We provide fantasy analysis across a fairly broad spectrum of topics here at Fake Teams, but our rankings are built on the assumption of a standard 5x5 redraft league. So what about our readers who don't play in standard 5x5 leagues? Obviously those rankings don't fit in the same manner if your league plays different categories. So if you're looking for some starting pitchers who may be ranked differently in your league than the standard, you've come to the right place. All 2015 ranks are based on a 100 inning pitched minimum.
General Idea: Quality starts require a pitcher to go at least six innings and allow 3 runs or less. While it's not the greatest indication of a starting pitchers quality (a 6 inning, 3 run start produces a 4.50 ERA, while league average ERA was 3.95), it does go to the heart of what you're looking for a starter to do: pitch deep into the game, and keep the runs to a minimum to allow your offense to win the game. So when looking for value in this category, undervalued pitchers will tend to be those that don't strikeout a lot of batters, but still go deeper in games with more efficient pitch counts.
Up: Jose Quintana - With 25 quality starts last year, Quintana finished 7th in the majors in both quality starts and quality start percentage (78%). This comes after he posted a 66% QS% in the 2014 season, and he should move at least into the top 25 if you're including this category in your league.
Other Risers: Jaime Garcia, Justin Verlander, Eduardo Rodriguez
Down: Kyle Hendricks - To be honest, I was surprised to see him so low on this list, as he ended up 12th from the bottom with just 34% of his starts ending up as quality starts. It was a combination of things for Hendricks, but the biggest factor seemed to be that he struggled to work deep into games at the start of last season. He finished strong though, with 4 of his last 5 starts hitting this mark. It's not a huge downgrade, but has more to do with the overall risk that he is more like what he did in the first half than the end of the season.
Other Fallers: Yovani Gallardo, Nate Eovaldi, Michael Pineda
Strikeout to Walk Ratio (K:BB)
The General Idea: As a ratio, you've got two options here when you're looking outside the elite options: High strikeout totals that come with walk rate risk, and high contact, extremely low walk rates. Pitchers like Bartolo Colon who just don't walk anyone very often can still provide good value in this category.
Up: Taijuan Walker - Coming in at #19 overall last year with a 3.93 ratio, Walker is someone I would absolutely be targeting in leagues with this category. Michael Schwarz wrote up Walker earlier in the week, and I agree with him that there could be even more growth moving forward.
Other Risers: Bartolo Colon, Jason Hammel, Jose Quintana
Down: Trevor Bauer - Bauer has the potential to get you a lot of strikeouts, but for this category he can kill you some days. The potential for a 10+ strikeout, no walk performance is slightly less likely to occur than one where he strikes out 3 and walks 5.
Other Fallers: Marco Estrada, Kyle Gibson, Tyson Ross
Strikeouts Per 9 Innings (K/9)
General idea: Strikeouts per 9 rely upon pitchers being able to get a high percentage of strikeouts, and as such it can lead you to find value from pitchers with some warts.
Up: Francisco Liriano - Liriano is consistently among the league leaders in strikeout % and K/9, but there's always the possibility of a blowup start in terms of your ratios which is normally what keeps him down slightly in the rankings. Adding K/9 gives players like Liriano just a little more value to offset some of that risk.
Other Risers: Trevor Bauer, Kyle Hendricks, Mike Fiers
Down: Kyle Gibson - This one is fairly straight forward - pitchers that don't get a ton of strikeouts hurt you here, and if they throw a ton of innings and don't get a ton of strikeouts, it hurts that much more. Part of Gibson's value comes from his ability to work deep into games, but not in this case.
Other Fallers: John Lackey, Jordan Zimmermann, Wade Miley