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Updated Starting Pitcher Rankings - 5x5 Roto (Mixed Leagues)


We're back up on the bump for this edition of our mixed rankings analysis, and not a moment too soon. The 2019 baseball season is already here! RotoBaller writers Nick Mariano, JB Branson, Bill Dubiel, Pierre Camus, and Scott Engel want to make sure you are prepared for last-minute drafts, so they have given their preseason rankings a final update. Check out our fantasy baseball rankings dashboard for a current list any time.

Starting pitching may be one of your first priorities on draft day, as there can be a pretty significant drop-off after the first few true aces. That doesn't mean there aren't great values to be found in later rounds--in fact, if you decide to wait on starting pitcher there are enough mid-tier options to round out a pretty competitive staff.

Without any more delay, let's break down the 2019 starting pitcher rankings for March.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!

 

Starting Pitcher Tiered Ranks - 5x5 Mixed Leagues (March)

In case you missed it, our very own "Big Pick Nick" Mariano was recently named the #1 overall most accurate industry expert ranker for the 2018 season. You can see his secret sauce below! Additionally, industry legend Scott Engel recently joined the RotoBaller team and provides his insights as well. Scott is an FSWA Hall Of Famer and award winner.

Rank Tier Player Position Nick Pierre Bill JB Scott Auction $
1 1 Max Scherzer SP 6 3 6 5 10 37
2 1 Chris Sale SP 14 7 12 9 14 37
3 1 Jacob deGrom SP 9 12 14 11 11 33
4 2 Justin Verlander SP 19 24 21 25 23 32
5 2 Corey Kluber SP 33 32 19 23 24 28
6 2 Aaron Nola SP 37 21 22 20 31 27
7 2 Gerrit Cole SP 23 28 27 29 28 27
8 2 Blake Snell SP 38 34 35 31 32 26
9 2 Noah Syndergaard SP 35 27 44 40 33 26
10 2 Trevor Bauer SP 21 36 37 27 58 24
11 2 Carlos Carrasco SP 34 46 41 44 34 23
12 3 Walker Buehler SP 44 48 55 34 56 23
13 3 Stephen Strasburg SP 53 38 58 54 70 21
14 3 Zack Greinke SP 54 57 62 60 41 19
15 3 James Paxton SP 50 83 53 57 52 19
16 3 Patrick Corbin SP 51 71 54 52 68 17
17 3 Mike Clevinger SP 57 54 73 59 59 17
18 3 Jameson Taillon SP 63 76 71 63 74 17
19 4 Clayton Kershaw SP 91 86 28 74 71 15
20 4 Luis Severino SP 79 98 60 89 53 15
21 4 Jose Berrios SP 73 49 88 78 100 14
22 4 Jack Flaherty SP 78 79 77 76 80 14
23 4 Zack Wheeler SP 64 135 72 67 54 14
24 4 David Price SP 87 64 70 81 97 14
25 4 Miles Mikolas SP 90 58 83 95 112 13
26 4 German Marquez SP 74 118 87 85 122 13
27 4 Masahiro Tanaka SP 106 87 75 126 114 13
28 4 Mike Foltynewicz SP 124 126 97 127 98 13
29 5 Kyle Hendricks SP 95 116 130 150 115 12
30 5 Yu Darvish SP 126 88 144 135 116 11
31 5 J.A. Happ SP 115 150 109 131 125 10
32 5 Charlie Morton SP 127 146 162 90 107 10
33 5 Madison Bumgarner SP 174 120 136 97 113 10
34 5 Luis Castillo SP 133 121 125 156 154 10
35 5 Robbie Ray SP 134 108 149 154 149 10
36 5 Eduardo Rodriguez SP 148 100 167 139 141 9
37 5 Chris Archer SP 146 129 163 152 134 9
