Fantasy Baseball Round Table: Does winning require taking risks?

by Todd Zola, MastersBall.com on April 16, 2014 @ 13:04:34 PDT

 

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As is the case with most things, the answer is a combination of both. But until every single one of my series of decisions is correct, I really can't discern how much risk I need to introduce into my game.

SP Justin Masterson, Cleveland Indians
Right choice? Boring choice?

I know for every person that beats me by being "right for the wrong reason," there are several more that lag behind.

Should I have dropped Nick Markakis for Chris Colabello?

Should I have picked George Springer in the 18th round instead of Angel Pagan?

Should I have drafted Michael Wacha, Gerrit Cole and Sonny Gray instead of Homer Bailey, Jon Lester and Justin Masterson?

Should I have taken Bryce Harper in the first round instead of Adam Jones? Giancarlo Stanton in the second over Joey Votto? Should I have given more consideration to Billy Hamilton?

One of the more common memes in this area is the better players make their own luck. You know the cliches. The harder I work, the luckier I get. Chance favors the prepared mind. Heck, another one of my not-so-regular columns at Mastersball is entitled the latter.

I don't know. I was sort of hoping that by putting these thoughts to bandwidth I would conclude that the course of action would be like Tom Cruise in Risky Business and just say "what the ... [um, you know the rest]."

But it hasn't happened. I still think the most prudent path is one of proper decisions. Others may call them conservative; I'll call them correct.

So where does this leave me? Instead of pondering whether to increase risk, I need to make for damned certain my decisions result in the greatest chance for success. I need to review my analytical methods and make sure I'm drawing the proper conclusions.

I'm sorry, I just can't do something for the same reason a dog licks his um, you know the rest.

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About Todd Zola, MastersBall.com

Focusing primarily on the science of player valuation and game theory starting in 1997, Todd Zola and Mastersball carved out an important niche in the fantasy industry. In 2006, Todd became the Research Director for fantasybaseball.com, and in 2009, he relaunched Mastersball and is now a managing partner.

Todd competes in Tout Wars and the XFL, and has been a multiple-time league champion in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. He has been a contributor to the fantasy content at MLB.com and SI.com, is a frequent guest on Sirius/XM and Blog Talk Radio and is an annual speaker at the spring and fall First Pitch Forum symposiums.

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