2010 Fantasy Baseball Relief Pitcher Rankings Outlook: Relief pitchers have the highest turnover rate in fantasy baseball and account for a large percentage of waiver wire activity during the season. Last year only 12 teams had the same closer the entire year, and for this reason many fantasy owners will pay a high price for an elite “low-risk” closer.

Drafting a top-tier closer certainly has its merits, although some fantasy owners question paying such a high price for a one-category position. If you decide to take the “safe” route, Mariano Rivera, Jonathan Broxton, Jonathan Papelbon, and Heath Bell bring very little risk to the table. Remember to look at more than just the saves category when picking a closer. Brian Fuentes was the league-leader with 48 saves last season, but did not help owners in any other categories posting a 3.93 ERA, 1.4 WHIP, and only 46 strikeouts.

Draft-Day Advice: Saves are an unpredictable stat, while talent is more consistent. Look for relief pitchers with a high strikeout rate and low WHIP. In the later rounds, you may actually get better value by selecting top-tier setup men, rather than lower-tier closers.

The following are our 2010 Fantasy Baseball Rankings, which are based on standard 5×5 scoring and take into account projected stats as well as upside and risk. Offensive categories include BA, HRs, Runs, RBIs, and SBs. Pitching categories are Wins, ERA, WHIP, Ks, and Saves. Although several players are eligible at multiple positions, they are listed at the position that they will most likely play the most in 2010. All leagues have different position eligibility requirements so be sure to check your settings before draft day.

2010 Rankings: C | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | OF | SP | RP | Top 150 | PDFicon Cheatsheet

1Mariano Rivera66.1344721.760.90
2Jonathan Broxton767361142.610.96
3Jonathan Papelbon68138761.851.15
4Heath Bell69.2642792.711.12
5Joakim Soria53330692.211.13
6Andrew Bailey83.1626911.840.88
7Carlos Marmol74215933.411.46
8Francisco Rodriguez68335733.711.31
9Jose Valverde54425562.331.13
10Brian Wilson72.1538832.741.20
11Billy Wagner15.210261.721.02
12Francisco Cordero66.2239582.161.32
13Huston Street61.2435703.060.91
14David Aardsma71.1338802.521.16
15Trevor Hoffman54337481.830.91
16Rafael Soriano75.21271022.971.06
17Brian Fuentes55148463.931.40
18Ryan Franklin61438441.921.20
19Mike Gonzalez74.1510902.421.20
20Brad Lidge58.2031617.211.81
21Bobby Jenks53.1329493.711.28
22Frank Francisco49.1225573.831.11
23Chad Qualls52224453.631.15
24Octavio Dotel62.130753.321.44
25Brandon Lyon78.263572.861.11
26Matt Capps54.1427465.801.66
27Kerry Wood55320634.251.38
28Leo Nunez68.2426604.061.25
29Kevin Gregg / Frasor68.2523714.721.31
30Matt Thornton72.164872.741.08

If you have any questions for our fantasy experts, or you’re ready to start talking some baseball, sign up to join our free Fantasy Sports Forum.