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NFL Bye Weeks 2021

The 2021 NFL bye weeks are set. This year the bye weeks extend from week 5 through week 13, which may cause some free agent and playoff lineup issues in your fantasy football leagues.
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers
Week 6New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, Las Vegas Raiders, Seattle Seahawks
Week 7Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans
Week 8Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos, Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Football Team, Houston Texans
Week 9Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams
Week 10Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers
Week 11Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants Giants, New York Jets Jets, San Francisco 49ers
Week 12
Week 13Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 14
Week 15
Week 16
Week 17

NFL Bye Weeks Frequently Asked Questions


What are NFL bye weeks?

Each team is scheduled to have one week during the course of the season where they do not play a game. That off week for each team -- whenever it occurs, is termed a bye week. Each team has one bye week between weeks 4 and 12. For example, the league tries to limit the number of times a team that played the week before has to face a team coming off its bye. The schedule makers also consider where a team's bye week fell in past seasons.

Why does the NFL use bye weeks?

The NFL returned to the use of the bye week in 1990 so as to extend the 16-game regular season schedule to span 17 weeks to increase the number of viewable games for TV contracts.

What do NFL teams do during their bye week?

NFL teams don't have to practice on Wednesdays during their bye weeks; rather than spend that day preparing for their next opponent, many of them use it as an extra day off to let their players relax before getting back to work the following Monday.

How many NFL teams are on bye at any given time?

The number of NFL teams on bye any given week varies; the low is two teams on a given week and the high is six. The majority of bye weeks require four teams to sit out.

Why do NFL bye weeks matter to fantasy football managers?

Fantasy football owners don't get bye weeks. Instead, as the notes, "we have to deal with the fallout of the byes -- that valuable missed time of our draft picks and waiver-wire acquisitions. So, bye weeks become just another aspect we need to be aware of in creating our fantasy football draft strategies.

Is there a way I can leverage NFL bye weeks into favorable fantasy football strategies?

There are a variety of ways that fantasy football managers can leverage NFL bye weeks to their favor. Much depends on the individual manager. Some ignore byes, some stack to maximize available talent on those week. Others spreading them out. Some make an effort to put them off until later in the season (especially at the "onesie" positions, where you only start a single player -- like quarterback, tight end, kicker and defense).