Navigating the Waiver Wire in Fantasy Football: Priority vs. FAAB Bidding

October 23, 2023
Back to Blog
Featured image for “Navigating the Waiver Wire in Fantasy Football: Priority vs. FAAB Bidding”

Within the realm of fantasy football, the waiver wire emerges as an indispensable tool. It’s the beacon of hope for team managers looking to infuse new vigor into their line-ups, particularly when grappling with injuries, player slumps, or unexpected game-day surprises. Yet, as essential as it is, navigating the waiver wire is not without its complexities. At the heart of these challenges lies a pressing decision: choosing between Priority and FAAB Bidding. 

We will be venturing deep into this dilemma, dissecting the merits and pitfalls of both systems. By demystifying the intricacies of Waiver Priority and FAAB Bidding, our goal is to equip fantasy football aficionados with the knowledge and confidence to make informed decisions. We aim to ensure that every manager, whether a novice or a seasoned pro, can effectively leverage the waiver wire to their advantage, fostering successful and thrilling seasons.

Waiver Wire Priority: A Deep Dive

At its core, the Waiver Wire Priority system in fantasy football is all about order and opportunity. Think of it as a virtual line where managers wait their turn to claim a player. But this isn’t a typical queue; positions can shift based on a combination of strategy and results. When you stake your claim on a player, you’re essentially using your position in this line as currency. Once your claim is successful, you move to the back of the line, waiting anew for your next chance.

So, how does one determine their initial position? Typically, the inverse order of the draft or the reverse standings from the previous week are common methods. If you had the last pick in your fantasy draft, you’d likely be first in waiver wire priority, giving you the initial advantage in claiming undrafted players or those dropped by other managers. But here’s the catch: the more you utilize the waiver wire, the further back you move, making every decision a strategic dance of risk versus reward.

The Waiver Wire Priority system introduces an added layer of strategy to the game. Managers must weigh the immediate benefits of acquiring a new player against the potential future opportunities they might miss. It’s a test of patience, foresight, and adaptability, ensuring that the fantasy football season remains unpredictable and riveting from start to finish.

When immersing oneself in the universe of fantasy football, understanding the Waiver Wire Priority system becomes paramount. It is this system that often defines roster changes, player acquisitions, and even the trajectory of a fantasy season. Like any strategy-based system, it brings along a mix of benefits and drawbacks. To navigate this system proficiently, let’s assess its advantages and disadvantages in detail:


  • Equal Opportunity: At its core, the Waiver Wire Priority system is designed to level the playing field. Irrespective of a manager’s draft position or the performance dynamics of their team, every manager gets a fair chance to claim top waiver wire talents, especially in the early phases of the season. This prevents a monopoly and keeps the competitive spirit alive.
  • Strategic Depth: The system is not just about grabbing players; it’s about meticulous planning. Since the priority keeps shifting based on a manager’s recent claims, it instigates deep thinking. Managers continually evaluate the value proposition—whether to pick a player now or to hold onto their priority position, hoping for a more valuable acquisition in the upcoming weeks.
  • Simple and Straightforward: For those who are new to the world of fantasy football, the Waiver Wire Priority system offers an intuitive learning curve. There aren’t complex algorithms or calculations. The higher your priority, the earlier you get your pick. This simplicity ensures that rookies aren’t overwhelmed and can enjoy the game from the get-go.


  • Requires Patience: Holding onto a high priority spot can be a test of patience, especially when enticing players become available. This can lead to missed opportunities if managers wait too long for that “perfect pick.”
  • Potential for Inactivity: A manager with a lower priority might feel disincentivized to make a claim, thinking that the players they desire will be taken by those higher up the pecking order. This could lead to periods of inactivity, which isn’t always optimal for roster health.
  • Reactive, Not Proactive: The system, by its design, is more reactive. Managers often wait for others to make their picks and then react based on what’s left. This might not always be the best strategy, especially when proactive decision-making could make the difference in tight matchups.

While the Waiver Wire Priority system offers a fair and straightforward method of player acquisition, its success for any manager hinges on their ability to navigate its strategic intricacies. It’s not just about what’s available—it’s about forecasting, planning, and sometimes, taking calculated risks.

