FAAB? Good or bad?

In one of my leagues, we are having a discussion about instituting FAAB, aka “free agent bucks” or “free agent acquisition budget”.

Here is an article that discusses it:

While FAAB isn’t a deal-breaker for me with any league, I must call it what it is: A borderline mini-salary cap, that actually can help stronger teams during the season. A few years ago, when RB James Robinson first broke out, teams that allocated a ridiculous amount of their FAAB to acquiring him tended to do better than others. But that fact means some teams that were already winning suddenly acquired an additional advantage over teams that might have truly needed it. In other words, FAAB “made the rich richer”.

We spend a lot of time making the draft fair, using snaking drafts for startups and redraft, or drafting in rookie drafts based on last year’s results in dynasty or keeper leagues. Turning the waiver wire into a salary cap exercise runs in contradiction to that philosophy. Do we want competitive balance in leagues, or is the waiver wire something managers need to master in order to be successful?

That just depends on how you define “fair.” A snake draft is “fair” in that it prevents any one team from drafting 3 of the top 5 players if they so desire, but an auction draft is “fair” in that it allows every owner, not just those at the top of the draft order, an opportunity to draft top 5 players.

In my opinion, an auction draft league should have a FAAB waiver system, and a snake draft league should have rolling list waivers. If you’re going to take turns, take turns all year, and if you’re going to bid for players, then bid for players all year.

That said, when you all feel like putting on your big boy pants, convert your league to an auction draft league. You’ll never go back.

As someone who plays both waiver systems for years now, I can only say: nope.

The waiver wire will reward active managers in both cases. Waiver Priority makes things a little easier for turnaround teams, while FAAB gives all teams an equal chance, and offers more strategic options.

However, in practice, it hardly makes a difference. When Brock Purdy broke out in week 13 last year, I was able to claim him in both leagues. In the WP league, I got him while being the #2 WP team in week 14… In my FAAB$ league, I was successful with a $52 bid (season budget $200, with FAAB$ being non-tradeable).

Both WP# and FAAB$ bid turned out to be irrelevant, though, as in both leagues, I had been the sole bidder. I would have gotten Purdy at WP #12 and with a $0 bid.

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I’m not discussing auction drafts here, although I recognize they are the FAAB of drafts. But your comment about snake drafts is relevant.

This would be more consistent logically.

Pretty much what I was saying.

The waiver order is set based on the draft order and in start ups and redrafts that is random and has nothing to do with a team being good or bad.

In most good and competitive leagues there is not much difference between teams. Many times the teams at the bottom are there due to injuries on players they get back. They get higher higher draft picks and lower waiver positions.

Waiver order is the reverse of the draft which hurts the bad teams.

FAAB adds some strategy and fun to leagues, Trying to figure out how much to bid to beat another you know want the same player and having a bit of fun with those placing crazy prices.

Not having it reverts back to old school boring.

Which really makes having a rolling list waiver system stupid for an auction draft, because the person who had the first nomination in the draft gets the last waiver slot–without even getting the usual perk of being guaranteed the #1 overall player!