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Working the Waiver Wire

With most drafts done, owners will now be looking to the waiver wire to replace players demoted to the minors or on the disabled list. Here are a few guidelines I like to follow when looking to pick up available players.

Be ready for waiver wire bargains.

If there ever was a time of year to actively track the players being released by owners, it is the first couple weeks of the season. Owners will be trying to get daily production from every spot on their team and will be dropping talented players that start the season with limited playing time. Also, they might quickly lose patience with a player that is struggling in his first couple dozen at bats of the season. For example, over at Rotohardball.com, an owner is looking to pick up Mike Napoli who was dropped when another owner decided Anibal Sanchez was more valuable.

Always have a player on your team you are will to part with if an opportunity arises.

At all times, a player on each team needs to be expendable. I usually have this player be an extra outfielder on my bench or a middle reliever I am using to pad my pitching rate stats.

An owner may not specifically need the available player, but the new player could definitely be used in a trade to make a positional upgrade.

Using the above example with Napoli, the owner already has Posada, so a catcher is not really needed. They could use some help in the outfield though. Packaging Napoli and one of your current outfielders to a owner needing Napoli to get a better outfielder. Once the trade is done look over the waiver wire for the player you dropped for the trade. There is a decent chance the player is still available or if not, look for another player to flip.

Have an idea of your waiver wire position, but don’t let it dictate picking up players.

Every owner should be given a waiver wire position after they have finished their draft. What this position means is that if two owners are after the same player, the person highest on the waiver wire will get the player. This time of year, positioning can be important in case someone really valuable hits the waiver wire.

I really feel that unless you are in the first waiver wire position, feel free to pick up whoever you need. Don’t be afraid to go back to the bottom of the priority list. In most instances, I have found that I make it back to the top half of the priority list in just a few days as owners scramble to upgrade their team. If you do have a high position and don’t want to give it up, wait to see if the player passes trough waivers and then try to pick him up. By using this method, you will not lose your waiver wire position and hopefully get the player. Personally, I give up the position and get the player I need.

Well, there were a few strategies I use when dealing with the waiver wire and hopefully you can improve your team with them.