The Ultimate Guide to FAAB Fantasy Football

Gavel Faab Fantasy Football

Why FAAB Fantasy Football Is Optimal For Leagues

If you’re an avid fantasy football player, you already know that the waiver wire is crucial for winning a championship.

At any given point, you will utilize the waiver wire in order to substitute players for injuries, bye weeks, optimal match-ups, or just to improve your roster down the stretch of the fantasy football season.

Depending on the type of fantasy football league you participate in, there can be several different settings for a league. Whether you play in a standard league, PPR (points per reception), 2 QB league, dynasty league, etc., there’s numerous variables and scoring options that you need to pay attention to prior to drafting your team.

Most fantasy players are unaware that there are different types of waiver wires as well.

The standard waiver wire are what most players and leagues are accustomed to. Fantasy football players will put in claims for available players early in the week. These waiver wire requests are usually processed later in the week so that a fantasy football manager can effectively substitute the newly acquired player accordingly to to their roster.

Herein lies the problem.

The standard waiver wire setting can be extremely frustrating.

More than likely, players utilize the waiver wire because they need an adequate substitute for their next game. This is all based on team performance though, which completely derails a top performing team from acquiring a top waiver wire pick.

Most waiver order settings reset each week to inverse order of standings; meaning good luck trying to acquire a player that’s targeted by multiple teams.

Let’s provide an example:

Team 1 Team 2
Record: 1-3 Record: 3-1
Player requested: Dallas Cowboys WR Player requested: Dallas Cowboys WR

Team 1 Awarded Dallas Cowboys WR

This is pretty straight forward. Team one obviously needs the player to help improve the overall quality of his team, whereas Team 2 has a better overall record in the standings, thus not needing the player. But this isn’t always the case. Let’s evaluate another example:

Team 3 Team 4
Record: 6-5 Record: 7-4
Player requested: Cincinnati Bengals RB Player requested: Cincinnati Bengals RB

Team 3 Awarded Cincinnati Bengals RB

This is where the system is flawed. Clearly both teams have a decent record, and are both competing for the same player. But because Team 3 has lost one more game then Team 4, he is awarded the player. This system is inefficient.

Enter The FAAB (Free Agent Acquisition Budget)

The Free Agent Acquisition Budget is not only an available setting for most leagues, it’s really the only way establish a competitive and strategic wavier wire for your league.

How Does The FAAB Work?

FAAB fantasy football is an auction format that utilizes a blind bid system to acquire players off the waiver wire.

Prior to the start of the season, each team manager is supplied with a virtual bank containing a specific amount of digital currency. (This number can be set according to your league manager.)

When you’re ready to acquire a player that is currently on waivers, you will “bid” on this player. In other words, you must select a digital dollar amount that you are willing to offer in order to acquire that player.

The player who bids the most digital money once waivers clear (usually on a Wednesday), the player is awarded to that owner.

Do I Have To Bid Money To Acquire A Player?

Absolutely not.

Actually, you’ll find it quite common for league members to bid $0 to acquire a player off the waiver wire, if you feel that player does not have a high demand. Just remember: any player who were to bid $1 or more on that same player would be awarded that player.

Once waivers have cleared for the week, you will then be able to pickup any players that were not bid on instantly, for no fee.

FAAB Strategy

How can there be a faab strategy? You bid on a player, you either acquire him or you don’t. It’s that simple, right?

Not at all.

A lot of fantasy football players treat their FAAB fantasy football budget as if it’s their first credit card.

Spending All Your FAAB Budget

Mid-to-late through the season, they are really suffering because they’ve depleted their entire budget. When this happens, they really have no chance on picking up top waiver wire pickups until after waivers have cleared, which tends to be difficult to achieve.

While there is no definitive fantasy football advice with managing your FAAB Budget, here’s a few guidelines to keep in mind:

  1. Feel out the competition.

    You’re not going to know how much to bid on a player the first few games of the fantasy football season. You’re going to have to fell out your league mates to see what kind of bids they are making.

    Monitor the types of winning bids within your league activity, to give you some reference on where to start.

  1. Draft smart.

    Do us a favor and make sure you draft your main running back’s handcuff.

    This will not only ensure you have someone in reserves if your RB is injured, but you do not have to waste a significant amount of your FAAB budget on trying to acquire him off the waiver wire.

  2. Be conservative in the beginning.

    There’s going to be an urge to acquire players as soon as the fantasy football season starts, but withhold from small dollar amount pickups. They can add up quickly, and leave you with nothing approaching the playoffs.

