Fantasy Baseball Category Killers: Saves

Fantasy Baseball Category Killers: Saves

Saves

Javier Lopez, Giants: Its been a productive week for Lopez, as he's collected three saves and a hold during his previous four outings. Sergio Romo looms, as does Jeremy Affeldt, but Lopez looks to be the hot hand and name to own in the San Francisco pen.

John Axford, Brewers: The Axman appears to have worked his way back into ninth inning duties, picking up two saves last week. He faltered in his most recent outing against the Pirates, giving way to Kameron Loe, who collected his second save of the season. While Axford should continue seeing chances moving forward, he's very risky.
Wilton Lopez, Astros: Closers on bad teams are always low ceiling, especially when they are relatively new to the role, like Lopez is with the Astros. He's been up and down this month, going 2-2 with two saves in three opportunities. He's pitched very well this year (2.31 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 465 KBB), and looks to be building momentum heading into next year, which should start with him as Houstons closer.
Andrew Bailey, Red Sox: Andrew Bailey gets a save opportunity. As a result, Alfredo Aceves throws a tantrum, and is suspended for three games. The writing is on the wall here, and in bold letters it says 'Add Bailey Now. There is a strong chance he finishes the year as the closer, and heads into '13 with the job securely in hand (good healthy provided).

Glen Perkins, Twins: Perkins picked up another save on Sunday, and now has three during the month of August. He still shares chances with Jared Burton, but as long has he's collecting handshakes, he has value in all fantasy formats.

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Morning tip: Foul trouble continues to haunt Markieff Morris vs. Hawks in NBA Playoffs

Morning tip: Foul trouble continues to haunt Markieff Morris vs. Hawks in NBA Playoffs

ATLANTA -- Ever since Game 1, Markieff Morris has been absent. After Monday's 111-101 loss to the Atlanta Hawks that made the series even at 2, he has flirted with fouling out three times in a row. 

His nine points and four rebounds in 24 minutes weren't nearly enough to help the Wizards who find themselves in a must-win spot for Game 5 Wednesday at Verizon Center. His nemesis, Paul Millsap, filled up the boxscore with 19 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in 36 minutes.

"I give them credit. They do a great job just trying to attack Keef, trying to get him in foul trouble," said John Wall, who had 22 points and 10 assists for Washington. "We got to do a better job of helping him out and not letting him get in foul trouble but also go back at Millsap on the other end and make him defend the same way. They made adjustments. We got to make adjustments."

Morris went through a demonstration at morning shootaround with Marcin Gortat and Jason Smith in hopes of keeping them out of foul trouble on Millsap, too. He prefers to attack from the left block and turn over his left shoulder to get into the paint. If he turns the opposite way to the baseline, Millsap almost always settles for the fallaway jump shot. He doesn't attack the rim.

[RELATED: J. Michael on exactly what went wrong for Wiz in Game 4]

Gortat still had five fouls. Smith picked up three. 

While Morris had plenty of success in his matchup with Millsap in the regular season when the Wizards won the series 3-1, they've been agitating each other every step of the way in the playoffs. Millsap accused him of roughhouse tactics and then 55 fouls were called in Game 2. 

Morris called him "crybaby" following an 18-point loss by Washington in Game 3 when Millsap went to the foul line 15 times. There were no words after Monday.

The whistles haven't been as liberal overall, but Morris is picked up his first foul at 7:50 of the first quarter and his second one 66 seconds later. The third foul came in the last three minutes of the half and Morris never could get on track.

Even two years ago when the Hawks were the No. 1 seed in the East, Phillips Arena wasn't this super-charged. Morris brought it out the extra eneregy with his needling of Millsap and for the Wizards to win the series, they'll have to win Game 5 at home Wednesday and come back to Atlanta for Game 6 on Friday.

Despite Morris' foul issues, the Hawks had their own. They lost starting point guard Dennis Schroder to three fouls in the first quarter. He didn't even play in the second quarter but they were able to turn a nine-point deficit into a 59-50 lead at halftime.

"We were supposed to take advantage then. Didn't. Then we had 15 points in the second quarter," Morris said. "They play hard."

After Dwight Howard threw down dunks on consecutive lobs from Kent Bazemore, the Wizards were botching assignments. The help wasn't there. 

Morris stared at Gortat during the flurry as both looked lost. And so was the game.

[RELATED: 'Podium game' for Jose Calderon vs. Wizards a shocker]

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Need to Know: With 10 draft picks, the Redskins are ready to deal

Need to Know: With 10 draft picks, the Redskins are ready to deal

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, April 24, two days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 17
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 29
—Training camp starts (7/27) 93
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 138

Let’s make a deal

Even though the Redskins have 10 picks going into the draft, Scott Campbell, the team’s college scouting director, said that they will still be open to making deals to add more.

Washington has one pick in each of the seven rounds plus additional selections in the fourth, sixth, and seventh rounds. Campbell said that the team will be happy to add picks if the right deal is on the table. He is not concerned about having too large a draft class competing for a limited number of competitive roster spots.

“Yeah, I don’t know if you can have ‘too many guys,’” said Campbell. “I think the main thing to get better is you want to add competition to the team and anywhere you can add competition, even positions where you think you may be set depth-wise, you know, add more competition. Get the best players in here and I think it pushes each other and makes everybody better.”

It’s a matter of improving the odds of finding players who can help them.

“It’s not an exact science, Campbell said of the draft. “You’re not going to hit on all the guys. You’d like to think you can, but I mean that’s not reality, no one’s ever done that. Just increasing the odds of adding the more players, the more guys that can help us, that’s great.”

Campbell specifically mentioned the team’s two fourth-round picks, which are the 115th and 123rd overall selections, as possible capital to move up or as bait to trade back and get more picks.

What could they do with those picks? If they make a deal that goes by the draft value trade chart, they could trade their second-round pick (17th in the round, 49th overall) and the higher of the two fourth-rounders for the 11th pick in the second (42 overall). If they see a player they like in the third, that same fourth round pick would move them up to from the 81st overall pick (17th in the round) to the 68th overall pick (4th pick of the round).

The return for moving back in the fourth round is not very high. You’re looking at a fifth-round pick in return for moving all the way back from 115th overall to the end of the fourth round. That’s OK if you’re in a range where there just aren’t any players you like but you are very unlikely to get a game-changer in the fifth.  

With 10 picks it would be surprising if the Redskins just used all 10 of them without making any moves. It’s just a matter of if there will be a blockbuster deal involving their first pick or if there are more minor deals on Saturday afternoon.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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