If you are new to fantasy football you may be wondering how the waiver system works.
The waivers in fantasy football is where all the players not on a fantasy team can be picked up and added to your roster. Once players have played their game for the week they are placed on the waivers.
For most fantasy leagues there will be a set day in the week in which all waiver transfers will be processed, for most leagues, this occurs on each Wednesday.
Let’s say for example a wide receiver had a great game on Sunday and you want to add him to your fantasy team. You can put in a waiver transfer request but you will have to wait until Wednesday for the transfer to go through.
If multiple teams try to add the same player during this window then the league will have to determine which team gets the player.
In most cases, the team that gets the player is decided by waiver priority. Waiver priority is a set ranking of the teams in the league which determines who will get players that multiple teams bid on.
In most leagues, waiver priority will start opposite of the draft order. So if you drafted 1st out of ten you will be waiver 10/10. When multiple players bid on the same player, the team with the higher waiver priority will get the player.
Once you use your waiver priority to pick up a player you will be sent to the bottom of the waiver priority list.
Additionally, some leagues will use FAAB (free agent acquisition budget) in order to determine who will get free agent players when the waivers clear.
In this system, each team will be given one hundred virtual dollars they can use to claim players off the waiver wire throughout the year.
When multiple teams bid on the same player the team with the higher amount of money bid gets to add the player to their team. If your bid did not win the auction then the money bid on the player is returned to your balance.
This is an interesting take on the waiver wire as it allows more strategy to be used on the waiver wire as opposed to the randomly generated waiver order.
In most cases, the waivers are going to be used when a player in your starting lineup needs to be replaced. Watch for notices beside your player such as PPD or IR to see if they are available for the next game.
Why Does Fantasy Football Use A Waiver Wire?
Now that you understand what the waiver wire is in fantasy football you may be wondering why it is set up this way.
The reason that fantasy football uses a waiver wire as opposed to letting teams add players at any moment is that it adds more parity to the league.
Say for example one team in your fantasy league has no commitments on Sundays. If there were no waiver wire this team would be able to add any player the second they show some talent on the field.
Not everyone is able to watch all the games on Sundays meaning the players with more free time would have a distinct advantage.
Instead, the waiver wire system allows all the teams to have a chance to see how the players performed and then determine if they want to add them to their team.
The waiver priority then determines which team gets the player. This also ensures that one player does not continually pick up all the players other teams want.
Since the waiver priority resets after picking a player up they will then miss out on the next player multiple teams bid for.
Essentially the waiver wire acts as a grace period giving all teams a chance to check out the free agents and determine which ones they want to add before the next week of fantasy football starts.