Earlier this month we ranked relievers with a heavy emphasis on saves, since that’s their primary role on a fantasy team. Lots of leagues use holds as well, so here’s a ranking of the top fantasy options for holds going into 2011…
The cream of the crop. These four won’t just give you holds, they’ve also give you a ton of strikeouts as well as low ERA’s and WHIP’s. Gregerson set the single-season holds record last year (40), and he should approach that total again assuming his arm doesn’t explode from throwing 58% sliders again.
More high strikeout, low ERA and WHIP guys, but this group carries just slightly more risk.
League and Romo will see some save opportunities early in the season given the injuries to David Aardsma and Brian Wilson, but they’re expected to resume setup duties once those two return to action. Meek and Clippard have a chance to close should things break right this summer.
Downs is doing to start the year on the disabled list because of a broken toe, and Uehara could end up closing games in Baltimore as soon as Opening Day.
The top of the holds leaderboard is heavily populated by lefty specialists every season, but they bring little else to the table fantasy-wise.
Frankly, this last tier could go on and on. The last 20-30 names on this list are highly interchangeable in my eyes, especially given the volatility of relievers.
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Unlike our other positional rankings, this isn’t a consensus list with input from all the RotoGraphers. It’s my personal list, so I encourage discussion in the comments if you feel I missed someone obvious or you feel someone is ranked too high or low, especially towards the top of the rankings.