This article is part of our The Z Files series.
A few times this offseason, I've discussed a bug in conventional player valuation methodology. Sage fantasy baseball managers can take advantage of this imperfection, building a roster with the potential to amass more stats that their competitors.
The shortcoming has to do with the number of players assigned positive value. The common practice presumes players drafted into an active roster spot will stay there all season, regardless if they're slumping, disabled, sent down to the minors, etc.
This, of course is not the case. The better approach is paying for the roster spot, not the player. Chances are, the player will be the first to occupy the spot, but not always. Hitters such as Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Nick Senzel, Didi Gregorius and Yoenis Cespedes are expected to contribute later this season, but not on Opening Day. Paying the amount they're expected to produce short-changes what the roster spot as a whole will generate in terms of stats.
A way to quantify the additional contributions to the roster spot was discussed a few weeks back in Finding Profit At the Margins. Today, seven batters with the ability to exploit this valuation inefficiency will be discussed. The notion is everyone else will pay what they think the player is worth while your expenditure accounts for the extra stats supplied by others residing in that roster spot. For what it's worth, each of the seven would be a top-100 hitter if everyone in the league was given the same number