The Z Files: Chasing Aces
The Z Files: Chasing Aces

This article is part of our The Z Files series.

Listening to the broadcast of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association draft earlier this week, the need to draft at least one elite arm early was a recurring theme. A couple of participants did so, noting this was out of character for them. The reasons cited are common and have been discussed for a couple years but are exacerbated this season. The number of top-tier starting pitchers is dwindling. There are fewer hurlers capable of tossing at least 200 innings with 200 strikeouts. The next tier is replete with injury and performance question marks. The advent of "bullpening" has affected the middle tiers. It's clear that if you want to compete in today's landscape, you need to draft at least one, even two aces early.

Actually? No, you don't.

Truly, you don't. This isn't one of those cliché, "It's better to zig while everyone else is zagging," pieces. This isn't click bait or an effort to draw attention. It's a research-based counter to the notion it's necessary to draft aces to anchor ratios and provide strikeouts.

In today's fantasy environment, you can't have everything. Both the hitting and pitching pools are top-heavy. Focusing on one leads to deficiencies in the other. Getting a little of each could result in falling short in both.

There's a fantasy baseball mantra that has disappeared over the past few seasons. It's time to bring it back.

Bully hitting, manage pitching.

Four of the five hitting categories are counting stats, dependent on quality (batter's skills) and

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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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