38 5 Nick Pivetta SP 142 122 151 158 162 9
39 5 Cole Hamels SP 155 134 171 177 136 9
40 6 Rich Hill SP 131 235 157 175 123 8
41 6 Shane Bieber SP 179 137 231 160 128 7
42 6 Kyle Freeland SP 153 262 126 141 173 7
43 6 Jon Gray SP 192 124 166 182 196 6
44 6 Carlos Martinez SP 233 151 132 184 #N/A 6
45 6 Nathan Eovaldi SP 143 294 155 148 167 6
46 6 Rick Porcello SP 137 240 193 168 172 6
47 6 Hyun-Jin Ryu SP 160 173 173 201 207 5
48 6 Sean Newcomb SP 241 138 259 188 159 5
49 6 Andrew Heaney SP 211 190 210 162 216 5
50 6 Ross Stripling SP 159 225 134 192 293 5
51 6 Joey Lucchesi SP 217 130 238 227 191 5
52 6 Jake Arrieta SP 182 140 250 206 230 5
53 6 Tyler Glasnow SP 205 214 185 170 250 5
54 6 Jon Lester SP 214 273 156 209 225 4
55 6 Kevin Gausman SP 227 186 228 240 197 4
56 7 Jose Quintana SP 190 234 184 198 273 4
57 7 Zack Godley SP 235 145 243 238 249 4
58 7 Kenta Maeda SP 161 293 212 219 228 4
59 7 Yusei Kikuchi SP 185 268 302 211 169 4
60 7 Brad Peacock RP/SP 201 477 400 322 #N/A 4
61 7 Joe Musgrove SP 208 442 269 239 198 4
62 7 Dallas Keuchel SP 313 317 209 189 174 3
63 7 Steven Matz SP 276 203 251 241 261 3
64 7 Michael Fulmer SP #N/A #N/A 224 #N/A 281 3
65 7 Alex Reyes SP/RP 262 441 94 214 #N/A 3
66 7 Collin McHugh SP 152 444 192 229 285 2
67 7 Tyler Skaggs SP 203 438 183 220 268 2
68 8 Jimmy Nelson SP 252 238 292 256 294 2
69 8 Anibal Sanchez SP 167 331 284 303 #N/A 2
70 8 Alex Wood SP 219 439 241 212 271 2
71 8 Chris Paddack SP 213 341 #N/A 352 201 2
72 8 Trevor Williams SP 290 266 293 271 #N/A 2
73 8 Julio Urias SP 256 456 289 244 #N/A 2
74 8 Jesus Luzardo SP 309 326 317 261 200 1
75 8 Josh James SP 357 437 188 233 264 1
76 8 Marcus Stroman SP 380 319 239 251 #N/A 1
77 8 Jhoulys Chacin SP 275 464 262 269 222 1
78 9 Marco Gonzales SP 187 454 321 248 290 1
79 9 Reynaldo Lopez SP 274 469 304 281 181 1
80 9 Kyle Gibson SP 264 453 282 253 284 1
81 9 Matthew Boyd SP 246 462 254 292 296 1
82 9 Luke Weaver SP 342 265 362 320 289 1
83 9 Dereck Rodriguez SP 298 466 245 255 #N/A 1
84 9 Mike Minor SP 243 472 290 262 #N/A 1
85 9 Carlos Rodon SP 283 448 283 286 #N/A 1
86 9 Forrest Whitley SP 350 458 340 277 203 1
87 9 Freddy Peralta SP 339 310 314 341 #N/A 1
88 10 Mike Soroka SP 370 450 221 279 #N/A 1
89 10 Vince Velasquez SP 327 323 346 340 #N/A 1
90 10 Seth Lugo SP/RP 310 338 311 407 #N/A 1
91 10 Dylan Bundy SP 286 449 348 295 #N/A 1
92 10 Corbin Burnes SP/RP 314 376 381 321 #N/A 1
93 10 Matt Strahm RP/SP 296 485 298 339 #N/A 1
94 10 Julio Teheran SP 360 459 326 289 #N/A 1
95 10 Mike Fiers SP 365 348 368 358 #N/A 1
96 10 Sonny Gray SP 336 452 366 291 #N/A 1
97 10 Jose Urena SP 325 389 388 376 #N/A 1
98 10 Derek Holland SP 285 524 299 381 #N/A 1
99 10 Brandon Woodruff SP 248 499 387 357 #N/A 1
100 10 Caleb Smith SP 284 480 375 367 #N/A 1
101 10 Chase Anderson SP 502 451 229 334 #N/A 1
102 10 Michael Wacha SP 387 460 385 288 #N/A 1
103 11 Trevor Richards SP 334 478 373 338 #N/A 1
104 11 Zach Eflin SP 423 525 453 329 184 1
105 11 Danny Duffy SP 355 473 363 355 #N/A 1
