It’s time to take a more recent look at the fantasy baseball ADP for starting pitchers as the number of spring injuries continue to pile up. Some key names such as Gerrit Cole, Kevin Gausman and Eury Perez are injured and we’re seeing some serious shifts and fluctuation in draft position. Given the massive depth at the position, my recommendation is to minimize your risk and wait on anyone experience elbow and/or shoulder issues and, if I’m being honest, you don’t even need to shoot for the top-tier in your draft. Obviously, if you believe strongly enough or, perhaps you’re in a head-to-head points league, an elite arm can work for you, but be sure you’ve got a strong follow-up gameplan to build your offense. Let’s take a look at where everyone is currently going in fantasy baseball drafts and see where you want to start your build.



ADP Pockets for the Starting Pitcher Position

Tier 1 (Round 1):

Do I really need to provide analysis as to how drafting Strider will boost your fantasy rotation? Just heed the warning up top in the intro and you’ll be fine.

Tier 2 (Rounds 2-3):

Strong strikeout totals and each of the three will help you in all pitching categories except saves. If you miss out on Strider and still want an elite starter, any of these three will suffice.

Tier 3 (Rounds 4-5):

This is more the tier I like to start with for building my fantasy rotation, In fact, I’ll even consider double-tapping the position and take two. Yamamoto should be fun to watch, Kirby, Gallen and Webb are studs and you’ll get good strikeouts from Peralta. Just be wary that the fantasy community is all jazzed up for Lopez and Skubal which means their ADP could be on the rise.

Tier 4 (Rounds 6-8):

Another favorite tier, though it is currently marred by Cole and his edema. I’m not touching him at all. His ADP will continue to drop and some people will claim the value in the middle rounds, but my advice is to let him be someone else’s headache. Rodriguez, Snell, now that he’s in San Francisco and Ragans look to be a very popular and favorites of mine, so if you only take one starter from Tier 3, be sure to get one of these Tier 4 guys.

Tier 5 (Rounds 9-10)

Be careful with Perez. We’re still waiting for more test results and his ADP is dropping fast. If drafting a starter or two from this tier, Cease is my favorite, followed up by Steele who will eat innings all year. Sale has commanded the most attention, given the name recognition and strong spring, but if you draft him, be sure to add strong depth later on as you never know when he’ll stumble onto the IL.

Tier 6 (Rounds 11-13)

Great innings-eaters in Bassitt and Kelly. Bullish on both. I also like Gray, but be wary of his health here in the early part of the season. Love Greene’s strikeout potential, but be very wary of Rodon. This might still be a little high for me regarding average draft position.

Tier 7 (Rounds 14-16):

Yes to Brown, first and foremost. Love him and his strikeout potential. We’ve watched his ADP soar past that of teammate Cristian Javier and, if you ask me, rightfully so. Miller, Woo, Pepiot and Williams (if healthy) are my next choices after I grab Brown.

Tier 8 (Rounds 17-20):

My top-three in this tier is Pfaadt, Sanchez and Harrison. If I can land two of the three around this tier, then I am insanely psyched. Pfaadt looked spectacular last season in the second half and in the playoffs. Sanchez is rapidly growing in popularity after Phillies manager Rob Thompson and President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski raved about his arm. And, Harrison is having an outstanding spring so expect him to lock into the back end of the Giants rotation and provide you some super-cheap strikeouts. 

Tier 9 (Rounds 21-24)

More injuries and upside in this tier. Crawford looks great this spring, Detmers is, in my opinion, routinely overlooked and Skenes is a fantastic stash, though he’s not likely to be up until June at the earliest. Keep an eye on the health of Garrett and Lodolo and consider Wacha a strong sleeper. His numbers over the past season and a half have been fabulous.

Tier 10 (Rounds 25 & beyond):

Some interesting names in this group in Abbott and Montas, both of whom deserve your attention this far down. I had a great conversation with Jim Bowden regarding both and he loves the upside of Abbott, but even more so, the upside of Montas. The Reds new acquisition was just named the Opening Day starter after a fantastic spring, He’s healthy now and looks like he could be the ultimate late-round sleeper.

Beyond this tier, consult with the latest version of the Fantasy Baseball Cheat Sheet for some of my favorite names.

*Round assignments set for 12-team leagues

**NFBC ADP date range set for 3/1/24 – 3/18/24  

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