The Long Game: The Shape of Saves to Come
The Long Game: The Shape of Saves to Come

This article is part of our The Long Game series.

If there's one thing I hate to do in keeper and dynasty leagues more than anything else, it's pay market prices in the auction or draft for saves. While there are certainly occasions when it's necessary – you have an otherwise competitive core, and nowhere else sensible to spend your money – it always feels like a failure in planning to have to pony up big bucks for a Kenley Jansen or Aroldis Chapman when I know there are going to be multiple opportunities during the season to address any shortfall, either in FAAB or via trade.

Better even than adding saves during the season, though, is having a couple of cheap closers among your keepers, and that's where the planning comes in. Starting in early July, if not sooner, I try to identify how many bench spots I can afford to free up and start stashing closers-in-waiting on teams that are likely to see some bullpen churn at the trade deadline. Picking up setup men before they've been officially handed ninth-inning duties is simply the most consistent profit source there is in fantasy baseball. Sure, a cheap hitter who turns into a stud offers a better theoretical ROI, but saving a consistent $10-$20 on a roster spot – or better, $20-$40 on two of them – gives you a huge advantage on competitors who find themselves engaging in bidding wars for closers at the auction table.

Even if you're gunning for a title this year and not rebuilding, it

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erik Siegrist
Erik Siegrist is an FSWA award-winning columnist who covers all four major North American sports (that means the NHL, not NASCAR) and whose beat extends back to the days when the Nationals were the Expos and the Thunder were the Sonics. He was the inaugural champion of Rotowire's Staff Keeper baseball league. His work has also appeared at Baseball Prospectus.
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