Your League Needs to Change to the FAAB Waiver System
You are missing out if your league doesn’t use Blind Bidding Waivers/FAAB. If you’re OK having zero shot at a waiver-wire gem when you’re last on the waiver priority list because you acquired a defense to fill in on a bye, then go ahead and use the old waiver priority system. If you have no problem when a league mate beats you to the waiver wire when injury news breaks because you set your phone down for five minutes or decided to sleep, then continue with first come, first serve (FCFS) waiver system. If you plan on being a draft shark and want to use the advantage you get by listening to The Fantasy Footballers and subscribing to the Ultimate Draft Kit, then you should be lobbying for a Blind Bidding/FAAB waiver system. I’ll make the case for you. All you need to do is show this article to your league mates.
What is FAAB?
FAAB stands for Free Agent Acquisition Budget. As the name implies, you are given a budget (typically $100-500) at the beginning of the year to use on acquiring free agents. Free agents are awarded to the highest bidder. In the case of a tie, the winner is normally the player with the worse record and/or lowest point total.
“Use FAAB or watch CSPAN. The choice is yours.” -Kyle Borgognoni
How Does FAAB and Blind Bid Waivers Work?
Each week, players are given a window that ends on Tuesdays or Wednesdays to place bids on free agents similar to the more common waiver priority (worst-to-first) system. All bids are placed in the blind. No other players will know how much you bid and you will not know how much they bid. This is how the bidding may have looked in a fictitious league when David Johnson finally got his opportunity last year:
|Team||FAAB||Player to Acquire||Bid||Player to Drop||FAAB Remaining if Processed|
|Team A||$12||Damien Williams||$0||Gus Edwards||$12|
|Team B||$76||Damien Williams||$44||Danny Amendola||$32|
|Team C||$43||Damien Williams||$35||Spencer Ware||$8|
|Team D||$21||Damien Williams||$15||Jimmy Graham||$6|
Player B won the bid with $44. Even though a $36 bid would have won it, the full $44 would have been deducted from Player B’s FAAB. No players will be dropped and no money will be deducted from the players with losing bids (I’ve never played in a league that did, but it would be an interesting twist if losing bids were deducted from the FAAB).
Notice that Player A put in a bid of zero. Many leagues have an option for a $0 bid that allows a waiver claim by players who have exhausted their FAAB which keeps them more involved through the year. This also allows you to pick up players that others probably don’t want without eating into your budget. Obviously, a $0 bid will not win if anyone else places a bid for $1 or more so it’s risky.
What Puts the FAAB in Fabulous?
Every player has a shot at every free agent each week. Bid too little and you miss out. Bid too much and you get your free agent, but you crush your budget and may miss out on a waiver-wire gem later in the year. The point is, a Blind Bid system will reward smart players and make it nearly impossible for weaker players to luck into acquiring top free agents. Good fantasy players want to take out the luck factor wherever they can.
Blind Bidding also introduces more strategy to your league. Would you be willing to plunk down 33% of your FAAB in the first few weeks on a RB that gets an opportunity because of injury? If the second or third WR on a rush-first team goes off in Week 1, are you willing to put in a bid and how much should the bid be?
You might also snag a player you don’t need because you know your opponent does need them. Imagine how much fun it would be to add an unnecessary TE to your team when your buddy desperately needs a TE heading into a playoff matchup against you. That type of shrewd move is the stuff of lore that will be rehashed for years to the chagrin of your opponent.
FAAB systems are also great for mind games especially if you’re in a league with friends. If you let it slip that you bid $12 on a defense when you actually bid $3, will someone take the bait and bid $13 or will they not bid at all if they think you actually bid $12? Can you incite a bidding war on a mediocre talent? If you express your undying love for a player on the waiver wire, will your league-mates think you don’t like them when you actually do? Will you ‘accidentally’ leave your computer screen on around your friends showing a fictitious low or high bid? The opportunities to play mind-games are endless.
Common Blind Bid Waiver Settings
- If there’s an option, I prefer allowing $0 bids, but many leagues start with $1 bids
- Most FAABs are set at $100-1,000 in the beginning of the year. I prefer a larger budget since a kicker or defense acquired for $1 is a lot cheaper as a percentage of your budget with a $500 or $1,000 FAAB than it is with a $100 FAAB, but the Footballers strongly prefer a $100 FAAB.
- Waiver processing ends on Tuesdays in most leagues, but I prefer blind bidding until Wednesday nights. Making the blind bid waivers open until Wednesday allows one extra day to input bids. More importantly, there’s a smaller chance someone gets a waiver-wire gem for free because of a mid-week injury since free agents become FCFS between the time blind bid waivers are processed and kickoff.
“FAAB is the worst waiver system you can use, except for all of the other ones.” -Keaton Denlay
This is a setting that’s a no-brainer for your league. FAAB and Blind Bidding add an element to leagues that Waiver-Priority and FCFS systems just can’t. Your leagues will involve far more strategy, flexibility, and gamesmanship once you convert to Blind Bidding. For you Footclaners out there, you won’t leave studs on the waiver wire for your league mates; you just leave them bodies just like Arnold in his glory days!