It's 'bout that time, eh chaps? The Winter Meetings have come and gone. With it, some of the biggest offseason dominoes have already fallen. The 2017 fantasy baseball draft board is beginning to come into focus. Now it's time to delve into player rankings. We'll continue with our 2017 relief pitcher fantasy baseball rankings for December.
This first round of rankings features picks from Kyle Bishop, Nick Mariano, Bill Dubiel, and Brad Johnson. I know I've had my initial lists in place since mid-October, and my colleagues here weren't too far behind me.
This year, we'll begin by presenting our rankings then share a few thoughts round table style.
Editor's note: Be sure to also check out our 2017 fantasy baseball rankings dashboard. It's already loaded up with tons of great rankings articles and draft analysis. Aside from our tiered staff rankings for every position, we also go deep on MLB prospect rankings, impact rookies for 2017, and dynasty/keeper rankings as well. Bookmark the page, and win your drafts.
2017 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Relievers
|5||2||Seung Hwan Oh||10||4||5||4||5.75|
Are there any picks you want to defend?
Brad: Honestly, I see nothing that merits a defense. I have the fifth through 10th relievers as very comparable in value. So while it looks like I'm down on Oh, that's not really true.
Kyle: There's not a ton of variance in our rankings here, with a few exceptions. I'm the low man on Watson and the only one to rank Rivero. Obviously, I feel Rivero has a pretty good chance of finding his way into the Pirates' closer role at Watson's expense.
Bill: I have Zach Britton as my number one mostly because I think he'll still get enough save opportunities to finish at the top. I certainly am not going to get in a shouting match with my colleagues who took Jansen and Chapman--their upside is perfectly obvious.
Nick: I'll briefly defend having Giles a few spots higher than the rest of y'all, as I'm totally on board with that 2.48 SIERA behind the 4.11 ERA alongside his 19.9% swinging-strike rate. That's 1.3% higher than Aroldis Chapman! Interestingly enough, the only qualified RP with a higher mark was teammate Luke Gregerson (20.1%, maybe I should give him a value next time around). I believe Giles' second-half improvements will be what we see in 2017, as he increased his groundball rate by over 15% with a wild 41.9% strikeout rate. I'll jump a bit to chase the upside.
Which picks by others look overly bullish/pessimistic?
Brad: My colleagues and I have mirrored rankings for Oh and Herrera. They're both very good pitchers and closer in value than my rankings of fifth and 10th imply. I'm just surprised to see so much doubt about Herrera. I also suspect we're all a little too high on Familia. Since Reed is a better pitcher, there's uncertainty as to who will remain closer after Familia's looming suspension.
Kyle: I understand that uncertainty over his role is baked into the rankings, but feel like Nick and Brad are too low on Iglesias. Personally, I expect him to be closing sooner rather than later. If he gets the job outright in spring training, I'd actually bump him up a few spots. Love the talent, especially in a relief role.
Bill: I don't have much to disagree about for now--lots of roles still to be settled. I have absolutely zero faith in Jim Johnson despite his hot finish to 2016. I imagine we'll see someone else closing for the Braves by early June at the latest.