Connect with us

The Game

Managing your AFL Fantasy Dream Team through the byes

We’ve been getting a whole heap of questions about the bye rounds. Here is a bit of a FAQ and some helpful hints to help you manage Round 11, 12 and 13 and the carnage that is on the horizon.

As we know, the bye rounds are just around the corner and we should all be thinking about how our teams are shaping up for them and hopefully you can get some league wins or make up some ground in the overall rankings. I want to keep this pretty short and sharp for the ADHD Generation that love to frequent the site – hey guys – but there’s a bit to talk about!


As set out below thanks to Virtual Sports, the rules this year state that the Best 18 scores will count from the 22 players named on field. That means that while positions aren’t as important as in the past, you can have a maximum of 6 defenders, 8 midfielder, 2 rucks or 6 forwards scores… not, for example, all 10 midfielders scores if you had them all playing and available.

You may have your starting 22 playing and then the best 18 scores will count. If you only have 18 players playing, but 9 of them are midfielders, unfortunately you can only count 17 of those scores as the ninth midfielder (on your bench) will not count. However, if this was the case for you team and a midfielder who was to be playing that weekend didn’t, an emergency from the midfield bench would count.



Probably some of the main answers people are looking for include the captain stuff – if your captain’s doubled score is lower than 18 other onfield scores, it won’t count. Also the reiteration of what I said about your emergency players ONLY counting if your player who doesn’t have a bye, doesn’t play.


In a perfect world, we could have 10 players from each bye round leaving 20 players available for each of the rounds. Sounds simple, but there wouldn’t be many teams structured like that… and I highly doubt that there are many teams with their full squad of 30 players playing.

The key thing to remember here is that you need to aim to have a minimum 18 players playing for each week that come from your 22. This means that four players can miss from your 22… so there needs to be some thought on positioning. Say you’ve only got two defenders available in Round 11, that means you would need the full quota of midfielders (8), rucks (2) and forwards (6) to make up the 18 players. This is where a few teams will come unstuck.

To check this out, I recommend getting the Footy Nerd bookmarklet to easily see which byes your players are in. Below is how my team currently looks in regards to the byes with thanks to the bookmarklet. Also, check out Nix’s spreadsheet from last week (updated Tuesday).


As it stands, my side would have (selection pending):

ROUND 11 – 6 defenders, 8 midfielders, 2 rucks, 6 forwards = 22/22 players playing
ROUND 12: 5 defenders, 8 midfielders, 1 ruck, 5 forwards = 19/22 players playing
ROUND 13: 5 defenders, 3 midfielders, 2 rucks, 5 forwards = 15/22 players playing

This gives me 7 / 10 / 13 structure if things didn’t change from here.


My current side doesn’t look great with a lot of Round 12 and 13 bye players… but all is not lost. I will look to upgrade/downgrade some of those Round 13 players to players from other rounds… and then the big one, over the bye rounds, I will use my two trades each week to offload players with the upcoming bye for someone who just completed theirs. In a perfect world, this will be going a premium bye player for a premium (preferably fallen) player who is back in after their bye.

If you head in looking like 8 / 10 / 12 or 9 / 10 / 11 (with a good spread of players across positions), then you are in a good position to trade out players who have a bye coming up for those who have completed theirs when Round 12 and 13 hit.

In the lead up to the byes, make sure you’re thinking about how many players you will realistically have available. This means some of the rookies you are banking on may not be there and of course, there could be some injuries that come and mix things up – remember Pendles last year?!

It’s going to be interesting as I’m sure there will be quite a few curveballs thrown but you will need to be as prepared as you can. Don’t go overboard with some of the stars – such as those Bombers, Magpies, Suns, etc, like I have – when upgrading over the next couple of weeks… you don’t want to make your Round 13 score any lower than what it already will be.

Chat about your bye set up and strategy in the comments below.

Co-captain of DT Talk since we started this thing in 2007. Best finish was 13th in 2009... that was a long time ago. Follow on Twitter: @WarnieDT



  1. Avatar


    May 21, 2013 at 9:49 am

    For anyone interested, you can use the footynerd bookmark on the latest version of Android.
    Go to, hold down on the green footynerd button and select copy link address.
    Go to your dream team page whilst you are viewing your team and paste the link into your address bar. Hit enter/go and you’re done!

    Not sure if this works on earlier versions of Android or iOS though…

    Good luck for the bye rounds everyone, I am currently ranked exactly 1000 – hoping to break into triple digits this week.

    • Avatar


      May 21, 2013 at 4:10 pm

      Sweet jesus, that is sensational. What a tool!. Not you, the program.
      Thank you.

  2. Avatar


    May 21, 2013 at 10:46 am

    ATM I have:


    In the next few weeks I will upgrade O’meara and evans to joel and scott selwoods. And I will also look to turn luenberger/maric into cox.

  3. Avatar


    May 21, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Great Article Warnie, thanks for putting our minds at ease… well sort of ;)

  4. Avatar


    May 21, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Is it a good idea to go into the bye rounds with a lot of cash in the bank?

