What Is a Waiver in Fantasy Football? 2023

What Is a Waiver in Fantasy Football?: Fantasy football is a thrilling pastime for sports enthusiasts, offering a chance to manage your own NFL dream team. While the core concept involves selecting players for your roster, there’s another critical aspect to consider: waivers.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the world of waivers in fantasy football, explaining what they are, how they work, and why they’re a vital component of the fantasy football experience.

What Are Waivers in Fantasy Football?

Waivers in fantasy football refer to a system that allows team managers to acquire players who are currently unclaimed by any other team in their league.

The waiver system exists to ensure fairness and equal opportunity for all managers throughout the season. Without waivers, it would be a mad scramble to add newly emerging talent or replace injured players, favoring those who react fastest.

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How Do Waivers Work?

Waiver Order:

To establish a fair hierarchy for acquiring players, fantasy leagues typically assign a waiver order. This order determines the priority that managers have when making waiver claims. At the beginning of the season, the order may mirror the draft order or be randomized.

Waiver Wire:

The waiver wire is a list of available players who are not currently on any fantasy team’s roster. These players become available when they are dropped by other managers or were undrafted at the start of the season.

Waiver Claims:

Team managers can submit waiver claims specifying which players they want to add to their teams and who they’re willing to drop from their rosters to make room. Claims are submitted in advance of the waiver processing date.

Waiver Processing:

In most fantasy leagues, waiver claims are processed once a week, typically after the completion of that week’s NFL games. When processing occurs, players are awarded to managers who submitted successful claims based on the waiver order. If multiple managers claim the same player, the manager with the highest waiver priority usually gets them.

Free Agents:

After waiver processing, any unclaimed players become free agents. These players can be added to fantasy teams at any time on a first-come, first-served basis, without going through the waiver system.

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Why Are Waivers Important?


Waivers are a critical component of fantasy football for several reasons:


Waivers ensure that all managers have an equal opportunity to acquire players. Without them, the fastest manager to react would gain an unfair advantage.

Balanced Competition:

In competitive leagues, player availability can significantly impact team performance. The waiver system promotes balanced competition by preventing managers from hoarding all the available talent.

Strategic Depth:

Waivers add an extra layer of strategy to fantasy football. Managers must decide when and who to target on waivers, balancing immediate needs with long-term roster goals.

Player Value:

The waiver system reflects real-life NFL dynamics. Emerging talent and injured players often become available, mimicking the roster moves that NFL teams make throughout the season.

Waiver Strategies

Now that we understand the importance of waivers, let’s explore some common waiver strategies used by fantasy football managers:

Streaming Positions:

Some managers employ a “streaming” strategy for positions like defenses and kickers. They pick up the best available option each week based on matchups, optimizing their chances for success.

Stash Potential Breakouts:

Savvy managers keep an eye on emerging talents and potential breakouts. They may use their waiver priority to acquire promising players before their value skyrockets.

Injury Replacements:

When a key player on your roster gets injured, waivers become crucial for finding a suitable replacement. Having a solid backup plan can be the difference between winning and losing.

Trading Waiver Priority:

In some leagues, managers may trade their waiver priority to gain an advantage in the waiver order. This can be a high-stakes strategy, so use it wisely.

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In the article ‘What Is a Waiver in Fantasy Football?‘, waivers play a pivotal role in ensuring fairness, strategy, and competitiveness. Understanding how waivers work and implementing effective waiver strategies can be the key to success in your fantasy league.

As you navigate the season, remember that while the draft may lay the foundation for your team, the waiver wire is where championships are often won or lost.

So, stay vigilant, stay strategic, and make the most of the waiver system to build your ultimate fantasy football dream team.

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