As a side note: I don't play a lot of 5x5 leagues let alone anything more complicated than that. I have been playing more fantasy points leagues for a while now. So my knowledge might be missing some key pieces of information.
I would worry about punting anything but I think you could make some smart draft choices that would put you in position to not have to worry about punting saves. Looking to grab solid setup men, could net you a few closers. Closers change every year and many of those spots fluctuate throughout the season, so looking for guys that get outs with low ERA's and high K's are probably future closers anyway. I wouldn't pass up a Mariano just because he is older. You can worry about that when the times comes but for now he gets the job done and is in a pretty safe spot as they will give him plenty of leash before they pull him from the role. Also guys that are "unproven" are probably your best bet. Going into the year guys like Axford, League, Hanrahan and Kimbrel had a year or less of experience and were cheap picks for the most part. So a guy like Guerra has a decent shot of saving 40 games this year. I would look to draft at least one official closer and probably a guy that doesn't have a lot of experience so that he comes fairly cheap then draft good set-up men especially if they are behind a questionable closer.
One thing to note, blown saves don't necessarily mean a loss. If you look at who blew the most saves last year it doesn't mean they have a lot of losses.
"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move."- Douglas Adams
nothing wrong with not drafting closers early but don't punt before the season starts; even w/o trying you could end up with setup guys turning into closers and it could be a strength rather than a sure loss. don't overpay, but don't punt
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mkultra wrote:Has punting saves ever worked for anyone in 5x5? Serious question.
Yes, but you have very little room for error with the remainder of your roster. The only time I would ever recommend punting saves is if it's a mid-season decision & things have gone terrible south with your closers. I would never decide to punt saves in December.
I wouldn't spend high round dynasty picks to acquire a closer. Especially in a league that has holds as well.
But since the league is H2H, you want to have at least 1-2 closers on your roster. Numerous times I have seen a team with 1-2 closers beat a team in saves that had 4-5 closers. Saves vary a lot week to week, so best to be at least somewhat competitive in that category. You don't have to spend good draft picks for closers either. Draft fringe guys late (best example- Hanrahan from 2011) and top notch setup men (who will get you holds while they wait for a closing opportunity). And since your league is 16 teams, you only need 1-2 closers to be average.
In a 16 team league with holds AND saves, things are diluted enough that 3-4 saves and 2-3 holds can easily win you the week. So I wouldn't straight-up ignore saves, but I wouldn't make them a priority either. My strategy would be to grab high impact young RP with elite K potential. Rex Brothers, Addison Reed, Eduardo Sanchez. Guys in that mold.
Two years ago I traded my three closers early in the season. I loaded up on starting pitching in my 5x5 12 team mixed.I finished the season DEAD last in saves. I ended up First in Wins, ERA and K's and third in Whip. I won my league going away. Last year another owner tried itright from the start of the season and finished sixth overall. With my team two years ago I need help in those other catagories. I was close enough in the other four catagories I was able to make up ground. I feel behind in a big way in saves . My plan worked. Might never happen again . Good luck.
I would not recommend punting saves intentionally. That said, scrounging the lower mid-tier for guys is the way to go imo. In a 16 team league, all you need is two mediocre closers and you should finish no worse than middle of the pack in the category.