The top 50 starters are jam packed with young, talented upside. That means risk as well. But I would rather try to strike gold, than pick a safe mid rotation starter.

2016 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Catcher/First Base/Second Base/Shortstop/Third Base/Outfield(Top 25)/(Top 50)/(Top 75)/Starters(Top 25)/(Top 75)/(Top 100)/Closer/Top 250 Overall

26) Francisco Liriano PIT – Inconsistent and injury prone, but those strikeouts are too enticing to pass up. 2016 Projection: 12/3.44/1.25/178

27) Masahiro Tanaka NYY – Not going to let a little torn UCL scare me off. Willing to take the risk for his upside. 2016 Projection: 14/3.40/1.09/163

28) Michael Wacha STL – Collapsed in September, pitching to a 7.88 ERA. Could have been due to fatigue after reaching a career high in IP. 2016 Projection: 13/3.41/1.18/162

29) Carlos Martinez STL – Draws comparisons to Pedro Martinez, mostly because of his size, but his stuff isn’t too far off either. 2016 Projection: 12/3.40/1.27/179

30) Garrett Richards LAA – Coming off a torn knee ligament, Richards didn’t have the season many were hoping for in 2015. The ingredients are still there for him to put it together in 2016. 2016 Projection: 13/3.52/1.22/175

31) Michael Pineda NYY – FIP (3.34) was much better than his ERA (4.37). Still some injury risk stemming from his 2012 shoulder surgery. 2016 Projection: 12/3.48/1.14/168

32) Drew Smyly TB – Injury plagued 2015, but showed enormous promise when he did pitch. 2016 Projection: 10/3.39/1.18/157

33) Jeff Samardzija SFG – Had a complete meltdown in 2015. The stuff is the same, so I expect him to get it back together this season. 2016 Projection: 13/3.68/1.23/180

34) Steven Matz NYM – Wrote about Matz in my Matz vs. Severino article. 2016 Projection: 12/3.49/1.23/156

35) Marcus Stroman TOR – Didn’t seem any worse for the wear after returning from a torn ACL in September. Recommence the hype train. 2016 Projection: 13/3.57/1.20/160

36) Yordano Ventura KC – Roller coaster 2015, but finished strongish with a 3.56/1.32/98 pitching line in 91 IP post all-star break. 2016 Projection: 13/3.56/1.28/166

37) Julio Teheran ATL – After starting his career on fire his first two seasons, hit a small road block last year. Potential remains the same. 2016 Projection: 10/3.53/1.21/175

38) Lance McCullers HOU – (Update: Expected to begin the season on the DL after experiencing shoulder soreness. Return date is uncertain, but he is not expected to miss an extended period of time.) Strong rookie season, but I’m not expecting a full repeat. 2016 Projection: 12/3.62/1.27/159

39) Raisel Iglesias CIN – Everyone’s favorite sleeper that nobody is sleeping on. 2016 Projection: 10/3.63/1.23/175

40) Jose Quintana CHI-AL – Safe and boring but he keeps getting the job done year after year. 2016 Projection: 11/3.51/1.25/172

41) Joe Ross WASH – Tyson Ross’ little brother. Comes with the same nasty slider. 2016 Projections: 11/3.59/1.24/170

42) Hisashi Iwakuma SEA – Age and injury concerns. Still put up a pitching line of 3.05/1.02/91 in 100.1 IP post all-star break. 2016 Projection: 12/3.45/1.11/155

43) Patrick Corbin ARI – Came back strong from Tommy John surgery last season. Could take another step in 2016. 2016 Projection: 12/3.55/1.21/154

44) Justin Verlander DET – Came back from the dead in 2015. Might have some juice left in him after all. 2016 Projection: 12/3.66/1.22/167

45) Jimmy Nelson MIL – Wrote a Jimmy Nelson, 2016 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper post. 2016 Projection: 10/3.51/1.25/178

46) Carlos Rodon CHI-AL – Has serious control issues, but his strikeout potential is enormous. 2016 Projection: 11/3.69/1.30/182

47) Taijuan Walker SEA – Another young starter with tons of upside. Had some issues with the long ball last season. 2016 Projection: 11/3.72/1.19/175

48) Luis Severino NYY – Wrote about Severino in my Matz vs. Severino article. 2016 Projection: 12/3.68/1.26/158

49) Yu Darvish TEX – Expected to miss the first two months of the season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. I’m betting on him to hit the ground running when he returns, but who really knows. 2016 Projection: 9/3.46/1.22/155

50) James Shields SD – Had an extremely uncharacteristic 2015, seeing huge spikes in K’s and BB’s. Not exactly sure of what to expect in 2016. 2016 Projection: 12/3.70/1.26/184

By Michael Halpern
Twitter: Imaginary Brick Wall (@ImaginaryBrickW)

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