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While our 2017 Fantasy Starting Pitcher Rankings on their own are helpful, understanding when to draft starting pitchers in your Fantasy Baseball drafts is a whole other ballgame. (Hey, ballgame!)

Dodgers SP Clayton Kershaw is once again atop the pitcher rankings, which reminds me of back in the day when Pedro Martinez was dominating hitters and pitcher rankings.

I’m currently in an experts analysis draft over at Fantasy411.MLBlogs.com, and the results over there are quite interesting. Kershaw was the seventh player off the board – right after my pick of Paul Goldschmidt!

Rotowire.com’s Derek Van Riper makes an interesting point on how the top tiers of starting pitchers set up for 2017:

”With the starting pitching pool being a little top heavy this year, and with a second tier with little to separate the #6 arm from the #16 one, making a move in the first two rounds for an arm is a strategy I’m more than willing to employ.” — DVR

That’s certainly a cogent argument, but man, it’s tough to pull the trigger on an arm in the first round. Even in the second round, I’m reticent (although, I did just draft Chris Sale near the end of Round 2 in an SCFE draft!).

The reason I suggest leaning on hitters in the early rounds over pitchers is not because they are safer players to project. And it’s not because both sets of players (hitters and pitchers) get injured at about the same rate, which is true.

I suggest leaning away from pitchers as your early picks because when pitchers do get hurt, they are often out for a longer period than hitters. Pitchers already don’t contribute to your team but once or twice a week, but when you include coming back from an injury, you’re suddenly forced to make a decision about a player whose expected return is farther down the pike than a hitter.

2017 Fantasy Starting Pitcher Rankings


All that’s left at this point are the relief pitchers! They’re like god’s little joke on Fantasy Baseball players!

With our 2017 Fantasy Starting Pitcher Rankings in the bank, along with rankings for catchers, first basemen, second basemen, shortstops, third basemen, and outfielders, we’re nearly done! We’ll be updating these throughout the spring, so check back often!

2017 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit
Fantasy Baseball Rankings | Sleepers & Busts | Player Analysis | Draft Strategy | Spring Training Updates | Mock Drafts | Fantasy Baseball Tools

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David Gonos

David Gonos has been writing about Fantasy Sports online since 2000 – and playing Fantasy Sports since 1989. He has drafted both Curt Warner and Kurt Warner, along with Big Unit and Big Papi. A veteran of hundreds of drafts in the past 15 years alone, Gonos is closely acquainted with sleepers, breakouts and busts – as he has drafted many of all three. He was a Senior Fantasy Writer for CBSSports.com for five years, and he has been columnist on SI.com and FanDuel.com, while also getting published on MLB.com, NFL.com, FoxSports.com and USAToday.com.
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