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If your league does not employ FAAB, then your commish must be a Commie! The traditional waiver wire process usually entails “rewarding” the last place team with the first waiver priority. I understand that it’s meant to “help” a team that performed poorly, but it amounts to a welfare system, as James Harrison so eloquently put recently. FAAB gives all teams a budget, usually $100-$200 for the whole season. Every team then has the ability to acquire any player on the waiver wire each week, contingent upon how much they are willing to pay for them. U-S-A!!! U-S-A!!!

Now that we’ve decided what the AMERICAN way to process the waiver wire is, here are some thoughts on how to navigate it successfully.

FIRST AND FOREMOST

Every fantasy article usually has the advice: Know your league settings. There’s a reason for that, and it’s not because the writer gets paid by the letter. The differences in league settings affect how you should draft and how you should approach the waiver wire.

Does your league have deep benches? If so, then the pickings on the wire may be slim, which will increase the cost of acquiring any player with more than a pulse. Are you able to bid $0? Why spend your money when you can acquire a player for free? KNOW YOUR LEAGUE SETTINGS.

PERFORMING DUE DILIGENCE

Before you enter the bidding process, identify the players worthy of your money (best player available). Then identify needs for your team. Finally, identify the needs of your competitors. You should be able to get a rough idea of what the supply/demand landscape will look like.

Now distinguish the Milli Vanilli’s from the Evander Holyfield’s. Separate the Kevin Ogletree’s from the Justin Forsett’s. Why did they have a big game? Was it because of the matchup? Did they move up the depth chart? Are they now the main guy? Acquiring talent will not only help your team, but keep them away from your competitors.

If you can, look back at waiver wire activity from prior seasons. Most of it will be mumbo jumbo, but you may be able to get a beat on how the other owners like to bid. Always keep tabs on how much each owner has in their coffers. If you and another owner are on a collision course for the same quarterback and he has $1 left?

MeanMeanest

 

Now go to any fantasy football website. Most will offer FAAB dollar amount advice. You should get a rough estimate of how much a certain player will cost. This is very much like preseason ADP lists. Don’t feel like doing your homework?

Don’t be that guy.

Be this guy.

TIME TO BID

From doing your due diligence, you should have a list of players with contingencies. You should also have a rough range of how much players will cost.

This is where the poker/strategy element enters the fray. Who’s going to bid? How much are they going to bid? When you play with other owners enough, you will pick up on “tells.” This guy always bids in whole numbers (10, 20, 30, etc). That other guy always bids $3 over the whole number. Another owner usually bids $40 when a “hot” running back becomes available. The longer you play with people, the more their personalities and quirks come to the forefront.

Now remember that your opponents are doing the same thing towards you. Keep em guessing. Always bid different amounts, even if it’s by a dollar.

If your whole league is transitioning to the FAAB way of life, just go for yours. While most will hover their bids around the expected value, there’s going to be that one guy that either a) doesn’t know or b) doesn’t give a [email protected]#$. If you really want someone,  just send it. Now with that said…

MONEY MANAGEMENT

There are some that advocate spending most of the money early in the year, while there are others that say hoard your money for opportunities later in the year. There is no right or wrong answer. It really is based on each individual situation. If you lost Adrian Peterson last year or felt your only weakness was at running back, then spending your whole wad on Justin Forsett early on was the right move. Players appear during all points of the season.

Personally, I will always keep a reserve. I do not play in a $0 bid league, so if I want to stream or need an injury/bye week filler, I’ll always have a stash. I’m an advocate of C.R.E.A.M. Cash Rules Everything Around Me. I’m not scared to push my all my chips in the middle, but I do like having cash in my pocket. It all depends on the situation.

“Be formless. Shapeless like water” – Bruce Lee

With that said, the one thing I do need to say about FAAB money is this: SPEND IT!!! It doesn’t roll over into your 401k and you don’t collect interest on it. If you don’t use it, you lose it. It’s free money so utilize the resource.

