Welcome to our 2018 fantasy baseball rankings for closer/relief pitcher. They're largely meaningless, but that doesn't mean they won't be fun to look back on at the end of the season and laugh. OK, that's not true -- they're still must-adds to your draft cheat sheet -- but RP, more than any other position, will frustrate you throughout the year. About two-thirds of teams will change their closer at some point -- be it because of injury or poor performance -- so there are plenty of sleepers and busts to go around.
The "Big 3" of Kenley Jansen, Craig Kimbrel, and Aroldis Chapman will all be drafted fairly high, and Roberto Osuna shouldn't be far behind. After those four, things get more complicated. There's still plenty of talented pitchers who could have huge years, but some mixture of inexperience, job security, or injury worries can't be ignored. Just because we rank Ken Giles fifth doesn't mean you should reach for him in the first five rounds. Hitting and starting pitching is still far more important that high in your draft.
MORE FANTASY BASEBALL: 2018 draft cheat sheet
Of course, the RP spot isn't just about closers. Middle relievers can carry plenty of value even if they never move into a ninth-inning role, and there are always several "next-in-lines" who are one blown save away from taking over closer duties. You can only stash a few of these guys on draft day, but by staying on top of things throughout the year, you can be ahead of the latest developments and demotions.
The list below is divided between relievers expected to open the season as closers and guys expected to open the season as middle relievers. Several teams, including the Diamondbacks, Cardinals, Angels, Orioles, Rangers, A's, Mets, and White Sox, have unsettled/unstable closer situations, which affects the outlooks of the guys projected to close for them. Players such as Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances will almost certainly have more value than at least half of the "closers" on the list below, but depending on your format, it can be tough to roster guys who aren't getting saves.
2018 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Closer/Relief Pitcher
6 Cody Allen Indians
Rankings based on Wins/Saves/Ks/ERA/WHIP. Eligibility based on Yahoo's default settings.
Carl Edwards Jr.