Putting together the RP rankings are always an interesting way for me to decide at what strategy I am going to employ each season. The question is always: can I grab two good guys early or is it a better year to sit back and pick off three or four guys late and then play the waiver. Well this year is definitely a year I am looking to try and grab a couple of guys in the top 10 rounds. That doesn’t mean I will go out and reach for then if they flying off the board but if the value is good then I will happily take them and then sit and wait until the very end of the draft to take another gamble or two.
In these rankings (roto) I have only really looked at RPs who will give me saves because in roto the SP who have the eligibility are less of a priority to me than the guys who can give me even 15 or 20 saves. Even the likes of Betances who may not give me those saves is more valuable in roto because of his strikeout rate and low ERA and WHIP potential.
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- Aroldis Chapman, RP, NYY
- Kenley Jansen, RP, LAD
- Craig Kimbrel, RP, BOS
- Zach Britton, RP, BAL
- Mark Melancon, RP, SF
- Seung-hwan Oh, RP, STL
It’s hard to pick too many holes in this group. All are really really good and should rack up 30+ saves barring injury. Chapman is the strikeout stud followed by Jansen and Kimbrel. Britton and Melancon’s performances last year deserve respect even if they won’t strike as many out. Oh can give you strikeouts but is still relatively new to the league.
The Could Be Studs
There’s just something about everyone in this group which worries me. Davis could find himself in a situation where Chicago win by 5 every game and he doesn’t get many save chances. Osuna is still young and that just gives me pause. Giles showed both sides of himself last year and Diaz is the relative unknown who seems to have a great shot on a decent if unspectacular team.
The Cleveland Mess
I like both of these guys but if they don’t get saves it’s hard to invest too highly. I actually think Allen gets the majority of Cleveland’s saves but I think Miller is so good that it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t save more than 10 games and hence the higher ranking. Take either of these once the top 10 are gone and I’m cool with it.
The Happy Mediums
- Kelvin Herrera, RP, KC
- Francisco Rodriguez, DET
- Tony Watson, RP, PIT
- David Robertson, RP, CWS
- A.J. Ramos, RP, MIA
- Jeurys Familia, RP, NYM
- Shawn Kelley, RP, WSH
This is just an easy fun-loving tier. These guys are fairly safe in their jobs and can get you the saves but they just won’t put up the stats of the top 12. Herrera has shown just how good he is as a relief pitcher the last few years. K-Rod just keeps going. Watson is the inheritor of the Melancon crown in Pittsburgh and deserves his shot. Robertson is a little scary because I don’t know how many games Chicago win this year. Ramos is good but is always under question for some reason. Familia has the domestic abuse stuff to deal with and Kelley is the second in this tier who will benefit from Melancon leaving a team.
The Non-Save Guys
I just think these two kids are studs who could find their way into 10 saves at some point through injury or rest of the main guy and I am willing to gamble on them and take their stats before I touch the next two tiers.
The Guys Who Scare the Crap Out of Me
- Alex Colome, RP, TB
- Brandon Maurer, RP, SD
- Sam Dyson, RP, TEX
- Fernando Rodney, RP, ARI
- Ryan Madson, RP, OAK
- Neftali Feliz, RP, MIL
- Cam Bedrosian, RP, LAA
Just look at that list?! I mean really who makes you feel good? Colome did well last year but TB never seem short of a closing option. Maurer just doesn’t fill me with confidence but seems to have the job. Dyson was the right man at the right time last year but that’s a pretty wicked bull-pen and I could see the sharks circling if he struggles. Rodney is well Rodney and could be a 40 save guy or flame out completely and in Arizona I fear the second could be the case. Madson has some interesting competition. Feliz is hard for a Texas fan to trust completely and Bedrosian pitches for the Angels so could be on a team who loses 60+ games.
The Guys Who Scare the F*****g Crap Out of Me
All good pitchers but they’re just in weird situations. Holland has a chance to be the man but in Colorado with Ottavino staring him down it could go wrong very very quickly. Vizcaino could lose saves if the Braves try to up Johnson’s value so they can flip him. Storen is perhaps the unluckiest closer in the world because no one seems to want to give him the job and just let him work. Perkins is an injury risk but he is the best pitcher in that bull-pen.
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The Philly Mess
One day it seems as though it will be Benoit setting up for Neris and the next it’s the other way around.
These guys will all get a shot at some saves but right now the guy with a job is Kintzler. Johnson has a shot if Atlanta decide they need someone reliable or just want to bump his value up to trade him. Reed could find his way to 10ish saves and will be solid eve without them. Ottavino will need Holland to struggle and even then he is still pitching in Colorado so there not a lot of upside there.
I’m Desperate Now
I just literally picked the two guys I think have the easiest path to saves out of everyone left. They always seem to question Ramos so Barraclough could have a shot. Doolittle is maybe the best pitcher left and Madson doesn’t fill me with a huge amount of confidence.