This article is part of our The Z Files series.
Everyone playing this game has player expectations. Some are spreadsheet-driven projections, others are more touch and feel. There's no right or wrong, whatever works best for you is the way to go. After all, it's much more about what you do with the expectation than the actual expectation itself.
Still, regardless of the process, it helps to look back at history. Making sure your rankings pass the eye test is the first step before taking them into battle. As such, I've compiled the end-of-season top 350 for the past five seasons. I'll share a series of observations. The elegance of this exercise is you'll likely see an entirely different set of observations, or perhaps interpret what I see differently.
Before presenting the results, it's necessary to review the parameters and intrinsic shortcomings of the procedure. The rankings are based on 15-team mixed leagues, using standard 5x5 rotisserie scoring. Rosters are the typical 14 hitters (2-C, 1-1B, 1-2B, 1-3B, 1-SS, 1-1B/3B, 1-2B/SS, 5-OF, 1-UT) and nine pitchers. The hitting to pitching split used is 69:31, since that's the most common distribution in auction leagues of this size. Please note, the NFBC (National Fantasy Baseball Championship) auctions nestle around 63:37, pushing pitching higher on the list. For those feeling year-end ranks should reflect a 50:50 split, you're correct, but I'm doing it this way since