Fantasy baseball: Will Smith turning RP rankings upside down

From Newnan, Georgia, born and raised ... Will Smith currently sits on the closer throne for the Texas Rangers. Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Rangers LHP Will Smith, a certifiable journeyman now hurling for his sixth big-league team in his 11 seasons, didn't even sign with his current club until the first weekend of March, and fantasy baseball managers likely paid little attention. How about now? No, Smith does not lead the league in saves, but in ESPN's new massaged game where holds count for something (as they should!), Cleveland Guardians RHP Emmanuel Clase is the lone pitcher with more saves-plus-holds. Yep, Will Smith, the new "fresh prince" of the Texas bullpen, is quite valuable, yet again.

Smith did not pitch particularly well last season for the Atlanta Braves or Houston Astros, and it is likely fantasy managers assumed his closing days were over. Then again, who out there invested in Rangers RHP Jose Leclerc and thought things would go well? They did not, of course, and Smith became the primary closer in the final week of April. He now boasts saves in each of his past four appearances (and seven out of nine overall), with only one rough outing all season. He is missing bats, keeping runners off base and yeah, while a rising fly ball rate concerns us a bit, it does appear that this could be his third 30-save season, each with a different franchise.