<
>
EXCLUSIVE CONTENT
Get ESPN+

Fantasy baseball closer report: Relievers who can make a difference without saves

Reliever Nick Anderson hasn't been racking up saves since joining the Tampa Bay Rays, but that doesn't mean pitchers like him don't have fantasy value down the stretch. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

One July day, Nick Anderson was an intriguing setup man with the Miami Marlins, seemingly on the verge of stepping into the closer role. The next, he was unceremoniously shipped a few hours across the state to the contending Tampa Bay Rays, and fantasy managers suddenly had no interest because saves seemed unlikely. Then again, Anderson has been awesome for the Rays, striking out 18 hitters with nary a walk or a run over 9 2/3 innings and 10 appearances. Sure, there are no saves, but those are not merely numbers -- they are numbers.

September is nearly here and myriad fantasy managers are soon going to realize they are up against starting pitcher season limits that they either ignored or simply did not know about. It is hardly the best way to approach the final month of the season if a championship remains feasible, but fellows like Anderson, a tall, thin, right-hander with obvious strikeout stuff and a new, more effective way to harness it, come in handy. Anderson is