Fantasy Football: How to Win Your League With Waiver Claims

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Feb 3, 2014; New York, NY, USA; A general view of the Vince Lombardi Trophy during the winning team press conference the day after Super Bowl XLVIII at Sheraton New York Times Square. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Every year, early weeks of NFL play will herald the arrival of new stars. More importantly, those breakouts also mean fantasy football leagues across the internet will feature new producers at almost every position that were over-looked in your draft. Those producers are just waiting for someone to claim them to shore up weaknesses on your roster.

I once won 11 consecutive fantasy football leagues largely due to my ability to find gold on the waiver wire. During this streak, players in multiple fantasy leagues made “agreements” not to trade with me, so waiver wire claims and “street free agents” became the only ways I could improve my roster.

On the following pages, are tips to win your fantasy football league by claiming players no one wanted on draft day. Tuesday morning at 7:00 AM, I will apply these principles by posting my claim targets for week 1.

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The trick is to separate the one-week wonders from new fantasy producers. And you need to spot them early. If you don’t they’ll end up on someone else’s roster and you will have missed your chance.

If you’re in a league that uses a first come, first serve claim order, then you’re probably already too late for week 1. If you’re in a  fantasy football league that restricts claims until the 1st week of games have been played plus a priority rule, you will need to get your claims in sometime on Tuesday after tonight’s MNF games.

While breakouts can occur at any point in the season, you need to pay particular attention early in the year. That’s when you can get guys that will have a huge impact on your roster.

So how do you identify such bargains? Many people will just randomly claim an unknown that puts up big fantasy numbers at almost any point in the season. Too many times they end up with the one-week wonder while missing on guys that can really help.

Here are some tips on how to pan for fantasy football gold: