Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
The NFL fantasy season has ended for the vast majority of fantasy football fans, which means it's time to turn our head towards the "boys of summer."
While we may remember a lot from last season, there are quite a few fantasy- worthy players who have changed addresses.
Let's look at the top group of fantasy pitchers who have signed with new teams or been traded and evaluate whether the change of location will be good or bad for their fantasy value.
Jon Garland, Los Angeles Dodgers - Garland is an "innings-eater" averaging 204 innings over the past nine years. Unfortunately, it usually comes with an ERA over 4.00, a WHIP over 1.35 and less than five strikeouts per nine innings. Even in pitching-friendly Petco Park he still had a WHIP of 1.31 and went 14-12. He's a nice pickup for the Dodgers, but at this moment shouldn't be on your fantasy radar.
Zack Greinke, Milwaukee - Milwaukee should be a better spot for Greinke than Kansas City was. For one, his run support should be better than it was last season as the Brewers scored 750 runs last season to the Royals' 676. So you should see a solid improvement in wins if he pitches to last year's level. On the other hand, if you look at Greinke's last four seasons, you should come to the conclusion that his 2009 AL Cy Young Award season was an aberration and not the norm. As long as you slot Greinke at the following levels, you won't be overpaying: 14-9, ERA 3.82, WHIP 1.26, 180 strikeouts. His current ADP is 115.
Aaron Harang, San Diego - Harang put up some ugly numbers last season, but trying to pitch with a back injury will do that to you. If he is healthy and pitching in Petco Park, he could end up being a solid bargain. If you see him doing well in spring training, he'll be worth a late-round flier.
Bobby Jenks, Boston - Jenks has averaged 33.4 saves per year over the past five seasons with the Chicago White Sox, but he'll be a setup man in Boston. That means his value will be almost nothing barring injuries to Jonathan Papelbon and Daniel Bard. Simple name recognition will get Jenks picked on many rosters, but don't you be one of those wasting a roster spot on the former closer.
Cliff Lee, Philadelphia - Lee was the crown jewel of the 2011 free agent pitching market and fantasy owners should be able to calculate his rank because we have already seen him pitch in Citizen's Bank Park and for the Phillies. In the summer of 2009 he went 7-4 with a 3.39 ERA and a 1.130 WHIP in 12 starts. If one assumes 32 starts, that translate to around a 19-10 season. He'll cost you a late-third or early-fourth round pick (ADP 36), but a career ERA of 3.85 and WHIP of 1.256 are worthy of a selection at that level.
Shaun Marcum, Milwaukee - Coming back from Tommy John surgery in September 2008, Marcum went 13-8 last year with a 3.64 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 165 strikeouts in 195.1 innings pitched. He will fit very nicely in the Brewers' starting rotation behind Greinke and Yovani Gallardo and should have favorable matchups against other No. 3 starters. His numbers from last season are comparable to those of Clayton Kershaw or Tommy Hanson, who are being selected well ahead of him. Could be a steal in 2011.
Javier Vazquez, Florida - Let's face it, the man couldn't pitch for the New York Yankees. Or, for that matter, in the American League. But he's back in the National League where he's had much more success. His last four years in the National League (Atlanta 2009, Montreal 2001-2003) have all been solid fantasy-worthy seasons in which his ERA never went above 3.91. Most fantasy owners will shy away, but as a last-round flier, he'll have no downside and plenty of upside.
Brandon Webb, Texas - Webb last pitched on Opening Day of 2009 (shoulder) and probably won't be ready for the start of 2011, but that just means he'll likely be available in the last round of your draft or even as a free agent.
Kerry Wood, Chicago Cubs - Wood will be the primary setup guy for Carlos Marmol, so at the beginning of the season won't have much value, but should Marmol struggle (five blown saves in 2009), he could take over the closer's role on a temporary basis.