    The FAAB system allows you to be smarter about your pickups, which tends to be a beneficial aspect for players you’ve drafted who haven’t put up their best points within the season.

  3. Research before bidding.

    If you’re targeting a popular waiver wire pickup, odds are your league-mates are looking to do the same.

    One thing that assists is how much you should bid is researching how much budget each of your league-mates have remaining.

    More than likely, if it’s an absolute need for their team, they will be bidding more than 40-50% of their budget to acquire that player. This should give you an a ballpark of where to start.

  4. It’s not just for your bench.

    Just because you have remaining budget headed into the playoffs, doesn’t mean you can’t spend it.

    You can strategically use your remaining budget against your opponent.

    If you’ve noticed your opponent has a difficult match-up against you or an injury, and you’re predicting they may go for a specific player, bid a reasonable amount on the same player (even if you don’t plan on keeping him)! This will block them from acquiring the player and scoring points against you.

FAAB Fantasy Football Is Here To Stay

The Free Agent Acquisition Budget is not only a more viable option for a strategic league, it makes it a hell of a lot more competitive. Early before you begin the next fantasy football season, reach out to your league commissioner and send them this article, explaining why you need FAAB for your league.

Have a comment? Anything to add? Drop us a line below!



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  • Rod says:

    is it possible in a custom league at espn to assign extra FAAB to a team after they have spend it all?

    • Chad Lio says:

      Not sure why you would want to do that. The whole purpose is for you to budget throughout the season.

    • Teddy Bridgewater says:

      Yes. The League Manager can adjust this amount on a per=player basis at any time.

    • Mark says:

      Typically the easier way is to allow $0 bids (which is NOT the default). That means even if you run out of FAAB budget you can still bid $0 and pickup new players…you just may need to do a few $0 bids and hope that no one else bid on the same player or you have the tie breaker

  • Chad Xonnen says:

    I play on ESPN League Manager league using FAAB, and was wondering if someone can answer this for me as I’m having trouble understanding the process of picking up free agents in FAAB. Specifically at the beginning of the week, after Monday’s games. After players become unlocked from the games, to add free agents to teams, would you need to bid for the players, or does bidding apply only to players dropped from teams and still on waivers? Thanks!

    • Chad Lio says:

      Hey Chad! Yes, after Monday’s games, the only way to acquire a player initially is to bid on him. If your league settings are set up properly, you may even bid $0 on a player. Once the bids have cleared on Wednesday, you should be able to pick up a player right away. This all depends on how your league manager has set up the FAAB system, but this is generally how it goes.

  • Dan H says:

    Two questions. First, are you allowed to temporarily have more players than allowed if you win the bid? Then decide later who to drop?
    Second, typically in waivers you request first, second, third choice and more. What do you do in FAAB to avoid winning too many bids or none?

    • Chad Lio says:

      Dan, you are correct in having more players temporarily. It will process the winning bid, but won’t allow you to sub them into your lineup until you drop players. For your second question, if you feel like you have a good chance of winning that player, I wouldn’t submit backup bids immediately. Only if you think that player will be highly targeted. Thanks for commenting!

    • HughJashole says:

      Here’s the problem with allowing teams to pick up players right away on a first come first serve basis after waivers run. You go through all the effort of having waivers or a FAAB waivers system… and then on Wednesday after waivers run at 2pm the Bills announce that Shady McCoy has been injured at practice with a hamstring pull and is probably out. Now it becomes the first team to hear the injury news and who can run to their computer and make the add/drop for the Bills backup RB gets him. Absolute total nonsense. The guy who owns McCoy could be on a construction sight working away from any sports news until that night when he gets home. Now he has no chance to bid on the back RB in FAAB or get him through a waiver process. I’ve played them all as far as waivers go… and the best way to be fair and do away with the “first come first serve” BS after waivers run is to use the ALL Free Agents are on waivers process. That way the only way to add players is through Waivers and a team that adds a player goes to the bottom of the list after a move.

  • […] agents, and will have to wait until the waiver period closes before you can adjust your rosters.  Here’s an article that outlines how the system works.  If anyone has any questions about this, let me know and I can […]

  • Stephen says:

    Kind of an 11th hour question so I don’t get too many players: If my roster is full and I bid Player A for $11 (drop player C) and a bid on Player B for $8 (drop same player C), and let’s say I get Player A, will it automatically cancel the bid for Player B (since I don’t have the player C to drop for that deal)?? Thanks!

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