Expert Advice on Waiver Claims

Effective use of the waiver wire all but guarantees a solid run into the fantasy football playoffs. Did you know that the average fantasy football team only rosters 60% of their original picks by the end of the year. That’s right. 40% of your team that you draft will be dropped to free agency or traded away by the end of the year.

Why? Injuries and poor performance, most likely.

Knowing that your team will be drastically different by the end of the year, it’s important that you know how to use the wavier wire to acquire the best players possible. No, it’s not as simple as submitting 2-3 claims each week to ensure that you’re picking up the latest player that Matthew Berry is talking about. No, we don’t recommend picking up the un-drafted free agent rookie RB that scored 2 TD’s in garbage time last week.

If you follow these 3 rules, we guarantee that you will have a lot of success using the waive wire.

1. Know the difference between a Waiver Claim and Free Agency Pickup 

Many fantasy football owners are actually their own worst enemy, because they fail to understand how the waiver wire system works. Submitting a waiver wire claim is different than picking up a guy in free agency. There are no caveats or risks from picking up a player in FA, while there are a few implications that you need to know about while using the Waiver Wire.

If you submit a claim, you go to the end of the line. If you don’t submit a claim, you moved ahead of people who did. Make sense?

So when is the Waiver Wire active?  1) If a particular player played a game or 2) A particular player was recently dropped. If a player was dropped or just played a game, there should be a 2-day Waiver period. Check your league settings for more information.


2. Don’t Submit Claims Each Week

There is no reason to submit a claim each week, especially if there are no stud players to pick up. You would be better of waiting, moving up in the order, and using your claim when it matters most (like when Arian Foster get’s hurt). It’s important that you know where you currently stand in the waiver wire order. Because claims are processed in order, if you’re currently 10th on the list, there’s a pretty solid chance you won’t get a guy like Andre Williams after Rashad Jennings goes down. When you use a waiver claim, you automatically go to the end of the line (and then move up if people submit claims after you).

3. Know your League and Know Tendencies

Knowing what other people in your league need plays a VITAL role in effective use of the waiver wire. If you know a guy in your league is a big San Francisco 49ers fan, and they are eyeing Carlos Hyde, this information will play a role in how you submit a claim. For example, if you’re in the fist position, you can submit a claim for Hyde, rank this claim #1, and move on to a few more claims. You’re guaranteed to pick up Hyde, and depending on how other claims were ordered / processed, you may end up with more studs!

This was a real example of effective waiver claims.

Team A: Submitted claims for Andre Williams and Ronnie Hillman

Team B: Submitted claims for Andre Williams, Ronnie Hillman and Vernon Davis.

It seems logical that Team B would at the very least get Andre Williams or Ronnie Hillman, right? Not necessarily. If Team A picks up Andre Williams with their first waiver claim, and Team B has Vernon Davis as their top pick, that’s who they will get. Since waiver claims are processed in order, Team A will also pick up Ronnie Hillman.


Best of luck to you and your waiver claims in 2015!!