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That is probably the worst word when it comes to drafting or even trusting in a reliever in a bullpen for fantasy.  The guy could be a tax evader, steal lollipops from kids, or never wash his hands after using the lavatory.  It still wouldn’t matter, the stigma of being placed into a committee is just awful come draft day.  This happens every year when bullpens usually light on talent get paired down to barely usable pieces, or when players return from injury and are an unsure thing.  Then again, you get a weird situation like that in Cleveland…  It’s very familiar to last year’s draft day conundrum with that of the Yankees.  Both Cody Allen and Andrew Miller are draftable and draft worthy within the first 150 picks or so.  That number increases for players in “Net Saves” and Holds leagues, because they will steal from each other but on the positive end, one will get a hold and the other the save, and vice versa.  The only problem is that Cleveland, after being in the World Series, is a hot button team and both players have some helium to their names, Miller especially.  So drafting both is a good idea, stats-wise, but bad for team building it’s structure in other areas.  So my best advice is to look elsewhere, yes the stealing thing I mentioned helps you in leagues that contain Holds, but in leagues that don’t, it could be a sticky situation of frustration over saves.  Last year down the stretch, Miller wasn’t the closer very frequently.  Allen steered that ship.  This year, I think the secondary stats: K’s, ERA, WHIP, will all be there, but the counting stats will be split.  And since I talk about saves and holds, I am most definitely referencing the saves here.  So with their respective rankings spread between 100-130 for both guys, I think the best offense, or with a committee situation, is to grab someone ranked in same neighborhood guys like Ken Giles and Kelvin Herrera.  You may thank me later, but I do occasionally deserve the bird.  So instead of just going into the rankings this far into preseason, here is a cool little chart for you to reference. I will update this chart all preseason and will add some sleeper posts for both closers and holds.  So enjoy my friends!

American League

Team Closer Cuff Holds
Baltimore Zach Britton Darren O’Day Brad Brach
Boston Craig Kimbrel Tyler Thornburg Matt Barnes
Chicago David Robertson Nate Jones Dan Jennings
Cleveland* Cody Allen Andrew Miller Bryan Shaw
Detroit Francisco Rodriguez Justin Wilson Mark Lowe
Houston Ken Giles Will Harris Luke Gregerson
Kansas City Kelvin Herrera Joakim Soria Matt Strahm
Los Angeles* Huston Street Cam Bedrosian Andrew Bailey
Minnesota Brandon Kintzler Glen Perkins Ryan Pressley
New York Aroldis Chapman Dellin Betances Tyler Clippard
Oakland* Ryan Madson Santiago Casilla Ryan Dull
Seattle Edwin Diaz Steve Cishek Nick Vincent
Tampa Bay Alex Colome Brad Boxberger Xavier Cedeno
Texas Sam Dyson Jeremy Jeffress M. Bush/K. Kela
Toronto Roberto Osuna Jason Grilli Joe Biagini

* Indicates Committee

National League

Team Closer Cuff Holds
Arizona Fernando Rodney Enrique Burgos Randall Delgado
Atlanta Jim Johnson Arodys Vizcaino Mauricio Cabrera
Chicago Wade Davis Hector Rondon Pedro Strop
Cincinnati* Drew Storen Raisel Iglesias Tony Cingrani
Colorado* Greg Holland Adam Ottavino Mike Dunn
Miami A.J. Ramos Brad Ziegler Kyle Barraclough
Los Angeles Kenley Jansen Pedro Baez Grant Dayton
Milwaukee* Corey Knebel Neftali Feliz Carlos Torres
New York Jeurys Familia Addison Reed Hansel Robles
Philadelphia* Jeanmar Gomez Hector Neris Joaquin Benoit
Pittsburgh Tony Watson Daniel Hudson Felipe Rivero
St. Louis Seung-Hwan Oh Trevor Rosenthal Kevin Siegrist
San Diego Brandon Maurer Carter Capps Brad Hand
San Fransisco Mark Melancon Hunter Strickland Derek Law
Washington* Shawn Kelley Blake Treinen Trevor Gott