106 11 CC Sabathia SP 396 479 312 387 #N/A 1
107 11 Trevor Cahill SP 337 503 386 353 #N/A 1
108 11 Jake Junis SP 404 471 403 307 #N/A 1
109 11 Martin Perez SP 399 #N/A #N/A #N/A #N/A 1
110 11 Jeff Samardzija SP 373 474 371 388 #N/A 1
111 11 Touki Toussaint SP 527 427 300 356 #N/A 1
112 11 Michael Pineda SP 363 440 486 324 #N/A 1
113 11 Wily Peralta SP/RP 465 535 429 397 239 1
114 11 Sandy Alcantara SP 384 505 365 399 #N/A 1
115 11 Lucas Giolito SP 369 487 372 432 #N/A 1
116 11 Jake Odorizzi SP 398 493 413 365 #N/A 1
117 11 Tanner Roark SP 417 470 402 383 #N/A 1
118 11 Diego Castillo RP/SP 408 #N/A 396 456 #N/A 1
119 11 Brad Keller SP 401 527 364 389 #N/A 1
120 11 Tyler Anderson SP 385 481 434 406 #N/A 1
121 11 Lance Lynn SP 411 509 397 398 #N/A 1
122 12 Aaron Sanchez SP 364 500 578 317 #N/A 1
123 12 Clay Buchholz SP 444 538 405 396 #N/A 1
124 12 Framber Valdez SP 422 533 384 447 #N/A 1
125 12 Mike Leake SP 415 394 460 524 #N/A 1
126 12 Pablo Lopez SP 353 530 380 538 #N/A 1
127 12 Robbie Erlin SP 414 550 #N/A 422 #N/A 1
128 12 Wade Miley SP 376 607 #N/A 413 #N/A 1
129 12 Domingo German SP 421 397 592 452 #N/A 1
130 12 Ryan Yarbrough SP 573 513 450 327 #N/A 1
131 12 Anthony DeSclafani SP 501 504 497 368 #N/A 1
132 12 Adam Conley SP/RP 477 369 484 570 #N/A 1
133 12 Matt Harvey SP 490 566 485 359 #N/A 1
134 12 Wei-Yin Chen SP 375 556 389 581 #N/A 1
135 12 Danny Salazar SP #N/A 483 415 532 #N/A 1
136 12 Drew Smyly SP #N/A 484 523 446 #N/A 1
137 12 Dinelson Lamet SP #N/A 489 325 640 #N/A 1
138 13 Gio Gonzalez SP 559 571 445 364 #N/A 1
139 13 Yonny Chirinos SP #N/A 510 512 433 #N/A 1
140 13 Alex Cobb SP 532 508 431 471 #N/A 1
141 13 Felix Pena RP/SP 410 #N/A 442 614 #N/A 1
142 13 Merrill Kelly SP 395 532 598 436 #N/A 1
143 13 Luiz Gohara SP 519 506 476 487 #N/A 1
144 13 Ivan Nova SP 506 564 409 513 #N/A 1
145 13 Nick Kingham SP #N/A 528 439 528 #N/A 1
146 13 Kyle Wright SP 524 #N/A #N/A 477 #N/A 1
147 13 Drew Pomeranz SP #N/A 507 #N/A 498 #N/A 1
148 13 Wade LeBlanc SP 491 553 443 530 #N/A 1
149 13 Matt Shoemaker SP 542 576 467 439 #N/A 1
150 13 Jason Vargas SP 425 583 418 601 #N/A 1
151 13 Chris Devenski SP/RP 458 514 449 609 #N/A 1
152 13 Joe Ross SP #N/A 590 482 453 #N/A 1
153 13 Jordan Montgomery SP 581 534 411 #N/A #N/A 1
154 13 Andrew Suarez SP #N/A 516 527 488 #N/A 1
155 13 Jaime Barria SP 535 559 530 418 #N/A 1
156 13 Brent Honeywell SP 580 490 452 523 #N/A 1
157 13 Jeremy Hellickson SP 528 #N/A 416 593 #N/A 1
158 13 Justus Sheffield SP 504 543 602 401 #N/A 1
159 14 Thomas Pannone SP #N/A #N/A 517 #N/A #N/A 1
160 14 Marco Estrada SP 390 551 587 542 #N/A 1
161 14 Dylan Cease SP #N/A #N/A #N/A 518 #N/A 1
162 14 Dylan Floro SP/RP 517 #N/A 519 #N/A #N/A 1
163 14 Jon Duplantier SP #N/A #N/A #N/A 519 #N/A 1
164 14 Daniel Mengden SP #N/A 558 535 474 #N/A 1
165 14 Taijuan Walker SP #N/A 494 454 627 #N/A 1
166 14 Fernando Romero SP #N/A #N/A 494 560 #N/A 1
167 14 Jerad Eickhoff SP #N/A 549 526 509 #N/A 1
168 14 Zach Davies SP 441 577 555 546 #N/A 1
169 14 Eric Lauer SP 553 536 #N/A 511 #N/A 1
