Is there a more difficult-to-handle position than Fantasy Baseball closers?
I have a few different rules that I generally like to follow when dealing with closers and relief pitchers in general.
1. Don’t Spend Big On Fantasy Baseball Closers: Everyone knows this one, right? Getting great closers is nice, but the position is so shaky, with so much turnover, you generally have to spend too much, whether it’s auction money or a high draft pick.
2. Roll the Dice Often and Early on Waivers: About one third of all saves come from players not drafted in most mixed leagues. So take a chance early in the season on new closers — when MLB teams are doing the same.
3. Nominate Closers Early: Make sure that you get the top five or so closers off the board early in auction drafts, while everyone has money to spend on them. The bidding will climb – just try to stay out of it.
4. Try to Get Two Top 15 Closers: Every season there are a couple closers that go from average to great. You can still compete in the category with two middle-of-the-road guys – especially if one breaks out.
5. Get 1 True RP, and 1 SPARP in H2H: In Head-to-Head leagues, most teams need two relievers in their starting lineups. A starting pitcher that worked as a reliever in the previous season should be eligible at both spots (Starting Pitcher and Relief Pitcher=SPARP).
You can end up with six starting pitchers and one relief pitcher in your starting lineup, but you have to be certain your Fantasy scoring isn’t heavily biased toward closers. With six SPs on your squad, you can end up getting 8-12 starts each week.
6. Good Closers on Bad Teams Are Good For You: I detail this further in another article, but don’t run away from these types of players. Even a bad team wins 60 games, and most of them are usually victories with a small win-margin (which means save opportunities).
7. Draft a Good Setup Man or Two: If you draft a couple decent closers, you can follow that up with a decent setup guy that either has closer potential, or is situated behind an oft-injured closer. Look for high K/9 rates.
Hopefully, these seven rules will give you a leg up at the position, but understand the position is the shakiest position in Fantasy Sports –- by far.
Zach Britton Photo Credit: Keith Allison
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