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

56 Comments
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Jason
Jason
5 years ago

When will closer rankings be rolling out? Thanks smokey!

AdamH
AdamH
5 years ago

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!

Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo
Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo
5 years ago

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.

Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo
Joey Jo Jo Jr Shabadoo
Reply to  Smokey
5 years ago

@Smokey: could be used as a ratio scoring stat. fantrax would be first to it if anybody was.

Saints
Saints
5 years ago

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

Saints
Saints
Reply to  Smokey
5 years ago

@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

Eric
Eric
5 years ago

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

SheriffMcRawDawg
SheriffMcRawDawg
5 years ago

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?

Nick
Nick
5 years ago

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

Speedy McGreedy
Speedy McGreedy
5 years ago

Think there’s any chance Blanton gets signed into a closer situation?

captainpyper
captainpyper
5 years ago

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

HarperBetterThanTrout
HarperBetterThanTrout
5 years ago

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.

Dude
Dude
5 years ago

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.

Eli Man Penguin Boy
Eli Man Penguin Boy
Reply to  Smokey
5 years ago

@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
Eli Man Penguin Boy
Reply to  Eli Man Penguin Boy
5 years ago

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

Racehorse
Racehorse
5 years ago

Smokey –

How do you feel about Carson Smith for this year?

BillieJak
BillieJak
5 years ago

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
BillieJak
Reply to  BillieJak
5 years ago

@BillieJak: and phelps

Steve
Steve
5 years ago

Thanks for this.

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

Davis
Giles
Oh
Dyson

Steve
Steve
Reply to  Smokey
5 years ago

@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)?

Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
5 years ago

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?

Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
Reply to  Smokey
5 years ago

@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
Eli Man Penguin Boy
Reply to  Duda Want to Build a Snowman?
5 years ago

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

Grey
Admin
5 years ago

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

Grey
Admin
Reply to  Smokey
5 years ago

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

Grey
Admin
Reply to  Smokey
5 years ago

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

Clogged Rosterman
Clogged Rosterman
5 years ago

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.

Hoboken Squat Cobblers
Hoboken Squat Cobblers
5 years ago

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.

Hoboken Squat Cobblers
Hoboken Squat Cobblers
Reply to  Smokey
5 years ago

@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.

Zen Arcade
Zen Arcade
5 years ago

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.

Zen Arcade
Zen Arcade
Reply to  Smokey
5 years ago

@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.

ashtray
ashtray
5 years ago

Way too many asterisks for my liking. No one likes a committee.

Sweatpants Nation
Sweatpants Nation
5 years ago

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.