The Z Files: Optimizing Your Draft with KDS
The Z Files: Optimizing Your Draft with KDS

This article is part of our The Z Files series.

Oh no, not another National Fantasy Baseball Championship (NFBC) column. Admittedly, we tend to get a little NFBCentric this time of year, but I promise if you hang in there, several points will be made that transcend the high stakes contest. That said, this discussion will be structured around the Kentucky Derby System (KDS) utilized by the NFBC to assign draft order.

For those unaware, KDS gives the drafter some control over their draft spot. Everyone prioritizes where they want to pick in the first round. The teams are then drawn randomly, with the first team selected award their highest priority. The second team gets their highest remaining choice, and so on. Little known fact: while the NFBC is credited with the advent of KDS, your humble pundit used it for a league called Mixed Nuts before the NFBC originated. Back around 2001, I recognized the direction of the industry was shifting away from single-league auction and towards mixed league drafts. To be honest, many of my brethren didn't compete in that format, so to edify ourselves, I gathered 16 colleagues and Mixed Nuts was born.

There are several philosophies regarding setting KDS slot priorities. While the theme will always keep that in mind, hopefully you'll see through my facade and realize this is just a thinly veiled means of talking about general draft concepts.

Early Picks Give the Greatest Advantage

In a previous Z Files, I presented an old ploy I call Graph-a-Draft. The idea is to take

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Todd Zola
Todd has been writing about fantasy baseball since 1997. He won NL Tout Wars and Mixed LABR in 2016 as well as a multi-time league winner in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. Todd is now setting his sights even higher: The Rotowire Staff League. Lord Zola, as he's known in the industry, won the 2013 FSWA Fantasy Baseball Article of the Year award and was named the 2017 FSWA Fantasy Baseball Writer of the Year. Todd is a five-time FSWA awards finalist.
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