CONCLUSION

Once you go FAAB, you never go back. It’s a fair system and adds an element of strategy to the waiver wire process. U-S-A!!! U-S-A!!! What it really provides though is this: a way to appease our degenerate tendencies. We get high on Sunday, then come crashing down on Tuesday. Before withdrawal hits, the FAAB process usually takes place on Wednesday. Whew…

 

 

Follow me on Twitter at Stan_Son.

  1. RotoLance

    RotoLance says:
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    Good article but I also have to say, as an owner of Peterson in a FAAB league:

    “If you lost Adrian Peterson last year or felt your only weakness was at running back, then spending your whole wad on Justin Forsett early on was the right move. Players appear during all points of the season.”

    Was not true technically because by the time the news came out I FAAB waivers had already processed in probably everyone’s league. :P

    I say this because I WISH I had been able to make claims that first week knowing what was up with Peterson!

    Honestly don’t mind me. I’m just like “dammit”.

    • Son says:
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      @RotoLance: That’s true. I forgot about that. I think I repressed that week from my memory because I also owned Peterson and someone swiped Asiata from me.

  2. RotoLance

    RotoLance says:
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    This is a very helpful post, and I know that for a fact as a FAAB veteran. I particularly liked:

    “Before you enter the bidding process, identify the players worthy of your money (best player available). Then identify needs for your team. Finally, identify the needs of your competitors. You should be able to get a rough idea of what the supply/demand landscape will look like.”

    However, I think you left out the value over replacement discussion, because that’s what drives FAAB bidding, in the same way it drives auction prices. Well, the other things you said matter as well, the blind bidding aspects. You did kinda hit it in a roundabout way when you said “Identify this player over that player” as one to target. But I think it’s important to note, the further you think the player is from replacement, the more you need to bid. I guess that should be obvious, but I’m not sure if everyone thinks that way.

    Also won’t we give FAAB advice once the season starts? I’m actually not sure what Jay has me writing what the season begins but I’d probably be willing to contribute to that.

    • Son says:
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      @RotoLance: Thanks for the insight RotoLance. I thought I addressed the replacement discussion with “identify the players worthy of your money,” but you are correct sir. Replacement baseline and distance from it is very important and one that I should’ve talked about more.

      I wrote the article because one of the owners in the Razzball League requested it. I’m not sure what Jay has in store for the season, but FAAB is all you if you want it.

      • RotoLance

        RotoLance says:
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        @Son: Man that’s freaking cool that you wrote this because someone requested it.

        • Son says:
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          @RotoLance: I am here to serve. I feel like a deejay :)

  3. JohnnyBeGood says:
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    Hey Guys, in 1 pt ppr, how you rank McCoy, Forsett & L Miller ? thx

    • Son says:
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      @JohnnyBeGood: Forsett, L Miller, then McCoy

  4. JohnnyBeGood says:
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    And in 1 pt PPR, Jeffery, Hilton or Cooks..??

    • Son says:
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      @JohnnyBeGood: Cooks, Jeffery, Hilton…but I do have concerns with Jeffery’s health and state of the Bears this season.

  5. f says:
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    We use FAAB, but have a 20 move max. How, or would, that change your draft and waiver strategy? 6 bench spots and an IR, FYI.

    • Son says:
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      @f: It shouldn’t change your draft strategy. Always draft the best players with the highest upside. In regards to waiver strategy, you definitely have to set aside some moves to account for injuries and other issues. Other than that, I’d hold out for the difference maker and send it. I’d rather have the one impact player, then 3-4 fringe guys. Now good luck trying to figure out who that will be!

  6. Cram It says:
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    Hey man, I’m commishing a Yahoo league for the first time. We’re doing auction. And I set it to FAAB for waiver wire pickups instead of post draft priority ranking. I thought it would give me the option to enter how much FAAB money for the season but there’s no indication of $ amount. Do you know anything about this, like how much it will be? Or if there’s a way to set the amount? Thanks and all good if this is unfamiliar to you.

