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05-25

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7

Updating the Tiers: Relief Pitchers
by
Bret Sayre

05-24

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0

Closer Report: Week Eight
by
Matt Collins

05-17

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5

Closer Report: Week Seven
by
Matt Collins

05-10

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7

Closer Report: Week Six
by
Matt Collins

05-03

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8

Closer Report: Week Five
by
Matt Collins

04-26

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5

Closer Report: Week Four
by
Matt Collins

04-19

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9

Closer Report: Week Two
by
Matt Collins

04-12

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9

Closer Report: Week Two
by
Matt Collins

04-05

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10

Closer Report: Week One
by
Matt Collins

03-09

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5

Fantasy Three-Year Projections: Top 40 Relief Pitchers
by
Greg Wellemeyer

03-09

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0

Early ADP Analysis: Relief Pitchers
by
George Bissell

03-08

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0

Tale of the Tape: Cody Allen vs. Ken Giles
by
Matt Collins

03-07

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8

State of the Position: Relief Pitcher
by
Mike Gianella

03-03

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14

The -Only League Landscape: National League Relief Pitchers
by
Scooter Hotz

01-04

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6

Fantasy Freestyle: Surveying the Uncertain Closer Landscape
by
J.P. Breen

10-27

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0

Fantasy Freestyle: A Tale of Two Closers
by
George Bissell

09-29

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12

Closer Report: 2015 Wrap-Up Awards
by
Matt Collins

09-22

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1

Closer Report: Week 26
by
Matt Collins

09-15

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Closer Report: Week 25
by
Matt Collins

09-08

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2

Closer Report: Week 24
by
Matt Collins

09-01

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Closer Report: Week 23
by
Matt Collins

08-25

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2

Closer Report: Week 22
by
Matt Collins

08-18

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1

Closer Report: Week 21
by
Matt Collins

08-10

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4

Closer Report: Week 20
by
Matt Collins

08-04

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12

Closer Report: Week 19
by
Matt Collins

07-28

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9

Closer Report: Week 18
by
Matt Collins

07-21

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4

Closer Report: Trade Deadline Edition (Week 17)
by
Matt Collins

07-14

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4

Closer Report: Week 16
by
Matt Collins

07-07

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3

Closer Report: Week 14
by
Matt Collins

06-30

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10

Closer Report: Week 14
by
Matt Collins

06-23

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1

Closer Report: Week 13
by
Matt Collins

06-16

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4

Closer Report: Week 12
by
Matt Collins

06-09

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4

Closer Report: Week 11
by
Matt Collins

06-02

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8

Closer Report: 10th Edition 2015
by
Matt Collins

05-26

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8

Closer Report: Ninth Edition, 2015
by
Matt Collins

05-19

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7

Closer Report: Eighth Edition
by
Matt Collins

05-12

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5

Closer Report: Seventh Edition, 2015
by
Matt Collins

05-05

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4

Closer Report: Sixth Edition, 2015
by
Matt Collins

04-28

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1

Closer Report: Fifth Edition, 2015
by
Matt Collins

04-21

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7

Closer Report: Fourth Edition, 2015
by
Matt Collins

04-14

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6

Closer Report: Third Edition, 2015
by
Matt Collins

04-07

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8

Closer Report: Second Edition
by
Matt Collins

04-03

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11

Fantasy Staff Predictions
by
BP Fantasy Staff

03-31

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7

Closer Report: Week One
by
Matt Collins

03-06

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0

Player Profile: Neftali Feliz
by
Nick Shlain

03-06

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6

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Relief Pitchers
by
BP Fantasy Staff

03-05

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6

Tale of the Tape, Dynasty Edition: Nick Burdi vs. Derek Law
by
J.P. Breen

03-05

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20

Dynasty League Positional Rankings: Top 50 Relief Pitchers
by
Bret Sayre

03-04

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10

Fantasy Three-Year Projections: Relief Pitchers
by
Ben Carsley

03-04

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0

Player Profile: David Robertson
by
Jeff Quinton

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August 4, 2015 6:00 am

Closer Report: Week 19

12

Matt Collins

Surveying the ninth-inning situations around the league.

Jonathan Papelbon Traded to Washington

We all knew that Papelbon was going to be traded at some point this season, but I don’t think anyone saw this coming a month ago. Not only was this an intra-divisional trade, but he landed on a roster that already had a very good closer. Drew Storen has been one of the best relievers in the game, striking out more than 11 batters per nine innings, walking just over two batters per nine, and keeping both his ERA and FIP below 2.00. So, obviously, this trade is a huge blow to Storen owners, who lost what should have been surefire save chances all season. He’s too good to drop in all but the shallowest of leagues, however, as he can be one of the most valuable setup men in fantasy for the final two months.

