The bounceback candidate: Dallas Keuchel
Keuchel went first among Astros pitchers last year after winning the Cy Young Award in 2015. Then he struggled to a 4.55 ERA while missing the end of the season. Naturally, his draft stock will take a corresponding tumble.
For fantasy purposes, Keuchel is no longer an ace until he pitches like one again. With that distinction, he falls to the second half of your draft and will likely go in rounds 16-19. It’s possible someone will reach higher for him, but realistically he is a No. 2 or 3 starters with upside. ESPN ranks him 153rd overall and 42nd among starting pitchers.
He made his first Spring appearance in a game yesterday, going three shutout innings. According to Robert Ford, Keuchel had great velocity and movement. A return to form would help both Astros fans and fantasy baseball owners alike.