Free Agents, Waivers, and the Waiver Wire

Dear Yardmark,

Let us discuss free agents, players on waivers, and the waiver wire.  It’s a simple concept and you need to know how to use it to your advantage when swapping players.

Waiver Wire vs. Free Agents

When a player is a free agent you can pick them up without claiming them on waivers.  This means once you pick them up they’re yours and whoever you drop is placed on waivers.  Check your league rules to find out how long players are placed on waivers after you drop them and make a note of it.

From the time the first game occurs all players that were free agents are now on waivers until all of the games are complete.  During this time, to pick up a player you’ll have to submit who you are going to drop and who you’d like to pick up.  Every week there is a waiver order.  The person highest up in order has first dibs on a player on waivers and on down the line.  Because of this the player you want may be snagged by someone higher up in the order.  Have a backup plan if you really need to fill a position because of bye weeks or injuries because you may not get what you want.

How does this help?

Use this knowledge to decide when to pick up players.  If you have a high waiver order it may be beneficial to wait until you really need a player without someone grabbing him in front of you.  So put some more thought when claiming players off of waivers and think more liberally when picking up free agents.

Yardmark, one last thing: limit your moves the first few weeks of the season to avoid emotionally picking up a player because of his initial performance.  We’ll discuss this concept in future letters but for now use caution and check out what the experts are saying.


Your Uncle Gridiron


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