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July 28, 2015 6:00 am

Closer Report: Week 18

9

Matt Collins

Surveying the ninth-inning situations around the league.

Clippard Traded to the Mets

In what has been inevitable for a while, Tyler Clippard has finally been traded, landing with the Mets. As I mentioned last week, the picture behind Clippard in Oakland is less than clear. I speculated that Drew Pomeranz could get some save chances, but it appears they’ll be looking at him as a starter again. I still believe Fernando Rodriguez is the best option. He’s been phenomenal this year, striking out more than 11 batters per nine innings while walking fewer than three. At 31 years old, this is a good time for the A’s to give him a spotlight and flip him in the offseason. With that being said, Edward Mujica and Eric O’Flaherty could be getting the first crack. If I had to pick someone for immediate saves, I’d choose Mujica. Rodriguez should get the most saves over the rest of the season, though.

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July 21, 2015 6:00 am

Closer Report: Trade Deadline Edition (Week 17)

4

Matt Collins

Examining the ninth-inning impact of possible deadline trades involving relievers.

Because of the All-Star break, there wasn’t much closer news this week. Instead of rehashing the same story lines of the last few weeks, I’m taking a different approach to the Closer Report this time around. With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, and many closers rumored to be available, I’ll take a quick look at each of the potential movers, and all of the fantasy ramifications from possible deals. We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming next week.

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July 14, 2015 6:00 am

Closer Report: Week 16

4

Matt Collins

Surveying the ninth-inning situations around the league.

Jason Grilli Out for the Year

In a devastating turn of events for both the player and the team, Grilli blew out an Achilles tendon over the weekend and will miss the remainder of the season. The veteran was in the midst of a terrific bounce-back campaign and was on track for a decent little payday in free agency this winter; the rebuilding Braves, meanwhile, lost one of their better trade chips.

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July 7, 2015 6:00 am

Closer Report: Week 14

3

Matt Collins

Surveying the ninth-inning situations around the league.

Issues for the Defending Champs

Santiago Casilla has been a solid closer for the Giants for a couple of years now, but he’s been going through a rough stretch and his job may now be in jeopardy. His issues came to a head on Wednesday when he allowed three runs without recording an out, en route to a blown save. After the disastrous outing, Bruce Bochy gave his ninth-inning man a few days off to get everything in order. There hasn’t been any indication that he’ll be ousted from the role, but it’s hard to see him holding on if he has another bad outing or two. His 3.03 ERA is fine, but he’s already blown four saves this season, and his 4.23 FIP tells a much darker story. The Giants haven’t had any save chances recently, but one would have to assume Sergio Romo is the next man in line if Casilla is taken out of the ninth inning. Romo has had something of an anti-Casilla season, with a 4.32 ERA and a 2.20 FIP. I wouldn’t go out of your way to add Romo until Bochy makes more concrete statements about the situation, but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on.

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June 30, 2015 6:00 am

Closer Report: Week 14

10

Matt Collins

Surveying the ninth-inning situations around the league.

What’s Happening in Seattle?

Many happy steps were danced around the country when it appeared that young Carson Smith would finally be taking over the ninth inning for the Mariners in place of Fernando Rodney. Shame on you for thinking good things can happen. Things got dicey for Smith owners on Friday when Rodney got the nod in the ninth inning after Smith pitched the eighth. To Lloyd McClendon’s credit, he explained that Smith was used because the meat of the Angels’ order was coming up, and he wanted to use his best reliever in the biggest spot. With that being said, Seattle’s manager has made it very clear that he never anointed Smith as the new closer, and he obviously wants to see Rodney retake the job at some point. I’d still expect Smith to hold down the job for the next week or so, but if Rodney can put together a strong run of outings as a setup man, look for him to take the job back sooner rather than later. This is why we can’t have nice things.

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June 23, 2015 6:00 am

Closer Report: Week 13

1

Matt Collins

Surveying the ninth-inning situations around the league.

Hector Rondon back as closer?

Joe Maddon continues his maddening pattern of not locking down a consistent closer in his bullpen. It’s a good strategy on the real-life baseball side of things, of course, but it’s frustrating for fantasy owners. The Cubs only earned themselves one save opportunity over the last week, and it went to Rondon, though it should be mentioned that it was an extra-inning game in which both Pedro Strop and Jason Motte had already appeared. With that being said, Rondon appears to have earned his way back into the conversation. Last week, I suggested Strop is the man to own in this bullpen, and while he still won’t hurt you, I’d probably just try to avoid all of these guys for the time being. The three I mentioned above have all pitched well, and will likely split the save opportunities until one clearly separates himself. On top of that, Neil Ramirez will be coming back soon, and the newly signed Rafael Soriano will be up in the majors before too long as well. That’s a lot of names who have a chance of saving games, meaning each individual will provide minimal value in roto.

