The Z Files: Eight First Half Disappointments
The Z Files: Eight First Half Disappointments

This article is part of our The Z Files series.

There's a mindset suggesting it's unfair to overly scrutinize early draft picks or top auction purchases since there's a whole lot more that can go wrong than go right. The general tenet is to expect the upper end players to simply come close to breaking even, while the rest of your roster generates the profits needed to take down a fantasy baseball league. If a $35 player generates $25 worth of production, he's still a second-round player. How can a second-round player be a disappointment?

In standard auction terms, it takes about $320 worth of production to win a fantasy baseball league. There's more to it than that, as categorical distribution needs to maximize points, but in a nutshell, winners take their $260 draft-day budget and realize around a $60 profit.

As such, a $10 deficit is a $10 burden, regardless if it's your $35 bringing back $25 or a $15 guy dropping to $5. It's another $10 worth of stats necessary to accrue elsewhere. Granted, it's a lot easier for a $35 player to underproduce than overproduce, but a deficit is a deficit.

With that as a backdrop, I'm comfortable calling out the following eight hitters for disappointing pre-break performances. The criteria begin with injuries not playing a part. The fewest plate appearances of anyone on the list is 344. To make the list, the initial expectation was they would be top-50 hitters as determined by the aggregate projections of RotoWire, Baseball HQ and Mastersball. Projected earnings for a

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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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