The inimitable Scott Pianowski has previously compared starting pitchers in fantasy baseball to running backs in fantasy football. If you build a quality stable of backs in your football drafts, you'll likely go far in your leagues; the same goes for baseball. A quality rotation should carry you into the playoffs.
Furthermore, if you're lucky (or smart) enough to draft/add that league-winning running back, your chances of securing a trophy increase exponentially. Once again, this is mirrored in fantasy baseball; if you can draft the best pitcher(s) in baseball, you have a chance at a championship.
The only problem is, while starting pitchers have comparable upside to running backs, they also come with the same downside. Yes, the volatility we've come to expect from the running back position in fantasy football is eerily similar to that of starting pitchers in fantasy baseball.
Basically, can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.
One of the biggest starting pitcher movers of the offseason was Jacob deGrom, who left the Mets for the Texas Rangers. His health and his first time on a new team are factors that could ding his ADP this season; a guy who's been a staple at the top of drafts might not even be considered a top-five fantasy pitcher anymore. And some unease has crept in after deGrom suffered some left-side tightness in Spring Training already.
Corbin Burnes and Gerrit Cole, however, remain the top two ranked options for 2023. There are also some youngsters expected to go much earlier than in previous seasons, elite arms like Spencer Strider and reigning NL Cy Young winner, Sandy Alcantara.
Who will emerge from the depths of drafts to create a massive fantasy impact at starting pitcher? How many of them are worthy of a first-round selection?
Our fantasy baseball starting pitcher rankings can help you answer those questions — check them out below:
2023 Fantasy Baseball Rankings powered by FantasyPros