Daily Moves: High K, Low Owned Relievers

As I took a few weeks off to travel and rest after ending my chemotherapy, I tried to figure out what to write about.  Looking at various websites and twitter there were enough articles out there covering FAAB/Waivers, Two Start Pitchers, and how my TGFBI team is doing (not too badly by the way).

One aspect of fantasy leagues that I did not see much coverage on was strategies for league with daily moves, which brings us to today’s article. There are dozens of ways to manipulate your lineups/benches to maximize the output of your team.  Some of the advice will be geared towards leagues with a shallow bench, while others will focus more on leagues with larger ones – the latter being the focus of today’s article.

One of my “strategies” for a daily moves league is to have several relievers who have a high K/9 rate, will throw over 60 innings, and keep their WHIP and ERA low.  Dellin Betances, Jeremy Jeffress, and Josh Hader were all-stars last year, and in a daily move league, they can be left in your lineup as you shuffle in your starters.  So who are some relievers that are showing signs of potentially being the type of reliever that can add to your K total and lower your ERA and WHIP?  It’s early, but now is the time to possibly get this type of player at a low FAAB cost.

Let’s start in Miami.  Nick Anderson is now owned in just 3% of CBS leagues and 11.6% of ESPN leagues, but ownership rates are on the rise as people are starting to take notice.  After 8.2 innings so far, his K/9 rate is sitting at a lofty 17.65.  Last year in AAA his rate was 13.2 over 60 innings.  At his current use rate Anderson is projected to pitch about 72 innings, and if he regresses back to his rate of 13.2 you are looking at 105 strikeouts.  If your bench is deep and you have someone who can be dropped, Anderson is at the top of my list if you want to employ this strategy.

Moving on to Pittsburgh, another interesting add is Nick Burdi who is owned in just 1% of CBS leagues and 0% of ESPN leagues.  The low ownership in ESPN leagues is definitely explained by the shallow benches in standard leagues as they are only 3 deep.  This is not the type of league you’d be deploying this strategy which makes Anderson’s ownership in ESPN even more compelling.  Burdi has a 17.61 K/9 rate after 7.2 innings.  Burdi is a rule 5 pick who had TJS and returned late last year.  This may keep his use rate down over the season, but now is the time to take advantage of his K upside and he can be potentially dropped later in the season if the Pirates decide to pull back the reigns to keep his inning total on the low side.  He’s a fastball/slider pitcher and has adjusted his FB% from 71% to 42% which has been the trend throughout the league.

The west coast offers up Reyes Moronta of the Giants who is owned in 3% of CBS and 1% of ESPN leagues.  Moronta had a 10.94 K/9 rate last year over 65 innings, but his achilles heel was his BB/9 which was 5.12.  This year his K/9 is up to 15.58 and he has cut his walk rate to 3.12.  If Moronta can keep this K/BB ratio he is another reliever who can help.  In looking at what’s changed this year, he has abandoned his curve ball and is now throwing a change-up.  I don’t see anything else that has drastically changed so keep an eye on this.  He may have better control of the change and thus can keep his walk rate down to a reasonable level.  He is also a candidate for late inning work later in the season if the Giants decide to move Will Smith and/or Mark Melancon.

A few other pitchers to take a look at that you can employ in this role are Amir Garrett of the Reds, Brandon Workman of the Red Sox, and despite a slow start, Seth Lugo of the Mets.  So if you have some injured or minor league starters that are being stashed on your bench or in a IL spot, think about using these high K% relievers to supplement your K’s, WHIP and ERA while you wait for them to come back or get called up.  You can also keep using them all year while shortening your hitter bench a bit by rostering players like Pinder and Hernandez who offer multi position eligibility allowing you maximum flexibility.


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Andy Spiteri

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Playing fantasy sports since 1991 when you got your stats in the mail on Thursdays...Husband and father of two. I put people to sleep for a living. Mets, NY Rangers and Eagles/Jets (a product of being born in NYC but living in Bucks County PA for 20 years) fan. Home league baseball auction is top 5 day of the year!