2011 Player Rankings: Holds by Mike Axisa March 25, 2011 Earlier this month we ranked relievers with a heavy emphasis on saves, since that’s their primary role on a fantasy team. Lots of leagues use holds as well, so here’s a ranking of the top fantasy options for holds going into 2011… Tier One Aroldis Chapman Rafael Soriano Luke Gregerson Jonny Venters The cream of the crop. These four won’t just give you holds, they’ve also give you a ton of strikeouts as well as low ERA’s and WHIP’s. Gregerson set the single-season holds record last year (40), and he should approach that total again assuming his arm doesn’t explode from throwing 58% sliders again. Tier Two Hong-Chih Kuo Daniel Bard Mike Adams Rafael Betancourt Chris Sale Grant Balfour Ryan Madson More high strikeout, low ERA and WHIP guys, but this group carries just slightly more risk. Tier Three Sean Marshall Brandon League Evan Meek Joaquin Benoit Arthur Rhodes Jason Motte Tyler Clippard Sergio Romo League and Romo will see some save opportunities early in the season given the injuries to David Aardsma and Brian Wilson, but they’re expected to resume setup duties once those two return to action. Meek and Clippard have a chance to close should things break right this summer. Tier Four Matt Capps Wilton Lopez Alexi Ogando Scott Downs Kerry Wood Koji Uehara Takashi Saito Downs is doing to start the year on the disabled list because of a broken toe, and Uehara could end up closing games in Baltimore as soon as Opening Day. Tier Five Joe Thatcher Jordan Walden Nick Masset Kevin Gregg Pedro Feliciano Kevin Jepsen Sean Burnett Mike Gonzalez Bobby Jenks Clay Hensley Michael Wuertz Randy Choate The top of the holds leaderboard is heavily populated by lefty specialists every season, but they bring little else to the table fantasy-wise. Tier Six Zach Braddock Matt Belisle Rafael Perez Kenley Jansen Andrew Cashner Joba Chamberlain Jake McGee Javier Lopez Octavio Dotel Jon Rauch Sergio Santos Joel Peralta Ryan Perry Bobby Parnell Peter Moylan Matt Guerrier David Hernandez Jeremy Jeffress Robinson Tejeda Edward Mujica Juan Gutierrez Frankly, this last tier could go on and on. The last 20-30 names on this list are highly interchangeable in my eyes, especially given the volatility of relievers. * * * Unlike our other positional rankings, this isn’t a consensus list with input from all the RotoGraphers. It’s my personal list, so I encourage discussion in the comments if you feel I missed someone obvious or you feel someone is ranked too high or low, especially towards the top of the rankings.