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


Week 16 MLB Closers and Saves Report

Another mostly quiet week in bullpens around baseball, leading up to what is sure to be a wild trade deadline in a couple of weeks. A big name closer said a big word and got himself sent to the minors. A guy who was a closer very recently is a closer again due to an injury. A couple of committees seem to be working themselves out.

Guys like Zach Britton, Shane Greene, Brad Brach, Joe Jimenez, and Kyle Barraclough (among many others) are looking at potential new roles once the calendar turns to August. Things have stayed more or less the same for the last few weeks, but it's just the calm before the storm. Rumors have been flying already, and we're still more than two weeks away from the trade deadline. The early Herrera-to-the-Nationals trade didn't spark any more early trades, as some expected.

All that and more in this week's Closers and Saves Report, so let's dive into the news, the best performers, and any suggested moves for your fantasy team this week:

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!


Bullpen News for Week 16

Houston Astros

One of the most frustrating bullpens in fantasy baseball mostly worked itself out with Hector Rondon taking the ninth inning and running away with it. Ken Giles was still somewhat hanging around and making Rondon's fantasy owners nervous, but he got himself sent all the way to Fresno, as he was optioned to Triple-A this week. Giles' performance likely merited a demotion, but his reaction to his manager on the mound definitely did. He greeted manager A.J. Hinch with some less than friendly words as he was being removed from a game. It'll be Giles' first time in the minors since 2014, his rookie year. He can be safely dropped in all fantasy formats, with Rondon getting a nice little bump here.

Washington Nationals

The Nationals picked up Kelvin Herrera from the Royals to deepen their bullpen, and now he'll serve as closer once again. All-Star closer Sean Doolittle landed on the disabled list this week with a toe injury so Herrera will scoot up to the ninth inning while Doolittle is out. There's no closer controversy here at all, as Doolittle will get his inning back once he's ready to return, but Herrera could be a useful temporary pick up.

San Francisco Giants

The Giants have been going with a committee for their ninth inning lately, but it seems to be working itself out, with Will Smith rising to the top. Manager Bruce Bochy has lately preferred the late-inning combination of Tony Watson, Mark Melancon, and Will Smith. While no announcement has been made officially, another save or two from Smith should be enough to call him the full-time closer in San Francisco.

Detroit Tigers

Tigers closer Shane Greene should be back from the disabled list soon, and he'll immediately resume his ninth inning role. For now. Greene is a likely trade candidate and probably won't stay in the ninth inning with his new team, but he should have some temporary value in standard leagues and will retain some value in holds leagues as he's almost certain to remain in the late innings. Joe Jimenez has been filling in while Greene has been out, and will regain the ninth inning if Greene gets traded.


Roster Moves of the Week


Shane Greene, Detroit Tigers- Some owners may have dropped Greene when he landed on the disabled list, but he'll resume his role in the ninth inning and should put up some fantasy value between now and the trade deadline. He'll lose most if not all of his value if he's traded, so this may be more of a temporary add in standard leagues.

Joe Jimenez, Detroit Tigers- Related to Greene above, Joe Jimenez has been filling in as closer but will move back into a setup role. That may lead a lot of owners to drop Jimenez in fantasy leagues. Greene is a very likely trade candidate, and Jimenez is sure to step back into the ninth inning if Greene leaves. He may not have much fantasy value for a week or two, but owners who jump on Jimenez now could get him for very little and see some nice returns in August and September.

Will Smith, San Francisco Giants- Will Smith seems to be the reliever who has risen to the top of the San Francisco committee. He has the upside and the experience to be a very strong fantasy closer, and he seems to be maybe a save or two away from officially taking the ninth inning to himself.

Kelvin Herrera, Washington Nationals- The Nationals will turn to the newly-acquired Kelvin Herrera for a bit as closer Sean Doolittle heads to the disabled list. This is certainly a temporary add, as Doolittle will keep his closer role once he's healthy, but Herrera could have some nice temporary value in the meantime.


Ken Giles, Houston Astros- The Astros bullpen has finally figured itself out, and this week that included Ken Giles heading down to Triple-A Fresno. He's been struggling, and he cursed out his manager on the mound. That's as good a recipe for a demotion as any.


Best of the Week

Edwin Diaz, Seattle Mariners- 3 IP, 7 K, 3 SV, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP

A perfect week from Mariners closer Edwin Diaz, who is certainly making a bid for best closer in baseball honors this season. Diaz faced nine batters, retired all nine (seven via strikeout) and saved three games in the process.

Felipe Vázquez, Pittsburgh Pirates- 4 IP, 9 K, 3 SV, 0.00 ERA, 1.25 WHIP

Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez has had a bit of an up-and-down season, but this week was definitely an up. He struck out nine batters in four innings, saving three games while allowing no runs despite three hits and two walks.

