The Z Files: Finding Profit At the Margins
The Z Files: Finding Profit At the Margins

This article is part of our The Z Files series.

Building a fantasy roster is all about profit. Based on year-end standings, the typical championship roster earns $320-$330, assuming an original allocation of $260. This is typically thought of in auction form, but can be related to draft dynamics too.

There are several pathways to profit. Perhaps the most discussed for drafts is picking a player at or below market value who is expected to deliver more than most everyone anticipates. If said player is relatively unknown, he's deemed a sleeper.

In an auction, it's not only possible to build profit via sage player evaluation, but also via prudent money management. Patience and careful bookkeeping can often avail purchases of players expected to produce more than their cost.

Today, a couple of latent sources of profit will be examined. Neither are secrets; they're both common practices. However, they're usually conducted blind without knowing exactly how much profit is available. Hence, the proper pricing adjustment necessary to maximize return in unclear.

REPLACING AN INJURED PLAYER

We've all done it: draft a player expected to go on the disabled list at least once with the plan to backfill. The theory is it's not the player, but the roster spot being drafted or purchased. The player originally selected is just the first of multiple players to occupy that roster spot. The question is, how many draft spots should be jumped, or how much over cost should be bid on the player?

The reason this is effective is a flaw in conventional valuation. It

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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.
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