Waiver Why-er?

In previous years I have used a number of different online sources to supplement my fantasy football preparation. Some better than others and many with varying opinions and strategies on approach a draft and weekly lineups. I won’t say it was all bad information because many of my decisions were made up prior to reading their breaking reports.

This year, on a whim I stumbled across a site called, Fantasy Football Starters. I believe I was look for fantasy football (soccer) insight when I click on this site and was taken in by what they offered. It was not long after that I spent the $24.95 fee and subscribed for my first season.

One thing I have noticed immediately has been the interaction between their “experts” and the users of the web site. I guess with 27 years of fantasy football experience I could call myself an expert too, but I am not the one operating the web site. I still think the interaction is the twist I have been missing in past years when using a fantasy site to supplement my league and team. I won’t say this year will be any different as we are just under a week away from the start of the 2010-2011 NFL season.

I have received some interesting remarks and comments on the two teams I manage. The first and most important is the the TFL, the league I manage, while the other is an office league. Both leagues have 10 teams and use the waiver wire, but are both scored a bit differently. Thankfully that is not a problem with this software.

One thing I have noticed are the number of owners on the forums commenting about making trades or going to the waiver wire before the season has started. Let me ask you this. Are you not confident in the team you drafted? Do you really feel there are better players remaining on the wire that will give you a decided advantage over a player on the current roster?

My philosophy is tied to being old school. When we started our league in 1983-1984 we did not have a waiver wire. We had to back up all our players with a reserve. This was also before the NFL introduced the bye week for each team in 1990. The TFL started using the waiver wire in 2005 and while it is new to the league it is not a new concept.

One thing the waiver wire does is deflect a bit of the weight of the draft and direct it to the wire, which left unchecked or mismanaged can become an out of control beast. I say that because owners suddenly start hitting the waiver wire stockpiling hot talent. That is not how the wire should be used, but I am sure many use it that way in other leagues. We require a $10 transaction fee and must drop a player when you add a player from the wire. This prevents an owner from adding more players and holding them hostage as trade bait.

During a draft I don’t take the waiver wire into consideration. I rank and draft players taking into consideration who will be on a bye what week. Sometimes it works to my advantage, other times not. I have always gone into a draft looking for balance. For me that balance is:

  • 2 K
  • 2 QB
  • 6 RB
  • 6 WR
  • 2 TE

This equation was successful for me during the 2009-2010 season when I not only won our total points championship, but also our H2H competition. I only hit the waiver wire twice, both during bye weeks in order to fill in an empty slot due to my mismanagement.

So as was mentioned in Fantasy Football Advice for Week 1 by Russ over at Fantasy Football Starters, “Remember, a fantasy season is a marathon, not a sprint. Just like winning the first 2 weeks doesn’t guarantee you a playoff spot, losing the first 2 weeks doesn’t mean you can’t win the championship.