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Archer, Scherzer, Kimbrel lead pitching sleepers, busts

Only time will tell if Max Scherzer's injury will end up seriously impacting his 2017 value. Patrick Smith/Getty Images

When analyzing which pitchers are most likely to surprise or disappoint based on either rankings lists or average live draft position -- making them, essentially, sleepers and busts -- there are several distinct classes. Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw is the top guy (and deservedly so) but he can’t be a sleeper, not based on cost of acquisition. There’s simply no value there. Then there’s Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Clay Buchholz and similar logic takes hold. It's hard to call a guy a bust if so few are interested in him in the first place.

So as my esteemed colleagues Tristan Cockcroft, AJ Mass and I continue to check out the sleepers and busts (click here for the hitters), today we turn our focus to those who make their living throwing the baseball. For my picks I’ll break things out into sections based on the degree of expectations and value because things are different with the pitchers. When a starter gets shelled, he can really hurt your team. If a closer gets shelled, he could lose the role and his value torpedoes. That's much different than it is with most hitters, who traditionally will get more time to prove themselves and, as such, fantasy owners are generally more patient. There’s more overall certainty there.