No, you haven’t stumbled onto a WebMd bait page.  Well… this is an advisory blog, none the same, but we won’t scare you into believing that you have clinical depression with every symptom.  I mean, I’ve seen some other fantasy sites that attempt to advise on bullpen strategy.  It’s easy to throw stuff up about closers and bullpens and say this guy will fail because of this and that.  Heck, I like watching Jeopardy and guessing at the stuff I don’t know about either.  Add in the fact that I remember my first beer…  So this is one of the last pieces of the fantasy bullpen puzzle before we get down to brass tacks.  The NSVH question…  I always get it from the fantasy inspectors of the net of how and what to do about it.  Do I stick with what I know, or do I go complete rover and draft whatever, whenever?  That’s why I am here, hopefully to quell all ills in the race for bullpen dominance.  The NSVH leagues are tricky and can be described as: people don’t know until they have to know.  I know that really isn’t a draft strategy that I am going to “learn” you with this post, since I am better than that and take pride in leading my disciples into reliever bliss.  So go get a comfy seat upon the porcelain throne of fantasy knowledge and let me guide you, for I am the fantasy bullpen shepherd.

So the the quibble with NSVH is, you may ask yourself, how do I work this out? And you may ask yourself, where is that large automobile?  Yeah, Talking Heads.  Not really fitting, but confuses the heck out of everyone.  Back to the lecture at hand.  NSVH is a interesting draft styling, and I have tried to come up with a devious plan of attack and go into it with a list (see below).  I have noticed that almost everyone drafts the top-15 closers before even dipping into the Holds guys.  Huge mistake.  The top set-up guys to me are just as valuable as the top-10 closers.  People don’t like taking unsexy names though.  Let this roll off your tongue: Ken Giles.  Now try this: Kevin Jepsen.  First one? Crisp and clear and everyone knows his name, he is like Norm from Cheers.  The second, sure you have heard of him, but it’s because someone got hurt first for that to happen.  Get the drift?  Cool, I knew that you would.  That is strategy number one, names are good, but you can get the good way later in drafts because to put this easy, people are dumb.

Second strategy, yes, you want at least one closer.  He should be in the top-12.  That comes with caveats, don’t over-draft, get caught in a run, or wait too long.  I know that is easy for me to say, draft dictates all.  Would you rather get Kimbrel in the eighth round or Robertson in 10th?  Always the latter, because you are going to kill with volume and strategy.   So yes, go ahead and grab one closer. Preferably one with a top-10 option for Holds right behind him.  Hence why I mentioned Jepsen above.  Listen, I could bore you with all the riff-raff of battled ball stats on Tuesdays, on grass, on the road, against a right-handers, after the All Star break. It’s boring and just guessing with numbers. My stats?  I need to back up my investment in holds guys over Closers, and it’s a simple decision.  Closers for the most part pitch three outs (3.27 outs over last 3 years), bullpen guys on average over MLB for the last three years are responsible for eight outs.  I mean, I am no genius, but that means they get 2+ times as many innings.  The more useful relievers, the better.

Last tip, I kind of mentioned it above, but you want to cuff your closer.  This is a must.  It eliminates chasing.  Cancels out the save-change in case of injury, ineffectiveness, or trade.  You will automatically have that guy already in tow…  Now, if you wanna be greedy and completely solidify your NSVH approach, do whatever I just said and do it twice.  That means draft two top-18 closers and their cuffs.  Be choosy though, and let the chart be your seeing eye dog.  Everyone knows Tony Watson’s name, but Street/Smith is a sexy duo in this format.

So to recap, here’s what to do:

  • Ignore the sexy names, don’t reach, kill with volume.
  • You want an elite closer, but one that comes with a matching Holds luggage.
  • Avoid committee or Brain Freezes, concentrate on top 18 closers.
  • Repeat it twice = dominate.

