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The Re-Draft Roundtables Series
The Footballguys staff looks at various strategies to help you in redraft leagues.
Participating in a redraft league is a process that starts with the draft and hopefully ends with a championship. The Footballguys staff has answered several questions about various strategies to help you achieve your championship dreams. From the beginning to the end and everything in between, we've got you covered to give you the tools and knowledge needed to dominate your redraft league.
Let's talk about pre-emptive waiver claims - Explain the importance of this and how you approach this strategy.
Pre-emptive waiver claims are important because they allow you to get out in front of a heavy waiver wire/FAAB run where everyone is going for the same player. This guarantees you get the player and save you waiver priority or FAAB. To do this, I target players I view to have extreme upside should something happen to a teammate in front of them on the depth chart. Another possible application is zigging while everyone else is zagging after an injury. The masses are often overly confident about who the next man will be after an injury. If there is any gray area at all, grabbing the other player on the cheap can be genius if the dominos fall the right way.
At a high level, being proactive on waivers is vital to success. As someone who isn't particularly passionate or effective at aggressive in-season trading, my success generally hinges on aggressive, effective, smart waiver play. The way to get this right is to not fall in love with your bench. Be merciless in your willingness to part ways with players who aren't in your weekly roster in favor of others whom you can see being instant starters if one more domino (e.g., an injury right above them in the depth chart) falls.
There's nothing more important than tackling the waiver wire with precision and swiftness. A lot of the success on waivers hinges on a point I made about taking players with unclear outlooks but with answers coming soon. If there's an unclear outlook for one of your rostered players and clarity from someone on waivers presents itself, picking up the latter can be a league-changing move.
Leagues are won and lost on the waiver wire. The teams that make the playoffs always have a high number of transactions each season. If an owner is not making one or two bids a week, they are incredibly lucky or losing and near giving up. It's a big part of why I only draft one tight end, kicker, and defense - there are always good players with favorable matchups that you can pick up for a week and then drop them the following week. I'm usually checking out the hot waiver wire report on Monday and looking to see who is available in my league. I'll submit one or two immediately, expecting I won't get either. By Tuesday morning, I'll typically submit another or two and have up to four live for Wednesday when they are processed. Then when it comes to FCFS, I will add players right up until kickoff - especially if there is a late scratch or key announcement that could give me a couple of extra points that week.
In life, not just fantasy football, it is always better to be proactive rather than reactive. Planning a week or more gets you better bye-week coverage for your kicker and defense, maybe even a tight end or quarterback. Seeing a struggling running back and his backup sitting on the wire. Of course, you have the major injuries and every trying to grab the new starter, but looking retrospectively at waiver wire transactions, you can see the breakout stars usually a week or two before they are taken.
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