Best Practices for Using Waiver Wire Priority Effectively

The waiver wire in fantasy football, akin to a treasure trove, is filled with potential gems that can elevate your team’s performance. However, the key lies in knowing when and how to claim these assets, especially when operating within the waiver wire priority system. Here’s how you can maximize your efficiency and make the most of your waiver position:

  • Stay Updated with NFL News: Knowledge, they say, is power. This couldn’t be truer in fantasy football. By staying on top of NFL news, you position yourself at an advantage. Whether it’s an unexpected injury, a rookie’s breakout performance, or a coach’s strategic shift, being in the know can help you snag the next big fantasy star before your competitors do.
  • Forecasting is Key: Instead of simply reacting to the past week’s outcomes, it’s crucial to forecast potential game-changers in the coming weeks. Look ahead to upcoming matchups, potential weather conditions, and bye weeks. Identifying players who may shine in the next two or three weeks allows you to claim them before they become hot commodities.
  • Strategize Your Waiver Position: If you’re high up in the priority order, be judicious about using your position. It might be tempting to claim a player after one good week, but it’s sometimes wise to wait for a more impactful player or a more pressing team need in subsequent weeks. Remember, once you make a claim, you’ll likely move to the end of the line.
  • Monitor Your League’s Transactions: Keeping an eye on other teams’ drops can provide value. Sometimes, an impatient manager might drop a player experiencing a temporary slump. This can be your gain, especially if you believe in the player’s potential or see an upcoming favorable schedule.
  • Balance Immediate Needs with Future Potential: While addressing immediate gaps in your lineup is vital, don’t overlook players with high upside that might only pay off later in the season. Stashing away one or two such players can prove to be a masterstroke as the season progresses.
Related:  The Analytics Edge: Unlocking Fantasy Basketball Success with Advanced Stats

While the waiver wire priority system adds an extra layer of strategy to fantasy football, with careful planning, foresight, and a bit of luck, you can navigate it effectively to build a formidable team. Always remember, the key is to remain adaptive, proactive, and informed.

An Overview of FAAB (Free Agent Acquisition Budget) Bidding

The Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB) stands out as a revolution in roster management. FAAB adds an exciting twist to the traditional waiver wire system, introducing a strategic layer that combines both skill and guile.

At its core, FAAB is a virtual budget given to each fantasy manager at the start of the season. Instead of a waiver priority determining who gets a player, managers “bid” on players using this budget. Once the bidding period concludes, the manager with the highest bid is awarded the player, and the bid amount is deducted from their budget. Sounds simple, right? But delve deeper, and you’ll see the nuances and intricacies that make FAAB an adrenaline-pumping aspect of fantasy sports.

One of the major appeals of the FAAB system is its democratization of the player acquisition process. Gone are the days of waiting for your waiver priority to climb to the top. With FAAB, even if you had a stellar week, you still have a shot at the top available player, provided you’re willing to pay the price. It brings to the table questions of value, worth, and strategy. How much is a player worth to your team? How much of your budget should you part with, and when?

Furthermore, FAAB encourages managers to be analytical and predictive. To succeed, one must anticipate not only the needs and desires of fellow managers but also gauge the future potential of available players. It’s a balancing act between short-term gains and long-term strategy. Do you splurge early on a breakout star or conserve your budget for late-season adjustments?

However, with the added freedom FAAB provides, comes added responsibility. Managers must be prudent. A reckless early-season splurge can leave a team cash-strapped down the stretch, potentially missing out on crucial late-season additions.

The FAAB system, while seemingly straightforward, is a deeply strategic and engaging component of fantasy football. It challenges managers to be forward-thinking, shrewd, and decisive. In a game where every decision has repercussions, understanding and mastering FAAB can be the difference between hoisting the league trophy or pondering what might have been.

Navigating the intricate layers of the FAAB system is an exciting challenge for many fantasy football enthusiasts. A blend of strategy, foresight, and cunning, the FAAB system can make or break a fantasy season. While it offers a unique alternative to the traditional waiver system, FAAB, like all systems, presents its fair share of advantages and drawbacks.


  • Level Playing Field: One of the standout advantages of the FAAB system is its inherent fairness. Unlike the conventional waiver order which may favor certain players based on their position, FAAB offers each manager an equal starting budget. Every week, irrespective of a manager’s previous standings or acquisitions, they have the chance to secure their desired player if they manage their budget wisely.
  • Strategic Depth: FAAB introduces a layer of intrigue and tactical depth that many argue is absent in the traditional waiver method. Managers must not only scout players but also anticipate the bidding tendencies of their competitors. This dynamic fosters an engaging game-within-a-game scenario, where managers are constantly weighing their immediate needs against future considerations, deciding when to splurge on a must-have player or when to save their budget for future rounds.
  • Flexibility: The system empowers managers with a sense of control. With the right amount of research and a keen understanding of the league’s landscape, managers can adapt their strategies on the fly, responding to injuries, breakout performances, or other unforeseen circumstances with a bid that reflects the urgency of their needs.


