As you go through each week of your season, you’re going to see players on Sunday that you want to put on your team as soon as possible. If there is a running back that runs for 200 yards and 3 touchdowns, and you know that he is not owned by any team in your fantasy league, HOW DO YOU GET THAT GUY ON YOUR TEAM IMMEDIATELY? Well, the answer is that you usually can’t.
There is a process of obtaining unowned players, or free agents. The process is called WAIVERS.
There are leagues that don’t use waivers, but these are the minority. In leagues that don’t use them, an owner can pick up a player at any given time, but this isn’t really fair to all owners, as they might not be at a computer or on their fantasy app at a given moment.
Waiver systems differ from league to league, but the most common format for the leagues that I’ve been a part of is that teams can enter “waiver claims” for players that they want, and on Wednesday, the player will be awarded to a certain team.
Each time you claim a player, your team then goes to the bottom of the list for the next week. In most leagues, the team name will have the waiver claim position listed next to it. If you are 1 of 10 (or 12, 14, etc.), you will have your pick of all claimable players.
If you own the top waiver spot, it’s important to wait until the right guy comes available. You don’t want to waste that waiver claim on someone who is just a flash in the pan. Look at your team’s needs, and also look at other teams’ needs. It’s not smart to allow other teams to acquire a great talent that will make their roster unbeatable.
If you’re at the bottom of the waiver order, your decision isn’t as big, but you want to make each decision count, so you can move back up the waiver order.
If a player goes unclaimed, he becomes a free agent and can be picked up by the first team that adds him.
Pro tip: NEVER USE A WAIVER CLAIM ON A KICKER…unless all kickers in the NFL get hurt at the same time…then it might be acceptable…