170 14 Tyson Ross SP 488 620 559 478 #N/A 1
171 14 Tyler Mahle SP #N/A 531 586 495 #N/A 1
172 14 Felix Hernandez SP 583 552 432 610 #N/A 1
173 14 Jake Faria SP #N/A 498 615 526 #N/A 1
174 14 A.J. Puk SP 551 569 520 #N/A #N/A 1
175 14 Logan Allen SP #N/A #N/A #N/A 547 #N/A 1
176 14 Jonathan Loaisiga SP 520 580 561 527 #N/A 1
177 14 Mitch Keller SP #N/A 606 #N/A 490 #N/A 1
178 14 Max Fried SP 531 #N/A 516 605 #N/A 1
179 14 Matt Moore SP 554 #N/A 552 #N/A #N/A 1
180 14 Adam Wainwright SP 537 601 455 626 #N/A 1
181 14 Robert Gsellman SP/RP 495 614 510 602 #N/A 1
182 14 Dan Straily SP 566 603 446 615 #N/A 1
183 14 Ervin Santana SP #N/A 567 630 480 #N/A 1
184 14 Stephen Gonsalves SP #N/A 565 #N/A #N/A #N/A 1
185 14 Jharel Cotton SP #N/A #N/A 566 #N/A #N/A 1
186 14 Bartolo Colon SP #N/A #N/A 567 #N/A #N/A 1
187 14 Nick Tropeano SP #N/A #N/A 576 #N/A #N/A 1
188 14 Ryan Borucki SP #N/A 611 574 549 #N/A 1
189 14 John Gant SP #N/A 604 583 554 #N/A 1
190 14 Mike Montgomery SP/RP #N/A 599 532 612 #N/A 1
191 14 Daniel Norris SP #N/A #N/A 547 616 #N/A 1
192 14 Andrew Cashner RP/SP #N/A #N/A 584 #N/A #N/A 1
193 14 Daniel Poncedeleon SP #N/A #N/A 594 575 #N/A 1
194 14 Steven Wright SP #N/A 652 522 #N/A #N/A 1
195 14 Amir Garrett SP 507 605 550 696 #N/A 1
196 14 Brandon Finnegan SP #N/A 645 536 #N/A #N/A 1
197 14 Chris Stratton SP #N/A 609 472 691 #N/A 1
198 14 Jordan Zimmermann SP #N/A 618 564 597 #N/A 1
199 14 Joe Biagini SP/RP #N/A #N/A 597 #N/A #N/A 1
200 14 Sean Reid-Foley SP #N/A #N/A 631 576 #N/A 1
201 15 Francis Martes SP #N/A 628 582 #N/A #N/A 1
202 15 Robert Stephenson SP #N/A #N/A 607 #N/A #N/A 1
203 15 Antonio Senzatela SP 585 #N/A #N/A 630 #N/A 1
204 15 Dylan Covey SP #N/A 646 575 #N/A #N/A 1
205 15 Nate Karns SP #N/A 598 #N/A 632 #N/A 1
206 15 Ian Kennedy SP #N/A 642 540 667 #N/A 1
207 15 J.C. Ramirez SP #N/A #N/A 618 #N/A #N/A 1
208 15 Luis Perdomo SP #N/A 629 609 #N/A #N/A 1
209 15 Brock Stewart SP #N/A #N/A 624 #N/A #N/A 1
210 15 Andrew Triggs SP #N/A 624 #N/A #N/A #N/A 1
211 15 Adam Plutko SP #N/A 625 #N/A #N/A #N/A 1
212 15 Junior Guerra SP #N/A #N/A 585 668 #N/A 1
213 15 Francisco Liriano SP #N/A 627 #N/A #N/A #N/A 1
214 15 Griffin Canning SP #N/A #N/A #N/A 628 #N/A 1
215 15 Tyler Chatwood SP #N/A 570 #N/A 694 #N/A 1
216 15 Shelby Miller SP #N/A 660 #N/A 611 #N/A 1
217 15 Liam Hendriks SP #N/A 639 #N/A #N/A #N/A 1
218 15 Jimmie Sherfy SP #N/A 641 #N/A #N/A #N/A 1
219 15 Erick Fedde SP #N/A 633 #N/A 656 #N/A 1
220 15 Sixto Sanchez SP #N/A #N/A #N/A 646 #N/A 1
221 15 Adalberto Mejia SP #N/A #N/A 628 670 #N/A 1
222 15 Taylor Widener SP #N/A #N/A #N/A 649 #N/A 1
223 15 Dillon Peters SP #N/A 651 #N/A #N/A #N/A 1
224 15 Edubray Ramos SP #N/A 653 #N/A #N/A #N/A 1
225 15 Scott Oberg SP #N/A #N/A #N/A 654 #N/A 1
226 15 Austin Gomber SP #N/A #N/A #N/A 655 #N/A 1
227 15 Jalen Beeks SP #N/A #N/A #N/A 657 #N/A 1
228 15 Triston McKenzie SP #N/A 656 #N/A 659 #N/A 1
229 15 Frankie Montas SP/RP #N/A #N/A #N/A 658 #N/A 1
230 15 Jordan Lyles SP #N/A #N/A #N/A 684 #N/A 1