  • Overbidding Risks: One of the inherent risks of the FAAB system is the temptation to overbid. A manager might get caught in the heat of the moment and spend a disproportionate amount of their budget on a single player, leaving limited resources for future needs.
  • Analysis Paralysis: With the added layer of strategy, newer players or those not used to the FAAB system might find themselves overwhelmed with decisions. Trying to predict the bids of other managers, while also gauging the real value of a player, can be a daunting task.
  • Potential for Inequalities: Although the system starts off fair, poor early decisions can lead to vast inequalities in later weeks. A manager who has overspent early might find themselves virtually powerless in subsequent rounds, forced to watch as richer teams dominate the waiver wire.

While the FAAB system injects a thrilling dynamic of strategy and competition into fantasy football, it requires managers to be both judicious and insightful in their decisions. Balancing the pros and cons, managers can craft a strategy that leverages the advantages while mitigating the drawbacks, setting themselves up for fantasy success.

Strategies for Smart FAAB Bidding in Fantasy Football

Navigating the world of fantasy football requires not just passion but also strategy, especially when it comes to the waiver wire. The introduction of the FAAB system has added another dimension to this intricate game, demanding managers to be as astute with their virtual finances as they are with their player picks. With its blend of economic prudence and predictive skill, FAAB has become a battleground where leagues can be won or lost. Thus, mastering FAAB bidding is not just recommended, it’s essential. Here’s a comprehensive guide to some of the top strategies for smart FAAB bidding:

  • Budget Management: Just as in real life, managing your budget is crucial. Don’t put all your money on one player. Spread your bids across multiple players to enhance the chance of acquiring at least one. Consider saving some of your budgets for later in the season. Late-season breakouts or crucial handcuff players can be invaluable during the playoff push.
  • Research is King: Keeping abreast of NFL news can provide insights into potential injuries or player rotations, giving you a leg up on players who might become relevant in the coming weeks. Go beyond the surface stats. Delve deeper into analytics, match-ups, and player trends. The more informed your bid, the better the value you can extract.
  • Psychological Play: Understand the bidding tendencies of your fellow managers. If they’re aggressive early on, it might pay to be conservative and vice versa. Occasionally, place small bids on players you don’t necessarily need. This can force competitors to spend more of their budget, leaving them with less financial flexibility later on.
  • Avoid Overbidding: Always correlate your bid amount with the value a player brings to your team. Spending a significant portion of your budget on a one-week fill-in might not be the best strategy. Just because a player had one breakout week doesn’t mean they’ll be a season-long star. Be wary of overbidding based on short-term hype.
Related:  The Biggest Upsets in Tennis History and Their Fantasy Implications

FAAB has introduced an added layer of depth and strategy in fantasy football, making waiver wire acquisitions a more contemplative process. By implementing these strategies, managers can hope to navigate the FAAB waters with confidence, ensuring they’re always in the best position to strengthen their roster and, ultimately, chase league glory.

Priority vs. FAAB: Which is more strategic for different league formats?

The way you navigate the waiver wire can make or break your season of fantasy football. The decision between using Waiver Wire Priority and the FAAB isn’t just about personal preference; it’s about understanding which system aligns best with your league’s format and your strategic inclinations.

  • For traditional re-draft leagues, where players are often picked based on weekly performances and short-term value, the Waiver Wire Priority might be more fitting. This system is straightforward, and its rotating nature ensures that every team gets a fair shot at top-tier free agents over the course of the season. It’s predictable and adds a layer of strategy, especially if you’re deliberating whether to claim a player now or wait for a potentially better option later, knowing it might cost you in priority.
  • On the other hand, dynasty or keeper leagues, where long-term planning is paramount, might benefit more from the nuances of the FAAB system. Since players in these leagues are seen as multi-year investments, having a budget allows managers to assign specific monetary values to prospects they believe in. It’s a game of risk and valuation, as managers have to decide how much of their annual budget to invest in a potential breakout star or a temporary fill-in. Furthermore, the blind bidding nature of FAAB adds suspense and encourages strategic planning, ensuring that managers cannot merely rest on the laurels of their draft and must remain active and savvy throughout the season.
  • In auction draft leagues, where managers are already accustomed to placing monetary values on players, the transition to FAAB is almost intuitive. Given that managers are already thinking in terms of player value and budget constraints during the draft, FAAB becomes an extension of that mindset into the regular season, allowing for continuous strategic budgeting and valuation.

