How to approach your roster when your only QB is on a bye

Drew Brees was off in Week 6. For fantasy managers who count on the New Orleans signal-caller week in and week out, finding a replacement could have been a bit of a scramble. Hopefully, your league requires you to start only one QB each week, and you had planned for this bye week well in advance.

Sure, as it turns out, a last-minute desperation pickup of Brock Osweiler as a one-week rental would have earned you more points than Eli Manning, Josh Rosen and Jared Goff combined. Still, you could have just as easily seen your dart throw land on Josh Allen of Buffalo, who had just 5.4 points, thanks in part to an elbow injury that saw him exit early.

The better move for fantasy managers is always to draft a backup QB in the latter rounds of the proceedings. This is not only to cover your main guy's bye week, but also to make sure you have a replacement who, at least, is of QB2 level just in case your QB1 goes down for several weeks or more with an injury. When Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL in Week 3, it was far better to have been able to turn to Joe Flacco from your fantasy bench than to look to the waiver wire and find Marcus Mariota as the best-case scenario for the rest of 2018.

Of course, at this stage of the season, if you didn't draft a backup, you can't turn back the clock and rectify the situation now. With Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger among the quarterbacks sitting out this coming weekend due to their byes, chances are good that your league's waiver wire might be quite bare for those fantasy managers who didn't plan ahead.

Sure, you could certainly "tank" for one week and accept the goose egg in your lineup, rather than take a chance on negative numbers from a last-ditch grab of say, Nathan Peterman. Still, there are several veteran moves that can be made here, all based on the timing of your quarterback's forced one-week vacation.

Now that the Saints have had their bye week, odds are good that, if you have Drew Brees, you're going to simply leave him in your starting lineup, regardless of matchup, the rest of the way. (Sure, he could break a bone tomorrow and be done for the season, but we're talking about a guy who has started at least 15 games every season since 2004.)

You don't really need a backup anymore, so why not trade whoever you used as a fill-in in Week 6 to someone who will be without their QB1 in Week 7? Even if you just get back a flex option that you're only going to use to fill one of your bye-week needs and then never again, so what? Isn't that better than wasting the roster spot on a guy you're not using in Week 7 -- and likely, not beyond that either?

If you're a Rodgers/Roethlisberger fantasy manager, it makes total sense to potentially look to the "Brees backup" and even overpay for him, assuming he's a big step up from what's out there on the waiver wire. While Brees has been a virtual ironman for more than a decade, there's a far-higher likelihood that one or both of this duo could miss time down the stretch.

Big Ben is certainly a tough cookie, but he's still sat out six times in the past three seasons -- and it always seems as though that "final hit" is just around the corner, doesn't it? As for Rodgers, if you're not concerned that a knee injury could end his season with just one play that doesn't go his way, you've got a stronger constitution than me.

The point is it's better to err on the side of overpaying for a backup in these cases -- and one of decent quality -- than it is to roll the dice and hope that you won't get snake-bit by the old injury carousel of doom.

Finally, assuming your league doesn't get too veto-happy or have specific rules that outlaw this kind of thing, I've always thought it quite clever to have a "bye week partner" lined up. I'll trade you Carson Wentz (my QB2) and you send me Latavius Murray (your RB4) for next week so we can both cover Week 7 roster holes, with the understanding that we'll swap them back seven days from now.

It's a win-win for both of us, and as long as we're not actually squaring off against each other, absolutely something you should do. I don't personally consider this collusion -- in fact, in 16-team leagues, I think it should become common practice.