 

Rankings Analysis - Top Tiers

Tier One

I am a huge fan of waiting on starting pitching, particularly with so many elite bats to be had in Round 1 and early Round 2. I haven't wound up with any of these three starting pitchers in any of my drafts this year, and I promise you I won't own them come Opening Day. That doesn't mean they aren't absolutely outstanding. Scherzer in particular is one of the safest picks you can make. Averaging his last six seasons, you get one of the most impressive stretches in baseball history; he's averaged 218 innings pitched, 270 strikeouts and just a shade under 18 wins per year. Chris Sale is still a strikeout/ERA machine and he'll get plenty of wins as well, but he did only throw 158 innings last season. Jacob deGrom was an incredibly worthy Cy Young Award-winner last season, although his SIERA indicates it's probably too much to expect a 1.70 ERA again this year. Just because I won't own any of these three doesn't mean you shouldn't, particularly if you get to Round 2 and they're available.

Tier Two

This is where I wind up taking my first pitchers of each draft. These are for the most part younger guys or veterans who have established themselves but still have plenty of upside to push into Tier 1. I find myself coming away with Carlos Carrasco most often out of this group; Carrasco had a terrific 2018 season, striking out batters at a 29.5% clip and posting the highest K-BB% of his career. While his BABIP was fairly normal, his SIERA (3.03) indicates that his stellar 3.38 ERA could have been even higher with a little help. He's a perennial candidate for 200+ strikeouts and on an Indians team in the worst division in baseball (IMO) he'll get at least 14 wins if he stays healthy all season. Non-zero chance that Carrasco returns the most value out of any Indians starter this year.

