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Each fantasy season is a reminder that there never seems to be a “sure thing” when it comes to starting pitchers. Let’s take a quick flashback to last year’s draft and two top-five pitchers. Johan Santana, the first pitcher taken in most drafts, had his season cut short because of elbow surgery and Brandon Webb only managed to pitch four innings before missing the remainder of the year with shoulder surgery.

Santana no longer sits atop the pitcher rankings, and unlike most other positions, there is not a unanimous No. 1 pick this year. Tim Lincecum, Felix Hernandez, Zack Greinke, and Roy Halladay could all make a case for this year’s top fantasy pitcher and are the closest to a “sure thing” that you’ll find in this year’s draft.

Draft-Day Advice: There are a couple schools of thought when it comes to drafting starting pitchers. Some managers prefer to load up on elite aces early, while some would rather wait until the later rounds, and a large portion fall somewhere in the middle. Whatever your strategy, its inevitable that every season brings surprise late-round gems so do your homework and cross your fingers.

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