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With the regular season, also known as the fantasy season, just a few weeks away, it's time for the RotoBaller staff to update our points rankings one last time. We end our review of the March update with a look at the bullpen for the relief pitcher position.

While there is a lot of talent in the ninth, as well as many skilled hurlers ready to help in a setup capacity and strike if the opportunity to close opens up, there's no question that a three-headed monster rules the RP draft board.

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Updated Head-to-Head Points League Rankings: Relief Pitcher

Ranking Tier Player Name Pos Auction $
1 1 Kenley Jansen RP 19
2 1 Craig Kimbrel RP 18
3 1 Aroldis Chapman RP 17
4 2 Corey Knebel RP 16
5 2 Roberto Osuna RP 15
6 2 Felipe Rivero RP 15
7 2 Cody Allen RP 14
8 2 Edwin Diaz RP 13
9 2 Wade Davis RP 13
10 3 Raisel Iglesias RP 12
11 3 Kenneth Giles RP 9
12 3 Alexander Colome RP 7
13 3 Brad Hand RP 7
14 3 Jeurys Familia RP 5
15 3 Sean Doolittle RP 5
16 3 Archie Bradley RP 5
17 4 Andrew Miller RP 4
18 4 Arodys Vizcaino RP 4
19 4 Hector Neris RP 4
20 4 Mark Melancon RP 4
21 4 Kelvin Herrera RP 3
22 4 Brad Brach RP 3
23 5 Dellin Betances RP 3
24 5 Alexander Reyes SP/RP 3
25 5 Shane Greene RP 3
26 5 Brad Peacock RP 2
27 5 David Robertson RP 2
28 5 Blake Treinen RP 2
29 5 Cameron Bedrosian RP 1
30 5 Brandon Morrow RP 1
31 5 Joakim Soria RP 1
32 5 Chris Devenski SP/RP 1
33 5 Greg Holland RP 1
34 5 A.J. Ramos RP 1
35 6 Jeff Hoffman RP 1
36 6 Fernando Rodney RP 1
37 6 Adam Ottavino RP 1
38 6 Addison Reed RP 1
39 6 C.J. Edwards RP 1
40 6 Kyle Barraclough RP 1
41 6 Chad Green RP 1
42 6 Brad Ziegler RP 1
43 6 Jhoulys Chacin SP/RP 1
44 6 Luke Gregerson RP 1
45 6 Keone Kela RP 1
46 6 Zach Britton RP 1
47 7 Mike Montgomery SP/RP 1
48 7 Ryan Madson RP 1
49 7 Jake Junis SP/RP 1
50 7 Jose Urena RP 1
51 7 Matt Bush RP 1
52 7 Juan Minaya RP 1
53 7 Hector Rondon RP 1
54 7 Yoshihisa Hirano RP 1
55 7 Seung-Hwan Oh RP 1
56 7 A.J. Minter RP 1
57 7 Nate Jones RP 1
58 7 Tony Watson RP 1
59 7 Brandon Maurer RP 1
60 7 Bradley Boxberger RP 1
61 7 Sam Dyson RP 1
62 7 Brandon Kintzler RP 1
63 7 Jim Johnson RP 1
64 7 Dominic Leone RP 1
65 7 Darren O'Day RP 1
66 7 Carter Capps RP 1
67 7 Pat Neshek RP 1
68 7 Shawn Kelley RP 1


Tier 1

Here is the aforementioned three-headed monster, with Kenley Jansen, Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman bringing the heat to shut down any hopes of a comeback by opponents. We don't have any questions here, but I do think that Jansen is going a bit too high and Chapman is going too low. Fear about Chapman's health, command and insane depth behind him in the 'pen make sense to me and that's why he's still third within the tier, but after the rotator-cuff inflammation and hamstring issue were behind him, he was phenomenal in September. He is a Tier-One asset. 

Tier 2

While I hold that you are best off either grabbing an elite RP at value or waiting until later, these second-tier closers are all capable of putting up stats that make you wonder if you grabbed a Kimbrel or Chapman by mistake. Okay, that's a bit much because the raw strikeouts and job security isn't there like it is for those upper guys, but anyone who owned Corey Knebel or Felipe Rivero down the stretch knows what they're capable of.

