FANALYTICS: Rosterability

There are players who we like and players who we don't like. There are also players who we really don't like. It may be someone who's burned us in the past and we swear we'd never roster again. It might be someone who exceeds our personal risk tolerance level. It's all good.

For me, I won't roster a player like Matt Moore. Now, he might well be everything the hype purports him to be, but he will be far too expensive to own. I won't pay upwards of $20 or a 7th round pick for a guy whose total major league experience is nine innings. Nine terrific innings, but still just nine innings. I don't have to think back too far to 2007 when Clay Buchholz was similarly hyped—even pitched a no-hitter during his late season, 23-inning trial. In the four years since then, he's had one productive season. You don't pay $20 for that level of risk.

Similarly, I won't roster a player like Hanley Ramirez. Even before last year's debacle of a season, his trends were heading south. Now he's going to be playing in a new stadium that from all reports is extremely averse to hitters. He is moving to a new position which he clearly does not want to do, no matter how the Marlins have been spinning it. Yet for some reason, fantasy leaguers seems to think that, position scarcity and the promise of sunny days in the past will trump all the risk factors. And they have been paying upwards of $30 and second round picks for that fantasy. Too rich for my blood.

So I know who I am willing to open my wallet for and who I will not even list on my draft sheets. But I am always asked the following question... How far would Moore or Ramirez have to drop before you'd be willing to draft them?

This is an interesting question, actually.

First of all, it assumes that my rostering decision is driven by price. At some level, that player is worthy of being on my roster. For Hanley, would it be $20? Or $15? Or $10? If bidding stopped at $5 and I could roster Hanley Ramirez at $6, would I do it?

Well, I suppose I would. At some low level, any player who might go bust is fungible. And then the decision becomes, at what price does a player become fungible? $1? $5? Can we really consider a player fungible once he reaches $10? In terms of snake drafts, do we really care if a player goes belly up if he was drafted after Round 18, perhaps?

Sure, I'd roster any player at a price that I am comfortable with. But the higher the risk, the lower the price. And once that price drops much below market value, then, really, the question becomes moot.

You can ask me how far Matt Moore would have to drop before I'd be willing to draft him, but the answer is, "Too far below market value for him to even be a consideration." At Mock Draft Central, Moore is going no lower than ADP #126. He is going ahead of pitchers with long-term track records like Matt Garza and Johnny Cueto. He is going 67 spots before Wandy Rodriguez and 75 spots before Jaime Garcia. I'd pay more for Garcia than Moore in a heartbeat. So why should Moore even be on my draft list?

Well, he's not. For those players who I believe will be far overpriced, I don't even include them on my list. In my auction leagues, they'll be on a separate list of players who I will toss out to get others to bid on. But to make the drafting process more manageable, I cull out the guys I won't roster. And even thinking about at what point I will draft them is pointless because the odds are they'll never drop that far.

I deal with the reality of market value at the draft table. My entire strategy is driven by it, which means some players simply won't make the cut.  

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  For more information about the terms used in this article, see our Glossary Primer.