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.