Tier 1: Clayton Kershaw

Tier 2: Max Scherzer, Chris Sale, Jake Arrietta, Madison Bumgarner

Tier 3: Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Gerrit Cole, Jose Fernandez, Corey Kluber, Zack Greinke

Tier 4: Felix Hernandez, David Price, Dallas Keuchel, Chris Archer, Carlos Carrasco, Stephen Strasburg, Sonny Gray, Noah Syndergaard, Jon Lester, Johnny Cueto

Tier 5: Carlos Martinez, Cole Hamels, Adam Wainwright, Danny Salazar, Tyson Ross, Marcus Stroman, Garrett Richards, Michael Wacha, Jordan Zimmerman, Francisco Liriano, Justin Verlander, Drew Smyly, Jose Quintana, Masahiro Tanaka

Tier 6: Scott Kazmir, Michael Pineda, Jake Odorizzi, Raisel Iglesias, Taijuan Walker, Jeff Samardzija, Hisashi Iwakuma, Lance McCullers, Wei-Yin Chen, John Lackey, Mike Fiers

Tier 7: Carlos Rodon, Yu Darvish, Gio Gonzalez, Collin McHugh, Steven Matz, Shelby Miller, Julio Teheran, Yordano Ventura, Jaime Garcia, Mike Leake, James Shields, Anibal Sanchez, Kyle Hendricks, Kent Maeda, Patrick Corbin, Phil Hughes, Jason Hammel

Tier 8: Jimmy Nelson, Alex Wood, Andrew Cashner, Luis Severino, Eduardo Rodriguez, Andrew Heaney, Joe Ross, Edinson Volquez, Kyle Gibson, Kevin Gausman, Wade Miley

* Note: Players in bold are my picks in tiers 3 and below to outperform their ADPs.

For the past several years, pitching has started with Clayton Kershaw at the top – no change this year. Moving down the chart, tiers 2 through 4 have a small delta, but enough of one where the line of delineation was worth drawing. Tier 5 contains strong options as well, but with more risk, be it injuries, brief track record, age, etc. Tiers 6 through 8 have intriguing pitchers as well, a handful of which will provide significant ROI for their owners. Now which pitchers those will be, no one knows for certain. But let’s take a look at a few candidates.

Drew Smyly quietly put together a strong finish to the 2015 season after missing much of the early part of the year with a torn labrum. Yes, that’s a significant injury, but Smyly looked healthy in September and has had the offseason to additional rest. Smyly struck out more than 10 batters per 9 innings – look for him to continue to miss bats in 2016.

Next, we’ve got Mariners’ young phenom Taijuan Walker. Admittedly, Walker had a rough start to 2015, but he figured things out as the season went on. You should buy Walker’s emerging second half performance, along with his nearly 4 to 1 K to BB ratio.

Moving from a youngster to a more established pitcher, Wei-Yin Chen may not be as sexy of a sleeper as others, but he’s quietly good at his craft. Chen moves from the AL East to the NL East, now calling Marlins Park home. Chen will post strong numbers with this pitchers’ park as his home.

Finally, we look at a bit of a wild card in Carlos Rodon. The third overall pick in the 2014 draft, Rodon falls into the high ceiling/low floor category for this season. He’s got ace stuff, and while still walking too many folks, Rodon began to mix in dominant starts towards the end of last season. Rodon can be had quite late in drafts, and he’s worth the roll of the dice.

Successful pitching strategies can vary, and this season is no different. Typically, I recommend waiting on pitching because of the significant volatility from season to season compared to offensive players. In other words, top starting pitchers bust more than top hitters, so you take on more risk when selecting pitchers high. A reasonable strategy would be to snag at least one, and preferably two pitchers from the top 4 tiers above.

Unless your league’s scoring system heavily favors pitchers, would not recommend taking more than two top guys unless a top option free falls down the draft board. Get most of your offense set, and from there, go heavy on pitching with the tier 5 through 8 guys, making sure to mix in young upside options. Pitching should be viewed largely as a quantity game. So, grab one to two anchors, then bring in the numbers and see which ones hit.