What are waivers?
Waivers can be a bit confusing so we're here to help! Basically they are the process by which owners can add to their team from the pool of available players who are not on any other roster in your league. Once a player is added to the candidate pool (usually by means of someone dropping them from their roster) owners can put in a claim for that player and then wait a certain amount of time for other owners to do the exact same thing. Then, once that time period has passed the claims get awarded based on your league settings.
But wait, why can't every player just be a free agent and anyone can pick them up whenever they want? Because by utilizing the waiver system it gives every owner the same amount of time to evaluate and determine which players they'd like to add to their teams, therein eliminating the possibility of a never ending first-come, first-serve system that would be frustrating to play with. In custom leagues there are three types of waiver settings:
- Standard Waivers: This is the default setting described above. All un-owned players are put on waivers Immediately following your draft, each week from the start of the first game until a few hours past the end of the last and when dropped from another team. When the waiver period expires (usually around 3 am EST) all of the claims from that period will be processed based on the waiver order. If you'd like to know more about how to claim a player off of waivers or how waiver order is determined just head to those specific FAQs.
- Free Agent Auction Bidding - Teams will have a specific budget with which they can bid to make player acquisitions and all bids are processed after the league's specified waiver period. If a team would like to add a player, that team will secretly bid an amount they are willing to pay. On the waiver process day, the team with the highest bid will be awarded the player, and the bid will be subtracted from that team's budget. Players who are not claimed during bid processing become free agents available for first come, first serve style pickups.
- Free Agent Auction (Continuous) - Teams will have a specific budget with which they can bid to make player acquisitions and all acquisitions will be done in batches one or more times each week (as specified in the settings). If a team would like to add a player, that team will bid an amount they are willing to pay. On the next waiver process day, the team with the highest bid will be awarded the player, and the bid will be subtracted from that team's budget.
- No Waivers: This is the ultimate free for all system: every player is immediately available to be added to your team as a free agent as soon as they enter the candidate pool. Most leagues choose to utilize waivers because this system is often deemed as unfair, but the choice is yours.