Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2013: Starting Pitchers Owners Must Avoid

Mike MoraitisAnalyst IMarch 7, 2013

DUNEDIN, FL - MARCH 2: R. A. Dickey #43 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during a spring training game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium on March 2, 2013 in Dunedin, Florida. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

If owners haven't done so already, fantasy baseball drafts are right around the corner and are filled with some pitchers who can't be trusted to have a great season in 2013.

Pitchers are always an important part of fantasy teams and a few bad pitchers can spoil the bunch in some cases depending on how poorly they do.

Whether it was an apparent fluke season you shouldn't trust from these pitchers or the potential for a continued downward trend moving forward, there are just some pitchers you need to avoid early on in the draft altogether.

Let's take a look at which arms fit the bill.

For a list of starting pitcher fantasy rankings, go to


R.A. Dickey, Toronto Blue Jays

Dickey won the National League Cy Young award last season after posing a 20-6 record with an ERA of 2.73. Those were impressive numbers considering the team he had around him with the New York Mets.

But this year will be much different for Dickey as he is a year older and is now a member of the Blue Jays. That means he'll have to pitch in the offensively potent American League East and there's just no telling how he and his knuckleball will translate to one of the toughest divisions in baseball.

The temptation will be there to take Dickey early on because he is a possible ace, but such a reliance on an unproven commodity like the 38-year-old to be a major player in your team's rotation is very risky to say the least.


Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants

You may think you're getting a steal later in the draft when you see Lincecum's name left on the board, but it isn't as good as you think, and that's despite his impressive history in MLB as a Cy Young winner.

Lincecum has helped somewhat erase his horrid 2012 season by pitching well in the playoffs, but there's just no telling how he will bounce back from his 10-15 record with a 5.18 ERA. On top of that, Lincecum has seen his velocity drop over the past few seasons, so there's more cause for concern than just a bad record from last season.

Who knows what it could be, but the bottom line is Lincecum is nowhere near a certainty anymore and shouldn't be worthy of any pick early on in the draft. If he is an early pick, whatever team is drafting Lincecum will be in serious trouble.


Ryan Dempster, Boston Red Sox

Like Dickey, Dempster will be traveling into uncharted waters as he goes to the AL East this season to pitch for the Red Sox. Last year, Dempster was incredibly effective with the Chicago Cubs, but things soured once he got to Texas and pitched to a 5.09 ERA for the Rangers.

Dempster is just two years removed from pitching to a 4.80 ERA with the Cubs back in 2011 and has proven to be very inconsistent during his career. Dempster has also never pitched in the AL East before, so if he thinks it was tough in the AL West last season, it won't get any easier this season.

The 35-year-old may look tempting thanks to his Cy Young-caliber numbers early on in 2012, but his totals with the Rangers are much more indicative of the quality of pitcher he is when faced with tougher lineups in the AL. Because of this, you shouldn't depend on Dempster to be the rock for your rotation, but rather a smaller piece to the puzzle at best.