You can’t tell the closers without a scorecard!
I have talked about closers like they are second class citizens, even called out for it. But there is a reason I don’t believe in using high draft picks on closers and it is a simple reason. Every year teams change closers. Not one team, but many teams. Whether it is performance related, an injury or a suspension, there are always new closers that appear after you draft and every year a few of these guys excel in this new role and provide huge value.
Who are some of these guys? Well I count nine total teams with new closers this year since your league may have drafted.
• Atlanta Braves – Jason Grilli took over for the traded Craig Kimbrel
• Colorado Rockies – Adam Ottavino replaced LaTroy Hawkins
• Los Angeles Dodgers – Joel Peralta is filling in for the injured Kenley Jensen
• New York Mets – Jeurys Familia is replacing the suspended Jenrry Mejia who was filling in for the injured Bobby Parnell
• San Diego Padres – Craig Kimbrel was traded and replaced Joaquin Benoit
• Detroit Tigers – Joakim Soria is replacing the injured Joe Nathan
• Kansas City – Wade Davis is replacing the injured Greg Holland
• New York Yankees – Andrew Miller replaced Dellin Betances
• Toronto Blue Jays – Miguel Castro replaced Brett Cecil
Now some of these may be temporary or still up in the air. Scary part is I feel like I am still missing one, but maybe not. But the other thing about closers is a best team’s closer is not always the best closers in fantasy. Sometimes the best closers in fantasy are on mid-level to lower level teams as their team may have most wins in the range of a save, where some good teams win many games by more than three runs. Either way, I like the many opportunities to get closers in fantasy without having to use a pick that I would rather get a bat.
Each week we will review the best performances of the week in all of MLB.
Nelson Cruz slugged six home runs over the last seven days to run away with top honors this week. Adam Jones and Paul Goldschmidt are no surprises to making the Top Five in a week but most weeks do have surprises and Steven Souza and Howie Kendrick qualify for the surprises.
The best pitchers usually have two starts and this week is again no exception. Two young arms leading the pack with Shane Green and Jacob deGrom both picking up two wins on the week. Gerrit Cole is showing the stud he is with two wins himself. Chris Heston trying to keep a rotation spot in San Francisco, which shouldn’t be hard with DL opportunities they have and wouldn’t you know it, Jake Peavy has obliged and is on the disabled list.
Chicago Cubs Batters
Overall it was a much better week for our Cubbies. Seven Home Runs is big but 27 walks and eight stolen bases are very good weeks. The top six point leaders are the top six in the batting order and the most productive hitters we have right now.
Chicago Cubs Pitchers
Once again, far too many relievers near the top and our only two starting pitchers in the middle. That has to change if this team is going to not only play well in real life, but have enough fantasy relevant pitchers for us to use on our teams. Kyle Hendricks and Travis Wood trying to be relevant in normal 10 or 12 team leagues. Definitely worth adding when they have two starts.
Waiver Wire Options
If your league still has Ender Inciarte on the free agent wire and you have any need in the outfield or the utility position, grab him now. He is owned in 59.7% of leagues. Way too low for a player with left field and center field eligibility and averaging 3.3 points per game. Will he keep it up, not sure, but right now he is worth grabbing and adding to your team to see if he does. Another outfield option is Nori Aoki. Right field and left field eligible, he was considered over valued in the spring, but now he is under-valued. Averaging 3.1 points per game and only owned in 58.8% of leagues.
These guys are under 50% and should be owned in more leagues. Denard Span, seriously he is only owned in 39.0% of leagues. He was hurt but came back on Sunday and is more than worth picking up and stashing or starting. Avisail Garcia played well in his time last year and is still scoring points. Averaging 2.8 points per game so far and only owned in 45.1% of leagues.
Our own Dexter Fowler is not getting any respect … yet. He is finally playing every day and averaging 3.9 points per game. He is only owned in 28.9% of leagues and one more good week and he will not be available anymore.
CCO Fantasy Leagues
After two weeks, we are down to five undefeated teams and five winless teams. But the coolest part about this league is the amount of trades we have had so far, 14. There were only 15 trades ALL of last year. I think we will blow that number away.
Game of the week
What’s Optimism? Vivid Reality 347 over Chris K’s Crushers 338
Talk about Optimism! Down 55 points going into Sunday and only getting two points from former Cub, Matt Garza, Vivid Reality put up 91 points to pull out a nine point victory. Gerrit Cole (45 points) and Brandon McCarthy (41 points) had the good pitching options for the day and the week, while Adam Jones (39 points) led the way for the offense with three Home Runs on the week.
CCO Fans League
After two weeks there are still seven undefeated teams and seven winless teams. Here is hoping that the winless teams pick up their first wins this week.
Game of the Week
Stu’s Studs 315 over Oregon Coastal Cubbies 286
Stu’s Studs were led by Lorenzo Cain (32 points) on offense and a very balanced pitching staff that put up 182 points for the week, with Aaron Harang (27 points) the highest individual.