Fantasy Baseball Round Table: Researching and preparing FAAB, pickups

by Todd Zola, on April 23, 2014 @ 12:04:32 PDT


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Tim Heaney

When researching for my six leagues that carry a FAAB process, I have KFFL's Hot off the Wire open (cheap plug). Because a ton of news happens over the weekend, I always give a thorough read of each WW list (sorting by % owned as well as stat-period rankings for an informational balance) and every Friday night line up preliminary waiver targets, with a spreadsheet for all my leagues.

If I'm not on duty when news breaks Saturday, I do a late-night sweep of any big events. I do the same after each wave of Sunday contests so I can get my final read on players I may have interest in. Thanks to the recency bias, Sunday happenings always seem to influence a player's market value, either through good or bad performances, so I also try to play the over- and undervaluation game in what I guess owners will do in terms of looking to add a player.

Other methods include:

  • Keeping watch lists of players on each waiver wire, including potential farm call-ups, as well as a makeshift log of who has been dropped and which FAs made it through the run without finding a team. This makes things easier in weekly pickup games so you can identify some desired adds sooner -- it doesn't hurt to check whether Gregory Polanco types are still available in your league.
  • Comparing and contrasting a few probable pitcher sources, including and the respective services of the league host sites. Some update more quickly than others, so Google News can rectify any discrepancies. 
  • Tracking updated FAAB totals for each league heading into Sunday, and calculate how much I can theoretically spend per week. Of course, each situation is unique and dictates how closely I should stick to a set weekly allotment. Dire situations call for deviation from the norm, after all.
  • Checking for any schedule advantages (two-start pitchers, someone whose team is playing seven games, if someone is facing all RHP, etc.)
  • Exploring any trade opportunities that could facilitate FAAB strategies.

Who says we fantasy analysts don't have lives?

Lord Zola closes us out....

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About Todd Zola,

Focusing primarily on the science of player valuation and game theory starting in 1997, Todd Zola and Mastersball carved out an important niche in the fantasy industry. In 2006, Todd became the Research Director for, and in 2009, he relaunched Mastersball and is now a managing partner.

Todd competes in Tout Wars and the XFL, and has been a multiple-time league champion in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. He has been a contributor to the fantasy content at and, is a frequent guest on Sirius/XM and Blog Talk Radio and is an annual speaker at the spring and fall First Pitch Forum symposiums. Fantasy Baseball

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