Waiver Hawk

Definition of Waiver Hawk

Every league has a "waiver hawk". You know him as the creepy guy from Accounts Payable that got invited to the league through mysterious circumstances. Or maybe your brother in law has insomnia, and you often get junk emails from him around 3 on a Tuesday morning. Insomniacs and unbalanced individuals are dangerous enough for a fantasy league without having to worry about their waiver wire stalking.

Waiver hawks, also called "Jimmys" in some parts of the country, are the guys with their fingers on the mouse at 12:01 AM waiting for a player to clear the waiver period so he can draft him as a free agent. While not an illegal or immoral move in any way, waiver hawks are generally looked down on as obsessives or cheap skates. This is like showing up at the Golden Corral at 9:45 in the morning so you can get breakfast AND lunch for one low buffet price. C'mon. That's just not right, America.

The waiver hawk is usually the biggest trash talker in the league, the fantasy football fanboy, the guy least likely to be involved with a woman . . .

Look at the vocabulary of the waiver hawk -- analysts who support hawking use words like "burglarize" and "snag" to refer to the signing of newly crowned free agents. They know what they're doing. A waiver hawk will go to any means to give his fantasy football team an advantage.

I'm sure none of us upstanding fantasy managers have ever waited out a waiver, right? Good. But don't we have something to learn from the hawk?

This is a manager that is willing to make a small sacrifice (a few hours of sleep) for a potentially huge gain. The high priority waiver wire manager who signs a free agent has basically earned two grabs for his one priority slot. When you look past the nasty connotation of waiver hawk, what you see is a fantasy manager passionate about his roster, a manager who is paying attention to league news, and a manager that is active in your league. You want the same thing, you just may not be willing to go to the same lengths.

The best way to counter the actions of the waiver hawk is to out-hawk them. If your hawk is signing free agents at 12:01 and lining up his waiver priority superpick, be there at 12:00:59, figure out his moves, get in his head, and stink up his whole strategy before he can crack another diet soda. Fight fire with fire.

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