Our fantasy baseball pitcher rankings for 2017 are pretty similar to what you'll find on Yahoo or ESPN or whatever site you prefer -- through the top 20, that is. After that, your cheat sheet is a choose-your-own-adventure story. One person's sleeper is another person's bust. You might irrationally expect breakouts from young playersor irrationally write off veterans who had one bad season. Anything goes with starters, which will quickly become evident during your draft.
So, before you look at our rankings and get mad that Zack Greinkeis too high or Marcus Stromanis too low or whatever else jumps out at you, just know that someone else is thinking the exact opposite.
Expect a lot of updates to this list throughout the spring, especially as injuries pop up and we get news on guys like David Price, Max Scherzer, and other key pitchers battling ailments.
Fantasy Baseball Draft Strategy: SPs
Generally, it's considered a risky strategy to draft pitchers early. The obviously reason is a starting pitcher can only contribute in four categories while an offensive player could conceivably contribute in five. Plus, there are simply more pitchers to choose from, so the odds of finding a decent sleeper later in the draft are higher.
Clayton Kershaw will still likely go in the first round, but after that, you can make a case that no other SP should go in the first two rounds. If Scherzer has a clean bill of health before opening day, he's worth the investment, but you can easily find enough good hitters -- and enough good pitchers available later -- to bypass a hurler in Round 2.
But there's really no set rule for how to draft this position. Having two or three really good pitchers by the 10th round usually works out well for most, but in general, you're going to want four to five starters you feel good about (i.e. at least somewhat proven and seemingly not huge injury risks), then grab two or three sleepers (depending how deep your league is) who are, essentially, "on probation". If you're in a Roto League, you don't have to start these guys right away. See how they look before throwing them out there.
Generally speaking, strikeouts are the most predictive stat, but there are plenty of pitchers who rack up Ks but have poor WHIPs and/or ERAs. When in doubt, take the Ks, but advanced stats such as FIP and BABIPshouldn't be ignored. (Unlike wins, which can mostly be ignored.)
There are always going to be pitchers available during the season, and if you're in a weekly league, two-start pitchers tend to be more valuable than back-end starters on a week-to-week basis anyway, so don't get too caught up with those late-round guys. You can argue that makes the case for drafting more pitchers early -- and maybe it does -- but there are so many position-basedand category needs in a fantasy baseball draft that it's impossible to handicap the middle rounds ahead of time.
2017 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Starting Pitcher
11 Jon Lester Cubs
|6||Chris Sale||Red Sox|
|20||Jose Quintana||White Sox|
|29||David Price||Red Sox|
|31||Aaron Sanchez||Blue Jays|
|38||Rick Porcello||Red Sox|
|48||Marcus Stroman||Blue Jays|
|52||Carlos Rodon||White Sox|
|58||J.A. Happ||Blue Jays|
|60||Drew Pomeranz||Red Sox|
|67||Marco Estrada||Blue Jays|
|77||Steven Wright||Red Sox|
|82||Francisco Liriano||Blue Jays|
|90||Lucas Giolito||White Sox|