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Fantasy Football

Open season is preferred

Waiver bidding is the way to go

The Bills are experimenting with C.J. Spiller at wide receiver, but for fantasy purposes, he is classified as a running back. The Bills are experimenting with C.J. Spiller at wide receiver, but for fantasy purposes, he is classified as a running back. (Dave Kaup/Reuters)
By Ed Ryan
Globe Correspondent / October 28, 2011

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I’m in two leagues, and waivers are handled differently in each.

The person with the worst record getting first crack at available free agents - the traditional method - is used in one league. This seems fair, but at some point it becomes frustrating if you have a good team and you can’t enhance your roster because the person in last place keeps picking up the best available player.

In my other league, for the first time we’re using a budget for waivers. Each team began the season with $100 and every Tuesday you can place a blind bid on available players - provided you have money remaining. On Wednesday morning, you find out if you won the bid. For the rest of the week, waivers are free and granted on a first-come, first-served basis.

It has taken me only half a season to realize I prefer the bidding method. Managing a budget makes decision-making more critical and provides the best teams a chance at the best available players. Plus, it’s amusing to wake up on Wednesday and notice that someone acquired Carson Palmer on a $40 bid.

Three up:

C.J. Spiller, RB/WR, Buffalo: The Oct. 16 game against the Giants marked the first of the Spiller-as-a-wide-receiver experiment, and he caught five passes for 39 yards. Spiller could prove to be especially valuable because he’s still classified as a running back.

Shaun Hill, QB, Detroit: Even if Matthew Stafford starts Sunday, Hill is worth stashing if you have room. Stafford is injury-prone, and last season Hill put up nice numbers in his absence.

Knowshon Moreno, RB, Denver: Moreno has been a disappointment - he has just 17 carries this season - but that will change. Starter Willis McGahee is out, and Moreno is facing the Lions, who have trouble against the run.

Three down:

Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona: I’m not advocating an outright benching of Fitzgerald, but his matchup in Baltimore has all the makings of a 3-point fantasy day.

Steelersdefense: The Patriots have an offense that averages 475 yards and has had two weeks to prepare. Don’t expect many fantasy points from Pittburgh.

LeSean McCoy, RB, Philadelphia: McCoy is having a tremendous season and is a dual threat because he catches so many passes. Against Dallas, though, his effectiveness will be limited. The Cowboys are stout against the run and have the speed to limit McCoy in the passing game.

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