Fantasy Football: Waiver Control
This week, I think we should talk about something just as important: controlling the waiver wire.
Odds are your league leaders are pretty much set. You know who drafted the Pats offense and who drafted Rudi Johnson and Alge Crumpler.
As such, you can probably tell which teams are in need of which players—and which teams are going to be your biggest threats down the line.
In order to better position yourself in the league standings (and, of course, screw over your enemies), you need to know how to manipulate the waiver wire.
Here are a few strategies...
The Gold Digger
This strategy only works in leagues without a maximum on waiver moves, and when you have a few bench spots to spare.
You have two options here: You can be one of those people who try to pick up players on game day, or you can sabotage everyone in advance.
One sneaky Saturday night strategy is to add every sleeper player you can think of. If ANY of those players pan out, you have them on your roster (and therefore no one else does). If they don't, simply drop them and try again next week.
A great tactic when you have higher waiver priority.
Imagine I have No. 1 priority, and I know the guy at No. 3 needs a RB really badly.
Say, did Ronnie Brown just go down with an injury? I may be starting Marshawn Lynch and Willis McGahee...but I'll gladly take Jesse Chatman, if only to trade him to someone else.
Another maneuver is anticipating your opponents' bye weeks, and snagging their replacement players before they can (works especially well with QBs in deeper leagues).
The Frugal Gourmet
This is the biggest boom-or-bust waiver strategy.
Make as many FA moves as you want, but don't make a waiver move until you're No. 1 on the priority list. The idea is to absolutely lock down on waiver pickups to guarantee yourself a player for one week.
When it works (Jesse Chatman, etc.), it works wonderfully. But if no one busts out until Week Seven, you might be kicking yourself for not picking up a guy on the cheap when you had the chance.
An extremely low lactic that I don't condone—but it's still a waiver strategy.
If your league settings allow this, you can get away with it for MAYBE a week.
First, ensure that you have an extremely high waiver priority—No. 3 or above. Next, on Saturday night, drop players that you believe will be sleepers on Sunday but just don't have roster space for.
Doing this will put all the dropped players on waivers, meaning that people can't pick them up Sunday...and you'll have plenty of time to put in your waiver request.
I don't recommend doing this, as you probably will be killed by your league-mates.
This takes the most effort, but it's absolutely worth it.
When players are on waivers (in my league, all players are on waivers from Sunday to Wednesday), you're probably wondering who people are going after. Wonder no more!
At 3:00 AM Central (helpful if you work nights), the league takes players off waivers...EXCEPT for players that have a claim. You can then sort by "waivers" and see which players are being waited on.
This technique is also especially useful because you get first crack at the players no one requested. It's like being first and last in the priority line.
What's more, you can still put in a waiver request at that time. It's win-win.
That's all for now. Stay tuned next week for the midseason update...
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