Fantasy Draft Kit

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NFL Fantasy 101: Learning the waiver wire

Thank you for checking out the final installment of our Fantasy 101 series. I wanted to take some time to really dive into the waiver wire. The draft is the most fun part of your league. There is no doubt. But more championships are won and lost on the waiver wire. But don't be scared, this is pretty easy. Let's break it down.

WHAT IS IT?

Just like in real football, there is a free-agent pool of undrafted players. If one of those undrafted players starts blowing up, he's going to be a hot commodity on the waiver wire and you can make a claim for him.

WHAT IF TWO PEOPLE MAKE THE SAME CLAIM ON A PLAYER?

This happens a lot. An unknown player goes out and has a huge weekend. You can bet the entire league is going to try to pick him up the following week. Standard NFL Fantasy leagues (have you downloaded the app here) have a predetermined order for waivers each week. The most standard order is based on each team's record, with the last-place team getting first dibs. Other leagues have different settings. Make sure you check with your commissioner on draft night to find out how waiver claims are determined.

BASIC STRATEGY

Look for upgrades on players who might be getting more playing time and opportunities than the ones on your team. Don't overreact if your a starter has a bad game. Mostly you're looking for players on your bench who haven't performed. In fact, this is a great way to build depth on your bench. That way you'll have replacements ready for bye weeks and injuries. And if you find gems on the waiver wire, they can become starters on your team or perhaps you can flip them in a trade. For instance, Raheem Mostert was a waiver wire add in 2019 who helped a lot of fantasy managers win titles.

STAY ACTIVE

If your league has unlimited waiver wire transactions, use them. Again, don't get too antsy about your star players. Everyone has a bad week. But constantly be looking to upgrade your team. NFL.com posts the best waiver wire pickups each week!

DROPS

It's great to add a player to your team. But that means you're going to have to let somebody go. And I understand this can be tough, but just be smart about it. If Russell Wilson has a bad game, you likely won't drop him. But if your fifth running back isn't even seeing the field, he might be eligible to drop. Just make sure you have some compassion and understanding to that player you are dropping. I always try to reach out to them on Twitter to let them know there are no hard feelings. (Just kidding. Don't do this. Players don't care about your fantasy team. Unless they are crushing it.) 

Thank you for reading the Fantasy 101 series. I hope this was informative and I hope you feel better about playing fantasy football this season. Don't be afraid to hit us up on social media with any questions. We will do our very best to get back to you. Good luck and let us know how it goes! And remember this simple rule. If you win a title, that's all you. Congratulations. If you don't? Blame Rank, and my terrible advice.

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