While both Waiver Wire Priority and FAAB have their merits, their strategic implications vary depending on the league format. Managers should weigh the pros and cons of each system in light of their league’s structure and their personal management style to ensure they’re setting themselves up for success on the waiver wire.

Priority vs. FAAB: How do both systems affect the overall strategy?

Navigating the waiver wire is akin to playing a game of chess within fantasy football. The choice between Waiver Wire Priority and the Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB) system doesn’t merely influence individual player picks but shapes the overarching strategy for the entire season. Understanding the ripple effects of each system is vital for every fantasy manager aiming for the championship.

  • With Waiver Wire Priority, there’s an embedded rhythm to roster management. This system follows a pattern, providing predictability. A manager might sit atop the priority list one week but plummet to the bottom the next after making a claim. This cyclical nature nudges managers to be judicious with their claims, as claiming a player means possibly missing out on a more valuable one in the subsequent weeks. Strategically, managers might sometimes forgo a decent player to preserve their top spot for the following week, anticipating a game-changing talent might hit the wire. This system promotes patience, foresight, and the art of calculated gambles, asking managers to weigh immediate needs against future potential.
  • Contrastingly, FAAB introduces an element of economics into fantasy football. Here, strategy morphs into a continuous evaluation of worth and demand. Every player has a price, but how much is a manager willing to pay? Unlike the predictability of Waiver Wire Priority, FAAB is a blind auction, which infuses an added layer of unpredictability and suspense. Managers must not only assess the value of a player but also anticipate the bidding tendencies of their competitors. Overspending early might leave a manager cash-strapped during pivotal moments later in the season, while being too frugal might result in missed opportunities to acquire game-changing talent. The FAAB system fosters a dynamic, market-driven approach, turning roster management into an exercise of resource allocation and risk assessment.

Even though both systems orbit around the waiver wire, their strategic demands vary significantly. Waiver Wire Priority leans on prediction and patience, while FAAB emphasizes valuation and adaptability. The choice between them can shape a manager’s mindset, tactics, and even their weekly rituals, underscoring the profound strategic impact inherent in this seemingly simple decision.

Integrating Waiver Wire Strategies with Maincard

In the fast-paced realm of fantasy football, the integration of innovative tools can be the key to dominating your league. Enter Maincard—a cutting-edge fantasy management platform—and its unique potential to revolutionize your waiver wire strategy.

Maincard stands out as a beacon in the expansive universe of fantasy sports, seamlessly merging the thrill of sports with the avant-garde facets of blockchain, NFT, and crypto technology. Every Maincard is distinct, possessing a 9-layer attribute system, ensuring that no two cards are alike. This nuance isn’t just for show—it holds the potential to offer an entirely new layer of strategy for fantasy football enthusiasts.

For Maincard users, waiver wire strategies aren’t just about snapping up the latest breakout star or filling a lineup gap. It’s about merging traditional fantasy football tactics with the strategic depth that blockchain mechanics can provide. Here’s how:

  • Strategic Leverage: Maincard users can pull from a richer data set, understanding player trends, historical bidding patterns, and more, helping them to outbid opponents and snatch up valuable free agents at optimal prices.
  • Blockchain-Driven Insights: Maincard’s blockchain mechanics introduce a layer of transparency previously unseen in fantasy sports. For instance, if a manager consistently overspends on running backs but underbids on wide receivers, these patterns become traceable and predictable on the blockchain. This offers a unique competitive advantage for observant managers.
  • Enhanced Player Valuation: The uniqueness of each Maincard can factor into player valuation on the waiver wire. Knowing the specific attributes of a Maincard might mean understanding a player’s potential worth better than others in your league.
Related:  Sports and Fandom: Exploring the Link Between Team Loyalty and Gaming Success

Maincard isn’t just another platform—it’s an evolution, reshaping the contours of fantasy football strategy. By combining the proven tactics of waiver wire play with the groundbreaking mechanics of Maincard, managers are poised to redefine success in their leagues. As fantasy football continues to grow and adapt, integrating tools like Maincard could be the key to staying a step ahead of the competition.


