Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


More Later-Round Closer Candidates - Targets and Avoids

Once you reach the later rounds of drafts, you start thinking about upside fliers that can provide a great return on value. These are the rounds to take risks on more unknown commodities like prospects, forgotten-about veterans, players returning from injuries or players that have previously showed promise but haven't put it all together yet. Knowing about the deeper player pool can help you be more flexible throughout the draft, especially if you can identify someone you like and plan your earlier picks around that.

Last week we looked at five closer candidates to target late. Today we are looking at even more late-round potential closers who need to be considered. Do we think they are draft targets, or players to avoid? Are their ADPs undervalued? Will they make significant fantasy contributions and be one of your later-round draft sleepers? Read on to see our take.

Our editors have hand-picked these specific MLB players for your draft prep enjoyment. Normally only available to Premium subscribers, the five outlooks below are meant to give you a taste of the in-depth analysis you receive with our industry-leading 2019 Draft Guide. Be sure to subscribe today and start reading all 400+ of our 2019 player outlooks, and many other premium articles and tools, available exclusively in our 2019 Draft Guide.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our season-long articles, 15 in-season lineup tools and over 200 days of expert DFS research/tools. Sign Up Now!


Arodys Vizcaino - RP, Atlanta Braves

Arodys Vizcaino started the 2018 season as the Braves’ closer, hit the DL, came back, lost the job, hit the DL again, and then seemingly finished the season strong. The final line for Vizcaino’s season actually looks quite good with a 2.11 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and a 9.39 K/9. However, managers suffered through the injuries and insecurity, especially if they were unable to snag A.J. Minter when he filled in as the closer.

Vizcaino offers all the hallmarks of a traditional closer: a modest WHIP and ERA, strikeouts, and saves. He throws a high-nineties fastball and a curve that is regarded as one of the best in the league. If Vizcaino’s issue in 2018 was simply a shoulder that needed more time to heel, then he’ll offer real value. However, if his shoulder is still a problem or he struggles with other effectiveness issues, there are a series of closer options behind him.

To some extent, Vizcaino comes with the same risks as most closers going after pick 150. However, Vizcaino’s ADP of 206 builds his injury history into his price and it may account for his job instability. If Vizcaino can limit himself to one modest trip to the DL, he should keep his job as closer, provide 30-plus saves, 70 Ks, and strong ratio stats.

--David Emerick - RotoBaller


Drew Steckenrider - RP, Miami Marlins

Miami Marlins closer Drew Steckenrider surfaced from the reliever group to take over the closing duties. He finished the year with a 3.90 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 64 innings. Aside from terrible performances in May (10.24 ERA) and August (7.84 ERA), Steckenrider had a good season.

Steckenrider also had 19 holds but was definitely far from perfect as he only lockup up five games out of 10 save chances. Steckenrider also had career-lows in strikeout (27%) and ground-ball (33%) rates. There isn’t much promise for a much different outcome in 2019.

He plays for one of the most offensively inept teams but even still, he should still accrue a few saves. The opportunities will just be sparse. Steckenrider is currently the 34th-ranked reliever. He currently has an ADP of 267, which might be late enough to provide a little value for some save speculation.

--Ellis Canady - RotoBaller


Hunter Strickland - RP, Seattle Mariners

Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Hunter Strickland is looking for a better year in 2019. His 2018 season started out decently enough, but a broken hand after a blown save landed him on the disabled list and he wasn't nearly as effective upon his return. Strickland gives up a lot of hard contact and doesn't have particularly good control (10.5 BB%) which can lead to some big innings.

He's slotted in as the closer for the Mariners right now, but there are other capable arms in the bullpen that should make Strickland's leash somewhat short. He's okay to draft at the end of AL-only drafts, but should be left on the waiver wire for now in most deeper formats.

--David A Marcillo - RotoBaller


Wily Peralta - RP, Kansas City Royals

Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Wily Peralta finally found a role in which he could succeed last season, posting 14 saves after working his way into the ninth inning in the second half of the season. While some of his numbers were solid (the 14 saves, a 3.67 ERA, and a 23.5 K%), others were quite concerning (15.4 BB%, 4.73 FIP).

Peralta should be in line for early season saves, but manager Ned Yost has already said he might not name a closer and instead mix Peralta, Brad Boxberger, and Tim Hill. That all makes for a situation better avoided, at least for now. Peralta can be grabbed in the late rounds of AL-only leagues for his upside, but he should be left on the wire in most deeper formats.

--David A Marcillo - RotoBaller


Shane Greene - RP, Detroit Tigers

Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Shane Greene will look to build on his 32 saves from last season while trying to lower his unsightly 5.12 ERA. Greene has already been handed the ninth inning by manager Ron Gardenhire, but he'll need to pitch better than he did last year if he wants to keep his job, especially with Joe Jimenez in the bullpen with him.

Greene had some solid numbers besides the 32 saves last season, striking out 65 while walking just 19 in 63 1/3 innings of work. He'll need to limit home runs, and will likely only be in the closer's role until the trade deadline, but he's still likely to be a solid enough reliever to be worth owning in AL-only leagues and some deeper mixed leagues.

