2014 Outlook: Uehara rarely receives due credit for his raw ability, as DL stints in each of his first four major league seasons, plus an unwarranted reputation for being unable to handle larger workloads, tend to make fantasy owners hesitant to trust him. So let's help him earn yours: In 2013, he set a new single-season record for lowest WHIP among pitchers with at least 50 innings, with his 0.57 mark besting Dennis Eckersley's 23-year-old record of 0.61. His 11.22 career K-to-walk ratio was fifth-best in the modern era, and his .130 batting average-against was second-best. And to answer the workload question, after capturing the Boston Red Sox's closer gig last June, he appeared 13 times on consecutive days and 54 times in 99 games overall (playoffs included). Uehara is as safe a ratios bet as relievers come, and he's firmly locked into the Red Sox's ninth-inning picture after his outstanding late-2013 run. If not for his DL history, he'd surely warrant a higher rank.
2014 Outlook: When we say, "Don't chase past statistics," Mujica's 37 saves of 2013 are a prime example. He performed admirably as the St. Louis Cardinals' closer for the first five-plus months, showing some of the keenest control of anyone in baseball (2 percent walk rate), but he got fatigued late in the year and lost his role to Trevor Rosenthal during the playoffs. Mujica then landed a job as the primary setup man for Koji Uehara, but don't leap to assume he'll challenge the latter for saves, at least not while Uehara is healthy. Mujica's fly ball nature makes him very risky as a ratios helper in AL-only leagues, although he's worth taking as a handcuff if your league affords you the luxury.
2014 Outlook: Armed with a mid-90s fastball and above-average changeup, Kelly exploded upon his arrival in the St. Louis Cardinals' rotation to begin July; he had 10 wins and a 2.58 ERA in 19 games (18 starts) from July 1 forward, counting the playoffs. Still, his peripherals revealed that he pitched a bit over his head, as he had a 4.01 FIP, 1.35 WHIP, 1.80 K-to-walk ratio and 82.4 left-on-base percentage for the season, meaning that despite his performance giving him an excellent chance at beginning 2014 in the Cardinals' rotation, regression is possible. Kelly's low-strikeout nature makes him more NL-only back-end, or streaming material in shallow formats.
2014 Outlook: Tazawa's strikeout and walk rates are elite, but his fly-ball tendencies keep him from being a truly elite reliever, since home runs will always be a concern. That said, fly-ball pitchers should carry low hit rates, but in 2013 Tazawa was snakebitten in that regard. It's hard to say where Tazawa is in the pecking order behind closer Koji Uehara, but his skills are as closer-worthy as anyone's in the Boston bullpen. If you're willing to incur the home run risk, Tazawa is a viable option to protect ratios in mixed leagues as well as deep formats, even without accruing saves.