Please see our player page for Kenley Jansen to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

The best haircut I ever received was from a bald man. I don’t usually get anything fancy — just a trim here, a buzz there. Throughout my life I went through all the same generational hair trends of men currently in their mid-30’s. As a pre-schooler in the early-90’s my Mom spiked my hair straight up a la Bart Simpson because who was cooler than the Bart man? Then in the mid-90’s, I transitioned to the Jonathan Taylor Thomas Home Improvement middle part because all the girls thought he was so cute. In the early 2000’s  I jumped on board the ‘Caesar’ bandwagon popularized by George Clooney in his ER/From Dusk Till Dawn days and that’s pretty much where I’ve remained. Low maintenance, good enough, it was “The Rachel” for men! Back to the point of this story — the bald man. Who better to appreciate hair than a bald man? I got out of his chair looking like a million bucks and the bald man was proud of his work. 

What does this have to do with fantasy baseball, you ask? In my 14-team home league, I’m punting saves. Correction — I’m punting saves + holds. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The people were asking for a closer rankings update and I haves to gives thems what they wants. To recap — here are my preseason rankings from February 3rd: SAGNOF: Preseason Closer Rankings.

TLDR: I ranked the closers in that first article according to three factors: their job security, their pitching ability, and the team they’re on providing them save opportunities (good offenses, good starting pitching, good other relievers.) 

As you’ll see below in only a month and a half there has already been some moving and shaking in my rankings. Only a few hours after my article went live it was out of date because the Twins signed Alex Colome which muddied the Twins closer situation. Some guys have lost/gained in the rankings due to their small sample size spring stats. 

Let’s get into it!

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This was the hardest draft of my life. I kid sometimes you can draft something like four of five guys in my top 20 overall, unless you’re in a league with 11 other Greys. Well, this league felt like I was in a league with 14 other Greys. This draft was like everyone was sitting in my head and moving my arms and I was Howdy Doody and my team turned to doodie and GET OUT OF MY HEAD, I scream as I take two Dusty Baker collectible toothpicks and jam them into my ears. Honestly, this league kinda filled me with joy. Y’all are so good. I was very impressed with everyone’s drafting. No teams jumped out as complete messes. Well, except for mine. It was like you flew out of the nest, turned around to me your Daddy Bird, smiled, and then motioned for a woodpecker to take out my branch so I would fall to my death. Why are you working with woodpeckers behind my back?! (By the by, we just added ten more RCL leagues due to demand — Play against a hundred of your greatest frenemies! — signups) Anyway, here’s my 15-team, mixed league, NFBC Draft Champions recap:

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SAGNOF has a new Daddy! Or I guess technically Step-Daddy — this will always be Grey’s baby. That’s right — this year I’ll be slipping into those SAGNOF slippers each week to tell you who will be doing the saving and who will be doing the stealing! 

“So like good guys and bad guys?” asks my wife as I explain to her what I’m writing about this year. 

*Sigh* “Yes…like good guys and bad guys…” I wept.

Let’s get this SAGNOF off to a great jump-off. Lo! Below are my top-30 closer rankings! 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So, I got the 5th pick. How’s your day going? At the Winter Meetings? That’s cool, same. Maybe you’ve seen me in the lobby, I’m wearing a floral arrangement on my head while I hide in a pot. Wait, there’s no Winter Meetings, that’s right. I mean there is, a group of billionaires are Zoom’ing into the Winter Meetings where the hottest commodity is a guy who was a backup catcher last year. Hey, Jon Heyman, stop leaking McCann news. I ate a few too many Olestra-laden potato chips and McCann is leaking! It’s none of your business! Last week, I took part in an NFBC team league, and here is, as the people say who are trying on hats, my recap. For those not in the know, this is a 15-team, two-catcher league that lasts for 50 rounds and there’s no waivers. You draft it, and manage it. Weekly moves for pitchers, bi-weekly (rawr!) for hitters, changing out on Monday and Friday. I didn’t want the fifth pick. I wanted any pick but the fifth pick. As I see it, there’s an obvious top four (Sexy Dr. Pepper, Tildaddy, FTJ, Mookie Best), then…Dot dot dot…Question mark. What now? I didn’t want to think for the 1st pick, but the automated draft picker thing (that’s its name) said I was the most qualified to think, so I thought. Or I just screwed up my pre-draft rankings for which pick I wanted. Like a teamster, I’m leaning on the latter. Anyway, here’s my NFBC draft recap:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Happy belated Thanksgiving, Razzballers!

‘Tis the season for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, but there’s another deal-day you may or may not be aware of…Saturday Stove deals! It’s when we recount some offseason MLB free agent news on Saturday. See, free agent news is the hot stove and it’s Saturday. Clearly makes a lot of sense. Sorry if you’re here to buy a stove.

The free agent period is always exciting in any sport, but it’ll be especially interesting to see how an itty-bitty 60-game season will amplify contracts for little ol’ guys like Trevor Bauer and Marcell Ozuna, two dudes who went just absolutely bonkers. On the flip side, what about little ol’ Marcus Semien, who plummeted to an almost career-worst OPS after his sexy 2019 season?

So what I’m gonna do is go a little deeper on the important guys that have signed somewhere already. There aren’t a ton, but there are certainly guys worth talking about. Then for guys that are still freely drifting along, I’ll just give a gut-check take on what 2021 could look like for ’em. Odds are pretty decent I’ll gloss over a guy you really care about…I’m not gonna talk about every ding dang free agent out there. Sorry not sorry.

