Fantasy Baseball: Chapman’s Suspension Boosts Miller

The breaking news about Aroldis Chapman’s suspension on Tuesday will have Andrew Miller owners walking around on cloud nine today. Miller figures to be the main beneficiary of the 30-game suspension handed out to Chapman by the MLB, as he was immediately named the favourite to close at the start of the year by the Yankees. Miller was fantastic last year (14.6 K/9, 2.06 ERA) and the fact he managed to hold off the superb Dellin Betances for the closers role was testament to that.

30 days is not a huge suspension and probably figures at most to be 10 save opportunities. When you add in that the Yankees look weak on offense and in their rotation, then that may even be an excessive projection.

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However, the suspension does offer Miller the chance to get a firm grasp in the closers job and make it tough for Chapman to step back into the role when he returns in May. If that is the case or Chapman struggles then Miller’s value could increase. I am fairly sure that the Yankees will give Chapman every chance to win the job back after trading for him this offseason but we shouldn’t rule anything out.

Fantasy draft-wise Miller is already being drafted quite high for a non – closing reliever (171st), and that is only going to rise now. At 171 I was happy to take him knowing that his strikeouts and ratios would be amazing even if the saves weren’t there but this sure to come bump in draft position makes me less likely to draft him going forward.

Chapman, however, should now see his draft position slide from 71 and may actually become somewhat of a good value considering he should also put up amazing ratios again this season. As I said I think he gets a shot at he job when he returns and 35 saves with great numbers is hard to pass up if he slips and few rounds after this news.

Another guy who could see some value from this news is Betances who will be the first in line now if Miller drops the ball in April. However, I think the Yankees will use common sense and keep Betances in a role where he can come in and pitch in key situations in the 7th and 8th innings. Again, he is going to see his draft position rise to a point where I likely won’t even be considering him when he goes off the board.

As for the rest of the bullpen Chasen Shreeve moves into a set up role which may be of interest for leagues with holds but nothing beyond the deepest of those leagues.

With Chapman’s suspension being just 30 games the values of Chapman, Miller and to an extent Betances aren’t changed in any really dramatic way right now but be aware entering your draft that the two returning Yankees will command a higher price than their ADPs may currently suggest.

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