This article is part of our The Z Files series.
One of the keys to assembling a winning fantasy squad is determining where you are ahead, and in some cases behind, the market. Being able to wait on or pay less for a player facilitates roster construction. Knowing you're likely to pick up a certain player allows you to focus on other positions or statistical needs. Not being interested in a player at market cost could push a desired player to you.
Currently, the major market influences are the early NFBC (National Fantasy Baseball Championship) Draft and Hold leagues with some contributions from public mocks. Since the majority of what you read and hear about are NFBC results, it's important to keep the information in context.
The NFBC is its own market with several nuances not necessarily translating other formats, such as other public leagues and your home leagues. Some of the reasons are unique to the Draft and Hold format, while others are more general NFBC trends. Let's review a few.
The Draft and Hold format does not allow trading or free agent pickups, affecting how certain positions or stats are handled. For years, the tried and true approach of "Bully Hitting, Manage Pitching" has been a mainstay in conventional leagues. The notion is to use an excess of draft assets on hitting, then fortify pitching throughout the season via free agency, waivers and trades, all options devoid from Draft and Hold play. As such, NFBC drafters tend to pull pitching up their cheat sheets, not only in the