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The Waiver Wire in Fantasy Makes All the Difference

Its that time of year where fantasy draft boards are being made and strategies being crafted. Where every fantasy football league owner is thinking championship and bragging rights. The only problem… This is not the most important part of a NFL fantasy season. I have played fantasy for a long time now. One thing I learned is what you do after the final game on Monday is more important than what you do in the draft. In this feature, I will explain the different drafts and why the fantasy waiver wire is more important than the draft.

Types of fantasy drafts

Their are many different strategies when it comes to drafting for fantasy football. Of course it starts with the type of draft your league has set.

  • Auction Draft. In an auction draft owners are given a set amount of money, $200, and they have to choose 16 players to fill their roster. …
  • Live Snake Draft. This draft takes place by drafting in a “snake” formation. Each team makes its first-round pick based on a predetermined order. … Fantasy football snake drafts are commonly used because they allow for a fair and balanced draft.
  • Auto pick Draft. This draft is 100 percent automated …
  • Offline Draft. The league’s teams draft their players without use of the drafting tools provided by NFL.com (Live Draft client, Autopick option, or Pre-Rank Lists).

Another factor that comes into play is whether its a keeper or redraft league. A redraft league means you draft a player just for that year and once the season is over you lose those players. Keeper leagues work virtually the same as a normal fantasy league, except that each team gets to keep a certain number of players from year to year. Each fantasy owner will get to select which players they get to keep and teams will keep the same number of players in most cases. Also is it a PPR or non-PPR league? There are a lot of different variables but when it comes down to it the waiver wire makes all the difference.

What is the waiver wire?

Weekly waivers place all unclaimed players on waivers at the beginning of each week. Waivers end after 11:59 p.m. PT Tuesday, allowing remaining players to be added by the 1st manager to claim them or your league manager can set it to worst record gets first choice.

  • Game Time – Tuesday (default rule) – Unclaimed players are placed on waivers as soon as their 1st game of the week begins. If they don’t have a game that week, they’re placed on waivers at 5:30 p.m. PT Monday.
  • First Game of the Week – Tuesday – All unclaimed players are placed on waivers at the scheduled start time of the 1st game of the week.
  • Sunday – Tuesday – All unclaimed players are placed on waivers at 10:00 a.m. PT Sunday.

***Settings will vary on your league style and settings***

Why the waiver wire is more important

Im first on my waiver wire in fantasy
2010 waiver wire steal Arian Foster

Arian Foster was a good player coming out of University of Tennessee, but not on anyone’s radar. NFL or fantasy. He was signed by the Texans in 2009, but only played a hand full of games. At the start of 2010, I can guarantee he was not on anyone’s draft board. But after rushing for 231 yards vs the Kansas City Chiefs, he was a hot commodity on the waiver wire. Foster finished the season with 1,616 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns. This is just one example. Players like Phillip Lindsey, Ito Smith, CJ Anderson, Marlon Mack all guys who were not drafted but won a lot of people championships in their league.

Picking up the right waiver wire player of course is about luck as well. If your league goes by first-come-first-serve waivers, then its about being the fastest. But most leagues go by record and that is where a little bit of luck, and lots of research, come in. Having a good waiver wire strategy can make up for a bad draft. For instance, if you trust your ability to run the waiver wire, you can have the luxury of drafting a quarterback in the late rounds. This position always has four or five top-20 quarterbacks available on the wire. Even if you draft the best lineup in your league you are bound to have injuries or holdouts that you cannot predict.

For example, Le’Veon Bell’s year-long holdout last season. Kennan Allen getting hurt in the first game of the year in 2016. Picking up a 3rd string running back in Week 13 can be the difference between winning a title and missing the playoffs.

The Final Word

I am not saying your fantasy draft is not important. But having the right strategy on the waiver wire, and some luck, can help fill out your roster. whether its a bad draft or a injuries, the waiver wire is the saving grace for many fantasy players.

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