    • Son says:
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      @Cram It: Sorry, I do not know.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @Cram It: I’ll give it a looksie. But yeah I find the Yahoo commish tools very un-intuitive.

    • RotoLance

      RotoLance says:
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      @Cram It: Try:

      Commish Tools scroll down to Team Management -> Acquisition Budgets

      • Stephen says:
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        @RotoLance: im having the same problem. When i scroll down to Acquisition budgets it wont let me click on it. Our league has started and one guy has submitted a claim and has told me there was no dollar amount option. But i chose Faab continual rolling list.

        • Son says:
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          @Stephen: Wish I could help you out. The only thing I can think of is maybe the box to enter the dollar bid is in the corner or something. I played in a CBS league and the box to enter the dollar amount was located in the lower right corner of the page. Hope that helps.

  7. Adam says:
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    Just had 10 team draft
    Had 10 th pick
    First 6picks
    Went Dez,Julio
    Then lamar miller,Forsett
    Then roethisburger,Maclin
    Also picked up martavis Bryant,Wheaton,
    RB. Abdullah,Andre Williams
    TE Julius Thomas and Delaney walker
    DST. Miami,jets
    Thoughts?

    • Son says:
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      @Adam: Great draft

  8. andy says:
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    If your league uses FAAB, does that affect your decision to stream positions like TE/DEF? If youre committed to streaming in a FAAB league, how much do you usually spend per week streaming that position?

    Thanks for making this post! I agree with RotoLance, youre very cool for replying to a request :D

    -“420bootywizard”

    • Son says:
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      @andy: No, it doesn’t. You need to know your league though. How many others stream those positions? If there are other fisherman at the pond, more competition. It shouldn’t cost more than a dollar each week for tight ends. Defenses, could get more expensive when there is a juicy matchup. More people probably stream DEF than TE’s.

      Thanks for the kind words. However I can help, I’ll try my best to do it

  9. Adam says:
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    Planning for draft
    Cooks or j Matthews?
    Maclin or martavis Bryant?
    Abdullah or Ivory?
    10 team standard
    Thx

    • Son says:
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      @Adam: Cooks and Matthews are very close. I love cooks but would probably go Matthews in ur format.

      Maclin

      Ivory

  10. Adam says:
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    Thx!
    Maclin or Ivory for Flex position?
    10 team standard

    • Son says:
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      @Adam: Ivory

  11. Adam says:
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    Charles Johnson or martavis Bryant
    Thx!

    • Son says:
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      @Adam: Charles Johnson

  12. mcBlunty says:
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    10 team league, ppr, 2 flex spots, bouns points for points for 40 yard plays and 40 yd tds, i had the 10th pick

    Starters
    Luck
    E Tate
    E Sanders
    S Smith Sr
    L Miller
    Lat Murray
    Gronk
    A Boldin
    Tre Mason
    J Tucker
    Denver Def

    Bench
    Blount
    R Jennings
    K Wright
    Duke Johnson
    David Cobb
    D Green-Beckham

    Thoughts? I know i could use another top WR but i like my depth

    • mcBlunty says:
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      @mcBlunty: *G Tate

    • Son says:
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      @mcBlunty: Yeah, you weak at wide receiver but have the best qb and te

  13. Jerry says:
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    Hey, Son! I’m in a 12 team, one point ppr league. We get to keep one player from last season. Would you keep Mike Evans or Andre Johnson? I was leaning Evans, but I’m concerned his hamstring injury could linger. Thanks!

    • Son says:
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      @Jerry: Evans

  14. MrIncredible says:
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    If this is the case, why aren’t the RCL using FAAB in their settings?

    • Mantis Toboggan MD says:
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      @MrIncredible: my guess is they do next year.

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