Sergio Romo, Tampa Bay Rays- 3 2/3 IP, 5 K, 3 SV, 0.00 ERA, 0.55 WHIP

Rays closer/opener Sergio Romo had a strong week, striking out five batters in 3 2/3 innings. He saved three games, allowing no runs and just two hits across his four games. He's currently owned in fewer than 40% of fantasy leagues. While the Rays bullpen can certainly be called "quirky and unpredictable," Romo seems like a safe bet to provide solid fantasy value going forward.


More Waiver Wire Pickups and Adds

More Recent Articles


The Tape Tells All - Robby Anderson Fantasy Outlook

Welcome to another edition of "The Tape Tells All," where I break down some film of an NFL's player performance and try to draw some fantasy football conclusions from that film. This week, I'm looking at New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson, who's shaken off a slow start to the 2019 season by going... Read More

Fantasy Football Risers, Fallers - Zach Ertz, Emmanuel Sanders, Robert Woods

Whether due to their own play, the play of others, or injuries, players' stock increases and decreases on a weekly basis. Perhaps more than any other, the NFL is a league that experiences ups and downs at a rapid pace. With only 16 games, there’s little room for error and seemingly endless opportunities for improvement.... Read More

Deeper League Free Agent Pickups for Week 15

The first week of the fantasy playoffs is in the books, and hopefully you're still writing another chapter in it. Week 14 was absolutely brutal from an injury perspective, with several big name players getting carted off the field and burying multitudes of fantasy teams in the process. Mike Evans, Calvin Ridley, Devante Parker, Alshon... 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 Le'Veon Bell (flu) is back at practice and should return for TNF. Bilal Powell (ankle, flu) is likely... Read More

Week 14 Surprises? We Must Overreact Immediately!

In Week 14, the quarterback position was littered with surprises. Drew Brees dropped over 40 fantasy points on a 49ers Defense that's given up the second-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks on the season and Jameis Winston hung 456 yards and 5 touchdowns on a Colts Defense that's been solid against the pass all year. Mitch... Read More

The Cut List - Players on the Chopping Block (Week 15)

This is your weekly list of players to drop. I will do my best to limit this list to injured players and players you might consider holding. If you roster pure handcuffs or backups, obviously you can let them go at any time. The players on this list will, ideally, be guys that aren't clearly... 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 Kicker Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Week 15 is here and for those of you that won the first week of your fantasy playoffs, congratulations. If you had a bye week, good luck to you this week. Kicker lives still matter, and three different kickers had 15 or more points last week. Three different kickers outscored Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick... Read More

FAAB Bidding - Week 15 Waiver Wire Targets

Assisting our famous waiver wire pickups list, and our weekly waiver wire columns by position, this column focuses on suggested waiver wire bidding percentages for fantasy football owners in leagues using a Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB). As a caveat, these prices do not by any means indicate how much these free agent players will... Read More

Week 15 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

You have to love fantasy football. You have to, otherwise you would have given up by now. In a week that most likely represented the first matchup of the fantasy playoffs or a must-win in some form for the vast majority of players, we were treated to the following: Alvin Kamara netting three fantasy points,... Read More

Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 15

It is almost inconceivable that we are progressing into the second week of fantasy postseason matchups. Congratulations to those of you whose teams are still competing in the playoffs. Your meticulous planning during the draft process and the regular season has been rewarded with an opportunity to win your leagues' championships. This critical week provides the opportunity to... Read More

Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 15

Week 15 is upon us, which means that even the holdovers who play in leagues with four team playoffs and no byes are now in fantasy playoff mode. This is it: the home stretch. Are there any wide receivers left on the waiver wire who can help you in the playoffs? Let's look at some... Read More

Week 15 Tight End Waiver Wire Picks and Streamers

If your fantasy football season is over, either because you did not make your league’s playoffs or because you have had enough of failing in DFS contests, then this column is not for you. Congratulations if you HAVE qualified for your fantasy league’s playoffs! To reach the postseason you must have received some decent play... Read More

Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers - Week 15

The first week of the fantasy playoffs in almost in the books, and if you're fortunate enough to have advanced then it's already time to start thinking about Week 15 lineups, especially for those who stream quarterbacks. Luckily, there are plenty of viable options available as eliminated owners have stopped making moves, and if you... Read More

Waiver Wire Express - Week 15 Lightning Round

An injury-laden Week 14 decided many matchups, with several big names going down in a Red Wedding-esque affair. Not only was Josh Jacobs was a late inactive, but Jared Cook, Devante Parker, Albert Wilson all left with concussions, Mike Evans pulled up with a hamstring injury, Calvin Ridley and Ryan Griffin hurt their ankles, Derrius... Read More