* Indicates Commitee

   
  1. Sweatpants Nation says:
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    Thanks for the early chart, Smokey. Texas is looking tough to pinpoint, too. Dyson has Jeffress with closer experience breathing down his neck. But in the end Bush might really be the guy. I suppose the Padres and the Maurer/Capps is another possible flip flop by May.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Sweatpants Nation: yea it definitely is. jeffress previous closer role is going to get him drafted long before Bush, which is a great thing because Bush is the superior pitcher imo. Capps speed to be ready is only caveat, but very draftable.

  2. ashtray says:
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    Way too many asterisks for my liking. No one likes a committee.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @ashtray: no one really likes asterisks either, but it’s looking muddled right now pre-spring training

  3. Zen Arcade says:
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    Great stuff, Smokey! What are your thoughts about the Twins’ closer situation? What’s the likelihood of Kintzler keeping the job versus Perkins winning it back? Is Perkins likely to be healthy for the start of the season? Are the Twins going to win enough games to have a viable closer? I play in a really deep keeper league that counts both saves and holds, so all closers and most setup guys are owned. Trying to decide whether to hold both of those guys or throw one back.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Zen Arcade: It’s Kintzlers gig right now but the veteran pressance and his salary of Perkins is going to weigh in. His health is up in the air and def needs to be monitored. Saves are saves regardless of how many they win. If you have the room to hold both i would because they would be replacing each other except for an injury

      • Zen Arcade says:
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        @Smokey: Thanks! They’d both be on the cusp of my roster, but I may try to hang on to both. It would probably mean losing somebody like a Dan Straily or a Rajai Davis.

  4. Hoboken Squat Cobblers says:
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    Good stuff as usual Smokey. Geezus the NL looks like a shizzfest: Rodney, Johnson, Watson, Maurer, Davis’ injury history and the five committees??!? This leaves just Jansen, Familia, Melancon, Oh and Ramos as reliable/somewhat safe. Should we reach (a-round???:) earlier for these safer options?
    And, just a heads up… Here in STL there is talk that Cecil/Siegrist will be the cuff/holds pair and that Rosenthal will be stretched out (He wants to be a starter but there are at least 7 in front of him currently.) Perhaps spot start, long relief or come playoff time, turn Rosie into an Andrew Miller-type.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Hoboken Squat Cobblers: The NL only leagues are blah to be polite right now. I was going to touch on Rosey situation in an upcoming article, I don’t think the stretching out is going to stick, and I like your Miller comp. Cecil will be a valuable piece there, but am worried that dueling lefties will steal a bit from each other. In holds leagues both are top 20 options though as Matheny loves to utilize the pen as a weapon

      • Hoboken Squat Cobblers says:
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        @Smokey: Yeah, now that you point it out, 2 lefties as the main setup men would be unusual. I agree with you on Rosie. Mo and Matheny are prolly just appeasing him. With Leake, Waino, Reyes, Lynn, CarMart, Wacha (and at some point, Cooney, Marco Gonzalez and Luke Weaver) …even the annual injury bug might not clear enough spots for Rosie. Not too mention, if Oh falters, they may want to go back to Rosenthal if he’s doing well.

  5. Clogged Rosterman says:
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    Completely missed the Greg Holland news while trying to come to terms with how the Trump presidency effects Julio Urias’s value in dynasty.

    Anyway, hot take, Ottavino begins and ends the season as closer, but the middle of the year is a mess. Also, whichever guy I own at any given time will end up being the wrong guy to own at that time.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Clogged Rosterman: I don’t think Holland will be the definite gut from the jump. Ottavino has the arsenal to be the closer, but Holland was brought in to be a closer eventually. When? who knows exactly.

