This article is part of our The Z Files series.
It's rankings season. Buckle up for all sorts of lists: some by position, others by category, but all intended to help guide drafts and auctions.
Don't worry, this is not another diatribe on how rankings shouldn't be taken verbatim. Instead, I'm going to take a unique approach to classifying everyone's favorite group, relievers.
I was recently tasked with ranking and profiling the top 40 relievers. While it wasn't for RotoWire (hey, a guy has to make a living), I'm going to share the fruits of my labor, in a general sense.
To be honest, I left the project feeling more optimistic about the closer pool than when I first embarked on the assignment. This doesn't mean I'm confident drafting saves will be a breeze, just that I see more pathways to success than I intuited working blind.
The key is not ranking/tiering the inventory as a whole, but rather to approach things via classifications. Of course, there will be a ranking within each group, but everyone will be compared via the same criteria with a greater delineation between occupants.
The approach in the draft then entails deciding which classification(s) to target. As is the case with all strategies, more than one road map should be at the ready. You know what Mike Tyson said, "Everyone has a plan until they're punched in the face,"
What follow is my current tiering, with an explanation for each classification and some comments within each grouping. The placement between and within tiers is fluid