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We’re getting close to the re-launched opening day, so any serious knocks guys are picking up in camp now are going to start impacting playing time.  That also holds true for new, positive, Covid tests that might pop up.

Eduardo Rodriguez is currently on a throwing program away from the team as he awaits clearance from a positive Covid test.  From a physical standpoint, this is all good news, but he’s still up in the air until he tests negative.

DJ LeMahieu, Salvador Perez, Kenley Jansen, and Joey Gallo were both back in camp this week after clearing Covid protocol.

One guy not back yet is Freddie Freeman.  His case was originally thought to be more serious, and he has not been cleared to participate yet.  The Braves think there’s a chance at opening day for him, but at this point, if he’s still feeling symptoms, I’d put that timeframe at doubtful.

Along with Freeman, Yordan Alvarez, Austin Meadows, Aroldis Chapman, Jesus Luzardo, and Howie Kendrick are all also absent from camp.

Alvarez and Chapman have both been put on the IL, signaling their cases may be a bit more severe than others.  I’d expect Zack Britton to get the first shot at saves if Chapman can’t get cleared for a bit.  On the Astros front, you’d have to imagine Kyle Tucker has an easier path to ABs with Alvarez sidelined.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Camp is starting up and it’s weird out there folks.  Split squad positionless scrimmages, Covid tests, opt outs….baseball is back!?!  This whole thing feels like the Jessie Spano caffeine pill freakout from Saved By the Bell…”I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m so…..scared”.

First round of Covid testing is coming back and there’s plenty of interesting names that have tested positive: Jesus Luzardo, Eduardo Rodriguez, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, Hector Neris, DJ Lemahieu, Tommy Pham, Scott Kingery, Mitch Keller, Ryan O’Hearn, Salvador Perez, and Kole Calhoun are notable confirmed positives.

Of these, most fall into the “asymptomatic” category and should return to the team soon (hopefully).  Hector Neris was already around Phillies camp this week, and Joey Gallo already has one negative test under his belt.  He should be good to go soon.

The most serious case looks to be Freddie Freemen.  The Braves are being candid about exactly what Freeman is going through, but they’re not expecting him back to camp any time soon.

There’s several other guys who are missing from camp still with no given reason why.  Some teams are releasing positive tests, some teams aren’t stating what’s keeping players away but letting us read between the lines.  This list includes: Aaron Nola (who was seen around Phillies camp earlier this week similar to Neris), Yonny Chirinos, Juan Soto, Kenley Jansen, Gavin Lux, AJ Pollock, Tony Gonsolin, Yordan Alvarez, Jose Urquidy, and Josh James.  The Astros, as well as some other teams, have had issues with their testing in terms of getting results quickly, so that may be holding up the ‘Stros players, but these are all guys to keep an eye on.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I take a lot of antacids.

Rolaids created an award (not for me)–a gold-plated firefighter’s helmet–to honor baseball’s best relief pitcher every year from 1976 to 2012. The history behind this fascinates me. Feels like some seeds of analytics were born in the bowels of Rolaids’ 1970’s corporate office.

Relief pitching events were each given a point value. Three points per save. Two points per win. Two points per loss. The biggest end-of-season number won, period. 

Blown saves (-2) were introduced in 1987.

Tough saves (+4) came along in 2000. Surprises me that I’ve never seen this as an option by fantasy providers, especially in points leagues or daily games. An antacid company was using it 20 years ago ffs. Refers to any time a reliever enters the game with a tying run on base and secures a save. 

Relievers might be my favorite thing about fantasy baseball, for reasons I can’t explain except to say I love games that resist attempts to shrink/minimize/categorize/rubricate them. The more multi-layered the better. And saves bring that to fantasy baseball. (As do stolen bases.) I also love Holds leagues because they throw the math off a nudge further and open another market of elite players who just happen to pitch the not-ninth. 

Ranking RP’s is kind of a paradox. It might be the least accurate yet most useful of any positional ranking, especially for dynasty leagues.

So that’s the caveat. 

These rankings are for standard 5×5 leagues, btw. Would look totally different in a holds league.

Relief pitching is a strength for me in fantasy, year over year. I tend to trade from it and trade for it on a regular basis, sometimes within the same week. Still, I’m a little leery to put fingers to keys on this one. The yearly upheaval at this position is like no other, so I’m not surprised there’s very little on the market right now covering relief pitching in dynasty leagues. 

The very thought of the task has my hand reaching for the (insert highest-bidding antacid company here).

Kidding. I love this stuff. My full geek breathes fire when researching the K-BB % leaders across all leagues, digging into their game logs, skipping to their innings, even watching/reading an interview here and there.  

Let’s get to the list.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The prolonged delay to the 2020 MLB campaign is set to extend at least into June, and most likely July.  It’s given lots of players with injury concerns heading into draft season this year some extra time for recovery and even more preventative measures/surgeries that might have knocked their stock down a bit.  When things do pick up again, most every player will be ready to go and will be on a pretty even playing field going into the season injury free.

There are a couple of updates to share on guys who are on longer recovery paths as well as some things to keep in mind when looking forward to this season.

Please, blog, may I have some more?