From time to time, you may notice that an owner in your league dropped someone from their starting roster who had already played (or started) their game for that week.
You might be wondering if this is a bug or intended by design.
The answer is that this is intentionally designed, and there is only one way for this to happen.
If the player being added was on waivers and cleared before the end of the football week, this is allowed. This is not allowed for any immediate free agent claims.
Let's say I put in a waiver claim (or FAAB bid) for Sammy Watkins on Friday, dropping Mohamed Sanu. Watkins' waiver countdown shows me that he'll clear waivers on Sunday at 2 p.m. EST.
However, the game that Sanu is playing in begins at 1 p.m. EST on that Sunday, and I have already started him in my lineup.
I won my waiver claim, and now, Sanu has been dropped from my roster during his game. Sanu's stats for his entire game are still counted for this week even though he is no longer on my team but is locked into my lineup. I cannot bench him or move him out. Sanu will have an "Off Roster" label appear next to his name.
It is also possible for me to now start Watkins this week, but only if his game has not yet started, and I also have the room elsewhere in my lineup to use him. Meaning, switching out another wide receiver or flex position.
Want to make it clear that:
The starter is locked into the position you started them, and the points will count towards your team. You don't get to replace your starter's performance
You lose waiver positioning when you perform a claim, so it's by no means "free" roster flexibility. It also requires you to drop a player that was good enough to be in your starting lineup.
If this team was the only team that claimed the player, the player who was on waivers also needs to be bad enough that nobody else in your league wanted to claim them.
It's a very specific case that depends on many rare factors and most importantly (timing, starting a player on Thurs, etc), and has trade-off that requires risk on the owner's part.
If you are actually using this as a strategy and force starting players on Thursday, you are risking:
- starting a bad player
- burning waiver flexibility
Alternatively, if we disallowed this, which would make the player not clear waivers for players who already started, a simple mistake where an owner in your league moves a player from the bench to starter could end up costing them a claim on a player they wanted.
Hope this gives further clarity on this.
If you want to prevent a player from being dropped after their games began, please turn on the "Bench Lock" setting in General Settings, as it will make the waiver claim fail if the player you are dropping already played.