While the 2016 Fantasy Starting Pitcher rankings certainly weren’t the first set of rankings you looked at this season, they are ones you’ll end up paying more than the normal amount of attention as the season wears on.
There are reasons for this!
Since Fantasy Baseball writers regularly expound on the great virtues of waiting for starting pitchers (smartly so!), owners usually end up working on their hitters first and foremost. Even if they do choose to draft a starting pitcher or two early – it’s still not several starting pitchers.
That means you have a stacked deck in favor of hitting, which is normal, and you’re always looking to improve your pitching rotation. Consider that even if you draft six starting pitchers and three relief pitchers that are closers, you’ll almost assuredly end up searching for a better starter than your sixth man in your Fantasy “rotation.”
So as you go around to multiple sites and look at multiple articles discussing the 2016 Fantasy starting pitcher rankings, keep in mind you should be just as interested about the pitchers ranked 60th to 80th – and beyond!
As soon as your draft ends, create a short 10-deep list of Fantasy players that didn’t get drafted that you think should’ve been drafted. This is your first waiver wire list, even if you never submit it.
Three-Card Stud: Aces, Kings and Jacks
The Fantasy kings are the best Fantasy starting pitchers on every team. There are 30 kings in baseball right now, but in a weird twist – those aren’t necessarily the 30 best Fantasy pitchers in baseball.
The top 10-15 Fantasy starting pitchers are considered Fantasy aces. These are the superstars that get drafted the highest, help out in several categories – not just wins or ERA or strikeouts. They either help you in all three (or four, with WHIP), or they are so good in two categories that they are ranked higher than the others that help in three.
Finally, there are the Fantasy jacks, which I consider the guys at the back of the draft, who we all hope might someday grow into a Fantasy ace or king. But really, these Fantasy jacks are helpful because they pitch relatively well, on a winning team, giving them plenty of win opportunities. Or they pitch in a huge, spacious ballpark, like in Chavez Ravine, so their ERA and WHIP remains relatively low.
— Jon Roegele (@MLBPlayerAnalys) October 13, 2014
The above tweet does help to explain the rise in ability for the upper echelons of Fantasy pitchers, but this is also why you should be zigging while others zag. While your counterparts are spending second- third- and fourth-round picks on their starting pitchers, concentrate on building a stout Fantasy lineup with above-average hitters at several positions. Make your opponents pay for allowing these hitters to drop to you.
In an experts mock draft I participated in on MLB.com, there were 10 Fantasy starting pitchers taken in the first four rounds, and then a total of 22 starting pitchers taken by the time Round 7 ended.
2016 Fantasy Starting Pitcher Rankings
These 2016 Fantasy Starting Pitcher Rankings are for 5×5 Rotisserie Mixed leagues, and we’ll work to update these frequently. You can also check out the SCFE staff rankings on 2016 Fantasy Starting Pitchers here.
Our 2016 Fantasy Starting Pitcher rankings are meant to help you build a solid pitching staff, of course, but you also have to concentrate on building a balanced Fantasy team.
Felix Hernandez Photo Credit: Kevin Schofield
David Gonos spent 5 years as a CBSSports.com Senior Fantasy Writer and three more years writing with SI.com. Over the past 17 years, his work has been published on NFL.com, MLB.com, FanDuel, FoxSports.com and USA Today. Since 2001, he has been tracking down the Top 50-plus Free Fantasy Football Draft Tools online. You can contact David Gonos here.