Fantasy Baseball 2011: Breakout Pitchers to Select for 2011

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Fantasy Baseball 2011: Breakout Pitchers to Select for 2011
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It's less than two weeks away from the start of Major League Baseball and this is the time of year where new injuries (Brian Wilson, Chase Utley) shape how we draft, so it’s important to stay on top of the latest news.

You do not want to be the guy that drafts Adam Wainwright this season.

Last week I identified offensive players I thought were good values and this week it is the pitchers' turn.

I am a fan of grabbing high-strikeout pitchers early in drafts if there isn’t an offensive player I want at that pick. I do not draft closers until the double-digit rounds as they are simply too volatile and only impact one category. Pitchers are deep and you can wait but it’s important to be smart about it.

Check back soon for the results of my extremely competitive 12-team draft complete with analysis. Let me know in the comments or tell me on Twitter how you think your draft is went.



Dan Haren: Of the middle tier of starters, I have been targeting Haren the most. He did exceptionally in Anaheim once he was traded, and I would rather take him than Roy Oswalt or Chris Carpenter who are at the same ADP.

Brett Anderson: Ace potential in the 12th round. Much safer than Chad Billingsley who is going slightly higher. Any pitcher in Oakland has value.

Madison Bumgarner: I am never afraid of second-year rookies if they have the stuff to win. 

Jeremy Hellickson: Same as above, these are the players to target because next year they will be going 10 rounds earlier.

Daniel Hudson: Still below the radar. Being drafted in same area as retreads Javier Vazquez and Hiroki Kuroda.

Brett Myers: Not a sexy sleeper like the others, but a guy that had a fantastic season last year and is being overlooked.

Jordan Zimmerman: Going in the 21st round. I target him in every draft.

James Shields: I’ll take a flier at the end of the draft because I think he was a victim of luck last season.

Edwin Jackson: Going to be a great pick this season. Very effective last year in Chicago.

Some pitchers for deep leagues or to keep your eye on in free agency: Erik Bedard, Anibal Sanchez, Jair Jurrjens and Bud Norris



Joe Nathan: A familiar name but the draft price is low based on last season. It’s worth it to see if he gets mostly back to his previous form.

John Axford: The Milwaukee Brewers are going to win a lot of games this year and if I need a closer that weighs into my decision.

Joel Hanrahan: Has a long leash even if on a bad team.

Fernando Rodney: Saves in the 18th round count as much as the 5th.

Daniel Bard: Not a closer but an elite setup man I could see getting saves every now and then. I like to add high strikeout relievers to balance out my pitching staff rather than mediocre starters who will lose me ERA and WHIP every week.

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