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June 16, 2015 6:00 am

Closer Report: Week 12

4

Matt Collins

Surveying the ninth-inning situations around the league.

Andrew Miller Hits the DL

The best one-two punch in any bullpen in baseball has been broken up for the next few weeks by a forearm injury that sent Andrew Miller to the 15-day DL last week. Miller has lived up to the big contract he signed during the past winter through the first third of the first year. He’s converted all 17 of his save chances while pitching to a 1.03 ERA and striking out nearly 15 batters per nine innings. Unlike most injuries, this one won’t be sending any fantasy owners to the waiver wire. Like the Greg Holland injury early in the year, the closer in waiting for New York should already be owned in all leagues, as he’s one of the two best setup men in baseball. Dellin Betances’ value will surely increase over the next few weeks, and he could possibly split closer duties with Miller for the rest of the year as long as he doesn’t implode during this trial run. For those in holds leagues, guys like Justin Wilson and Chasen Shreve could provide some short-term value until Miller returns.

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June 9, 2015 6:00 am

Closer Report: Week 11

4

Matt Collins

Surveying the ninth-inning situations around the league.

Fernando Rodney out as closer… for now

This was a long time coming, as Rodney has been struggling all year. There was just no way the Mariners could justify handing him the ball at the end of games anymore, regardless of his track record and contract. He has a 6.94 ERA with a discouraging 5.43 FIP, has blown three saves and has given up runs in 11 of 24 outings this season. The next man up appears to be Carson Smith, who should be owned in all leagues. At just 25 years old, he has been phenomenal for Seattle this season. He has racked up 29 strikeouts in just 25 innings while walking just five. He converted his first save chance on Saturday. While Lloyd McClendon made it sound like Rodney can earn his job back later in the year, it’s hard to see Smith letting the veteran get back in the ninth inning at any point.

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June 2, 2015 6:00 am

Closer Report: 10th Edition 2015

8

Matt Collins

Surveying the ninth-inning situations around the league.

Sean Doolittle heads back to the disabled list

Last week, I said that Doolittle’s return from injury meant it was safe to drop Tyler Clippard in most leagues. I really hope you didn’t listen to me. After just one outing, Doolittle felt discomfort in his shoulder and will be shut down for two more weeks before starting another throwing program. This should give Clippard the closer role for at least three more weeks, if not longer. His team is struggling this year, his walks are way up, and his strikeouts are way down, so Clippard is certainly not a high-end closer option. With that being said, he’s still going to grab the save chances in Oakland, and that’s obviously valuable. Evan Scribner could be a sneaky add if you think Clippard’s performance will start looking more like his peripherals, as Scribner’s been phenomenal this year and is likely next in line for saves.

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May 26, 2015 6:00 am

Closer Report: Ninth Edition, 2015

8

Matt Collins

Surveying the ninth-inning situations around the league.

Hector Rondon Is Not Having a Good Time

The Cubs are living up to some of the hype they had coming into the season, but they’re doing it in spite of their bullpen. A big part of those issues has been their closer, Hector Rondon. While his overall numbers aren’t too bad, he’s struggled this month and is performing worse in just about every category compared to last season. He's been giving up much more hard contact this season, including just about a home run per nine innings, a 34 percent line drive rate as well as a .333 BABIP. With all of that being said, his job as the team’s closer still looks safe, just not as safe as it was a couple of weeks ago. He’s certainly not someone I would look to drop, and I wouldn’t go dropping a valuable setup man to chase saves here outside of the deepest of leagues. If you do decide to go that route Pedro Strop would be the man to target, with Neil Ramirez, Justin Grimm and Jason Motte being other possibilities. The other name to watch is Rafael Soriano. Although nothing seems imminent, the Cubs were connected to the free agent reliever last week.

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May 19, 2015 6:00 am

Closer Report: Eighth Edition

7

Matt Collins

Surveying the ninth-inning situations around the league.

Marlins tire of Cishek’s floundering

It was quite the eventful week in Miami. Manager Mike Redmond was fired. General manager Dan Jennings expanded his reign to the dugout. Owner Jeffrey Loria gave the worst quote of all-time. Before all that, however, came Steve Cishek’s demotion. It’s been a long time coming, as he never quite found his stride all season. In the wake of the move, Redmond had originally said he would be going with a committee approach involving A.J. Ramos, Mike Dunn, Sam Dyson, and Bryan Morris. Jennings has since changed that policy, officially naming Ramos as the lone closer. It’s his first time ever holding down the role, but he should be able to hold it through the rest of the year. He’s a high strikeout pitcher who has historically limited hard contact. Control has been a bit of an issue in his career, but not enough of one to completely undo Ramos.

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