New 17-Game Schedule Poses Difficulties for Fantasy Football Leagues

Published on May 19th, 2021 7:17 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

Fantasy Football in the altered 2021 season is going to have issues. Earlier this month, the NFL released their regular season schedule for the upcoming season.

This upcoming season includes a big change, as the league will now be playing 17 regular season games, up from the previous number of 16.

This changes this up for fantasy football leagues across the world.

Most leagues would play 13 weeks of "regular season" action, followed by 3 weeks of playoffs that would culminate in a Week 16 championship game. (Week 17 championship games are largely avoided as many teams will have clinched playoff spots and will be sitting their star players).


With the change to 17 games, many fantasy football leagues had an easy solution - add an extra regular season game and have the playoffs start in Week 15.

The problem? The NFL decided to include byes in Week 14.

Why does this matter? Many fantasy football leagues will have their final week of regular season play in Week 14, and these byes would come on a week when many fantasy football teams are trying to make the playoffs or secure byes for the first round.

So, in Week 14 of this upcoming season, four teams will have their byes.


You might wonder why the NFL would care if there were bye weeks that would complicate fantasy football seasons across the globe.

Well, fantasy football is VERY big business for the NFL, just like betting is. Fantasy football keeps people glued to their television screens, which results in higher ratings, which results in more money for the league.

In fact, the league was so aware of the outcry that they publicly commented on the matter, saying that they forgot to consider fantasy football when they were setting the schedule for the upcoming season.


There is not much that can be done - the schedule is set and is not changing.

If you have players on your fantasy football team that play for the Colts, Dolphins, Patriots or Eagles, you might have some issues if you are trying to make the playoffs in Week 14, as all of those teams will be on bye.

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