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FAB 1.0 - An Intro to Using Free Agent Budget

Draft Premier League has always been considered a "game of 2 halves", if you will, when it comes to building a roster. Draft Day is obviously one of the most anticipated days of the calendar and a way to populate your roster even before a ball has been kicked. However an arguably more important, although a less glamourous way, to get players on your team is the waiver wire. In classic leagues waivers are based on draft position/previous week's performance or any other number of factors to determine the priority and that is basically it. In more advanced and adventurous leagues, where managers want to add some spice to proceedings, they use FAB, or Free Agent Budget. Here is a brief guide on how to set it up and how to use it.

Note: FAB used to be commonly referred to as FAAB, which stood for Free Agent Acquisition Budget. The fantasy community (EPL, NFL, NBA, MLB, etc.) has largely moved away from this in order to be more culturally sensitive to the fact that we aren't "acquiring" or "owning" these players.

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How Does it Work?

Every manager is given the same amount of money at the start of the season. That amount is yours for the whole season to spend however you like. It is up to the league to decide the amount of cash to be allocated for the whole season. After every gameweek, all the unclaimed players move to waivers. When playing with regular waivers, it is at this point that you set your waiver queue and populate it with players that you want to acquire. With FAB, the process is the same. The only difference is that when you set up a claim you have to enter the amount of money you would like to spend on the player.

When waivers process, the system tallies all claims and gives players to the managers with the most amount of money set for that player. As with waivers if you have put in a claim for two different players but the player to be dropped is the same player on your team and you win your first claim, you will not be able to get your second player (regardless of whether you won the bidding or not), because you do not have a player to drop for him.

In the unlikely scenario that two managers bid the same amount on the same player, the manager with the higher bid priority wins the player, but then moves down to the bottom of the bid priority list. All players who have not been claimed enter the Free Agent pool and can be claimed freely without the use of FAB.

An Example

There are four teams involved in waivers. Here are their claims made:

Team Never Won a League (20$ remaining)

  • Harvey Barnes for 17 $ dropping Luke Shaw

  • Ismaila Sarr for 3 $ dropping Luke Shaw

  • Emil Krafth for 0 $ dropping Todd Cantwell

Team Trophy Hunter (5$ remaining)

  • Harvey Barnes for 5 $ for N’golo Kanté

  • Ismaila Sarr for 1 $ for Kepa

Team Sacko (45$ remaining)

  • Harvey Barnes for 17$ dropping Shane Long

Team Mo Mané Mo Problems (2$ remaining)

  • Roberto Pereyra for 2$ to an empty space on the roster

  • Miguel Almirón for 1$ for Mateo Kovacic

How the claims turn out:

  • Harvey Barnes sign for Never Won a League for 17$ (joint highest bid out of the 3, ahead Sacko in waiver priority)

  • Ismaila Sarr signs for Trophy Hunter for 1$ (although not the highest bid, Never Won a League have already dropped Luke Shaw at this point, so their bid for Sarr was not executable)

  • Emil Krafth signs for Never Won a League for 0$

  • Roberto Pereyra signs for Mo Mané for 2$

  • Miguel Almirón is not claimed and therefore becomes a free agent (Mo Mané has no budget left)

How to Set Up FAB in Your League

  • Under Commissioner/League setup/Transactions and Periods/Claims & Drops the Waiver wire option drop-down menu needs to be set to “Bidding”

  • A new sub-menu will appear called: “Bidding Settings”

  • Bid tie-breaker needs to be set to “Rolling”

  • There you can set your yearly claim budget, your increments, and minimum bid. Default setting is 100$ overall, 1$ increments, 0$ as minimum bid

  • Waiver rules still need to be set. Default scoring settings are Tuesday and Thursday, but commissioners need to pay attention and change that from time to time when longer/midweek gameweeks come.

  • Ensure 23+ hours on waiver should be unchecked so that short turnaround between GWs doesn’t mess with waivers. I advise it to be temporarily checked during transfer windows, because if it is unchecked, you could face a situation where a player is added to the pool right before waivers clear and not all managers realize, therefore giving an unfair advantage to those who did. If checked, they will only be eligible for the following waiver.

Why FAB?

After the draft, everyone is equal and free to decide on their FAB strategy. Strategies include:

  • Use the money to claim players who come into the league after you have finished drafting

  • Save the money for January transfers

  • Save the money for after international breaks when injuries occur

  • Save the money until the end of the season and with everyone out of money, you can be the king of WW with 1 dollar bids.

  • Trade FAAB for players or the other way round

There are of course countless other strategies and variations on these mentioned above as well. When you play with FAAB waiver days become much more part of your weekly strategy. You can go ahead and analyse rival team needs and rival team budgets to anticipate their bids on players to get the best bids in.

Give FAB a try and read our FAB 2.0 article about advanced strategies to get one over your opponents!

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