Waiver Wire Tune-Up: Where Fantasy Championships Are Won

It’s August, preseason is in full swing, the injury bug is flourishing, drafts are happening all around us, football season is here! Now you may be thinking, “I killed my draft” and you can rest easy all the way to the championship with a little lineup decision making on the way. Wrong! Although you have conquered your draft (or went down in a blaze of glory) you still have much work to do. Even if you haven’t drafted yet, this article can still be for you. Just put it in your back pocket for later. Not only that, but it can be a refresher for both new and old.

The Waiver Wire Landscape

The world of waiver wire comes in many shapes and sizes however, there are a few that I’ve seen as popular.


You put in a claim for a player/s and your waiver order determines whether you beat someone out for said player. If I put in for “player x” and I was 13th in the waiver order, anyone from 12 back up to 1 can steal that player from me. Normally, these are processed on Tuesday or Wednesday of each week resetting the order depending on who actually made a claim.

I treat Standard like Free-for-All essentially. Yes, I have to wait and may miss out on some players, but I get more guys than I miss out on. I’m in a few leagues that utilize this form of waivers and every year I lead the league with waiver wire moves. It’s a format that you have to be able to be in the know as far as sleepers and waiver pickups to hopefully get to them before your league mates. You have no power of authority like with FAAB, you can’t yank them up instantly like Free for All, but if you’re savvy enough you can get exactly who you want a lot of the times.

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Free Agent Auction Bidding (FAAB)

This system is similar to standard, but it utilizes a FAAB budget. Normally it’s about 100 dollars and it gives you the edge over people who are higher in the waiver wire pecking order. This from can get a lot more complex, which I love, but we won’t get into that today.

I like this format the second best because even though it’s not free for all, it’s also not standard where there’s a sole reliance on waiver order. In situations where normally you’d lose out on a player due to order, you can put down a little fake money to raise your chances of getting a player. In these leagues I tend to hold on to my monies until a dire need pops up, someone drops a decent player worth spending on or a sleeper awakens (due to injury, suspensions, etc..).

Free For All

This is my favorite because it has no restrictions. You pick up and drop, no waiting involved. The downside to this that a lot of people hate, is that it caters to the ones who constantly monitor situations (injuries, promotions, cuts, etc..). So in essence it doesn’t work to well for the casual player.

My favorite format of all. As soon as relevant news drops about a players, this is where people go crazy. Depending on who it is, I may go after them immediately. The other perk is that if you sit back and wait, someone may end up dropping a good player and that’s where I pounce.

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Formula for Success

Regardless of format, I keep shuffling my roster to maximize points year in and year out. Yes, there’s trades to be had as well, but I feel like the waiver wire is the power twin to trades. Make well informed moves to constantly put forth the best roster possible every week. My commission to you, the reader is to not be afraid of being mocked for how many times you pick up and drop players. As long as you don’t make knee jerk decisions, this will just be one more skill to help keep you on top. You don’t have to go berserk like I do, but being conservative almost never ensures victory. In all leagues I’ve been in, the lack of movement (trade and waiver combined) tends to match right up with inactivity, low success and zero championships. Take it from me, I do my fair share of league play and this year I’m involved in about 30 or so leagues. Call me insane, but I love it and it has taught me a lot. Stay on your toes and never let your opponent get the edge. After you conquer your draft (due to Top2 content), come back to us and receive help to win out in trades, lineup decisions and waivers. Your battle has only begun and we’re here to help you bring home that fantasy trophy!

Be on the lookout for my weekly waiver wire dive article throughout the season for every offensive scoring position. From QB to Kicker, I’ve got you covered and we at Top2 will make sure you come home with the trophy!

Published by

Christopher A.E. Nelson

Christopher Nelson is a very avid fantasy football fan and analyst. Currently writes/evaluates college prospects through the off-season being part of multiple mock drafts with other entities and making #VigilanteViDSesh threads for public consumption. He loves music and marvel comic lore just as much and tries to find time for all three. Fantasy football has taught him the love of numbers and bolstered his drive for research making it only right that he writes. You can find him @THEffVigilante on Twitter and the_o.f.i.s on Instagram.

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