The Z Files: In Defense of Being Bearish
The Z Files: In Defense of Being Bearish

This article is part of our The Z Files series.

It's obvious, I'm a numbers guy. However, I recognize drafting is as much art as science. When my ranking of a player differs significantly from the market, I need to look at it from both angles. Is the discrepancy due to my production expectation or am I missing something in terms of roster construction? This goes both ways, when I'm more bullish or bearish on a player.

Ultimately, it comes down to ranking. Admittedly, my rankings are numbers-driven. I project player's performance then convert that to a formulaic "value", though I am loathe to that term. Even though the result is static, it's considered a range as projections are obviously not 100 percent accurate and valuation theory, no matter the system, is flawed – though since the shortcomings apply to all players, relative rank is still useful.

Others take a more zen approach. They have a feel for how a player will perform and rank him over a player they feel won't perform as well. For the record, I'm not saying my way is better. The fact that many zen rankers have soundly kicked my tail over the years precludes judgment. I'm merely framing the process to help understand where I differ in some instances.

One of the common traits of zen players is their willingness to embrace upside. It's not universal, but someone using feel over a spreadsheet is far more likely to pay for the high side of a player's performance range while those scientifically-oriented will favor the

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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. Todd is a five-time FSWA awards finalist.
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