Week Zero Waiver Wire
Posted Aug. 28 at 12:19 PM
I wouldn't call the Buffalo Bills a model NFL franchise, even though they had an amazing run of four consecutive Super Bowl trips in the 1990s (even losing them all, that's impressive), and they have a rabid fan base that remains loyal today. They haven't always rewarded those loyal fans with superior teams, and they've endured a string of mediocre seasons while other teams in their division have excelled.
Still, as a fantasy owner you can look to the Bills as a team to emulate. A few months ago, their quarterback situation was pretty set: Ryan Fitzpatrick was the starter, and Vince Young was the backup. They even paid Young a $350,000 signing bonus to play in Buffalo; it was a great situation.
Except it wasn't. Young didn't impress anyone in the preseason, and wasn't bouncing back from a disappointing 2011 campaign with Philadelphia, where the most noteworthy thing he did was declare the Eagles a "Dream Team" before they finished with a not-so-dreamy 8-8 record. But they signed him and paid him, so they were stuck with him. At the very least, they had to find out how it went when the games started.
Except they didn't. The Bills traded for Seattle's Tarvaris Jackson and gave Young his walking papers. They wrote off that signing bonus and dropped him before he could play a regular season down for the team. Now, I know that this situation isn't unique in the NFL. It's part of the business teams conduct every season. But it's nice to see a team like Buffalo -- which has been fighting to get over the hump for several years -- value that backup quarterback position. They were willing to trade for a (perceived) better option, and cut ties with someone they previously thought was the answer. They're not dominating the competition, but they're trying to get better, even at the backup position.
Maybe you're in the same boat in your league. You've already conducted your draft or auction, and you feel like you need to see how things shake out in the regular season before you make any moves. But if the Bills can write off an earlier decision and upgrade...you can, too. It doesn't have to be an obvious, Alfred Morris-type move, either. Shayne Graham, who has locked up a spot as Houston's kicker, might be much better than whoever you took in the last round of your draft. Maybe you drafted early in the summer, and Arizona's Michael Floyd looked like a wiser bet than Tennessee's Kendall Wright in 2012. That's not the case now. Or maybe you held out some hope that Jahvid Best would be suiting up for Detroit sometime soon. Now he'll contribute in the second half of the season -- at best. Whatever the case, it's important to be scouting the waiver wire before the season starts and be willing to cut ties with players you selected even a few days ago. if it makes your team stronger -- or you think it does -- it's worth doing.
Now, that doesn't mean you go into panic mode with your entire roster in late August. I'm a firm believer in giving your strategy a chance to play out. But the guys who aren't cogs in your championship wheel should be on a short leash, and you shouldn't let opportunities to improve your roster go by. Not even before week 1.
This assumes, of course, that your league allows such moves. I don't want to tell anyone how to run their league, but I can't think of a reason to lock the waiver wire until the season starts. If people want to make moves during the preseason, it makes sense to let them. At least their roster will better reflect who they like best heading into the regular season.
Maybe the Bills will regret cutting Young and acquiring Jackson. Maybe they should have just stood pat with what they had. We won't know until later. But we do know that the team is willing to reverse course and let someone go before the season starts, even if they already committed resources to him. You shouldn't be any different. If Buffalo can say goodbye to $350,000, you can let a 10th round pick go, can't you?
Youtube Clip of the Week: For some reason, this remains my favorite clip involving Vince Young.
Are you making any moves before week 1? Does your league have a rule against it? Share your thoughts below:
Posted by Nathan Kline | Aug. 28 at 06:45 PM
Already made moves in all my leagues. I dropped Denarius Moore (in 3 leagues)because the hamstring issue is very worrisome. I picked up Rod Streater in one, I picked up Joe Flacco in another as I neglected to draft a back up QB, and I picked up jonathan dwyer in another to supplement my pick of Issac Redman. if Moore makes it back, it could be a bad decision but I have to be prepared for the fact he might. On the IDP front, I dropped Patrick Peterson as I wanted to get what I see as a great match up for week 1, Mark Anderson vs that Jets D-line, and I already have Jarius Byrd and Kam Chancellor. It sucks to drop people you drafted and I have been guilty on several occasions of holding onto people too long. Sometimes you got to let go. Great article.
Posted by CHARLES SAVONI | Aug. 29 at 08:09 AM
My League bans moves prior to Week 1. I don't necessarily like the Rule, but we have maintained it for 20 years. Having a consistent rule is what you strive for as League Commissioner. The thinking is, if a catastrophic injury wipes out a proven, known, player before Week 1 NFL Kickoff, then without the Rule there would be little chance for a fair process by which League Owners could act once the injury become public. Any ideas out there, as a better alternative, would be welcomed for consideration.
Posted by MICHAEL MURILLO | Aug. 29 at 01:01 PM
Preseason waiver could be first-come, first-serve and then normal procedure during the season. It would encourage owners to be interested in the league and the NFL between your draft and the start of the reg season. The back to records once the games start. I don't care for vulturing guys off the waiver wire because everyone else is busy working or whatever...but it should only be a few players and it keeps interest going leading up to the season. Plus it gives owners a chance to undo some mistakes before week 1. Theoretically an owner could be without an active kicker right now.
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