Fantasy sports: Cornering closer’s market
Before this season is over, at least half the league will change its closer at some point.
Maybe it will be due to injury, or maybe it will be because the normal closer gets rocked for a week straight. The bottom line is fantasy owners put more emphasis on the closer’s role than managers.
Also, you don’t have to be Sandy Koufax to be able to get three outs consistently. We’ve seen mediocre, or even bad pitchers, rack up 30-40 saves in any given season. Here are some candidates to acquire saves cheaply this season:
Rafael Betancourt is coming at a major discount because he pitches in Colorado and he’s never been a full-time closer before. Of course, he also has a career 3.18 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. Most importantly, he has absolutely no competition behind him for the job.
Javy Guerra is the Dodgers’ unquestioned closer. However, setup man Kenley Jansen has the better stuff. We can draft both because Jansen will still be a fantasy asset even if he’s not getting saves.
Jansen will get fluky wins and help in ERA, WHIP and strikeouts. The same strategy can be employed with guys like Huston Street-Luke Gregerson and Matt Thornton-Addison Reed.
Less is more
Yes, we know that Jim Johnson, Sean Marshall, Brett Myers, Matt Capps and Brandon League aren’t that good. But they’re also set up to get a decent leash as the closer and one or two, or even three, of them are going to run with the job. Someone from the “less talented” tier will end up with 30-plus saves.
Want to steal a fantasy title off the waiver wire? Take a look at these guys:
1. Eric Gordon, SG, NO — Gordon was dropped in most leagues due to his chronic knee issues. But he’s in a contract year and is desperate to prove that he can sustain some health — even if it’s only for a month.
2. CJ Watson, PG, CHI — Derrick Rose admitted that his groin was actually bleeding when he originally injured it. He still hasn’t been cleared for contact, leaving Watson with at least another week of value.