Fantasy Football: Isn’t the Waiver Wire FAABulous?

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Free Agency Acquisition Budget. That’s what FAAB stands for. If you’ve never played in a league that uses FAAB, it’s not as complicated as it sounds.

  • FAAB replaces the free agency waiver wire process completely
  • After the draft, each team is given a set amount of money (budget) for free agency. Typical budget amounts are: $100, $250, $1000
  • Each week you can “bid” on players that are not on any roster. For instance, if you have a $100 budget and C.J. Spiller is on the waiver wire after Week 1. You can bid between $1 and $100 on him. If you are not the highest bid, you won’t get him. If you have the highest bid, that amount is deducted from your budget.

FAAB operates on many of the same principles as an auction draft. Both seem somewhat imposing at first, but once you get comfortable you wonder why you ever did it any differently. You will find that most high stakes leagues and championship formats use a FAAB system as opposed to a waiver wire. Most of these leagues also don’t allow trading. That means that working the FAAB system is literally the only way that you can improve your team.

The key to FAAB is know when to spend your money and when to hoard it. Sure, you want to maintain flexibility throughout the season. But if you could take me back to the beginning of last season, I would’ve gladly blown all of my FAAB on Victor Cruz. It’s not a smart idea, but impact players don’t pop up in free agency very often. I’m talking about players whom you start every week. Not just bye week or injury fill-ins.

Part of the problem is, the better the league you play in, the less options you find available in free agency. In my FPPC (Fantasy Football Players Championship) leagues, there’s not much in the free agent pool. Alfred Morris, Randall Cobb, Dexter McCluster, Stephen Hill and James Jones were all drafted. Kevin Ogletree and Dennis Pitta are probably the most exciting players on the waiver wire this week.

I can pretty much guarantee you that somebody dumps at least 25% of their FAAB ($250+ out of $1000) on Ogletree this week. I’m not spending that much on a player unless I’m pretty sure he’s going to make some starts for my team. Spending that much on Ogletree to be my WR5 or WR6 doesn’t make much sense. Unless you REALLY think he’s going to at least duplicate the success Laurent Robinson had last season.

In this situation, I’m much more likely to place a $25-$50 bid on Bills WR Donald Jones. I wouldn’t be surprised if he matched Ogletree in fantasy points from Week 2 until the end of the season. I lost David Nelson for the season, so I have a roster spot to fill. Otherwise, I might not even make a move this week.

When leagues have deep rosters (20+ players) the free agent cupboard can be very bare. If I can’t land an impact player with a big bid, I’m more likely to try to make small bids on some of the players with upside still available.

That’s means you’re digging deeper. You’re looking for the next C.J. Spiller, before he emerges. Target any and all backup RBs that are still available. There won’t be many big names out there. You’re looking for players like Bilal Powell, Taiwan Jones, D.J. Ware, Bryce Brown, Daryl Richardson, Shaun Draughn and LaRod Stephens-Howling.

None of those guys are very “sexy” in fantasy circles. But they will all come cheap and I’m willing to bet one of them sees some fantasy relevance this season, even if only for a week or two. That’s certainly better than carrying an injured player on my roster. I would rather save my FAAB than spend most of it on players who will just sit on my bench.

Just remember, while there is always the “New Big Thing” there is also always the “Next Big Thing”. Last Thursday, Kevin Ogletree was going to be the savior of fantasy teams everywhere. On Monday, Alfred Morris and Randall Cobb owners were already planning on how to spend their league prize money. Tuesday morning, everybody wonder why they weren’t smart enough to blow a 14th round pick on Joe Flacco.

Don’t go blow a huge chunk of your FAAB on Stephen Hill just because he was a highly drafted rookie who caught 2 TDs in Week 1. Not unless you are in a crazy bad, desperate place at WR. Which, given the depth of the position, seems somewhat impossible.

Think about all the injuries and poor performances we saw in Week 1 alone. There’s certainly more to come on that front. You don’t want to find yourself broke when injuries hit your players, or when the opportunity to acquire the injury replacements presents itself.

Thanks for reading and good luck this season. For more you can follow me on Twitter @SportsSomething



One Response to Fantasy Football: Isn’t the Waiver Wire FAABulous?

  1. kham says:

    Well said!

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