Saves are super fun and very predictable! Sarcasm. Let's face it, the reliever position is a crapshoot. If you're lucky, half of the relievers you draft will pan out. It's going to be a carousel of sorts at closer. Alas, I do have some favorites!
Here are several sleeper targets at reliever going outside the top 150 in NFBC drafts.
My Rank: 14
Expert Consensus Rank: 22
NFBC ADP: 209
Perhaps my favorite sleeper in all of fantasy baseball, Giovanny Gallegos is primed to be an elite closer this season. His Statcast page is not for the faint of heart! It is absolute fire . He was ninth among pitchers in xwOBA at .253. That's right between Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer. Nice company. His batting average allowed of .170 was second behind only Josh Hader. Gallegos had a K-rate of 33.3%, which was in the top eight percent of baseball as well. He's one of the few closers that can surpass 100 strikeouts. Don't let him slip past the top 15 closers drafted.
My Rank: 24
Expert Consensus Rank: 26
NFBC ADP: 226
For those who care about strictly saves, Mark Melancon is a great option going late compared to his peers. Melancon is set to open the year as the closer for one of baseball's best teams in the Atlanta Braves. In 2019, he was 69th percentile in fastball spin and 79th percentile in curveball spin. He was also the best in baseball in barrel rate allowed at just 2%. Melancon is a beyond competent pitcher and should hold down the closing job in Atlanta all season, barring a meltdown.
My Rank: 25
Expert Consensus Rank: 30
NFBC ADP: 315
It's hard to draft a setup man for saves. It's hard to draft a Rockies reliever for saves. Scott Oberg could be the exception. Over the past two seasons, Oberg has a 2.35 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. In 2019, he was in the 72nd percentile in fastball velocity and the 69th percentile in average exit velocity allowed. He was also 10th in baseball in wOBA allowed at just .249. That compares to Josh Hader (.247) and Jack Flaherty (.254) among others. Oberg needs Wade Davis to falter, but the latter owned an abysmal 8.65 ERA last season and has little expectation to improve.
And that’s it for sleepers at relief pitcher! Be sure to check out the rest of Relief Pitcher Week!