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Fantasy baseball player profiles: NL - Relief pitchers

Fantasy baseball player profiles: NL - Relief pitchers

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Quick Jump: Fantasy Baseball Player Profiles

1 Jonathan Broxton, RP, Los Angeles Dodgers
2 Heath Bell, RP, San Diego Padres
3 Francisco Rodriguez, RP, New York Mets
4 Brian Wilson, RP, San Francisco Giants
5 Huston Street, RP, Colorado Rockies
6 Francisco Cordero, RP, Cincinnati Reds
7 Billy Wagner, RP, Atlanta Braves
8 Trevor Hoffman, RP, Milwaukee Brewers
9 Carlos Marmol, RP, Chicago Cubs
10 Ryan Franklin, RP, St. Louis Cardinals
11 Chad Qualls, RP, Arizona Diamondbacks
12 Octavio Dotel, RP, Toronto Blue Jays
13 Matt Lindstrom, RP, Houston Astros
14 Brandon Lyon, RP, Houston Astros
15 Leo Nunez, RP, Florida Marlins
16 Rafael Betancourt, RP, Colorado Rockies
17 Ryan Madson, RP, Philadelphia Phillies
18 Luke Gregerson, RP, San Diego Padres
19 Takashi Saito, RP, Atlanta Braves

Jonathan Broxton, RP, Los Angeles Dodgers
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

WSVIPHERBBKERAWHIP
2144411816373.681.30

Oozes dominance, and his fastball velocity increased. Control has been shaky, but as a closer, Jonathan Broxton could easily improve on his strand rates. Groundball increase justifies ERA drop. Will toe injury pop up again? Seems fine, but injuries like that could linger. He'll be taken among, and often before, closers with longer track records. Broxton boasts the most upside, but he'll cost a bundle.


Heath Bell, RP, San Diego Padres
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

WSVIPHERBBKERAWHIP
3265602620693.601.23

In first year as closer Heath Bell increased dominance while improving his control. The righty also knocked his grounders back up. Bell's homer rate jumped in the second half. The other detriment to his roto value: trade winds involving his name. This might even cause him to fall. Draft him as a No. 1 closer.


Francisco Rodriguez, RP, New York Mets
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

WSVIPHERBBKERAWHIP
3261522422633.541.21

This kind of fall-off from a 28-year-old reliever? Francisco Rodriguez's continued negative trends, with substantial slides, in K/9 and BB/9. Flyball rate spiked nervously. Rest of Mets' woes was a factor, but let's avoid guilt trip - unless it's for manager Jerry Manuel's poor handling. Moderate rebound is in store, but top-five mixed closer price is no longer warranted. Just, maybe, low-end No. 1.


Brian Wilson, RP, San Francisco Giants
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

WSVIPHERBBKERAWHIP
4263512228613.141.25

Hints of stability: Dominance growing, control improving, and homer rates returning toward career norms. More cutters aided rebound, gave Brian Wilson versatility. Fear comes in flyball growth, though, especially if he has another '08 HR/FB flareup. Risks remain, but his dominance makes him passable as a low-end mixed No. 1.


Huston Street, RP, Colorado Rockies
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

WSVIPHERBBKERAWHIP
33054441915533.171.09

Coors Field still haunts Huston Street a bit, and some flyball concerns remain, but adjustments made last year appeared to help him with his control. Though his high command rate looks fluky, he displayed similar levels in the recent past. Though a bum shoulder starting him on the DL, Street remains an acceptable No. 2 closer in mixed that you can probably grab on the cheap. He can perform as a No. 1 when healthy.


Francisco Cordero, RP, Cincinnati Reds
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

WSVIPHERBBKERAWHIP
00000000.000.00

Multiple corrections should put Francisco Cordero's ERA back in 3.00-plus territory. Decreasing K rate nosedived last year despite reported velocity improvement, and control remains an issue. Unexpectedly good 2009 didn't drive up draft placement - mixed low-end No. 1 range - much, though. Cordero may be one of safer options in that bin, but there's more downside than upside.


Billy Wagner, RP, Atlanta Braves
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

WSVIPHERBBKERAWHIP
00000000.000.00

Billy Wagner's health after short stint back from elbow surgery is only marginal concern because of clean sheet before 2008. Control may still elude, but that should dissipate. His dominance last year was outstanding but confined to a small sample. Still has the skills, though. Invest in him as one of best bets in No. 2 mixed closer tier. Be wary of overvaluation from anxious drafters or undervaluation from opposite crowd.


Trevor Hoffman, RP, Milwaukee Brewers
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

WSVIPHERBBKERAWHIP
00000000.000.00

Vet knows how to pitch, but strand and homer rates ripe for normalization, even with increased groundball pattern and history of fastball-changeup brilliance. Must worry about Trevor Hoffman's location (bread and butter) slipping as he ages. Don't make him your top mixed closer - anything less will probably do the trick; you're safely acknowledging his drop-off potential that way.


