Bye rounds crucial to fantasy players

While it may be too early to pick your 2015 NRL Fantasy squad, it’s definitely not too early to start planning your season, especially when it comes to planning how to handle bye rounds. Betting fans aren’t the only ones looking at the draw and trying to plan out the season, and fantasy players are now busy working out how they are going to attack the new campaign. The fixture draw always gives footy fans something to get their teeth into during the long wait for the new season to start, but looking at how to handle the bye rounds could be key to your hopes of winning weekly or major prizes, not to mention helping your team fly up the rankings.

Those playing in fantasy head-to-head leagues know they have the option of playing or not playing on the three major bye rounds preceding a State of Origin game – Round 11, Round 14 and Round 17 – but those chasing overall points and weekly prizes will be desperate to know which players will be playing in those rounds collecting points and which will be sat on the sidelines bringing in nothing in terms of fantasy goods. Bye rounds can often catch fantasy players by surprise and have the ability to ruin lots of hard work. So rather than have your prolific run come to an end because your main players are taking a weekend off, make sure you take advantage of these rounds and have enough active players to bring in some valuable points at an important part of the year.

This year there are three clubs that will play in all three bye rounds – the Sydney Rabbitohs, the Parramatta Eels and the Wests Tigers – so fantasy players will need to take that into consideration when putting together their squads. With only eight teams involved in the pre-Origin weekends next season, players in those clubs could be worth their weight in gold come next season.

The Rabbitohs and Eels will be the only two clubs to play in all of the first 14 rounds of the 2015 season, the other teams in the league having at least one bye before what is the middle of the NRL campaign.

The arrival of Round 14 just before the second Origin game gives players the chance to alter things. Four teams are already set to have completed both their bye rounds by the end of the round, meaning players from the Eagles, Sharks, Dragons and Panthers could look a lot more attractive than they might have been earlier in the season. So while you might not be a fantasy manager obsessed with racking up big points during the bye rounds, it always worth casting an eye over the fixture list when looking at that crucial mid-point of the season. Bye rounds might give a welcome break to some of your battered and bruised players, but overlooking a scoreless weekend for the majority of your squad can cost you by the time the end of the season comes around.