1. Brian Wilson – Wilson last year lead MLB with 48 saves. The Giants have a very good rotation, and I don’t believe their offense is going to blow teams away, so he should get a lot of save ops this season. Wilson seems to go through rough patches during the season, but as a whole he has been a solid reliever for the past 3 season with 41, and 38 saves in ’08 and ’09.
2. Jonathan Papelbon – Papelbon had a rough season with 3.90 ERA, 8 BS and 7 loses. He still ended up with 37 saves. If he bounces back a little he could have another big season.
3. Neftali Feliz – This rookie had a very nice season taking over the closing duties for the Rangers. He had 71 k in 69.1 inn and that could get even better. At this point it is still possible that they move him to the rotation, but if he is back as the teams closer he should have a very nice season of around 40 saves and 90+ Ks.
4. Heath Bell – Heath had another nice season last year, and pointed out as the top fantasy reliever with 705 points. Pitching in PETCO most likely helped his numbers with only giving up 1 HR in his 70 innings pitched. Bell should have another nice season, with maybe between 35-40 saves. I believe SD as a team will take a step back this year after trading away Adrian Gonzalez to Boston this offseason.
5. Joakim Soria – Joakim is a very good closer on a very bad team, but bad teams still win about 60 games, and they don’t win them by a lot. Soria should have another nice season despite the terrible Royals. Last year he set a career high 43 saves, and he should be able to be close to that again this season.If he gets traded to a good team and stays the closer he could have a great season.
6. Carlos Marmol – Marmol finally got the job as the Cubs closer last year. He recorded 38 saves with 138 K in 77.2 IP. With a fantastic 16 K/9 rate Marmol has a great skills, but he could use some improvement as he also walked 52 batters last year. I like that Marmol with some improvement in his control could be an elite closer.
7. Jose Valverde – Papa Grande had a great first half last year. Before the all-star game he had a line of 0.92ERA, 19 saves. His post all star break was not very good, 6.38 ERA 7 saves. I believe with the improvements the Tigers have made to the offense in the offseason, he should be able to get over 30 saves this year.
8. Mariano Rivera – Probably the best closer ever, at 40 years old Mo is not as unhittable as he once was. Last year he had 5 blown saves which is more than any of the previous 5 seasons. He should still get over 30 saves and be a solid closer for any fantasy team.
9. John Axord – Axford had a nice season last year for the Brewers getting 24 saves. He scored 455 points last year and with the retirement of Trevor Hoffman he is the teams undisputied closer coming into 2011. The Brewers have added Grienke in the offseason which will help the starting rotation.
10. Brad Lidge – Lidge has what could be one of the greatest rotations of all time in front of him, and a very good offense as well. He should be in line for a lot of save ops. He can be a scary closer for your fantasy team, after going 41-0 in save ops in 08, he blew 11 saves in 09. Last season he had 27 saves with 5 blown saves. He could have a very good season with this team.
1. Tim Lincecum
2. Johan Santana
3. Roy Halladay
4. CC Sabathia
6. Chris Carpenter
7. Dan Haren
8. Felix Hernandez
9. Adam Wainwright
10. Justin Verlander
RB Justin Forsett, Seahawks: Julius Jones is out with a bruised lung . He’s doubtful for Week 11 and could miss a few games. Forsett can get some decent stats as the main back for Seattle. Along with his running ability, he’s also a nice receiving option out of the backfield.
RB Bernard Scott, Bengals: With Cedric Benson possibly out this weekend, Scott could be in line to be the starting back in Cincy. If you are hurting for a 2nd or 3rd starter you could do worse.
WR Jason Avant, Eagles: Last weel Avant set career marks with 8 catches for 156 yards. He still isn’t one of the main targets on offense but could be in line for more chances after last weeks performance.
These are the Top 10 pitchers for 2009 based on fantasy point scoring.
1. Zack Greinke 799 points 16 W | 2.16 ERA |220 IP | 1.073 WHIP | 220 Ks
If you would have said Greinke would be the top pitcher before the start of the year most people would have said who? Sure fantasy players knew his name, and he had a decent season the year before, but nobody would have predicted numbers like this.
2. Roy Halladay 779 points
The “Doc” is consistent as ever. You can pretty much count on him for 700+ points, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on a new team next season.
3. Tim Lincecum 775 points
Three straight years of improvement in WHIP, hit rate, walk rate and homer rate… now should be thought of as the #1 pitcher in fantasy baseball.
4. Justin Verlander 765 points
A nice bounce back season for Verlander. He has some of the best stuff in baseball, and should be able to have many more seasons like this.
5. Felix Hernandez 754 points
King Felix finally delivered on the promise of his talent. Finishes 2nd in the Cy-Young voting after a very nice season for the M’s
6. (tie) Javier Vazquez 706 points
6. (tie) Adam Wainwright 706 points
Wainwright had a very nice season. Got off to a slow start, but was pretty much lights out after May 10th.
7. Dan Haren 699 points
Another season and another 2nd half slide. Pre All-Star break Haren had 2.01 ERA, with a .081 WHIP, 8.06 K/BB, and 8.9 K/9. Post all star the stats dipped toa 4.62 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 4.27 K/BB, and 8.5 K/9. Not terrible but not what you expect from Haren. With the K/9 still being above 8 it seems like Haren just wasn’t as sharp with his control.
8. CC Sabathia 693 points
CC is an absolute workhorse. His 230 IP last season are down from his last couple seasons of 252, and 241. He will go out and eat a lot of innings, when he is not eating cheeseburgers.
9. Josh Beckett 663 points
Beckett bounced back from some injuries in 2008 to have another nice season in 2009. He got back above 200 IP, had 199Ks, and 17 Wins. Beckett will be back with the Sox in ’10 as his $12 millon option was vested last season. It’s very possible he puts up some very big numbers this year looking for a big payday.
10. Chris Carpenter 647 points
Comeback player of the year, this guy is healthy and back to his dominant self.
I’m going to kick off this year with my list of top 5 busts of 2009. I’ll list and then explain why I think they are busts for this season
1. Aubrey Huff – Looks at the careers numbers, and when you look at last season and you should hear “One of these things doesn’t go with the others” in your head. Huff has always had skill but has never put together a full season like this. Pretty much the same as Carlos Pena was going into 2008.
2. AJ Burnett – Good pitcher when healthy. But he seems to only stay healthy when he is in a contract year. He just got a big contract from the Yankees, buyer beware.
3. Nate McClouth – Until last year this guy wasn’t even projected to be a starting outfielder. So what gives? Sounds like a career year early in his major league career to me.
4. Melvin Mora – Before last season Mora was on a downward trend, batting .274 in both ‘06 and ‘07 with 16 and 14 HR respectively. Last season he hit .285 with 24HR with 103RBI while striking out less. It’s doubtful being on the wrong side of 35 that he will be able to sustain a jump like that. If I had to guess I’d say more like 18-20 HR and 80 RBI. This isn’t terrible, but I think where he gets drafted this season won’t warrant his production.
5. Cliif Lee – If you pay 22-3 prices for Cliff Lee then he will be a bust for you no doubt. Last year was the career year, and he will come back down. Between 04-06 he had 2 14 win seasons and one 18 win year. I think he’ll be at about 16-17 wins this year.
That’s my list, I would still draft these players at the right postion, but I’m not going to overpay for last years production. Please leave comments of anyone you think may be a bust this year.