Roberto Osuna and Cody Allen likely have the safest floors given their track records and I'm not scared of Coors Field at all for Wade Davis. Edwin Diaz is the one who gives me pause, though. He lost his job last year, in case you've forgotten. He may have worked on his mechanics this offseason, but he and his 4.02 FIP are not in my RP1 circle of trust just yet. 

Tier 3

Raisel Iglesias should help make value with his multi-inning appearances. Ken Giles had a shaky offseason but still has the upside and team environment to be a top-five closer. Alex Colome tweaked his pitch mix in '17 and saw his K-rate fall from 31.4% to 20.6% (his SIERA jumped from 2.56 to 4.05), and could also be traded. He gets dunked in my rankings, so I doubt I get him anywhere. Brad Hand is a beast who finally has the ninth to himself and with that contract extension, he shouldn't be moved or demoted readily.

Jeurys Familia should be okay given how he looked last September, but I'm still hesitant to lean on him or the Mets the in the middle rounds. I love Sean Doolittle and his 31.5% strikeout rate from last year, but I know the durability will scare everyone off. Archie Bradley blossomed in the bullpen, gaining enough confidence with a slight uptick in velocity perhaps to attack the zone more and cut his walk rate from 10.5% to 7.2%. He's not a fly-ball guy (29% in '17), but the humidor sure isn't going to hurt him.

Tier 4

I am being too harsh on Hector Neris, but my concern is that in points leagues you're going to suffer through his stints where the splitter just isn't splitting as well as he's used to and that ends up burning you more than standard roto-ers feel. Mark Melancon may simply be done after the forearm surgery headlined his multiple trips to the disabled list, but I'm willing to bank on AT&T Park (and that contract) helping him re-establish himself as a low-WHIP, low-variance, nearly-a-strikeout-per-inning kind of guy. SF is in a better spot now with Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria and should have opportunities for MM. 

Tier 5

The fifth tier could practically be named "Speculation World". Step right up and see if Cam Bedrosian is truly Mike Scoscia's closer! If Brandon Morrow winds up with the ninth and stays healthy long enough to make it worth your while! Seriously, his postseason workload makes for some additional fright factor there. How long will Zach Britton really be out, thus giving Brad Brach clear value? Can Dellin Betances rein in his control? Will Greg Holland sign somewhere as a closer? Will Fernando Rodney be shooting arrows into the Minnesota sky all season long? Pick and choose which darts you want to throw carefully, but I don't suggest investing more than two picks in this range. 

Tier 6

This next tier houses many of the fallback options to those other questions, with Britton, Carl Edwards Jr. and Addison Reed falling in line. I'm a fan of scooping one of Edwards, Reed, or Keone Kela late. Despite Texas' noncommitment to Kela as a player, his electric 33.8% strikeout rate with a healthy 3.26 FIP and 3.25 SIERA (2.79 ERA) give him top-10 RP upside should he oust the uninspiring Alex Claudio and pipe-dream Tim Lincecum

Tier 7

Here's where you'll find the closers that no one wants to own, but will if they've passed on SV value elsewhere in Joakim Soria and Brad Ziegler. Both could/should be shipped out by the Trade Deadline, but you'll get something out of them first...hopefully. Blake Parker was everyone's favorite to take the LAA closer role, but Scioscia gonna Scioscia. The talent is still there, so if/when Bedrosian gets hurt, it should be Parker who skyrockets in value. Dominic Leone would be a fun closer in St. Louis if they don't go with Gregerson or sign Holland. A.J. Minter is probably my favorite value late in drafts due to Arodys Vizcaino being inconsistent and Minter throwing absolute fire. Even if he doesn't get the ninth, the 24-year-old posted a ridiculous 40.6% strikeout rate in 15 big-league frames last season. He did have some control issues along the way (~6.0 BB/9 at Double- and Triple-A in '17) but the upside is absolutely worth it at this point.

 

More MLB Rankings and ADP Analysis