"Add" Fantasy Football Definition
"Add" is a verb. In fantasy football, the word "add" refers to putting a player from the list of free agents on your team. Adding a fantasy football player onto your roster is usually done through the league "waiver wire". The add process is often called waivers.
Roster Limit and Add/Drops
Most fantasy football leagues have a roster limit. When you add a player to your roster, you must drop another player to stay at the roster limit. For this reason, you'll see waivers in fantasy football leagues referred to as "add/drops".
Free Agent Adds
"Free agent" is the term used to describe NFL players not on any team roster in the league. This is because any NFL player not under contract to an NFL team is considered a free agent, able to negotiate with any team in the league. Once a free agent has been added, he is now a member of your team.
Types of Free Agent Adds
There are different ways to perform adds to your fantasy roster. Among the most common of these are:
- First-Come, First-Serve Waivers
- Waiver Priority List
- Blind Bid Waiver
First-Come, First-Serve Adds
This is the simplest and most straightforward type of free agent add. Every free agent in the league is free to be picked up at any time by any team in the league. You simply log onto the site under your team identity and use the waiver function to add a free agent to your roster. When you add a player, you drop a player who was on your roster, who can now be added by any other team in the league.
The first-come, first-serve additions are convenient for both league members and league commissioners, because no one has to log into the site at a set time. This process can be abused, though, because a disgruntled league member can simply dump all their best players onto the free agent market, ruining the competitive balance of the league. Whoever the next league member to log onto the site will have their pick of the disgruntled team's star players. Another danger is that two teams conspire to circumvent trade rules by having one team drop a player, while the other team immediately adds the same player.
Can't Cut List
To avoid this trouble, some leagues employ the "can't cut list". These are essentially franchise players, who cannot be cut from a team under any circumstances. Can't Cut Lists are created to avoid the type of scenario detailed above.
Waiver Priority List
Another simple way to determine who adds free agents in fantasy football league is a waiver priority list. Teams are listed in order of preference and free agents are assigned to rosters according to the waiver priority list. The waiver priority list is usually determined by team records. The team with the worst record gets first priority on free agents; the team with the second-worst record gets second priority; the team with the third worst record gets third priority, and so on.
Each team will make a list of free agents they would like to add to their roster and, at a certain time each week, an automated waivers process takes place. During that time, teams making claims on free agents are assigned those free agents according to the waiver priority described above. Often, a team adding a free agent is then placed at the bottom of the waiver priority list. That way, each team gets their pick of a free agent, before the worst team in the league is able to select two free agents. In some leagues, there is carry-over on the waiver priority list, so a team adding a free agent remains on the bottom of the list from one week to the next. Teams have to consider not making free agent pickups late in the week, to avoid being at the bottom of the waiver priority list when the next games are played (and therefore missing out on important backups if there is an injury).
While the waiver priority list appears to be fair on the surface, it penalizes teams that play well early in the season. The teams that start off slow are given their choice of the best free agents, and can therefore gain an undo advantage as the season progresses.
Also, while the waiver priority rule is meant to help the teams who need help the most, there is another unintended side effect. Sometimes, the worst teams in a league are so bad that no free agent additions will help them. These teams might become indifferent and not pay attention to the best new free agents. In this case, the mid-level teams add the best free agents, giving them a big advantage over the other contenders. In this case, it's an advantage to have done well enough to make the playoffs, but not well enough to be towards the bottom of the waiver priority list.
Blind Bid Waivers
The player adds that require the most work on the part of the league commissioner and the owners are the blind bid waivers. "Blind bid" rules stipulate that each team gets a certain amount of free agent points or free agent money to spend on free agent bids. The team which bids the most money on a free agent adds that free agent. Free agency becomes a game-within-a-game, where resource allocation strategies allow you to maximize your free agent points pool while being able to add any free agent you want. Because there is no priority list, every team starts with an equal chance of acquiring any given player, regardless of record. And since there's a set time every week free agents are added, players don't feel the need to camp on the league website hoping that someone drops a valuable free agent that can be added, as in first-come, first-served waivers.
The drawback with blind bid waivers is that the league commissioner or some other owner must tend to the league website at certain times during the week, while each and every participating league owner must go into the website and learn how to make auction bids on free agent add/drops that week. This is a minor drawback in comparison to abuse potential or unfairness of the other free agent add options.
See also: Waive