Bye Planner

G’day guys (and gals!), Macca here. I have been building the bye planner for the last few years, and have now completed the 2018 version. It can be downloaded right [HERE] (with updates to come throughout the year), but this page contains a bit of background info about the file and making it work.

I could have made it ‘fancier’ with tables, arrays, pivot tables, macros (yep, I’m an accountant and an excel lover … sorry!) BUT I have tried to keep it fairly simple for all to use. Happy planning!

The file has five (5) spreadsheet tabs, those being, “Planner”“2017 Stats”, “Byes -Draw”, “Draw – Home-Away”, and “Season Draw – Times”.

PLANNER – (your main tab):

  • Select your players in each position from the drop down list in each cell (Column B)
  • This will bring up their relevant data based on start of year and also their bye schedule over the bye weeks (rounds 13-17), and shown in columns Q to X (you get a couple of rounds before to consider those trades!).
  • You should select if they are possible Origin Players in Column H from the drop down selection in each cell in this column.
  • In column G, you can nominate whether you think they will play or be an NPR (this is important in determining your numbers closer to the byes)
  • “Possible” counts of available players in each bye week are shown under the relevant player category groups (eg. FRF or HOK etc) in black shaded cells.
  • The number of available players in each bye week will also appear in row 36 with colour coding for the numbers (good, maybe ,ohoh!)
  • 2018 Key Player Data is shown on the Planner tab and also on the separate tab, 2017 Stats.
  • Dollar value calculations are shown on rows 37-41 (column J) to tell you if you can afford your initial starting team.
  • You can use this tab to keep trying any team combos you like, without having to play on the SC site (and inadvertently saving the wrong team)!!

2017 STATS 

  • The current player data from 2017 is available in this tab and 2018 key info, as of the start of the year. Data is current as of Thursday 1 March 2018 (Moses Suli still showing sorry!)
  • Filters are on all columns allowing you to select all players from: a particular club only, or all players in a particular position, or PPM or Avg Minutes etc, if this helps your bye planning selection process.
  • PPM, Averages, and Avg. minutes per game from 2016 also included here


  • Is included on separate tab for just the bye rounds only and it feeds to the Planner tab


  • The full season draw is included for each club with all 25 rounds shown on a line for each club
  • Two versions of this shown with the second one indicating when the teams are home or away


  • Is included for the full season and you can see where all matches are played and correct starting times and what TV station it is showed on

Bye Planning

And now, some thoughts on BYE PLANNING, and the importance of this year’s new bye structure.

In order to win this game, yes you need to get your starting side right. You need to nail those rookies. And if not quite right, yes, you can recover early with some corrective trades (which may hurt you later in the race!) … and you need a big slice of luck for the entire year!

BUT, never underestimate the ultimate importance of the bye rounds. This is where you can make up ground, surge ahead … or lose the race, if not managed correctly.

Only 37 trades this year, over 25 rounds instead of 26. Only 2 big bye rounds and each team only has 1 bye, due to the stand alone origin weekend. Easy right?

You can make up to 2 trades every week. Every week. There is no longer 4 trades on the bye rounds. Only the two (2). Then comes the new wrinkle this year: SUPER TRADE WEEK! On June 24 the NRL pauses for a stand-alone Origin bye round — that’s between rounds 15 and 16.

  • You get a big five (5) trades to burn in this week. Will you use them all?
  • You should … this is the chance to remove those players who got you through the first big bye round (BB1) (round 13) and set you up for the second big bye round (BB2) (round 17).
  • Here’s the thing, if you want three guns, having played their bye in round 13, and ditching some cash cows to fund it, we will all be hoping for some new cows to be available … AND you had better have built up a nice FAT (I’m talking Kasiano fat here, before going to the Storm!!) BANK BALANCE to be able to afford it!
  • You then need those players to be guns into the end of the year … so who’s rethinking their starting selections now?

OK … so you think you’re home now do you? Well think again … it’s still not that easy! Here’s why:

  • If you make sure you have 17 starters in BB1, you really only have 8 starters available for BB2 in Rnd 17 (25-17 = 8) at that point in time (stay with me, I’m a beancounter!) .
  • You have 11 trades available between 13 and 17 (2 in Rnd 14, 2 in Rnd 15, 5 in Rnd 16, 2 in Rnd17)
  • You need a minimum of 9 to get 17 on the park in Rnd17 – that’s assuming you have the cash for 1 to 1 trading.
  • This doesn’t account for your origin players and any non-playing rookies (NPRs). And let’s face it, we will all have, and want, origin players (thinking Turbo, Teddy, CS9, Fifi, Munster, Jurbo … the list goes on!) … and will mostly have some NPRs!!

So there you have it. Given you some food for thought? How do you think you will manage your way through the bye rounds? Does anyone have a “sure fire” plan to make it work? A magic number of players to hold … ‘cause if you do, I reckon we can give you the $50K now! Your plans will be integral to making up or losing ground … winning or losing!

There it is … have a play, see what you think. Provide us your thoughts, ideas, plans etc in the thread comments and good luck!

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5 Comments on "Bye Planner"

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I plan to start trading out r13 non players by r7-8,1 or 2 each week,then after soo1,r17 non players will be traded out,hopefully upgrading all the way.


Thanks Macca. I really appreciate the effort you put in each year to produce the bye planner. Cheers!


Huge effort again mate. Thanks

ccat (The Huddle)
ccat (The Huddle)

Thanks Macca! This will be really handy. With only 2 bye rounds, will most peoples round 13 and 17 teams have the same guns…might make it harder to make up some ground. Might come down to who you vc or c!


Ccat- I expect that there will be a range of selections occurring depending on initial starting teams with guns, the impact of origin and the guns each respective coach has in their side and also how well people plan in advance ( cash generation / availability) to make trades between 13 and 17.

Luck will, as always play a huge part with injuries and also the rookies/ NPRs available to all coaches.

It’s certainly making me rethink several of my initial team selections!