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March 6, 2014

Dynasty League Positional Rankings

Top 75 Relief Pitchers

by Bret Sayre


For the earlier editions in this series, follow the links below:

The Primer:
Because dynasty league rankings are relatively league dependent, I set up parameters for ranking the players below (and the ones who will follow at other positions). The list here presupposes a 16-team standard dynasty format, where there are no contracts/salaries, players can be kept forever and owners have minor league farm systems in which to hoard prospects. So feel free to adjust this as necessary for your individual league, whether it’s moving non-elite prospects without 2014 ETAs down if you don’t have separate farm teams or moving lower-risk, lower-reward players up in deeper mixed or only formats.

Let’s be honest right up front: if there’s anything that can be as fickle as a prospect list, it’s a long-term reliever list. Relievers break out, they break down, they lose roles and that can all happen in a single year. When you look at the position across many years, the task grows fickle as unlike any other position, reliever values are predicated on saves and saves are determined, not by skill but, by manager preferences. And predicting manager preferences three years down the road is, well, kind of pointless. Additionally, this list does not presuppose that your league counts holds—it’s the save’s world and we just occupy it. You’ll also notice that there are a small handful of players on this list who project as potential starting pitchers down the road, but if they would only have been eligible in a RP slot (if your league designates like that) and are not guaranteed a rotation spot in 2014, they will be ranked here and not on the starting pitcher list. The two biggest examples of that are Carlos Martinez and Drew Smyly, so value them accordingly.

And now, your Top 75 relief pitchers in dynasty formats:

No matter how you slice it, this is your top five. These closers are all reasonably young, throw gas and capable of striking out over 100 batters per season. In dynasty leagues, it’s not wise to invest heavily in closers because of the huge turnover, but if you’re going to invest, these five are the safest bets. On top of that, there’s very little risk of any of them moving into the rotation—it’s always going to be a slight, slight concern with Chapman and Rosenthal, but I don’t think it’ll ever happen for either.

  • 6) Carlos Martinez, St Louis Cardinals

This was a big point of contention between me and noted Carlos Martinez fanboy and fellow BP writer Craig Goldstein, but let me clarify a few things. One, I do believe that Martinez can start long term from a talent perspective. Two, I don’t believe he’ll crack the rotation in 2014, despite him being a better option than Joe Kelly. Three, I don’t know what the Cardinals have in store for him long term. The talent is there. Buy accordingly.

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Freestyle: Pro... (03/06)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Dynasty League Positio... (02/27)
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Premium Article Minor League Update: S... (03/06)

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