--David A Marcillo - RotoBaller


Bonus: Pedro Strop - RP, Chicago Cubs

Pedro Strop is coming off of another terrific season for the Cubs, posting a 2.26 ERA over 59.2 innings while collecting 13 saves, a career-high. He'll turn 34 during the 2019 season, but there is no real reason to expect any age-related regression. Instead, I'd point out his career-high 4.08 xFIP from 2018.

Between a .222 BABIP and a career-high 83.9% LOB, we can infer that Strop got fairly lucky last season. However, he'll continue to be used in high-leverage situations, and should be a decent asset in saves+holds leagues. He currently has an ADP of 259 as he is the leading candidate to start the year as the closer. Take advantage of this value.

--Bill Dubiel - RotoBaller

More Fantasy Baseball Analysis

More Recent Articles


Wide Receiver Matchups To Target In Week 15

In Week 14, DeAndre Hopkins and Michael Thomas were the high-end options that came through with solid performances, both finishing in the top-five even though they had fairly tough matchups. A.J. Brown finished as the No. 1 receiver on the week, scoring two touchdowns off of just seven targets, while Darius Slayton and Emmanuel Sanders... Read More

Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 15

Welcome to our Week 15 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every single contest from the Sunday slate in one convenient location, helping you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries and other... Read More

Woos and Boos - Starts and Sits for Week 15 Lineups

The trend of fresh faces being among the tops of the fantasy scoring leaderboard continued in Week 14. Across the skill positions, we saw players that took advantage of plus matchups and excelled for fantasy owners during the first week of the playoffs. Mitchell Trubisky and Drew Lock came out of nowhere to finish inside... Read More

Week 15 Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More

Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 15 James Conner is expected to make his return this week. Devante Parker (concussion) is good to go for... Read More

Week 15-16 Playoff Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Still doing things a little differently this week--for those of you who are still alive. I want to take a look at the playoffs as a whole (and in this case we are considering Weeks 14-16) and determine which DSTs you can ride all the way through and which ones you should stream this week.... Read More

Week 15 Stream Team - Free Agent and Bye-Week Streamers

Now that the playoffs are in full swing in most leagues and the final march for a championship has begun, streaming becomes a  necessary strategy. Knowing who to add and when to start them could be the ultimate difference-maker in a weekly matchup. Making the right streaming decisions could easily be the difference in winning... Read More

Key Starters and Tough Calls - Lineup Spotlights for Week 15

Welcome to Week 15, RotoBallers! Below you will find some of my spotlight plays and tough lineup decisions for the upcoming week of the fantasy football playoffs. These player selections are based on my Premium Weekly Lineup Rankings, available as part of the RotoBaller's NFL Premium Pass. Enter promo code KING at checkout for a... Read More

Week 15 Panic Room: Outlooks for Slumping and Injured Players

As you set your Week 15 fantasy football playoff lineups, there may be some players who make you feel very uncomfortable about starting them. Based on recent lackluster performances, injuries, or just an intangible bad vibe, it's a struggle to insert them into your lineup in a do-or-die week. But you may also nervous be... Read More

Drew Lock: Is He Ready For Fantasy Football Playoff Consideration?

There is much excitement in Denver after Drew Lock put on an air display at Houston last week. In just his second NFL start, the rookie threw for 309 yards and three TD passes, all in the first half, as the Broncos stunned the AFC South leaders, 38-24. The final score doesn’t indicate what type... Read More

Survive and Advance: The King's Guide to Fantasy Football Playoff Sanity and Success

As the playoffs progress in the NFL every season, media coverage ramps up. By the time we get to Super Bowl week, it's become a full-blown circus. There are microphones and recorders being shoved in players' faces at every waking moment, and the questions never stop. As the fantasy football playoffs move ahead, there is... Read More

Red Zone Usage Risers and Fallers - Week 15

We are at a crucial point in the season. Hopefully, your team is still alive, but there is always an opportunity to get your team in shape before that final push! As fantasy owners, we know that not all touches are equal. A touch in the red zone has an increased chance of scoring a... Read More

QB vs Pass Rush Matchups To Watch - Week 15

Week 15 is here, and the fantasy playoffs are rolling. Some head into the fantasy semifinals as big favorites but others are scrapping to keep their season alive. Real teams start at quarterback, and the position is pretty important for fantasy as well. Quarterbacks have changed the game for fantasy football this year with guys... Read More

Inside the Tent - Week 15 NFL Injury Insight

At RotoBaller, we can't stress enough the importance of keeping up with injuries and playing your best lineup week after week. Players are going to get injured, that's an unavoidable fact. What's avoidable though is making the wrong roster decisions based on the injuries surrounding your fantasy squad. If you want to dominate your leagues... Read More

NFL Matchup Ratings Tool - Weekly Player Projections

  If you see the red "Upgrade" button below, then you are not a Premium subscriber, or have not yet logged in. Learn more about our NFL Matchup Ratings and projections system. Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of... Read More