2021 Fantasy Baseball Closer Rankings For Week 17

Posted: Jul 22, 2021Last updated: Jul 29, 2021

Welcome to The Game Day’s Fantasy Baseball Closer Rankings, Depth Charts, Bullpen Report, & Sleepers For Saves. When you’re working the fantasy baseball waiver wire and trying to find the best sleepers for saves, you have to know each Major League Baseball team’s relief pitchers. Who has a path to 2021 fantasy baseball saves? Who’s going to focus on holds and setup appearances?

Kev Mahserejian ranks each fantasy baseball bullpen from strongest (1) to weakest (30) while giving security ratings for each club’s relief corps.

See which fantasy baseball closers are secure, questionable, or on shaky ground in their job security so you can plan ahead and remain in the race for your fantasy baseball league title. Identify the fantasy baseball league pickups you should make soon so you can have control over erratic 2021 fantasy baseball saves pictures.

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Week 17 Fantasy Baseball Closers: Depth Chart News, Saves Tips & Bullpen Report

Detroit Tigers

  • Closer: Gregory Soto
  • Backups: Jose Cisnero, Michael Fulmer (IL)

With Fulmer (neck) back on the injured list, Soto has seemingly re-established himself as Detroit’s closer this season. Soto was just selected to the All-Star team and is under team control through 2025, which makes him unlikely to be traded at the deadline.

Fulmer — a possible trade candidate — just began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Toledo and is set to return from the IL soon. If he makes it back before the deadline, it’s possible that he’ll be re-inserted into the closer role to spike interest among contending teams. Regardless of whether he’s traded or not, Fulmer is a mediocre closing option and will likely shift to a setup role either way.

If Soto does lose his ninth-inning job when Fulmer returns, it will likely only be temporary. Hang onto him until the deadline passes, then re-evaluate whether he’s worth retaining for the rest of the season.

Chicago Cubs

  • Closer: Craig Kimbrel
  • Backups: Ryan Tepera, Rex Brothers, Andrew Chafin, Rowan Wick (IL)

This has nothing to do with Kimbrel’s performance, but rather the Cubs as a whole. They are gearing up for a rebuild and trading Joc Pederson was the first domino to fall. Kimbrel is likely next in line given how often high-end relievers are dealt at the deadline. The price tag will be hefty, but some team is bound to pony up given his track record.

Kimbrel’s fantasy value should not be affected by a trade, but his backups are the targets here. Tepera — the presumed next man up — is also a trade candidate given how inexpensive he is salary-wise. He’s been incredible since last season and has closed several times in the past, so he is absolutely worth considering as a pickup.

Chafin is another trade candidate, but if he stays in Chicago there is a chance he sees closing opportunities until Wick is activated from the IL. Wick has not pitched in the bigs at all this season, but he’s working his way back from an oblique injury and is currently on a rehab assignment. With six career saves under his belt, he’s worth a speculative add in deeper leagues where saves are at a premium.

Fantasy Baseball Closer Rankings, Depth Charts, Bullpen Report, & Sleepers For Saves


RkTeamCloserNext In LineWatchJob SecurityNotes
1MetsEdwin DiazAdam OttavinoSeth LugoGREATDiaz is the best closer in baseball right now.
2GuardiansEmmanuel ClaseJames KarinchakTrevor StephanGREATClase now has 36 saves on the season.
3Blue JaysJordan RomanoYimi GarciaAnthony BassGREATRomano had a blown save with 3 ER on Sept. 18.
4White SoxLiam HendriksKendall GravemanJake DiekmanGREATHendriks has a 1.17 ERA this month.
5AstrosRyan PresslyRafael MonteroHector NerisGREATPressly has 10 K in 4.2 IP since returning from injury.
6OriolesFelix BautistaDillon TateCionel PerezGREATBautista has a 1.71 ERA and 0.86 WHIP with 14 saves.
7RockiesDaniel BardCarlos EstevezDinelson LametGREATBard now has a 1.95 ERA and 1.01 WHIP with 32 saves.
8BravesKenley JansenRaisel IglesiasA.J. MinterGREATJansen now has 36 saves on the season.
9GiantsCamilo DovalJohn BrebbiaTyler RogersGREATDoval has eight straight scoreless appearances.
10CardinalsRyan HelsleyGiovanny GallegosAndre PallanteGREATHelsley hasn't given up a run in three consecutive outings.
11MarinersPaul SewaldAndres MunozErik SwansonGREATSewald has a 2.62 ERA and 0.77 WHIP with 19 saves.
12RoyalsScott BarlowDylan ColemanAmir GarrettGREATBarlow has two saves this month.
13DodgersCraig KimbrelEvan PhillipsAlex VesiaGREATKimbrel has given up at least one run of two of his last three.
14BrewersDevin WilliamsMatt BushTaylor RogersSOLIDWilliams has a 1.76 ERA and 0.94 WHIP with 13 saves.
15PadresJosh HaderNick MartinezLuis GarciaSOLIDHader has a 1.80 ERA and 0.60 WHIP this month.
16YankeesClay HolmesJonathan LoaisigaWandy PeraltaSOLIDHolmes has given up a run in four of his last five.
17TwinsJorge LopezJHOAN DURANMichael FulmerSOLIDLopez allowed 4 ER in his most recent outing.
18RaysPete FairbanksJason AdamColin PocheSOLIDFairbanks has converted the last four save opportunities.
19NationalsKyle FinneganCarl Edwards Jr.Hunter HarveySOLIDFinnegan has two saves since Sept. 16.
20TigersGregory SotoAndrew ChafinJoe JimenezSOLIDSoto got a clean save on Sept. 20.
21RedsAlexis DiazHunter StricklandIan GibautSOLIDDiaz now has a 1.86 ERA and 0.98 WHIP with seven saves.
22AngelsJimmy HergetRyan TeperaJose QuijadaSOLIDHerget has given up 2 ER in his last 27 IP.
23RangersJose LeclercJonathan HernandezMatt MooreSOLIDLeclerc has four saves since Sept. 6.
24AthleticsDOMINGO ACEVEDOA.J. PukJoel PayampsSOLIDAcevedo has converted the last three save opportunities.
25PhilliesDavid RobertsonSERANTHONY DOMINGUEZJose AlvaradoCOMMITTEEDominguez is back, so it's once again a committee in Philly.
26CubsBrandon HughesRowan WickMark Leiter Jr.SOLIDHughes has given up a run in two of his last four.
27MarlinsDylan FloroTanner ScottSteven OkertSHAKYFloro is officially the lead closer in Miami.
28Red SoxJohn SchreiberMatt BarnesMATT STRAHMCOMMITTEEStrahm converted the most recent save opportunity.
29DiamondbacksIan KennedyMark MelanconJoe MantiplySHAKYSteer clear of this ugly situation.
30PiratesWil CroweDAVID BEDNAR (IL)Duane Underwood Jr.SHAKYBednar has looked good in his rehab assignment.


Kev Mahserejian

Kev Mahserejian is an NFL/NBA/MLB analyst at The Game Day, residing in Los Angeles, CA. He graduated from the University of Southern California in 2017 and began creating sports content soon after. Kev currently writes fantasy and betting pieces while also hosting his podcast The Operating Room with various guests from the sports industry to discuss topics primarily regarding fantasy. He also writes for RotoBaller and is quite active on his Twitter @RotoSurgeon.

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