Tier Three

I thought I was going to be lower than most on James Paxton, but my colleagues have even less faith in him than I do, and with good reason. Paxton has undeniable upside--his 32.3 K% last season was absolutely nuts. Unfortunately, his 160.1 IP from a year ago represent a career high, which is pretty concerning for a 30-year-old. Paxton has lost time over the last few seasons to forearm, pectoral and finger strains, and back inflammation. He's theoretically healthy heading into this season, but it's incredibly difficult to find a path to 200 IP this season give his history. Even more concerning than the injury history is his change in ballpark. Last year T-Mobile Park in Seattle ranked 27th as far as runs scored were concerned, while Yankee Stadium was seventh--and it gets worse when you adjust for home runs. He's coming off the worst HR rate of his career (1.3/9 IP) and now heads to one of the worst stadiums in the majors for ceding the long ball. It doesn't take a professor of sabermetrics to figure out why Paxton could have plenty of issues this year even if he remains healthy.

 

Rankings Analysis - Middle Tiers

Tier Four

My affinity for Jack Flaherty is well-established (see my Bold Predictions for this year) so I won't waste more typing on that subject. German Marquez is a trendy sleeper that our good friend @Jon_DenzlerRB has written about here. I want to talk about a guy that hasn't been getting very much love this offseason instead--Miles Mikolas. The 30-year-old was on hiatus from the MLB from 2015-2017, opting instead to pitch in Japan. When he returned last season he made an immediate impact on the Cardinals' rotation, going 18-4 with a 2.83 ERA across 200.1 IP. There was likely a bit of luck there, as his SIERA was more than a full run higher (3.93), but the 2019 Opening Day starter still showed plenty of promise for this year. His 3.6% BB-rate was particularly impressive--if you keep runners off the bases they can't come around to score, and his 0.72 HR/9 is certainly admirable as well. The main knock against his SIERA is the lack of strikeouts; he posted a modest 18.1 K%. Mikolas is one of those picks that will impress nobody on draft day, but he'll hold down a valuable spot in your rotation all season.

Clayton Kershaw has tumbled down draft boards, and with good reason. There are major, major concerns that can't be ignored. He's averaging just over 160 IP over the last three seasons, and he's coming off the lowest K% since his rookie year (23.9%). That last stat can likely be attributed to the fact that his average fastball velocity (91.4) plummeted to nearly two full MPH from his career average (93.7). Thanks to that drop-off, Kershaw has begun to lean on his slider more and more, and he actually threw more sliders than fastballs last year. This all still led to a 2.73 ERA (with a 3.45 SIERA to back it up), which is my main reason for optimism. If there is any pitcher who can re-establish his dominance by nibbling corners and keeping batters off-balance with breaking balls, it's Kershaw. He'll have to re-invent himself to stay relevant, and I think he can do it. My ranking here may be a bit optimistic, but to think Kershaw is "done" seems foolish.

Tier Five

I am lowest on Yu Darvish, and I'm not quite sure what some of my colleagues are seeing to give them hope. Darvish peaked in his sophomore season (2013) with a 13-9 record, 277 strikeouts and a 2.83 ERA. Since then, he's averaged 120 IP per season, and his career ERA is now at 3.49. Simply stated, Darvish is nowhere close to the phenom that he entered the league as. This is not to say my colleagues are ranking him as such--they're not. But the upside here is just so limited. The only thing Darvish truly has working in his favor is his strikeout ability. His 29.5 career K% is a terrific mark, and when he's healthy Darvish should still have that nasty stuff. He hasn't lost anything off his fastball, and his slider is still a devastating put-away pitch. However, with that nastiness comes a dangerously high BB%. Darvish has walked over 9% of the batters he's faced in his career, which leaves the door open for a lot of trouble if he's not "on". If you can only count on him for maybe 150 innings and an ERA around 3.50-4.00, how is he inside the top 120?

I'm also lowest on Eduardo Rodriguez, so I guess this is my Hater Tier. I see the upside here, don't get me wrong--Rodriguez has improves his K% every season he's been in the majors, resulting in a healthy 26.4% last season across 129.2 IP. Once again though, concerns about innings pitched have me wary. Rodriguez has suffered from knee, hamstring and ankle injuries in the past, and it's kept him from realizing his full potential. Is this the year he finally puts it all together? Simply put, I'm not willing to be the one who drafts him to find out. I could be completely wrong here, and Rodriguez could toss 180 innings of terrific ball. I just don't want to be the one who wastes a pick on him when I could have a guy with more upside like Luis Castillo or a sturdy veteran like J.A. Happ instead.

