The Z Files: Early Draft Pick Follies

The Z Files: Early Draft Pick Follies

This article is part of our The Z Files series.

You know what they say, "You can't win a draft in the first round, but you can lose it." Who are they? How long have they been playing fantasy baseball?

OK, I get it. I just think, "but you can lose it" is an unnecessary tag. No one is choosing Ehire Adrianza with their first pick. As Norm Peterson would have said, "You can't win a draft in the first round, pass the beer nuts." As an aside, I won a couple of Halloween costume contests wearing a suitcoat and loose tie while carrying around a mug of beer. Back then, my hair was curly like Norm's and the mug was more than a prop, but I digress.

Some suggest sticking to "best player available" with the first few picks. Sure, makes sense, but are there really clear-cut best picks?

My preferred approach is using the initial selections to set up the squad for more profitable picks in the mid to late rounds. The early roster build helps pave the way to add targeted players down the line, in a manner that makes their contributions the most advantageous.

It's not a secret my foundation is rooted in projections and the ensuing expected earnings. That said, the resultant ordering is a guideline as opposed to a roadmap. I won't bore you with my usual "projections and valuation methods are flawed" diatribe. Instead, I'll present my early top-30 and discuss ramifications of roster construction.

Rank

Player

Earnings

1

Ronald Acuna

$41.28

2

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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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