This article is part of our The Z Files series.
We made it friends. Welcome to the final installment of "Tiers of a Clown". What started as an innocuous way of looking at relievers because there's only so many ways to say "misses bats but also has control issues" has morphed into a challenging and eye-opening exercise, at least for me. I've applied the principles to a couple of magazine mocks and one league and am very much looking forward to fine-tuning the process as the draft season picks up in earnest.
For those just getting back into the fantasy baseball swing and are wondering what I'm talking about, this is my crusade to have drafters shift focus from "value" to roster construction. Projections and valuation are still important, but there's too much overlap in the resulting rankings to use them blindly. Everyone should have the bigger picture in mind. It's not about hitting category targets but rather assembling a competitive team able to be managed efficiently in-season. A static projection masks how some players have a wider or narrower range of plausible expectations. Spending some time to evaluate risk versus stability is more important than eclipsing statistical goals.
Ergo, instead of providing rankings that list players in descending order of how I'd draft them, I'm first classifying them into groups defined by a similar trait inherent to roster building. Sure, players are loosely listed by quality within each group, but the important thing is not to decide between a risky and a reliable player of similar "value", but to