"But the felxibility comes up huge in the early goings of a season, where there are tons of values to be had on the wire. Well not tons, but you have no way of working those guys in."
Show me a guy that's plucked off of waiver wire that will return David Ortiz' value.
But more so, my point is that even factoring in the entire waiver wire pool as available replacement players at U for any of your teams' competitors, Ortiz still brings a huge statistical advantage at U.
Yes, I do get your point about opportunity cost. You select Ortiz. Therefore, you don't select um, Carlos Beltran. You are left with an inferior OF and when it comes time to look to the waiver wire to replace your underperforming schlub, you've limited your pool of potential pickups to outfielders instead of potential pickups at all positions. So perhaps by having David Ortiz, you're forced to sacrifice a little at another position during the course of the year, on top of the sacrifice you make at the beginning during the draft.
OK, but I'm factoring that in. And I'm saying that the value that Ortiz provides -- even at the most easily-replaced fantasy position -- is large enough to compensate for this and make drafting him very, very worthy of the high expense. Most people just assume it isn't. But crunching the VORP data makes it clear that Ortiz is certainly worthy.
Finally, you are undervaluing the value of consistency. Crunching the data, in a standard 5x5 league, there's only been one guy who ended each of the last three seasons as one of the top 10 batter values in baseball. That's David Ortiz. Not A-Rod, who underperformed his #1 ADP by about 15 slots in 2006. Not Pujols, who also underperformed his #1 ADP by 15 slots in 2007. Only Ortiz has consistently overperformed his ADP.
So perhaps you can factor that into your math. Yeah, you might have to settle for a lesser replacement player when you scramble to the waiver wire during the season, but you also can be reasonably certain that your top superstar is returning your draft or auction expenditure.