My top-5 pairings:

  1. Huston Street / Joe Smith
  2. Glen Perkins / Kevin Jepsen
  3. Zach Britton / Darren O’Day
  4. Jonathan Papelbon / Shawn Kelley
  5. Santiago Casilla / Sergio Romo

 

All figures are for Saves/Holds plus BS

Team Closer (Saves) Set-up (Holds 1) Hold (2)
Ari Brad Ziegler (26) Tyler Clippard (32) Silvino Bracho (18)
Atl Jason Grilli (22) Arodys Vizcaino (24) Jim Johnson (18)
Bal Zach Britton (42) Darren O’Day (36) Mychal Givens (20)
Bos Craig Kimbrel (41) Carson Smith (33) Koji Uehara (21)
CHC Hector Rondon (37) Pedro Strop (29) Justin Grimm (21)
CHW David Robertson (38) Nate Jones (22) Jake Petricka (17)
Cin J.J. Hoover (18) Jumbo Diaz (19) Zack Weiss (14)
Cle Cody Allen (38) Bryan Shaw (24) Shawn Armstrong (16)
Col Jake McGee (27) Jason Motte (18) Boone Logan (14)
Det Francisco Rodriguez (33) Mark Lowe (25) Justin Wilson (24)
Hou Ken Giles (38) Luke Gregerson (24 Pat Neshek (18)
KC Wade Davis (39) Joakim Soria (28) Kelvin Herrera (26)
LAA Huston Street (35) Joe Smith (35) Mike Morin (18)
LAD Kenley Jansen (43) Yimi Garcia (18) Chris Hatcher (18)
Mia A.J. Ramos (33) Mike Dunn (24) Kyle Barraclough (22)
Mil Will Smith (26) Jeremy Jeffress (19) Corey Knebel (17)
Min Glen Perkins (34) Kevin Jepsen (36) Trevor May (20)
NYY Aroldis Chapman (29) Andrew Miller (38) Dellin Betances (33)
NYM Jeurys Familia (42) Addison Reed (30) Antonio Bastardo (24)
Oak Sean Doolittle (28) Ryan Madson (24) John Axford (19)
Phi David Hernandez (21) Luis Garcia (18) Andrew Bailey (14)
Pit Mark Melancon (45) Tony Waston (35) Arquimedes Caminero (20)
SD Fernando Rodney (26) Kevin Quackenbush (18) Jon Edwards (18)
Sea Steve Cishek (27) Joaquin Benoit (34) Tony Zych (17)
SF Santiago Casilla (31) Sergio Romo (32) Hunter Strickland (22)
STL Trevor Rosenthal (44) Kevin Siegrist (32) Seung-Hwan Oh (21)
TBR Brad Boxberger (17) Danny Farquhar (29) Alex Colome (28)
Tex Shawn Tolleson (36) Keone Kela (30) Sam Dyson (20)
Tor Drew Storen (32) Roberto Osuna (22) Brett Cecil (22)
Was Jonathan Papelbon (36) Shawn Kelley (24) Blake Treinen (18)
  1. papasmurf says:
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    Boxberger’s down for 2 months at least. Colome for the win!

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @papasmurf: Lord Farq will be a factor too, but def Colome is the better WW get

  2. MrMojoRisin says:
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    What does NSVH stand for?
    I cant find it in the glossary nor thru Google

    • hondo says:
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      @MrMojoRisin: Yeah,kind of distracts from what is probably a great read.

      • A Wesley Snipes Life says:
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        @hondo: if you thought it was a great read it means you got the info without being aware you already knew what it meant.

    • MattTruss

      MattTruss says:
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      Net Saves + Holds

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @MrMojoRisin: Did you ask Siri? That girl is way down on her net saves

  3. Gonzo_The_Great says:
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    Great advice. I killed with Street/Smith last year and easily beat teams who had wasted higher picks on guys like Kimbrel and Jansen, but had paired them with mediocre relievers.

