Tiers for Relievers (Closers) – Fantasy Baseball 2015

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Every Tuesday and Thursday for the next 4 weeks Caveball will sort out the 8 tiers for all 8 Fantasy positions. The following week at the end of February we will release our unique “Chartfelt Tiers”, the ultimate Cheat-sheet for Fantasy Baseball – unique because it allows you to easily cross-reference players in different positions who have similar value.

During that same week we will offer up our General Draft Strategy, which will then be followed by a specific strategy for 2015, which you can use in tandem with our “Chartfelt Tiers”.

Here now are Caveball’s Tiers for the ever-shifting Closer position:

Tier #1 – The Alpha Wolves (Level 1)

This tier includes all closers ranked in the top 24 players overall. For 12-team leagues this covers rounds 1 and 2.

  • There are no RP in this tier
Tier #2 – The Alpha Wolves (Level 2)

This tier includes all closers ranked from 25 to 48 overall. For 12-team leagues this covers rounds 3 and 4.

  • There are no RP in this tier
Tier #3 – The Beta Wolves (Level 1)

This tier includes all closers ranked from 49 to 84 overall. For 12-team leagues this covers rounds 5, 6 and 7.

  • Craig Kimbrel - Still the best, but with very close contenders
  • Aroldis Chapman - What are the chances of him getting hit by a hit when he allowed only 21 of them in 54 innings pitched? Almost 2 K/IP
  • Greg Holland - Almost a mirror image of Kimbrel’s 2014
Tier #4 – The Beta Wolves (Level 2)

This tier includes all closers ranked from 85 to 132 overall. For 12-team leagues this covers rounds 8, 9, 10 and 11.

  • Mark Melancon - Allowed just 11 BB in 71 IP, with 71 K
  • Kenley Jansen - Middle name is Geronimo. Due back between mid-April and mid-may
  • Zach Britton - Kimbrel-like numbers, except the Ks (76 IP/62K)
  • Cody Allen - 69.2 IP/48 H/26 BB/91 K, and a .194 BAA
  • Trevor Rosenthal - All good, except the high BB (42), and hence a 1.41 WHIP
Tier #5 – The Gamma Wolves (Level 1)

This tier includes all closers ranked from 133 to 192 overall. For 12-team leagues this covers rounds 12-16 inclusive.

  • Jonathan Papelbon - 34 yr. old showed little signs of fading
  • Koji Uehara - Believe it or not, he turns 40 just before the opener
  • Steve Cishek - 34 saves in 2013/39 in 2014/44 in 2015?
  • David Robertson - New White Sox converted 39 of 44 opportunities 
  • Glen Perkins - Hits, Innings Pitched and K almost exactly the same
  • Sean Doolittle - Elite numbers, but injured to start the year
  • Dellin Betances - Native NYer had fantastic stats, it’s only the mental game left
Tier #6 – The Gamma Wolves (Level 2)

This tier includes all closers ranked from 193 to 240 overall. For 12-team leagues this covers rounds 17-20 inclusive.

  • Fernando Rodney – Converted 48 of 51 chances despite a 1.34 WHIP
  • Francisco Rodiguez - Plenty left in tank for 33 yr. old (44 of 49)
  • Drew Storen - Regained closer role in Sept. – hasn’t missed a beat (Sleeper)
  • Huston Street - Whatever the reason (ballpark, league, or the pressure of closing games that matter), his numbers, though not horrible, rose enough to take notice after the trade to the Angels, especially in September. (Bust)
  • Santiago Casilla - Britton-like stats without the job security
  • Addison Reed - K-rate indicates bad luck for 26 yr. old
Tier #7 – The Omega Wolves (Level 1)

This tier includes all closers ranked from 241 to 276 overall. For 12-team leagues this covers rounds 21-23 inclusive.

  • Neftali Feliz - Small sample size (13 of 14) as closer was solid (Sleeper)
  • Luke Gregerson - Expected to close – needs monitoring
  • Hector Rondon - Found another gear in the second half converting 18 of 19 chances (Sleeper)
  • Tyler Clippard - Will most likely close with Donaldson starting on the DL
  • Joaquin Benoit - 37 yr. old may do alright in Petco
Tier #8 – The Omega Wolves (Level 2)

This tier includes all closers ranked lower than 276 overall who have a chance to crack the top 300. For a 12-team league this covers rounds 24 and higher.

  • Jake McGee - On DL to begin the year
  • Joe Nathan - Time for the 40 yr old to hang em’ up
  • Joakim Soria - Nathan’s heir apparent, but when will the Tigers figure it out? (Sleeper)
  • Wade Davis - Might be, and remain to be, the best non-closer RP in MLB
  • Andrew Miller - (Ditto)
  • Jenrry Meija - Dependent on Bobby Parnell’s injury status/performance
  • Casey Janssen - If Drew Storen stumbles out of the blocks, he may be next
  • Rafael Soriano - Free agent had decent stats last year, despite not converting 7 of 39 save opportunities. He has lost some speed, but it’s tough to imagine him not being picked up at some point in this volatile “revolving door” position.

OK, We know you guys have your opinions. So, let’s have ’em.
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