  6. Grey

    Grey says:
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    Surprised to see Holland in front of Ottavino; Jeanmar in front of Neris; Storen in front of Raisel — obviously good work either way!

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Grey: all are contestable jobs this early, I put the guy I think will have most value eventually first in the committee. Believe it or not Benoit is getting a ton of closer love in Philly from some beat writers. SAGNOF in full affect

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Yeah, saw that about Benoit too, but I think Neris ability will win the day… Gomez will be garbage in the spring as he was in September, and get released by the club, just conjecture, of course…which is what my magic eight ball’s terms of service says

        • Smokey

          Smokey says:
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          @Grey: if gun to m head Neris the guy I would draft, but he is bottom 2-3 closers for me right now I thinks. Hell your eight ball uses big words.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            My eight ball is no joke… Neris is definitely a brain freeze at this point, but has potential… The worst is Fernando Rodney, and forever more

  7. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    Really interested in Carter Capps this year and in keepers. Do you know the latest on his recovery situation / readiness for opening day?

    Seems like, once he proves he’s healthy, he will be plugged into the closer role ASAP, right?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: He only had TJ surgery on May 8th of last year so not by opening day is my guess but close to that May date. he has been doing throwing as of a report I saw 2 weeks ago, no info as to what it entailed though. Right awat, doubt it, but soon there after. he is a stashable DL guy if you are in such a league.

      • Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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        @Smokey: Definitely planning to stash in leagues with 2-3 DL spots, at least until I need the room. Seems like a reserve round / last pick sort of guy who could end up being really valuable for half a season. Thanks!

        • Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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          @Duda Want to Build a Snowman?: if he takes the traditional TJ route he might not be useful till around july.

  8. Steve says:
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    Thanks for this.

    How would you rank the following in order of keep-ability (new term?)

    Davis
    Giles
    Oh
    Dyson

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Steve: pretty much exactly like you have it. Though i love Oh this year. i think the top 3 are more keepable then Dyson is

      • Steve says:
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        @Smokey: thanks Smokey, what ADP do you put Davis as? Does his value take a hit since the Cubs will probably have less save ops (dominating)?

        • Smokey

          Smokey says:
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          @Steve: his anem and the Cubs hype will have him over-drafted, probably after Chapman, Kenley Kimbrel, Britton group which is crazy because the Cubs didn’t have a ton of save opps last year and it will probably be like that again

  9. BillieJak says:
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    Please help me rank (as potential keepers)
    In a keeper league, where holds count, I have:

    Melancon
    Diaz
    Thornburg
    Barraclough
    Hand
    Harris
    Vincent
    Shaw

    Thanks!

    • BillieJak says:
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      @BillieJak: and phelps

      • Smokey

        Smokey says:
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        @BillieJak: Diaz, melancon, Harris, Thornburg, Barraclough, Shaw, Hand, Vincen. Good group of holds guys. Love hand and Vincent this year and just cause they are ranked at bottom doesn’t say that they are garbage.

  10. Racehorse says:
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    Smokey –

    How do you feel about Carson Smith for this year?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Racehorse: it’s more of an if and when type thing. He has to climb over Thorny to be significant after returning

  11. Dude says:
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    How far apart are Giles and Colome? Who has better stuff and do you see Colome as someone who could get traded and lose his closing job? Flip flopping on which one to keep.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Dude: Pure stuff Colome. He might get traded and it obviously depends on his new team closer situation, but if you are trading for a Colome it’s because your bullpen is blah. The Nats aren’t going to have Kelley as the closer are they?

      • Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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        @Smokey: kelley’s skill set last year was top 10 for first half of year and ended top 20 at least. but of course expecting dusty to do anything that actually makes sense isn’t a good exercise to engage in.

        • Eli Man Penguin Boy says:
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          @Eli Man Penguin Boy: i mean 10 top for RP pitchers, not guys who may have closed at one point.

