For better, for worse: Pitching to contact for fantasy success
Anyone with a reliable internet connection can go online and look up the league leaders in strikeouts from a given season and begin formulating a fantasy pitching strategy based on the who's who of punch-outs. Of the top-10 starting pitchers in total strikeouts from 2009, all 10 reached at least 200 Ks, while fully 40 starting pitchers reached at least 150 strikeouts. The fact remains that a great many elite fantasy pitchers accumulate significant numbers of strikeouts.
Ideally, a starting pitcher will contribute in four of the five standard pitching categories. However, when all the elite strikeout arms have been exhausted (and rest assured they will be), successful fantasy owners will have the foresight to recognize the value in starters who may not be capable of mowing down the opposition with every turn on the mound. While not amassing grandiose strikeout totals, many of those same pitchers can still contribute to fantasy teams in other ways. The key to success is knowing which non-fireballing starters have the potential to make a fantasy team better, while others may, in fact, make a team worse. Further, knowing which key indicators to look for (e.g. K/BB ratio) can go a long way in formulating a blueprint for victory. Really ... just ask future Hall of Famer