Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Tips

The free agent waiver wire is vital to fantasy baseball success. To start the season, it contains all of a league’s players that were not drafted and makes them available for each team.

As a team owner, you will need to drop certain players when adding free agents. This is very important since certain drafted players will in fact need replacing. You will generally do this when encountering player injuries, suspensions and lackluster performances.

Chances are several waiver moves will actually be made by each team before season’s end. However, there are some aspects to keep in mind when using the waiver wire. Before making any free agent transactions, you should consider the five following points.

1. Understand Team Needs
Your team may be failing or slipping a bit in the league standings. In this case, you must figure out exactly where help is needed before making transactions. Maybe a certain roster position is producing poorly or possibly you keep losing particular statistical categories.

A frequent mistake of team owners is picking up unnecessary players. For example, an owner might have a poor hitting first baseman and low team batting average but have solid hitting outfielders and an abundance of team home runs. The owner might spot a slugging outfielder on waivers and take him anyways, even though it does nothing to help where the team is lacking.

2. Consider the Sacrifice
To gain a new player via free agency, you will have to lose one from your roster. This can be a tough choice if the roster is already very talented. When making waiver moves, you should always determine the value of players being dropped.

The best course of action is to weigh the free agent’s benefits against that of your current roster player. An example might be that your current player is a steady starting pitcher, while the waiver pick up is one known to be inconsistent. In that situation, keeping the current player will probably be a good choice.

3. Research Player Patterns
There are some players that perform better early in the season, while others start slow and accomplish more later. Also there are some which have tendencies for extreme hot streaks and long slumps. As a fantasy owner, it is a good idea for you to look back at these trends before making waiver moves.

A player slumping in the first few weeks might give you incentive to drop him. However, if this is typical and he heats up later that move would be a mistake. On the flip side, a certain free agent might currently be on fire, but could be someone that will probably drop off fast.

4. Forget the Past
There are some players that really stand out due to great careers or even one good season. Some owners will occasionally make transactions based strictly on these big names. If such players are on the waiver wire, you should look at recent production before automatically making moves.

Taking familiar players is tempting; especially those you might have watched hit big home runs or pitch no-hitters in the past. It is possible your waiver wire might even have a few future hall-of-fame candidates available. When considering this, always remember that past statistics do not matter in fantasy baseball.

5. Know League Transaction Rules
Some leagues have a weekly limit on how many waiver moves each team can make. Others may actually charge team owners a fee per transaction. Either way, it is best to be aware of such regulations and plan around them accordingly.

If a weekly limit exists, you certainly want to make sure moves are available when needed. Therefore, using them all early in the week is usually a bad idea. As for paying per move, consider just how deep your pockets really are when it comes to fantasy baseball.