Let's discuss the pros and cons of punting saves because its something I've thought about trying. Assuming you have an innings pitched max and min, you're going to have X innings pitched over the course of the season. Those innings will obviously be pitched by either a starter, closer, (or middle reliever). Let's break them down and what you'll be looking for from them:
Starting Pitcher: Wins, Good ERA (3.50 maybe), Good WHIP, Lots of Ks Closer: Saves, Great ERA (Sub 3.00), Great WHIP, Sacrifice some Ks
So assuming you allocate some of those innings to closers, the hope is that you receive saves, a moderate boost in ERA, and a moderate boost in WHIP. These last two categories won't be as drastic because the closers don't accumulate as many innings, but 80 innings of 2.00 ERA always helps.
So the question becomes this when deciding to punt saves: Will the boost you get in Wins and Ks be enough to offset the lack of saves and drop (albeit slight) in ERA and WHIP?
I don't think punting any one category right off the bat is a good idea b/c you never know how the rest of your roster is going to pan out. What i've had success doing the past 2 years is punting saves after 1-3 people already did, therefore I'm guaranteed a few points in the category and I can trade the ones I have to people who are in a more competitive saves race now.
I will not go too in-depth here, but you should not have a loss of Ks in this scenerio. Most closers will give you a better K rate than the lower tier SPs. Basically, the top 10-15 closers, as well as the top 10 or so MRs should give you right around a K/inning, which is MUCH better than most SPs that you could get around the same draft position. You could punt saves, grab hitters and SPs in the slots that closers normally go, and then load up on 3-4 top MRs later on, thus punting saves. This isn't the worst idea, but I have never been a fan of punting anything! I have no problem being weak in a certain category, but I would rather get 2-4 points in one than start off with a definite zero. Obviously, H2H is a different animal, but I would still see decent value in some sort of reliever, for their possible Ws, SVs, and better ratios.
LloydChristmas wrote:Well, it's not so much a matter of K/9 though. Obviously closers will better starters in this area. In a roto league, it's a matter of amassing stats. That's the issue that has to be weighed.
Unless your minimum innings is outrageously high, then this DOES matter. IMO, a couple of above average closers/middle relievers is greater than one or two cruddy starters. The ratios and K-rate are enough to offset any (if any) W advantage that you may gain by drafting/streaming a bunch of Snells/Bondermans/Perezs/Cooks/Millwoods/whomever. As I mentioned, I am not a fan of punting, and do not see a reason why you would draft more hitters (and unless you are putting your offense at a disadvantage), more higher ranked SPs; rather than drafting a balanced overall team. I am not willing to leave points on the table from the get go. I t would take one crazy draft for this to enter my mind, unless of course, we are talking a H2H league, with favorable/non-favorable settings.