The Waiver Wire W’s; What you need to know

We’re going back to grade school to answer some common questions about the waiver wire using those famous W’s; Who, What, When, Where, Why. So breakout the friendship bracelets because you and the waiver wire are going to get very close throughout your fantasy season.

Who: Who does the waiver wire consist of and who can use it?

The waiver wire consist of players available to be added to your team. Players who already belong to another league member will not be shown. All members of your league has access to the waiver wire, but the waiver wire order (who has priority) differs depending on your league preference. The most common system is reverse ranking order. Ideally this allows the “worst” team the first opportunity to improve their team. So whoever is last in the rankings at the end of the week, will have first priority when choosing players off of waivers. Be sure to check your league rules to determine how waiver order is decided.

What: What is the waiver wire and what is its purpose?

The waiver wire is the place to go to check which players remain undrafted, and to fulfill all of your player needs. If you have a player that needs to be replaced due to injuries, bye weeks, or poor performance the waiver wire is where you will find these replacements. To add a player, there will be a plus (+) sign next to the player information. Click it to add the player. Just keep in mind that you will have to drop a player to add a player to keep a balanced roster.

When: When is the best time to use the waiver wire? 

Two words; Early and Often. By early I mean that you need to be decisive, as you will be battling against 10-14 other people to get the players you want. Waiver order is going to play a large part in this of course, but make sure to stake your claim as soon as possible. There is even a term “waiver hawk” which refers to a player who will stay up all night and into the morning to claim a player as soon as they become available. Some call these people “obsessed”; Some call them “dedicated”…either way don’t be afraid to use the waiver wire to your advantage. I have personally never seen a playoff team with more than half of the original team they drafted. There’s a reason for that. In the ever changing world of fantasy football there are those who adapt and those who are left behind. Don’t fall into that second group.

Where: Where is the waiver wire located?

It’s about the same for every website I have used. There will be a bar of tabs that will read something like: League, My Team, Players, Matchup, Score Board, etc. The tab you will want to focus on is the Players tab. Click on the players tab and that will bring you to the wavier wire page. Find a player you like, add them, and drop someone else. Easy Peasy. (If you want to drop a player, click on the desired player, and there will be a red minus (-) sign near their name. Click this to drop the player. Websites will offer you a prompt asking if you are sure you would like to drop the player at this time, so you don’t have to worry about accidently dropping a player.)

Why: Why should I use the waiver wire?

Beside the previous statement before, “I have never personally seen a playoff team with more than half of the original team they drafted”, you will have to use the waiver wire for bye weeks and in case of injury. Another sneaky way to use the waiver wire is to pick up players that you know other players are targeting. Say another players main QB goes down with an injury and you have waiver wire priority. If you have an opening to pick up, you could aim for the highest ranked QB on the waiver wire. Particularly if there is a big gap in projected production between him and the next available quarterback. This creates a possible trade scenario, or simply handicaps your opponent. (extra sneaky points if your next match is with the now quarterbackless adversary) But be warned, make sure the player your drop is not providing value for your team.

*BONUS* Which one: What’s the difference between a player on waivers and a free agent?

A player on waivers can not be immediately picked up, and are subjected to waiver wire priority. Free agents can be picked up at any time. Free agents commonly are marked by an “FA” listed somewhere near their name. Also when searching under players there will be a way to specify your player results to include players on waivers, free agents, or both.

Wishing you Well on your Waiver Wire Wandering!



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KP Loundy

Lover of all things sports. Fantasy football aficionado. I also love cheese fries.

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