Week fantasy football waiver wire claims are difficult some weeks, especially when you use the “Blind Waiver Wire Auction”. Who are sleepers and who are busts for NFL week fantasy football is tough to determine. But how do you get who you want? Slim will tell you exactly how!
By now, your hard work all summer has led to you drafting a contending team on paper. Now only if you could win your pool on paper. Now is not the time to simply sit back and admire your perfectly drafted squad. We all know that over the course of the season injuries and coaching choices could make some players on your team not worthy of a roster spot anymore. The draft is where you accumulate the stars that are going to do most of the heavy lifting throughout the season. The waiver wire will allow you to fill in the gaps on a weekly basis in order to make your team a true winner.
For those of you that don’t do blind bidding for your auction waiver wire all it means is that everyone in your league has until a set time to to get a bid in for any player of their choosing that is on waivers. At the end of that time period, waiver players go to the highest bidder. Usually as a commissioner, I like to set the deadline for Wednesday night, since it allows everyone to set their rosters before any Thursday games. Now one issue is that as a commissioner, not only do you take all the bids, but you are also in the pool so you can see what everyone has bid. How I run pools is that as commish, I have to have my bids in before the Monday night game is over, then after the game, the rest of the league can start submitting bids until the Wednesday deadline. Now, the commish has to work on the honour system, however if they really want to cheat their friends that badly then I think they have bigger underlying issues, at least that’s what Dr. Phil says. If trust is an issue in your league maybe you can come up with a way to get around this, like getting an outside person to handle all the bids or something. It’s up to you.
I like the blind bidding process much better than the old and still most common “first come, first serve” waiver method. “First come, first serve” is great for the guy that is watching every game on his satellite dish on Sundays and immediately hits the waiver wire when he sees Darren McFadden limp off the field in real time. That guy is me actually, and even though it does give me an advantage over the guy who has to resort to checking scores from his cell phone while cleaning the gutters, cutting the grass, making his wife a grilled cheese sandwich, cleaning the garage, browsing the farmer’s market, soaking his vag and/or washing the minivan, I like the blind system better. I feel that if keeps the auction theme going throughout the year because players are bidding against one another every week. There is also more strategy involved because you have to manage your waiver funds throughout the season while keeping track of the remaining budgets of the other owners. Sound familiar? It also balances the playing field too because it gives a couple days for guys to figure out what they want to do to their rosters after the games on Sundays. So even though I do think I get an edge over some competitors using the standard waiver method, I like the fact that blind bidding can balance the playing field for everyone, which ultimately makes the league more competitive. If you are not currently using blind bidding for your waivers then I suggest you lobby your league to give it a try. It’s much more fun and I’m confident you’ll never go back.
Now blind bidding is quite different than standard waiver claim processes so let’s look at some ways that you can make this system work better for you.
1. Don’t save your money
Just like in an auction draft, with blind bidding, you have a set amount you can spend to manipulate your roster. And just like in an auction draft, you don’t get a prize for having money left over. In our main money league we use a budget of $1000 for acquiring players off waivers throughout the season. That may seem like a lot of money, and it is, so go out there and spend it. If there is a player that you think is emerging and can potentially be a significant contributor then go and get him. For example, last season Alfred Morris wasn’t drafted. An owner who was thin at running back put in a waiver bid for him after Week 1 for $500. At the time he took heat for spending half his budget on one player. Well, that one player ended up rushing for 1606 yards and 13 TDs and finished as the 5th best fantasy running back and was obviously a key contributor to his fantasy team all season. The moral of the story is don’t be cheap. There won’t be many guys coming off waivers that will be stars, so if you think you have found one make sure you really try and get him.
2. How much should you bid?
Now I just finished saying spend your money, but how do you know how much other owners will bid? Well obviously you don’t, unless you’re either a mind reader or a corrupt commish, but you can still try and use human nature to your advantage. We like whole numbers. By that I mean numbers ending in zeroes and fives. Marketers have been using that to their advantage for years and now you can do the same. I will rarely bid $1 on any waiver player simply because it’s what many other owners will do. Instead, if I’m bidding on a very cheap player, I’ll start at $2, but often I’ll even go for $3 or $4. Those extra bucks, unlike in an auction draft, won’t make or break you. If you’re going for a more high priced player I like to bid $22, $52 or $102. It gives you an edge should some owners go $1 over like $21, $51 or $101.
3. Plan ahead
Look ahead at your bye weeks. Try not to wait until the week before to fill in your kicker, defense, quarterback or tight end. More competitive owners might try and block you from getting the best bye week replacements by outbidding you for them if you wait. By putting in bids a couple weeks in advance you can get the best deals and you get the jump on your competitors. It will also allow you time to get another player should you lose out on your initial waiver claim
4. Look at your opponents rosters
If you notice the guy you’re playing this week has his kicker going on bye then maybe you want to put bids in on a couple kickers to try and block him from picking one up. If you are successful, yes you will be stuck with a couple kickers on your bench for a week, but more importantly your opponent will receive zero points at that position when he plays you because you didn’t let him grab a kicker. You can drop the kickers after that week while you are still basking in the glow from your important win. I will do this for any position where I notice my head-to-head competitor will need a waiver wire replacement.
If your league is using blind bidding waiver acquisition then hopefully these tips will help you maximize your success on the waiver wire. If your league is still using the old-fashioned method, maybe you can convince your league to switch to a more interactive and strategic waiver method.
www.thefantasyfootballauction.com Contributor @fantasyauction