Fantasy Insider: NL RP Rankings

Here are the initial fantasy rankings for the National League relief pitchers, including rotisserie dollar values and projections for 2004. Who are the elite? Who are the sleepers? Who should you stay away from? NYF Club Members can find out right now!

Projections are listed as follows: Wins - Saves - K - ERA - WHIP.  These prices are for regular 5x5 Rotisserie-style leagues with MLB Universe.  Adjust prices upward for AL/NL-only leagues.  All closers listed are the projected closers for their team, in parenthesis are the most likely candidates to take their job at some point in the season.

THE ELITE

1.Eric Gagne LAD $25 
He is simply Eric the Great as this point. What began as an experiment at the beginning of 2002 may have now produced one of the greatest closers in the history of the game. 
Projection: 4- 53- 150- 1.40- 0.70 

2. Billy Wagner PHL $20 
He is slight, but he can throw a baseball through a brick wall. With the new and improved Phillies, save opportunities should be numerous.
Projection: 5-48- 136- 1.65- 1.02 

3. John Smoltz ATL $19 
He missed time at a crucial Fantasy juncture last season…meaning the homestretch. He still is a master, as long as that fragile elbow cooperates.
Projection: 5- 45- 128- 1.80- 1.15 

4. Octavio Dotel HOU $17 
Billy the Kid is gone and now is Octavio's time to shine…and he will
Projection: 8- 40- 142- 2.60- 0.95 

5. Jason Isringhausen STL $17 
Health is always the factor with Izzy. There never seems to be a moment when his owners aren't worrying about him…
Projection: 5- 36- 122- 2.35- 1.07 

THE GOOD 

6. Joe Borowski CHN $15 
He has come a long way, and he will continue to grow with the great Cubs team that has been put together in the Windy City
Projection: 6- 34- 120- 2.50- 1.18 

7. Trevor Hoffman SDP $14 
Trevor has to prove to the world that he is still, well, Trevor Hoffman, following an injury riddled 2003.
Projection: 5- 30- 98- 2.30 – 1.25 

8. Robb Nen SFG $14 
That goes double for Nen…
Projection: 3- 27- 85- 2.50- 1.30 

Benitez: Joining The Champs

9. Armando Benitez FLA $12 
Mando had a forgotten 2003 as he became a traveling man. Postseason woes aside, many forget what a wonderful closer he can be.
Projection: 4- 28- 114- 2.85- 1.24 

10. Matt Mantei ARZ $12 
There's no telling just how many save chances there will be for Matt out in the desert this year. If the body plays its part, he should pick-up those available.
Projection: 7- 27- 110- 2.60- 1.19 

11. Danny Kolb MIL $12 
Has great, great stuff and his baptism in the closer font went quite well last season. A star on the rise.
Projection: 5- 29- 122- 2.41- 1.23 

THE REST 

12. Rocky Biddle MON $10 
Manager Frank Robinson insists he's the man, but his bloated ERA and WHIP, no owner wants.
Projection: 8- 25- 70- 4.15- 1.40 

13. Braden Looper NYM $9 
He's had his ups and downs in a closer's role. The Mets are counting on him to be lights out. It would behoove him not to disappoint the denizens of the Big Apple; they have a lean and hungry look.
Projection: 6- 26- 81- 3.55- 1.37 

14. Shawn Chacon COL $8 
Another starter moving into the closer's role. He has decent stuff, but buyer beware: there is no such thing as a safe thing in that rarified air…
Projection: 9- 25- 115- 3.89- 1.46 

15. Danny Graves CIN $7 
He no longer knows what he is: closer or starter. And with young, talented Ryan Wagner around, he better make up his mind in a hurry.
Projection: 9- 24- 105- 4.48- 1.30 

16. Jose Mesa PIT $5 
It'll probably be Mesa as the closer for the Pirates in the early going, but it probably won't last long. He's running on empty…
Projection: 3-15- 65- 5.50- 1.60 

NOT CLOSING 

17. Ryan Wagner CIN $4 
True, he will still be Graves' caddy, but not for long
Projection: 5- 8- 100-2.48- 1.28 

18. Guillermo Mota LAD $3
He can do a lot of things to help your team. He does his part to keep your ERA and WHIP low.
Projection: 9- 2- 115- 1.87- 1.04 

19. Rheal Cormier PHL $2 
Canadian, just like Gagne, and almost as stingy with baserunners.
Projection: 7- 3- 124- 1.75- 1.10 

20. Tim Worrell PHL $2 
A great, great closer in Nen's absence in 2003, he has decided on a lesser role in Philadelphia. But I'm sure the checks are real.
Projection: 6- 6- 85- 2.50- 1.16 

21. Latroy Hawkins CHN $2
Should Borowski falter at Wrigley, Hawkins will pick up the slack.
Projection: 7- 7- 107- 2.25- 1.23 

22. Juan Acevedo PIT $1 
Walking disaster last season for the Yanks. Has to prove that his 2002 with the Tigers was no fluke. Looks doubtful
Projection: 4 -10- 74- 5.48- 1.56 

MISSING IN ACTION 

23. Ugueth Urbina
Greed might have Urbina pitching in Tokyo before all is said and done.


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