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. They may have been undrafted or dropped by owners. Owners can put a claim for that player, but must wait a specified amount of time until the waiver clears. The team that puts a claim on a player and has the better waiver priority number (closest to "1") will receive the player when waivers clear. An option of having waivers turned off is available as well. All available players not on Waivers are considered Free Agents.

The league creator has the option of choosing the number of player acquisitions that a team is allowed through free agency or waivers during the season. In a LM league, this setting can be changed by the League Manager at any time during the season.
  • No Limit - 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.
  • H2H limits can be edited at anytime by the League Manager but note the limits can only be increased, not decreased.

    ESPN Fantasy Hockey allows you to manage your head-to-head league throughout season. This system enforces a maximum number of acquisitions allowed per head-to-head matchup. An "acquisition" is defined as a player added from free agency (or waivers) to a team's roster. The default rule is simple - each team is allowed an average of one (1) acquisition per day in which there is an NHL game played. So for a typical 7-day NHL week, each team is allowed seven (7) acquisitions. Once the acquisitions limit is reach, a team will no longer be able to add players until the following matchup begins. Note that under this rule, the system will NOT enforce any maximum number of games played in the H2H game.

    Acquisition limits notes:

    • There is no limit on acquisitions before the season begins. The system only starts enforcing the rule on the first day of the season.
    • Dropping players or receiving player(s) via a trade does not count against a team's acquisition limit.
    • There is no limit to the number of acquisitions allowed per day (as long as it doesn't exceed the maximum). Teams can add seven (7) players to their team on a single day, or balance them out throughout the matchup (i.e. 2 on Tuesday, 2 on Friday, 3 on Saturday).
    • Since player additions lock at the first game of the day, the weekly transistion for acquisition limits takes place with the first game played on Sunday's.
    • Your team's current acquisition limit balance is displayed on three pages within the game - your "My Team" and "H2H Box Score" page, as well as the "Players" pages (free agency/waivers). The league "Standings" page will continue to display the total number of acquisitions made for the entire season.
    • See the Season Schedule page for a breakdown of the Standard game acquisition limits by week.

    An option for H2H leagues is to enforce how many games played are allowed for each team during a matchup period. Each matchup's games played limits are based upon how many scheduled NHL gamedays there are over the particular matchup period. For a typical week which there are 7 NHL gamedays the default limit is set to 40 Games Played. This number will increase or decrease based upon how many NHL gamedays there are over the course of the season and the limit can be customized for each instance. Note that if a team exceeds the game start max in the middle of a day, that team will continue to accumulate stats until the end of the day. Each team's current Games Played total can be viewed on each matchup's H2H Box Score page.

    The name says it all - there are no acquisitions or games played limit during a H2H matchup. Thus team's are allowed to do unlimited streaming over the course of the week and season.

    Each owner in a keeper league is allowed to retain a small number of players they owned during the previous season, eliminating these players from the draft. All leagues are retained from year-to-year, regardless of Keeper setting. However, you are given the option to set Keeper rules for the upcoming season and the following year. If you decide you want to use Keepers this season, you can do so by opening the LM Tools page and then selecting "Yes" from the dropdown menu. You will be given options for how many Keeper slots to make available and when the keeper list locks. The same applies for the next season.

    NOTE: If you are continuing a league from a different provider, you will need to select Keepers for use this season. You will then need to go into the Edit Team Rosters link and manually assign the Keepers to their appropriate teams BEFORE the draft. Also, if the League Manager allows draft pick trading, team owners cannot trade picks after keepers have been locked. So if you wish to trade draft picks, make sure you do so prior to the keeper selection deadline.

    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 be changed by the League Manager at any time during the season.

  • No Waivers - If selected, players will NEVER be moved to waivers. Rather, all available players are always free agents.
  • 1 Day
  • 2 Days
  • 3 Days
  • 4 Days
  • NOTE: 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 3 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.

    WAIVER SYSTEM (In-season)
    In ESPN Custom and League Manager leagues the waiver order during the season determines who has the first chance to claim a player on waivers.

  • Move to last after claim, never reset order The team which makes the most recent pickup is automatically moved to the last slot.
    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 your free agent list. A free-agent acquisition budget (FAAB) is used in blind auctions open to every team within the league. League Managers 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 are not selected in the league draft, players who are dropped and players added to the player pool during the season become FAAB-eligible for the timeframe set by the League Manager. However, instead of placing a traditional waiver claim, an owner places a bid they feel is appropriate based on a player's value. The LM assigns the pre-determined budget of each team for FAAB bidding over the course of the season. During the bidding period, team owners may bid at any time before the deadline. In a FAAB bidding environment, the only way players can be picked up is through the FAAB bidding process, and there are no first-come, first-served pick-ups. The bidding process 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.

    In the event of bids of equal amounts for a player by two or more teams (a tie), the lowest-ranked team in the year-to-date standings will receive the player. During the bidding period, no team can see any other team's bids or bid amounts. All teams can view FAAB bidding results after bids are processed, either on the league home page or in waiver reports. Additionally, all teams can view other teams' budget balances on each team clubhouse and waiver order pages.

    If you would like to learn more about FAAB, check out the article "How to use ESPN's new FAAB feature", by AJ Mass. It is as pertinent to Fantasy Hockey as it is about Fantasy Baseball.Click here to learn more.