better than others. Regardless of the bye, I love the Chiefs’ offense over all this week, especially Hunt and Hill. I also love the Raiders. Carr has averaged 343 passing yards per game over his last three. Unfortunately, the touchdowns haven’t been there while the interceptions have. A date with the worst passing defense in the league should help that. I’ll have a lot of exposure to that matchup. I won’t have any exposure to the Ravens/Green Bay game, which as of Tuesday has the second lowest over/under total of the slate.

Justin HoweI'll ignore the low fruit of Kansas City, which should produce across the board against a matchup-dream Giants defense that looks to have given up. (Briefly, I want all of them.) I also love the matchups in the New England-Oakland game; the Patriots cornerbacks, even the big names, are struggling mightily for consistency, and opposing pass games are feasting. Somehow, some way, the Patriots have already allowed 24 different opponents to post 50-yard receiving games. They're both losing at the line and flailing on tackles, and all of the Raiders receivers carry strong floors and ceilings. In fact, most of my early-week stack considerations center on this unit.

There's also plenty to like about the Eagles, who'll again land toward the top of the Vegas projections and make strong DFS noise. They don't come cheaply anymore, and I won't be particularly overweight on their pricey passing game, but there are potential week-tilters at play. We don't yet know what Jay Ajayi is in this immediate offense, but we saw against Denver what a boon he's set to enjoy behind Philadelphia's strong front line. If given 15 touches, Ajayi projects to the absolute top ends of all of the sporadic success we've seen from Eagles backs during the year - and it's a top-5 rushing offense. Even in a timeshare, I'm counting on Ajayi benefiting from his extra week of digesting the offense and paying off value-wise, almost regardless of his volume. I think he'll spend the rest of the season maximizing whatever he's given.

Chris FeeryTeams coming in off of a bye definitely factors in my thought process while doing research for the week, but I never treat as a determining factor. If anything, I’ll use it as a potential tiebreaker for players I’m really close on for the week at hand. Of the four teams, I definitely have interest in players from three of them, but I have zero interest in the fourth. 

On the zero interest front, that would be the Baltimore Ravens. Joe Flacco and company haven’t been making much magic happen, and the backfield rotation has been rather confusing. Neither points to a situation that I want any part of for DFS purposes. 

For the Kansas City Chiefs, I’ll be adding all skill position players to the short list with an appealing matchup against the New York Giants on the docket. The defense of the Giants has been an abomination of late, and there’s nothing to suggest that the light bulb will be going off in anticipation of a date with one of the league’s most potent offenses. Kareem Hunt is my top choice, but I’ll also consider stacks of Alex Smith and either Travis Kelce or Tyreek Hill

As for the Oakland Raiders, I’ll be looking at the pass-catching targets under the assumption that the team will be playing catch up against the New England Patriots. Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, and Jared Cook all merit consideration, but I’ll give the edge to Crabtree at the moment. 

Finally, it’s hard not be optimistic about the chances of the Philadelphia Eagles to put up some points against the Dallas Cowboys this week. The Eagles were rolling heading into the bye, and my only trepidation comes in the form of a slight concern that the collective mojo was interrupted. That concern won’t prevent me from rostering them, and I’ll be looking at Carson Wentz as a key part of my strategy for the week. Zach Ertz is my top option to stack with him at the moment, but that may evolve as I dig into things further. I’m also intrigued by Jay Ajayi’s prospects now that he’s had some more time to absorb the offense, and I’ll definitely be looking into rostering him as well. 

Dan HinderyFrom 2012 through 2016, teams returning from a bye week had a collective record of 83-75-2 (a winning percentage of 51.9%). There were similar numbers in seasons prior to 2012 as well. There is certainly some small advantage for teams coming off of a bye, which makes sense form a common-sense perspective. Teams off of bye will be healthier and fresher on average, with two weeks to recover from their last outing. Plus, it gives coaching staffs an extra week to scout and game plan for their opponent. 

The extra time to game plan is especially useful for the best coaching staffs. For example, Andy Reid has a phenomenal 16-2 record after bye weeks. Even without the bye, the daily fantasy community would have been all over the Chiefs against a Giants team that looks like it is packing it in. However, Reid’s fantastic record post-bye is another data point in favor of loading up on Kansas City players this weekend. Kareem Hunt is my favorite back on the slate and Travis Kelce is the top tight end play. Alex Smith and Tyreek Hill are also strong options. 

James Brimacombe: I have little interest in looking to the Baltimore Ravens offense in any circumstance this year, so I will cross their name off the list at the top. The Chiefs, Raiders, and the Eagles all have my attention this week coming off a bye week as all three have good (if not great) matchups and have the big star names to go along with them. As mentioned above Andy Reid is one of the best coaches coming off a bye week so you have to give some extra considerations to the big name players in Kansas City this week, with Alex Smith, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and Kareem Hunt. An angle I have been interested in is Doug Pederson who has coached under Andy Reid and has experienced the success off of the bye week.

Last season was Pederson's first year as the Eagles head coach and the Eagles lost in Week 5 to the Detroit Lions 24-23 after starting the season 3-0. Fast forward to this season and the Eagles are 8-1 heading into Dallas fresh off their bye week. I like the Eagles offensive players in this game as I can see Pederson taking some of the success that he learned under Andy Reid and get things rolling for the Eagles to start the second half of the season. Carson Wentz and Alshon Jeffery will be a stack that I will be looking to have exposure to this week and Zach Ertz also has to be in consideration.

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