This article is part of our The Z Files series.
As was discussed last week, when you make a draft pick or auction purchase, you're not acquiring the player, you're acquiring the first player to occupy a roster spot. Sometimes the individual is active from Opening Day until the final game of the year. Sometimes he's deactivated before the season starts and replaced by a reserve.
One of the goals of drafting is to get a positive return on your investment. A means of doing this is taking advantage of the market inefficiency derived from the above. For example, a player with a history of IL stints is projected to miss at least 10, and probably more, games. Yet his projected earnings and resultant rank will assume he's on the active fantasy roster all season, when in fact he can be replaced when he's on the major league IL. The player may be expected to earn $15 (7th round) on his own, but when the production of his replacement is added in, the roster spot may return $18 (5th round). As such, drafting the player in the 6th round or paying $16 offers profit potential. Another way of exploiting this market inefficiency is to put a premium on players eligible at multiple positions, so that you can plug in the most productive replacement possible when a starter goes down.
Obviously, neither of these are groundbreaking. However, last offseason I put pen to paper and quantified the added production for injury-prone and multi-eligibility players. I'll leave it to you to review