This article is part of our Baseball Draft Kit series.
Many try to find a blanket approach to fantasy baseball that will keep them warm at night. "Get an ace or two early," "don't pay for closers," "draft proven commodities," "fade prospect hype." Hey, process over results. That's what many will tell you, but the fact is that results are what matter. It's why you are reading this.
And the only way to get results in competitive fantasy baseball leagues is by putting in the time. The time to understand the player pool on both a micro and macro level, the time to know the market and the time to manage your team in-season.
The player pool is so vast and no two players are exactly alike, nor are any two sets of circumstances exactly alike. You have to turn over as many stones as you can, looking at trends in the underlying skills for each individual player to get an idea of the individual player's unique range of outcomes, and also to get an idea of the "macro" in terms of the entire player pool. How valuable/unique is a player's skill set, really? Is this a player whose skill set deserves to be going in this relative range? If not, is his unique set of circumstances enough to offset the skill differential? Role, home ballpark, division, batting order position, supporting cast and managerial tendencies are all important factors to consider.
Once you know the micro for the majority of the player pool – at least 600 players – you