WHY THE FAAB WAIVER WIRE IS THE WAY TO GO!!
Des Boodram - @boxscoreprophet
If you haven’t already you need to jump into a league that implements the Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB) Strategy for free agent acquisitions. Remember when you started out only doing snake drafts for years… and then you got super risky and did multiple leagues, with the same old snake drafts. Then you became totally unhinged and entered into a league that drafted using the auction format, and you got out of your first one just happy to be alive.
This entire time you have been content living the good life with multiple draft formats but still only one way to acquire free agents (FAs). In some leagues you can pick up FAs anytime you want, first come first serve, quickest to the punch, survival of the fittest type of thing. Then people realized they hated losing out on the week’s top performers, so they started locking the wire down until Tuesday or even Wednesday. On Tuesday you decide who you want, figure out what sucker you are going to drop and place a waiver claim, which is usually awarded based on your place in the standings or a waiver priority that changes weekly. This leveled the playing field in this area of fantasy sports, and enabled the fantasy community to be lulled to sleep by the simplicity of it all.
Well if your league is handling the FA pool this way, welcome to the Lazy River of Fantasy sports. It’s refreshing, but not really energizing, and you don’t have really think or strategize, you just kind of float along. Low risk, low reward, and there’s no real benefit for outthinking your opponents. If this is where you reside in fantasy, prepare to be blown away because it’s time to move from the lazy river to a class 5 rapid. The solution is FAAB, which allocates a dollar amount to each manager that they can use to make bids on players that are on waivers. Should the fantasy player make a bid and win the real life football player to their respective roster, their bid price for that player will be deducted from their budget. Budgets are supposed to help reckless spenders, but quite often they don’t, and this is the same way. We want what we want and we are almost always willing to pay whatever necessary to get it. Your funds may dry up, but hey you saw your shot and you took it, and now you hopefully have whom you want.
It’s important to know that the bidding process only applies to players that have been placed on waivers because they’ve recently been dropped OR players that are on waivers because they have been locked down by the commish because of the weekend. Either way you get to assign the value you want to place on that player, and than bid for them. If you want him bad enough, you’ll put your highest and best bid forward, and if you’re not quite sure, you’ll stay conservative, neither strategy is right or wrong, I just prefer to use the “go hard or go home” philosophy when bidding.
The commish sets the budget amount, which usually defaults at $100. The commish also decides how ties are broken should two managers share the same top bid. If you are the only manager to bid on this player, no soup for you – as your funds are lost. Because every manager has a relatively equal shot (depending on their budget of course) and it will definitely help to know the folks in your league, understand how they bid, and what their needs are. Unfortunately this is not Ebay where you put your max bid on the board, but only pay just above what the next highest bid was assuming it doesn’t actually exceed your stated max bid. You can leave money on the table and you have to be ok with that. If you don’t adapt well to change, and like the Lazy River of fantasy, stick to the old way, but if you’re ready to add another layer into your experience FAAB is here to sweep you off your feet, like any class 5 would.