Let me start by saying I'm a Yankee fan, but in fantasy baseball, you have to be able to differentiate between who you like/dislike personally and who you should draft on your fantasy team. As much as I hate to see Papelbon succeed, I also love to see Papelbon succeed because he is the best closer in baseball (In fantasy terms). In personal terms, of course I'll still go with Mariano Rivera.
As for Papelbon, I don't think I need to recite his numbers but instead I'll take a different approach. Your draft. Here is a fact. Papelbon is gone by the end of the 5th round of your 12 team mixed league draft, and even that is late. Is he worth a 4th round pick? Yes. Here's why....
Papelbon will be in the top 3 in ERA/WHIP/K/SV among closers. Many other experts will argue that a closer this early is a waste of a pick, that you dont need a top flight closer, that all you need is the saves. What do you think is more valuable.....
65IP, 40SV, 1.95ERA, .95WHIP, 80K
65IP, 40SV, 4.58ERA, 1.42WHIP, 34K
I rest my case. You will find that the first set of numbers comes in handy much more at the end of the season than it does during your draft. A horse like Papelbon will continually help you lower your ERA/WHIP while still providing K's. You can pick Papelbon in R5 and then wait for SP's later in the draft. You can find gems in rounds R10-R16 for your staff while using Papelbon as your ERA/WHIP horse to make up for the lack of top notch SP talent.This is how valuable Papelbon is!
Fantasy Man Projection: 70IP, 80K, 40SV, 1.95ERA, 0.95WHIP
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