The waiver wire is more than just a supplementary tool in the grand scheme of fantasy football; it’s an essential strategy pivotal to a manager’s success throughout the season. From injury replacements to discovering breakout stars, a meticulous and well-executed waiver wire approach can be the difference between hoisting the league trophy and languishing at the bottom of the standings.

Enter the digital age, and fantasy football has metamorphosed, transcending its traditional boundaries. Platforms like Maincard are at the forefront of this evolution, integrating the intricacies of blockchain, NFTs, and crypto technology into the sporting world. With its unique 9-layer attribute system, Maincard brings an additional layer of strategy and excitement, offering players a nuanced game within the game. As the boundaries of what’s possible in fantasy sports continue to expand, so too does the potential for innovative strategies and dynamic gameplay.

Yet, amid this sea of technological advancement, the core principles of fantasy football remain unchanged. Managers must always stay adaptable, proactive, and, most importantly, continually refine their strategies. The waiver wire, with its weekly challenges and opportunities, is a testament to the ever-evolving nature of the game. As platforms like Maincard reshape the horizon, players are reminded of the age-old mantra: adapt, evolve, and strive for fantasy football supremacy. The game is changing, and with the right strategy, you can change with it.


What is the waiver wire in fantasy football?

The waiver wire is a mechanism in fantasy football that allows team managers to acquire unowned players from the player pool. Once NFL games begin for the week, all unrostered players are placed on “waivers,” meaning they can’t be instantly added to a fantasy team. Instead, they must be “claimed” in a process that gives every team a fair shot at acquiring them.

How does waiver wire priority work in fantasy football?

Waiver wire priority determines the order in which team managers can claim players from the waiver wire. Typically, the team with the highest priority gets the first pick and so on. Once a team has made a successful claim, they usually move to the end of the priority list for the next round of waivers. The order can be based on several factors, such as reverse order of standings or, in some leagues, is reset each week.

What does FAAB stand for in fantasy football?

FAAB stands for Free Agent Acquisition Budget. It’s a virtual budget assigned to fantasy football managers at the beginning of the season, which they use to bid on free agents throughout the year.

How does FAAB bidding operate in fantasy leagues?

In leagues utilizing the FAAB system, team managers place blind bids on players they wish to acquire from the waiver wire. Each manager decides how much of their FAAB they’re willing to spend on a particular player, with the highest bid winning. In the event of tied bids, waiver priority can be the tiebreaker.

What are the key advantages and disadvantages of using waiver wire priority?


  • Simplicity: It’s straightforward and easy to understand, especially for newcomers.
  • Fairness: Every team, regardless of its standing, gets an equal shot at top waiver claims over time.


  • Predictability: Opponents can often guess who you might target based on your roster needs and waiver position.
  • Passivity: Teams might avoid claiming players to maintain a higher priority for future weeks.

What are the main pros and cons of FAAB bidding in fantasy football?


  • Flexibility: Managers can decide how much a player is worth to them, allowing more strategic depth.
  • Equal Opportunity: Every team has a shot at any player, regardless of their current standing or past waiver activity.


  • Complexity: It might be challenging for beginners to determine the appropriate bid amounts.
  • Budget Depletion: Overbidding early can leave managers with limited resources later in the season.

Which waiver system is more strategic for standard leagues vs. PPR leagues?

Both waiver systems offer their strategic depth, regardless of league format. In standard leagues, where touchdowns and yardage are king, the ability to snag breakout stars off waivers can be game-changing, and the FAAB system allows managers to allocate their resources as they see fit. In contrast, PPR (Point Per Reception) leagues, which value consistency and volume, might benefit from the priority system, especially for managers lower in the standings looking to revamp their rosters.

Can you switch between Priority and FAAB during a fantasy football season?

Typically, the waiver system choice is set before the start of the fantasy season and remains consistent throughout. However, the commissioner of a league has the ability to change settings. It’s essential to ensure all managers are in agreement before making such a switch, as it can significantly impact strategies.

How can I determine the right bid amount in a FAAB system?

Determining the right bid in a FAAB system is both art and science. Consider factors like the player’s potential impact, your team’s needs, your remaining budget, and how aggressive your league mates typically are in their bidding. It can be beneficial to observe bidding trends early in the season and adjust your approach accordingly. Always leave some budget for the latter part of the season when unexpected stars emerge and injuries occur.

rewards banner