  12. HarperBetterThanTrout says:
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    Smokey, I’m in a keeper league, 5 x 5 roto. Should I keep for this year Kimbrel as my only RP keeper over some SP such as Hill, Taillon and Duffy?

    I can keep 15 guys, so I may consider one closer.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @HarperBetterThanTrout: I usually consider keeping one closer if keeping more then 8.

  13. captainpyper says:
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    Last year Diaz and Colome were gems with their SP eligibility. Any potential closers with dual eligibility? (ESPN eligibility) Even speculative is fine!

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @captainpyper: there’s nobody of that capability jumping out yet. Brad Hand is very speculative.

  14. Speedy McGreedy says:
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    Think there’s any chance Blanton gets signed into a closer situation?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Speedy McGreedy: closer I don’t see, def a high leverage set up guy stuation

  15. Nick says:
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    Hi Smokey

    great to see you again !!

    no words about Shae Simmons in Altanta? … YET?

    My Dynasty team [email protected] bad at relief !
    RP Maurer
    stashed Capps
    Shaw for Holds …
    and Shae awaiting!

    Nick

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Nick: Simmons is in Seattle now, and will def be a sexy piece behind Diaz,Vincent and Cishek

  16. SheriffMcRawDawg says:
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    YOU’RE A FKNG GENIUS!

    In other news, traded for Thornburg in the RAZZ30 (s/hlds), to go eith Kimbrel, Grilli and Kintzler predraft. There should be more opps in the main draft, but for 30 teams, I’m feeling alright about the category now.

    How soon do you think Carson Smith makes it back?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @SheriffMcRawDawg: stop I am not, ok maybe a little. Need to watch Smith in ST and see how he is developing, May is my guess

  17. Eric says:
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    Thanks for the chart. I’m browsing it for areas of discrepancy with my own opinions in order to challenge you to a double-or-nothing bet. I’m fresh off my win in our bet last year called “Who will get more holds, Chris Hatcher or Yimi Garcia.” But if you think about it, we are both epic freaking losers.

    I’m debating between these options:

    -Joe Kelly, holds over Matt Barnes
    -Adam Ottavino, saves over Greg Holland
    -Bruce Rondon, holds over Mark Lowe
    -Neftali Feliz, saves over Corey Knebel

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Eric: Way too early for challenges…lol. But when it gets closer we can find an argument point somewheres i’m sure

  18. Saints says:
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    Thanks for the overview.
    In a scoring system with IP,K,ERA,WHIP,SV,W,L
    How would you rank these guys ?
    Knebel,Bush,Casilla,Torres,Cishek

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Saints: All second tier type save opp guys really. Bush, Knebel, Casilla, Cishek, Torres

      • Saints says:
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        @Smokey:
        I know but i’m in a 16 team dynasty League and all other guys are already gone. I think i try to get Bush and Knebel and i hope that they could get some good value in the future

        • Smokey

          Smokey says:
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          @Saints: ok cool, just wanted to make sure. Bush and Knebel are best bets there with no holds category

  19. Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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    a.miller, being the better pitcher, was used in a game theoretic (re: smart) manner, often with guys on base and/or heart of lineup in 6th-8th innings. coming in with bases empty in the 9th with a 2 or 3 run lead is a terrible way to use one of your best RP, even if it’s easier on us in fantasy. we should just start using LI rather than holds and/or saves. it could be LI vs blown saves, index that somehow. so the better leverage spot a guy comes in (i.e. miller at CLE) and if he doesn’t blow it he gets more points, less for less leverage or blowns.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo: I love using leverage stuff, but it’s not really a stat. its a great reference tool… I like your thinking though

      • Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo says:
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        @Smokey: could be used as a ratio scoring stat. fantrax would be first to it if anybody was.

  20. AdamH says:
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    Great job Smokey, love your posts.

    I am looking for rookie eligible relievers that are likely to make the team out of spring training. Got any names to look for?

    Thanks!

  21. Jason says:
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    When will closer rankings be rolling out? Thanks smokey!

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