Carlos Marmol, RP, Chicago Cubs
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

WSVIPHERBBKERAWHIP
2053422532574.251.40

Carlos Marmol's nasty stuff and will boost any team's strikeout rate. It's his control that is the issue. He improved that significantly in the second half last year but stumbled a bit after assuming the closer role. Still, he's firmly in the second roto tier of stoppers, but Marmol could easily perform as a No. 1. His returned profit could be high given you won't have to invest a ton in him.


Ryan Franklin, RP, St. Louis Cardinals
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

WSVIPHERBBKERAWHIP
00000000.000.00

Ryan Franklin's dominance increase probably came as the result of a cut fastball, which may or may not be his slider. Increase in grounders produced BABIP, strand rate and homer ratios that might be illusions; history doesn't support the late bloomer's growth. Helping him is the lack of alternatives (save maybe Jason Motte), so he'll probably keep the gig for the majority of the year, at least. He presents risk as a midrange stopper; don't go overboard.


Chad Qualls, RP, Arizona Diamondbacks
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

WSVIPHERBBKERAWHIP
3460612419453.601.33

A dislocated kneecap ended Chad Qualls' 2009 season prematurely, but health looks fine for this season. No one to threaten his save opportunity dominance immediately. Qualls issues few free passes, although repeat of last year's K/BB is unrealistic. Still, this is prime spot for buying saves on the cheap.


Octavio Dotel, RP, Toronto Blue Jays
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

WSVIPHERBBKERAWHIP
00000000.000.00

Octavio Dotel RP Toronto Blue Jays

Hasn't closed frequently since '07, but Octavio Dotel has carried top-notch dominance throughout his career, even while fighting through control problems. That, age and his homer penchant should decrease your investment, but PNC Park might calm the third point. Even closers on poor teams record stats; don't discriminate - there's upside from his late-round draft-day value.


Matt Lindstrom, RP, Houston Astros
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

WSVIPHERBBKERAWHIP
3255541920443.111.35

Club would prefer Matt Lindstrom to keep closer's job. Velocity is tantalizing. Elbow problems contributed to overall struggles, particularly with control, in 2009. Elbow reports are clean. But BB/9 hasn't been conducive to success for two seasons. Hope: 18 1/3 IP, four walks allowed after return. Command was better in minors. It's based on faith for that to continue, translate, but rock-bottom mixed price (safer), midlevel NL price could yield 20-plus saves.


Brandon Lyon, RP, Houston Astros
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

WSVIPHERBBKERAWHIP
10151786114.801.53

Astros brought him in to be steady, low-downside alternative to Matt Lindstrom. Indicators say Brandon Lyon is not all that safe, just pretty lucky. Sub-2.00 K/BB will bite harder than it did in 2009; hit rate against was impossibly good. A rude awakening seems in store. Good news: Few are particularly eager to buy. Not a very hopeful when-all-else-fails target, though.


Leo Nunez, RP, Florida Marlins
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

WSVIPHERBBKERAWHIP
2045432115354.201.29

Leo Nunez's big rebound in K's is all first-half. Post-break, corrected control issues from same stretch, though. Homer rate inflated, but signs don't point to significant improvement - 2008 was a fluke. Nunez has been lowering his BABIP baseline, but .251 isn't happening again. Doesn't have long-term closer skills or makeup. He's keeping the seat warm; draft accordingly.


Rafael Betancourt, RP, Colorado Rockies
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

WSVIPHERBBKERAWHIP
00000000.000.00

A new home and increased velocity helped Rafael Betancourt return to his 2007 form. The righty is the best backup saves option behind closer Huston Street, but this situation is stable. Betancourt can be rented during mixed seasons but is a bigger help to NL-only drafters and leagues that value setup men.


Ryan Madson, RP, Philadelphia Phillies
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

WSVIPHERBBKERAWHIP
203028129303.601.23

Dominance bloomed in '09, when Ryan Madson also proved he could save games frequently. Two-year pattern shows control growth settling in. Vet probably doesn't have much more upside skill-wise, but with Brad Lidge battling knee problems, Madson stands as a top-flight saves speculation commodity.


Luke Gregerson, RP, San Diego Padres
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

WSVIPHERBBKERAWHIP
4365592319583.181.20

Luke Gregerson's closer-type skills became prominent part of 'pen last season. Possibility of a Heath Bell trade makes Gregerson an intriguing speculation. At base level, Gregerson is a valuable LIMA reliever in mixed leagues.


Takashi Saito, RP, Atlanta Braves
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

WSVIPHERBBKERAWHIP
00000000.000.00

Takashi Saito might be good for spot save chances and is (sort of) insurance for Billy Wagner. But Saito returned from his own elbow issues. Control wasn't a problem before but didn't improve afterward. Moved toward old groundball rate as year progressed, but flyball jump is concerning. Upside mostly because of potential for opportunity. Don't acquire banking on LIMA contributions.