 

Rankings Analysis - Lower Tiers

Tier Six

I'm highest on Jake Arrieta, and honestly in this case it's me trusting a guy's floor more than his upside. Arrieta has been declining steadily since 2014-2015, it's true. His K% is down, his SIERA is up. However, he's not losing a ton of velocity off his fastball and he's starting to lean more on his cutter, which was what earned him a good deal of his success in that 2014-2015 high point. The Phillies will be one of the more competitive teams in the National League this year, and with some slight adjustments Arrieta can take a step back towards the success that earned him a Cy Young Award in 2015.

Tier Seven

Kenta Maeda could be a rock-solid third or fourth starter if only the Dodgers would give him a full season in the rotation. As it stands it looks like Maeda will at least begin the season in the rotation, and if he's able to hold down the spot he could be a top-40 starter in mixed league formats. In his three seasons in the majors he's boasted an above-average 26.2 K%, and outside of a sub-par 2017 he's kept his homers allowed down as well. He's been consistent and has stayed relatively healthy for most of his major league career, so it's literally all about opportunity for Maeda.

Tiers Eight and Nine

The Marcus Stroman hate has gone too far. Very few people realize just how much of his atrocious 2018 campaign was based in luck (or lack thereof). Stroman suffered in most non-controllable statistics--his BABIP shot up to .326, his LOB % was a laughable 60.5%. All of this resulted in an abysmal 5.54 ERA, up from his 3.09 in 2017. However, if you look at the underlying metrics you'll see that he didn't actually pitch much worse. His SIERA only rose from 3.85 to 4.04, he still forced a crazy-high ground ball percentage, and his strikeout percentage dropped just a bit. He's never been a strikeout pitcher, so don't expect him to help you out there, but he's one of the best candidates for a bounce-back season on this list, and I'm banking on it.

Speaking of hate going too far, did everyone forget what Dereck Rodriguez did as a rookie last year? 6-4 with a 2.81 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP in 19 starts.--that's downright terrific in fantasy if you project it out over a full season. I am no fool here--there are a TON of signs that indicate Rodriguez will regress in 2019. His BABIP was a ridiculously low .257, that low ERA was backed up by a 4.58 SIERA and his 18.3 K% isn't a recipe for overcoming any of the forthcoming WHIP regression. Even if Rodriguez's ERA levels out to a 3.50-4.00 range and he picks up 10 wins, isn't that worthy of more than barely a top-300 ranking, or even into the 400s? Give Rodriguez a shot later in your draft and you won't be disappointed on the return.

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Weeks 1-5: 4.6 targets, 3.2 receptions, 50.6 yards per game, one touchdown. Week 6: 11 targets, eight receptions, 167 yards, three touchdowns. All of these numbers show a marked improvement on the season averages of Stefon Diggs in Minnesota. But, do they tell the whole story? Do they really signify that Diggs should be considered... Read More


Buys and Sells - The King's Guide for Week 7

Not every football fan is a baseball fan. But many of us sports aficionados did follow the game for awhile, and still do. At some point, many of have witnessed a trade, where a team out of contention dealt away a star player for some minor leaguers. One team received an immediate impact player, while... Read More


Offensive Line Rankings Analysis: Week 7

In Week 6, we once again saw some great football, starting with the New England Patriots continuing their undefeated start to the season and ending with one of the most controversial games of the week as the Green Bay Packers overcame the Detroit Lions. The London games continued with Jameis Winston struggling once again, this... Read More


Wide Receiver Snap Counts and Target Trends - Week 6 Analysis

Wide receivers are essential components toward your ultimate goal of securing league championships. As the season unfolds, an expanding collection of tools are available that can provide you with an extensive level of knowledge. Those results provide the foundation for this weekly statistical breakdown of the wide receiver position, which is designed to help you fulfill... Read More


NCAA Prospects To Watch: Week 8

We’re almost halfway through the college football season, which means small sample sizes are becoming larger, and players are beginning to rise up the draft boards. While that means the cream is rising to the top, it also means that some unique names have emerged as players to know for the 2020 NFL Draft. This... Read More