    You’re right that you’ve really got to hunt down situations where there’s a clearly defined closer/setup guy relationship. No worse feel than when your reliever gets called in for a non-hold situation.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Gonzo_The_Great: Love the Street/Smith combo, straight relievers with a non-contested role as king if set-up and are the save cuff rule all… they are basically old maid. Unless they get hurt too

  4. MattTruss

    MattTruss says:
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    Yo Smoke, tried hitting you up on the soccer side, but I’m stuck in comment purgatory there. Sky said one of your buddies is going to be writing MLB DFS content for Razz this season. Do you know if he’s on Twitter at all? I’m putting together a little something something with all the DFS guy’s Twitter handles in there, if you could shoot that my way that’d be awesome. Here or on Twitter works too. Thanks man.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @MattTruss: i told him to send you something on twitter let me know if you guys connect

      • MattTruss

        MattTruss says:
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        Perfect, thanks man!

  5. OaktownSteve says:
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    Phillies say Bailey has the inside track right now. Seems crazy given his recent past. He’s interesting though. Total bulldog. 4 pitch guy. Pounds the strike zone. The year he was an all star with the A’s he was so so good.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @OaktownSteve: I know saves are saves but, I wouldnt wanna go anywheres near the Phillies closer unless forced into save slavedom. Bailey has looked great, good signing by the non Amaro regime.

      • OaktownSteve says:
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        @Smokey:

        I think the Phillies have a chance to be non-terrible. I like Velazquez/Nola/Eickhof. Franco is a stud. Crawford on the way.

        • knucks says:
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          @OaktownSteve: Will be nice once he gets the role. Maybe then Yahoo finally decides to add him to the player pool!

        • mauledbypandas says:
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          @OaktownSteve: Agree. I think they will surprise people a little bit. They robbed the Rangers in the Hamels deal. Alafaro is still a bit raw but I think Williams might be up this year and contributing.

          • mauledbypandas says:
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            @mauledbypandas: Alfaro, damn typos

        • Smokey

          Smokey says:
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          @OaktownSteve: Not terrible as in 65-68 wins? because that’s what I am seeing. They have a ton of young arms a bullpen of blah also rands and retreads….and Franco

  6. RicoSuave says:
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    Great Stuff Smokey!

    This is what I needed in regards to Saves & Holds.

    Thanks man!

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @RicoSuave: my pleasure Rico…go get em

  7. Man Of Steel says:
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    Great stuff. 6X6 (OPS/HOLDS) League looking to get Miller and Betances for Holds and if they get saves that is great but not going to depend on it. How high would you go in an auction for those two? 10 Team$260 budget.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Man Of Steel: anything more than 30 is crazy, tons of hold stalent available for 5 and under

      • NickfromtheRoc says:
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        @Smokey: What are thoughts about targeting all 3 Yankee relievers? Punting saves more or less but getting 300 plus strikeouts with good ratios?

        • Smokey

          Smokey says:
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          @NickfromtheRoc: I don’t disagree with it, its alot easier in auctions to pull the holy trinity. Drafts its tough almost have to be early to guarantee it, but if you can pull it off its well worth it

  8. ferris says:
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    I want 5 to 6 good Holds guys (good being quality whip/era/Ks) on my roster. What approximate rounds would you draft Hold guys in a 12 teamer 6×6?

    After 10 rounds, I have 7 elite bats, 2 meh SPs and 1 premier closer. I am going to pick up 4 more SPs, 2 closers and 6 bats.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @ferris: 16 is where I would start and then every third round there after unless a run happens

      • ferris says:
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        @Smokey: Would Betances tempt you early (#32 overall in 2015)?

        • Smokey

          Smokey says:
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          @ferris: yea 32 overall is nuts, i would take Jepsen 150 picks later

          • ferris says:
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            @Smokey: Sorry, I just meant he delivered #32 overall last year; I was suggesting taking him around 110.

