Waivers and Free Agency in Custom Leagues
Waivers are the process by which owners can select from the pool of available players who are not on a team's roster in the league. Owners can put a claim in for a player, but must wait a specified amount of time until the waiver clears. The team wins any pending waiver claim will receive the player when waivers clear. All available players not on Waivers are considered Free Agents ("FA") and can be added at anytime. In custom leagues there are three types of waivers settings (player acquisition systems):
  • Waivers: This is the traditional waivers system and is the default setting. All unowned players will be set as 'On Waivers' immediately after the draft, each week of play or if dropped from another team's roster. Players on waivers will remain so for a set period of time (1-2 days), during which all teams will have the opportunity to make a claim on any player. When the waiver period expires (which usually takes place around 4AM ET), the player will be awarded to the team with the highest waiver priority that made a claim, and that team will move to the end of the waiver order. This process continues until all players with claims on them process. At this time all players not added via waivers become free agents which can be claimed by any team on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Free Agent Auction Bidding: If selected, teams will have a specific budget with which they can make player acquisitions during the season, and all acquisitions will be processed in batches one or more times each week. If a team would like to add a player, that team will secretly bid a certain amount. On the next waiver process day, the team with the highest amount bid will be awarded the player, and the bid will be subtracted from that team's budget. Note: the default budget for FAAB is $100/team. This can be changed to any amount between $10 and $1000.
  • No Waivers: All players will immediately become free agents after the draft or after being dropped from a team's roster. Most teams choose to use a waiver period to make player acquisitions more fair, but this setting may be chosen if you prefer to allow roster additions of all players at any time. Note that if your league has already drafted and you switch to this setting, any players who are already on waivers will remain on waivers until the following day, at which time waiver will process and all unclaimed players will become free agents.

The league creator has the option of choosing the number of player acquisitions allowed through free agency or waivers during the season. Players added via trade do NOT count against any team acquisition limits. In LM Leagues, this setting can be changed by the League Manager at any time during the season.

  • No Limit: This is the default setting and how the majority of leagues play. If selected, there is no limit to the number of players a team can add or drop.
  • None Allowed : If selected only the League Manager can add players to teams.
  • Limited: A specific number of transactions is selected (i.e. 5, 10, 15, 20). Once that number of transactions has been reached the team will not be allowed to add any players to their team.

    If Waivers are used, owners must wait until the time that a player spends on waivers elapses before the waiver claim is processed. If the player on Waivers is not selected and the waiver period expires, he automatically becomes a free agent. In LM leagues, this setting can only be changed by the League Manager prior to the league's draft. Below are the available custom league options for Waivers period:
    • No Waivers - If selected, players will NEVER be moved to waivers. Rather, all available players are always free agents.
    • 1 Day - this is the default setting. Most players will clear Wednesday AMs.
    • 2 Days Most players will clear Thursday AMs.
    If a player is dropped during the week (i.e. on Thursday afternoon), the player will be listed on waivers for the set length of total days set in your league rules. For example, suppose your waiver period is set for 1 day. This means the waiver will process at the next waiver processing that is at least a full 24 hours (1 day) later. So, if you drop a player at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, your waiver will run on or about 4 a.m. ET Saturday - the next scheduled running of waivers that is at least 24 hours past the time the player was dropped.

    NOTE: Any waiver claims which are pending at the time the Waiver Period rule is changed, will be grandfathered and changed for players moved to waivers moving forward.

    The waiver order determines which team has the first chance to claim a player off waivers. Below are the two options available in custom leagues:

    • Reset Each Week to Inverse Order Of Standings: This is the default settings and if selected the team in last place will be reset to first in the waiver order (and so on for each team's league rank) each week during the season.
    • Move to Last After Claim, Never Reset Order: If selected the waiver order does not reset on a weekly basis.
    Regardless of which option is selected, after a team makes a waiver selection that team is shifted to the last waiver position. In LM leagues this setting can be changed at any time during the season.

    NOTE: Waivers won't reset in your league during the playoffs if they are set to inverse order of standings. The playoff teams have already been determined in your league so the standings won't change. Once a team claims a player from waivers they will move to the end of the list.

    The team with the most money remaining after auction draft is complete will get the "better" waiver position. If two or more teams are tied with money remaining, the team that finished their roster first will get the "better" waiver position.

    Bring the auction experience to the waiver wire! An option for both ESPN Custom and League Manager (LM) leagues in is Free Agent Acquisition Budget, or "FAAB". This waiver system is a blind auction open to every team within the league. League creators can select this option via a radio button in the "Transaction and Keepers" tab of the league setup process.

    In an auction bidding environment, players who move to waivers after the league draft, players who are dropped, or players added to the player pool during the season become waiver-eligible for the timeframe set by the league creator. However, instead of placing a traditional waiver claim, an owner places a bid they feel is appropriate based on a player's value. The league creator assigns the pre-determined budget of each team for waiver bidding over the course of the season. During the auction waiver period, team owners may bid at any time before it expires. In an auction bidding environment, no player on the waiver wire is a Free Agent (FA). The bidding is an open process and there is no sequence for the bids. Team owners may bid at any time during the waiver period, before it expires. When a player clears waivers, the FAAB bidding ends for that player and they become a Free Agent (eligible for first-come, first-served pick-ups).

    In the event of bids of equal amounts for a player by two teams (a tie), waiver order priority determines the winner of the player. During the waiver period, no team can see any other team's bids or bid amounts. All teams can view FAAB results after the waiver release time, either on the league home page or the "Free Agent Auction Report". Additionally, all teams can view other team budget balances on each team clubhouse and waiver order pages.