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Knowledge of the bye weeks is important to fantasy draft success

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Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner is one of the first top-notch fantasy quarterbacks to have a bye in 2009.


If you want to have the most successful fantasy football draft possible, there's more than just having an in-depth knowledge of player values, sleepers and busts.

You also need an intimate understanding of the bye weeks.

There aren't many fantasy leaguers who wouldn't love to have Drew Brees on their team. But when the Saints quarterback is on a bye (Week 5), who would be the best backup to draft and start in his absence? Well, owers who land Brees might want to target Ben Roethlisberger in the middle to late rounds. The Steelers quarterback faces the clawless Detroit Lions and their vulnerable pass defense at Ford Field.

You'd also probably love to have a backfield of Steve Slaton and Brandon Jacobs. That's sort of like having your own "Thunder and Lightning" at your disposal. But did you know that they both have the same bye week? That will leave you more than a little thin at running back in Week 10. But if those are the best players on the board, it doesn't make sense to pass on them to avoid the bye-week conflict.

What does make sense is to target Willie Parker as a No. 3 fantasy runner in the middle rounds. He faces a Bengals defense that seems to always struggle against the run. You might even want to take Felix Jones based on a matchup against a Packers team that ranked 26th in the league in run defense last season. Fred Taylor, who faces the Colts, is another viable based on the previous level of his opponent.

Below on the right is a list of all the top quarterbacks and running backs and their respective bye weeks. Listed in the left column are the best bye-week replacements based on the final defensive statistics (vs. the pass or the run) from last season. For example, if you draft Tom Brady (who you will almost never reserve outside of his bye week), you might want to target Joe Flacco as your No. 2 quarterback.

Flacco faces a Broncos defense in Week 10 that ranked 27th in pass defense and an even more dreadful 29th in total team defense.

While it's harder to avoid drafting running backs with the same bye based on player values (as I mentioned above), it's still important to know which alternative runners can help you take home a win even when your superstars aren't on the field.

Be sure to print this out and bring it with you to your draft!

Player Week 4 byes Replacements

Kurt Warner
1. Kurt Warner
2. Matt Ryan
3. Donovan McNabb
4. Jake Delhomme
Jay Cutler vs. Lions (27th vs. pass)
Ben Roethlisberger vs. Chargers (31st vs. pass)
Eli Manning at Chiefs (28th vs. pass)
Trent Edwards at Dolphins (25th vs. pass)
Shaun Hill vs. St. Louis (19th vs. pass)
Marc Bulger at San Francisco (20th vs. pass)
Daunte Culpepper at Bears (30th vs. pass)


Player Week 5 byes Replacements

Drew Brees
1. Drew Brees
2. Philip Rivers
3. Aaron Rodgers
4. Jay Cutler
Matt Ryan at 49ers (20th vs. pass)
Matt Schaub at Arizona (22nd vs. pass)
Ben Roethlisberger at Lions (27th vs. pass)
Matt Hasselbeck vs. Jaguars (24th vs. pass)
Chad Pennington vs. Jets (29th vs. pass)
David Garrard at Seahawks (32nd vs. pass)
Shaun Hill vs. Falcons (21st vs. pass)


Player Week 6 byes Replacements

Peyton Manning
1. Peyton Manning
2. Tony Romo
3. Chad Pennington
4. Shaun Hill
Matt Ryan vs. Bears (30th vs. pass)
Matt Hasselbeck vs. Cardinals (22nd vs. pass)
Kyle Orton at Chargers (31st vs. pass)
Eli Manning at Saints (23rd vs. pass)
Trent Edwards at Jets (29th vs. pass)
Jason Campbell vs. Chiefs (28th vs. pass)
Marc Bulger at Jaguars (24th vs. pass)


Player Week 7 byes Replacements

Matt Hasselbeck
1. Matt Hasselbeck
2. Kyle Orton
3. Joe Flacco
4. David Garrard
5. Kerry Collins
6. Daunte Culpepper
Carson Palmer vs. Bears (30th vs. pass)
Matt Schaub vs. 49ers (20th vs. pass)
Matt Cassel vs. Chargers (31st vs. pass)
Ben Roethlisberger vs. Vikings (18th vs. pass)
Eli Manning vs. Cardinals (22nd vs. pass)
Chad Pennington vs. Saints (23rd vs. pass)
JaMarcus Russell vs. Jets (29th vs. pass)


Player Week 8 byes Replacements

Tom Brady
1. Tom Brady
2. Carson Palmer
3. Matt Cassel
4. Ben Roethlisberger
5. Jason Campbell
6. Luke McCown
Matt Ryan at Saints (23rd vs. pass)
Joe Flacco vs. Broncos (26th vs. pass)
Chad Pennington at Jets (29th vs. pass)
JaMarcus Russell at Chargers (31st vs. pass)
Jake Delhomme at Cardinals (22nd vs. pass)
Brady Quinn at Bears (30th vs. pass)
Marc Bulger at Lions (27th vs. pass)


