What Everquest Taught Me About The Waiver Wire + 1 Little Known MFL Report


Back in the early 2000s before I became a dynasty fantasy football fanatic, I was a fanatic of a different kind of game: the massive multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG) Everquest. This infamous ancestor of World of Warcraft first launched in 1999, duly fascinating and frustrating thousands of nerds like myself with its immersive fantasy world and steep difficulty curve. Gaining levels and acquiring valuable assets in the form of powerful weapons and armor required an immense investment of time, and frequent collaboration with other players to challenge and defeat dragons and other terrifying magical beasts.

Despite being a high school student at the time I played, I was never able to invest the amount of time needed to become an elite (or ‘uber’ by EQ terminology) player by any stretch of the imagination. However, I was able to carve out a nice little nest egg of platinum currency and gear for my wizard using a different method, a technique I discovered while browsing the inventory of a merchant in a town called Shadow Haven: merchant mining.

In EQ, most high level players profiting from the spoils from their adventuring by setting themselves up as merchants in a zone called ‘The Bazaar’ and selling their loot. But if business was slow and they had no luck selling their wares, some players got impatient, and sold off their excess gems, breastplates and jeweled daggers to non-player character (NPC) merchants – who paid lower prices for gear, but you’d skip the waiting period and immediately free up bag space. This created an opportunity for more patient players to profit off of this impatience. I spent time scouring NPC inventories for undervalued items, which I’d buy at a discount and either use for myself or take the time to sell for full market value in the Bazaar. ‘Merchant Mining’ was essentially the fantasy video game equivalent dumpster diving.

This “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” mentality can reap rewards for you in your dynasty leagues by informing your dynasty stashes. As savvy owners know, dynasty is a marathon, not a sprint: identify the impatient owners in your league, and keep an eye on the end of their roster – especially during bye weeks in-season – to identify target players to scoop up if they get dropped, or request as ‘add-ins’ to deals.

49ers DeAndre Smelter

San Francisco 49ers

Last offseason, I picked up San Francisco 49er DeAndre Smelter, a raw but intriguing prospect, after he was dropped by an owner who was fed up. When pre-season camp hype started to pick up, I sold him to another owner for a 2nd and 3rd round pick. Later in the season, that owner dropped Smelter after what appeared to be another ‘lost’ season. Before waivers closed at the end of the season, I picked him back up.
SF’s passing game is wide open, so why not? Plus, if the hype train builds back up on Smelter, I have at least one owner who might be interested.

You might be surprised who owners will drop in a pinch. People value production in-season, and there’s ample opportunity to take benefit from monitoring owners with an overly redraft mindset in your dynasty league. Having a longer memory than your competition can be huge: when MFL waivers process, most owners quickly check the email to see which of their bids were successful. This is also an excellent opportunity to see who other owners drop to make room for their shiny new free agent acquisition, or more interestingly, who they would have dropped.

MFL Report Pro-Tip: In the new MFL Interface, some leagues have an option where you can see waiver bid results – including failed bids from your other league mates. See where I’m going with this? You can also see the players that owners would have dropped, should any of their bids fail. Add those players to your MFL Watch List, or request them as a throw-in to a larger trade. To find this report, go to ‘Reports’ -> ‘Franchise’ -> ‘Previously Processed Waivers.’ Not all leagues will have this as an option, FYI.

In addition to monitoring for discarded unpolished gems on the waiver wire, reserve a spot or two on your roster to constantly churn waiver wire prospects with elite measurables or high upside. These are home run swing picks that cost very little, and offer exponential upside. While Brandon LaFell may be able to fill in for you during a bye week and put up WR4 numbers, if you passed up Tyreek Hill or Cameron Meredith to pick him up, you’re gonna have a bad time.

Let’s close things out with a prime candidate to scour your waiver wire for:

Jonathan Williams. Up until just a few weeks ago, Williams was sitting on the back end of dynasty rosters – having done little his rookie year. Clearly behind Shady McCoy and Mike Gillislee on the Buffalo Bills depth chart, Williams may have been a cut candidate for some teams, depending on roster size. Fast-forward to today: Gillislee is a Patriot, and the Bills did not address the RB position in the NFL draft. Williams’ opportunity to inherit a large amount of carries in a productive backfield just got one step closer. Time to go mining!

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