            • Smokey

              Smokey says:
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              @ferris: I dont see a problem with that, a tad early for me but the heart wants what the heart wants

  9. Robert says:
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    Hold Boxberger or drop? Already planning on putting Darvish in a DL spot.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Robert: if you are covered in saves and your investment in him isn’t too awful I could see you dropping

  10. Slick says:
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    Consider adding NSVH to the Razzball Glossary. Took me a while to find out the meaning. Thanks.

  11. danny almonte says:
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    appreciate the article!!! draft is next week, so this is right on time. we just switched from separate saves , holds categories to nsvh. I was thinking going for all holds guys since I figured I can get the same stat way later. A hold or save, same difference after all. Interesting strategy to go with a top 12 closer and his cuff.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @danny almonte: anytime Danny…good luck in the draft

  12. peacecoast says:
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    yo smoke, I picked up Knebel in my NSVH draft just recently

    also have Familia and McGee

    This doesn’t follow your strat tho, should I pick up Reed to round out my bunch? I like Knebel!

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @peacecoast: I’d rather own Reed, more chances most likely

  13. Turn Two says:
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    Keeper question. In my 4×4 (W, ERA, SV, WHIP) NL Only Keeper League, I have Smith, Jeffress, and Strickland at $10 each. That’s the value assigned to any player picked up during the season. I have no other options for saves. Casilla, Rodney, and McGee appear to be the only closers we will be bidding on at the auction draft and they’ll probably go for at least $20, if not more.
    I was considering keeping Smith and Strickland, should I include Jeffress, too?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Turn Two: If you keep all 3 you need to attack one of the available closers aggressively because thoise three maye return the numbers of only 1 closer but absolutely help in rates.

  14. The Great Knoche says:
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    Edwards before Vincent as #2 guy in the San Diego mix? Prospecting some deep saves/Holds once Rodney is forced into early retirement.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @The Great Knoche: It could really go anyway, Quack is only guy I would look to roster in any format currently. Looking beyond him is really deep and desperate, but I prefer Edwards as he has closer stuff, Vincent looks like a run of the mill reliever

  15. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    20 teamer with holds and saves. i have rondon/farq/colome/siegrist, which is best option after
    dunn/nate jones/hatcher/salas/may

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: Give me May because of the dual elig. if that isn’t appealing for ya Jones.

      • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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        @Smokey: this is for slot for either, assuming it was already a RP. so just best guy for holds and ratios.

  16. Wilson says:
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    Hi, Smoky, thanks for your bullpen update.
    I have Smith and Jefferess but don’t want to make two rooms for one team SV.
    Should I let the two guys stay ? Or who can be drooped if I need to make a room?
    Thoughts appreciated.

    • Wilson says:
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      And, it seems to drop Jefferess from your article which name Smith to be the closer.
      So asking your thoughts. Thanks.

    • Wilson says:
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      Sorry, typo, thanks to Smokey!
      My league is 5×5 with SV, no HD.

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Wilson: I would hold for now, its still early and only real season action will tell. I know two spots for one stat is crappy but wait it out

  17. Dave F says:
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    Smokey – you helped me out tremendously last year. I ended up with Perkins, Watson, Wade Davis, Ken Giles, and Tolleson.

    Outside of the pairings, who else do you particular like on the holds side of things?

    • Smokey

      Smokey says:
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      @Dave F: Strickland, Petricka is a nice sleeper as Nate Jones seems to be getting all the A set-up guy love, Givens in Baltimore, Justin Wilson, Jepsen

  18. Wilson says:
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    Is Soria droppable without closer chance now? I’m in a 5×5 league (no HD) thanks.

  19. The Harrow says:
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    since yesterday depth charts have maurer as setup and moved pomeranz back like 2 spots. which you going with for holds/saves? or should i just blow that up and go with one of diekman/vincent/hansel and gretel robles/avilan/hochevar or ollie perez?

  20. TreeFrog says:
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    Curious… Do you prefer D. Hudson or Zych for holds and just overall better ratios?

    • TreeFrog says:
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      @TreeFrog: Disregard… I see you already answered this in another thread. Thanks for all the great info…

Comments are closed.