    • Avatar


      May 21, 2013 at 1:52 pm

      Not really. The more you hoard the less you have on the field. In RD 12, 13 you might be sideways trading premiums anyway, to trade out ones who still have a bye for ones who’ve completed theirs.

    • Avatar


      June 4, 2013 at 8:25 pm

      Me, personally, my strategy is to upgrade one rook and downgrade one rook each week. I’ll continue to do this over the bye rounds, hopefully it will work out that I can get the rooks out that have byes and I have 18 playing each week.

      If there were two must have rookies one week and the following weeks you didn’t expect any decent rooks to be on the bubble I could see how you could make an exception every now and then, but to me cash not used is points that you are missing out on.

      If your going for overall ranking you need as many points as possible each week. If you were going purely for league wins, I could see how you might do two downgrades when your playing a bottom team, so you can do two upgrades for a higher team, but even then, your doing two upgrades either way

  5. Avatar


    May 21, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Hi Warnie,

    great write up! i should know what to do now but i’m not so clever…if i have out –
    r11 – 14
    r12 – 10
    r13 – 6
    should i be waiting for the expected forced trades that will surely come nyway or is it too unbalanced and i should focus on deliberately getting more rd 13 players?

    • Avatar


      June 4, 2013 at 8:30 pm

      On a positive note if you have a crap week this week, it should mean the next two weeks you make up for it with more depth than other teams

  6. Avatar


    May 21, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    In round 12 I’m looking to dominate. Only 2 premos, 1 mid-pricer and 7 rooks out. May be able to get 1800-1900 still!

    • Avatar


      May 21, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      Add to that I have Swan. Ablett, Cornes who are the top 3 scores for the year all playing in round 12! Nice

    • Avatar


      May 21, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      I believe this will be the highest scoring bye round- therefore most people will do well.
      By the sounds of your team you will do bad in the other 2 rounds

  7. Avatar


    May 21, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Def 3-1-4
    Mid 1-3-6
    Ruck 1-3-0
    Fwd 4-2-2


    It will balance out when I do my trades this week

  8. Avatar


    May 21, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    As well as having a good balance of players by position and bye-week, surely it’s going to be essential to have a thick bench; the balance numbers only means anything if your whole 30 are likely to play all of their club games. I would hate to trade in a cash cow, like a Jackson Thurlow, in round 10 only to find him back in the VFL because a Jarrad Rivers came back in in round 11 and cost me a trade.

    I think I have to plan as if I have to field a 30 player team rather than a 22 player team going into the byes. I’m more focussed on winning a league or 2 rather than outright ratings and I don’t want to find myself battling donuts and maximising an on-field 22 can wait until round 14.

    • Avatar


      May 21, 2013 at 11:32 pm

      If your game is 100% about winning leagues, then stack your rounds and commit to winning 2 out of 3 and have all your players in R13.

      Alternatively, pick your weakest opponent in MBRs and stack that round.

  9. Avatar


    May 21, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    The problem im seeing right now are the premos fwd options in RD13. 13 looks like the week from hell to begin with especially in the midfield but i cant see ANY decent RD13 fwd for the life of me.

    • Avatar


      May 21, 2013 at 8:32 pm

      Stevie J ?

      • Avatar


        May 21, 2013 at 11:31 pm

        He’s r12 bud.

        Cloke is your best option there if you’re that keen for an R13 fwd.

  10. Avatar


    May 21, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Hi Warnie, thanks for this.

    1 quick question – did you trade Stanton out for Watson?

  11. Avatar


    May 22, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Awesome stuff Warnie!

    One quick question to people playing sportsbet fantasy, is it the same rules or different? Thanks

  12. Avatar


    May 22, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Off topic but to all the tech and spreadsheet savvy people, does anybody know how to update the bye planner* from last year to account for the change in number of players per position?

    * The link to the spread sheet:

  13. Avatar


    May 22, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    R9 Stevenson> Crouch and Rowe> Clarke
    R10 Moloney> Barlow and Neade> Staker
    R11 Goodes> Swallow and Wines>Burbury?
    R12 Evans> Cloke and Gawn> Gorringe/Nicholls
    R13 O’MearaR13>?R13 and CaffR13>CotchinR11

    R11 9
    R12 10
    R13 11


    • Avatar


      June 4, 2013 at 8:33 pm

      You need to get Tom Mitchell in your team by next week if you haven’t already. He will be a gun, 98 in less than a full game on debut. Matthew Lloyd said on footy classified that he will play the next 200 games in a row for Sydney barring injury.

      Looks like he could be pretty reliable for 80-100 a week

  14. Avatar


    May 22, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    The footynerd marklet – please excuse my ignorance but, can the marklet be used with an IPad?


  15. Avatar


    May 10, 2019 at 5:11 pm

    Anything like this still exist…? Starting to think about bye rounds :/

Leave a Reply

More in The Game