Player Week 9 byes Replacements

Trent Edwards
1. Trent Edwards
2. JaMarcus Russell
3. Brady Quinn
4. Marc Bulger
5. Sage Rosenfels
6. Mark Sanchez
Matt Cassel at Jaguars (24th vs. pass)
Ben Roethlisberger at Broncos (26th vs. pass)
Matt Hasselbeck vs. Lions (27th vs. pass)
Eli Manning vs. Chargers (31st vs. pass)
David Garrard vs. Chiefs (28th vs. pass)
Jason Campbell at Falcons (21st vs. pass)
Jake Delhomme at Saints (23rd vs. pass)


Player Week 10 byes Replacements

Matt Schaub
1. Matt Schaub
2. Eli Manning
David Garrard at Jets (29th vs. pass)
Shaun Hill vs. Bears (30th vs. pass)
JaMarcus Russell vs. Chiefs (28th vs. pass)
Jason Campbell vs. Broncos (26th vs. pass)
Jake Delhomme vs. Falcons (21st vs. pass)
Marc Bulger vs. Saints (23rd vs. pass)
Sage Rosenfels vs. Lions (27th vs. pass)


Running backs

Player Week 4 byes Replacements

Michael Turner
1. Michael Turner
2. DeAngelo Williams
3. Brian Westbrook
4. Chris Wells
5. Jonathan Stewart
6. Tim Hightower
Darren McFadden at Texans (23rd vs. run)
Cedric Benson at Browns (28th vs. run)
Jamal Lewis vs. Bengals (21st vs. run)
Felix Jones at Broncos (27th vs. run)
Donald Brown vs. Seahawks (18th vs. run)
Julius Jones at Colts (24th vs. run)
Ahmad Bradshaw at Chiefs (30th vs. run)


Player Week 5 byes Replacements

Matt Forte
1. Matt Forte
2. L. Tomlinson
3. Pierre Thomas
4. Ryan Grant
5. Reggie Bush
5. Darren Sproles
Willie Parker at Lions (32nd vs. run)
LenDale White vs. Colts (24th vs. run)
Chris Wells vs. Texans (23rd vs. run)
Jamal Lewis at Bills (22nd vs. run)
Felix Jones at Chiefs (30th vs. run)
Fred Jackson vs. Browns (28th vs. run)
Fred Taylor at Broncos (27th vs. run)


Player Week 6 byes Replacements

Frank Gore
1. Frank Gore
2. Marion Barber
3. Ronnie Brown
4. Joseph Addai
5. Felix Jones
6. Donald Brown
Derrick Ward vs. Panthers (20th vs. run)
Willie Parker vs. Browns (28th vs. run)
Chris Wells at Seahawks (18th vs. run)
Jonathan Stewart at Buccaneers (19th vs. run)
Cedric Benson vs. Texans (23rd vs. run)
Darren Sproles vs. Broncos (27th vs. run)
Leon Washington vs. Bills (22nd vs. run)


Player Week 7 byes Replacements

Maurice Jones-Drew
1. M. Jones-Drew
2. Chris Johnson
3. Kevin Smith
4. Knowshon Moreno
5. Willis McGahee
6. Julius Jones
Jonathan Stewart vs. Bills (22nd vs. run)
Jamal Lewis vs. Packers (26th vs. run)
Felix Jones vs. Falcons (25th vs. run)
Donald Brown at Rams (29th vs. run)
Darren Sproles at Chiefs (30th vs. run)
Leon Washington at Raiders (31st vs. run)
Fred Jackson at Panthers (20th vs. run)


Player Week 8 byes Replacements

Clinton Portis
1. Clinton Portis
2. Derrick Ward
3. Larry Johnson
4. Willie Parker
5. Cedric Benson
6. Fred Taylor
Reggie Bush vs. Falcons (25th vs. run)
Chris Wells vs. Panthers (20th vs. run)
Felix Jones vs. Seahawks (18th vs. run)
Willis McGahee vs. Broncos (27th vs. run)
Darren Sproles vs. Raiders (31st vs. run)
Fred Jackson vs. Texans (23rd vs .run)
Chester Taylor at Packers (26th vs. run)


Player Week 9 byes Replacements

Adrian Peterson
1. Adrian Peterson
2. Steven Jackson
3. Thomas Jones
4. Marshawn Lynch
5. Darren McFadden
6. Jamal Lewis
Reggie Bush vs. Panthers (20th vs. run)
Derrick Ward vs. Packers (26th vs. run)
Willie Parker at Broncos (27th vs. run)
Jonathan Stewart at Saints (17th vs. run)
Donald Brown vs. Texans (23rd vs. run)
Willis McGahee at Bengals (21st vs. run)
Julius Jones vs. Lions (32nd vs. run)


Player Week 10 byes Replacements

Steve Slaton
1. Steve Slaton
2. Brandon Jacobs
3. Ahmad Bradshaw
4. Chris Brown
Darren McFadden vs. Chiefs (30th vs. run)
Reggie Bush at Rams (29th vs. run)
Willie Parker vs. Bengals (21st vs. run)
LenDale White vs. Bills (22nd vs. run)
Jonathan Stewart vs. Falcons (25th vs. run)
Felix Jones at Packers (26th vs. run)
Willis McGahee at Browns (28th vs. run)


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