Michael Zakhar

The Closer: Not All Injury Returns Are Created Equal

The Closer: Not All Injury Returns Are Created Equal

Three pitchers who were expected to get a bunch of saves in 2016 returned from injuries this week: Will Smith, Brad Boxberger, and Huston Street. Some of you may have taken the potential saves to the bank, but I hope it was not all of you. As always, we’ve learned once again that not all […]

The Closer: A Vote of Confidence

The Closer: A Vote of Confidence

If you’ve paid attention to the late innings for any period of time, you know that a vote of confidence is the kiss of death. If you own a closer who has gotten a vote of confidence you have shuddered I imagine. In recent seasons a veritable fantasy baseball rogue’s gallery has received votes of […]

The Closer: Post Friday the 13th Edition

The Closer: Post Friday the 13th Edition

This column usually goes up on Saturday, but last week I was able to wrap up a little early so I went up on Friday, May 13th – Friday the 13th. As Wikipedia says, it is usually considered an unlucky day in Western culture. Who am I to doubt Wikipedia? Not that I was arrogant […]

The Closer: Underowned Middle Relievers

The Closer: Underowned Middle Relievers

A popular fantasy baseball axiom states, “Draft Skills, Not Roles.” This was frequently quoted in the preseason when we are not sure about who is slated to get the saves for a team as the season begins. If there is some uncertainty, go with the player who has shown the superior skills. So don’t be […]

The Closer: What’s Wrong with Cody Allen?

The Closer: What’s Wrong with Cody Allen?

Last year Cody Allen got off to a rough start. He finished the month of April with an ERA of 11.57 and walked a batter per inning. Allen eventually settled down to become a solid second tier closer, but he had put owners in a bit of a hole and never did emerge like I’d […]

The Closer: Yankee Castoff Edition

The Closer: Yankee Castoff Edition

You’ve probably read a fair bit about the Yankee bullpen coming into the season, and this is the one aspect of the team that is looking spectacular. As I write this Andrew Miller has yet to give up an earned run and has 15 strikeouts in 9 innings. Dellin Betances finally gave up an earned […]

The Closer: What Are You Waiting For

The Closer: What Are You Waiting For

The season is only a couple of weeks old and we don’t want to do rash things, but early in the season is often the best time to find value on the waiver wire. Have you really been passing on promising arms like Vincent Velasquez or Matt Moore because you’re hanging on to someone who […]

The Closer: Are Commitees Making You Crazy?

The Closer: Are Commitees Making You Crazy?

Hello and welcome to the Closer Report. We have a key injury to discuss, and I’ll take you on a tour of places that call to mind those three dreaded words: Closer. By. Committee. All this plus the Grid, so let’s get to it. As If the Twins Didn’t Have Enough Problems We thought we knew […]

The Closer: Opening Week Overreactions

The Closer: Opening Week Overreactions

This is the time of year where every notable fantasy baseball writer preaches patience, but when it comes to the back of the bullpen we can’t help but react with superlatives. The phrase “epic meltdown” is overused and “epic” should not describe any actions taken up by a mediocre reliever. Likewise, we like to talk […]

The Closer Report-Almost Opening Day Edition

The Closer Report-Almost Opening Day Edition

Greetings and welcome to the Closer Report. Opening day is almost here, and while there will be changes to bullpens throughout the season, I find that the opening month or so is the most eventful. While there has been news on some of the murkiest situations, others have yet to shake out. Let’s take a […]

The 2016 Dream Team

The 2016 Dream Team

Hello my loyal readers. I am happy to present to you my 2016 Dream Team. Last year if you took a peek at my 2015 Dream Team, you were thrilled with Manny Machado, content with Ryan Braun, and upset with me for Danny Santana, Alex Wood, and *gulp* Ryan Zimmerman. See why I called you […]

Anatomy of a Value Pick

Anatomy of a Value Pick

Many of you have completed mock drafts and a few with actual stakes. How is that Rasiel Inglesias “sleeper” pick working out for you? Carlos Rodon? Maikel Franco? I bet they are going a little bit higher than you thought; that means they are not sleepers because everyone in your league is aware of their […]

The Closer Report – Spring Training Edition

The Closer Report – Spring Training Edition

On opening day of the 2014 season, I was flipping around and saw the Brewers were going into the ninth with a small lead. I was expecting to see closer Jim Henderson come in to protect it.  In case he has already been forgotten, Henderson came out of nowhere to grab 28 saves as a […]

In 2016, a Pair of Aces is a Winning Hand

In 2016, a Pair of Aces is a Winning Hand

For the longest time fantasy baseball conventional wisdom declared that waiting on starting pitching was the way to go, but that conventional wisdom has been turned around, and now drafting starting pitching early is all the rage. In most competitive drafts almost all the elite starters are gone by the end of round four. Last […]

Late Round Outfield Targets

Late Round Outfield Targets

Last week I took a look at the high-end outfield options that most appeal to me. My usual plan is to pay big for a couple of big names like the ones discussed in the article, but since we need five outfielders, a utility spot, and have budget or draft limitations to deal with, we […]

Standouts in the Outfield: Marte, Martinez, and Upton

Standouts in the Outfield: Marte, Martinez, and Upton

I’ve enjoyed writing and reading all of the positional previews so far, but let’s face it: certain limitations present themselves when writing about the infield positions. Many of us have beaten the “wait on a catcher” drum in recent years while some pay for Posey.  Regardless, catching strategy is basically an either/or story. You might […]

Familiarity Breeds Contempt: A Look at Evan Longoria

Familiarity Breeds Contempt: A Look at Evan Longoria

Third base is a position that is exciting to talk about because of the names at the top of the positional rankings. Machado! Bryant! Arenado! Donaldson! Tremendous numbers from all of them. There will be much discussion on who should be taken first out of those guys, which will resemble a debate about the best […]

Category Help at Second Base

Category Help at Second Base

In the coming weeks, you will be reading positional previews on a variety of sites. Many of these will speak about positions in terms of tiers, and you can bet that a few fantasy writers will be emphasizing the importance of grabbing one of the top 8 to 10 second basemen and perceiving a big […]

Potential Bouncebacks at First Base

When we think of first basemen, we think of power: Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Abreu, and Miguel Cabrera. Even in a an era of offensive decline, .300/30/100 is our gold standard.  And even as we move down the positional rankings a bit, we expect players like Adrian Gonzalez and Albert Pujols to come close to it. […]

Yasmani Grandal’s Hidden Breakout

Yasmani Grandal’s Hidden Breakout

“Draft last year’s disappointment.” Maybe you’ve heard this advice before. Some players just have off years. Others have their draft price slip because they were hurt. These are the players that are the best values on draft day the following year. As I mentioned in last week’s article, 2014 busts Joey Votto and Carlos Gonzalez […]