Fantasy Baseball: Outfield Rankings – Points

The outfield rankings finish off my early look at points leagues with perhaps the best position of the lot. Most points leagues start three outfielders and there are 50 outfielders in this article alone who are all worth drafting. In shallow outfield leagues there is real reason to chase other (more scarce) positions earlier and take a punt on players lower down the rankings who offer decent safety. However, I would still want to anchor my team with one of the number one’s to ensure I had a decent lynch pin to hold down my outfield, and then take some gambles later in the draft.

All of the early debate entering this season has been Trout or Harper as the number one outfielder, and really my answer is to take Goldschmidt if I think I can get a number one outfielder on the way back around in the second round.

This year my hitter rankings and tiers will be based off my own projections, which I have produced this year and they are the only projections I will be using during my drafts (I also use ADP for the site I am drafting on to help make decisions).

Each position will not only be ranked, but will be split into tiers as if I was drafting tomorrow. If you haven’t used tiers before it is a very helpful way of looking at how talent pools at that position and whether it is worth drafting a player right at the spot you are considering him. My general rule of thumb is I don’t want to take the first guy from a tier if I can avoid it (Unless there is only one guy in said tier!).

C

1B

2B 3B SS OF SP

RP

 

The Untouchables

  1. Mike Trout, LAA
  2. Bryce Harper, WSH

There isn’t much to say about this pair other than they are just a pair of absolute fantasy monsters, and in points league’s no one can even come close. I have these two dead even on points per plate appearance (PPPA), but Trout just sneaks my number one spot based on the fact I just feel he is the safer option to play 150-plus games. Harper has just a tad more power than Trout and actually plays in a better line-up but his injury history is a little scarier. I am not upset either way if I end up with one of these guys.

The Elite

  1. Andrew McCutchen, PIT
  2. Jose Bautista, TOR
  3. Giancarlo Stanton, MIA

This tier is a very nice tier but each have their aspects that keeps them separate from the guys above. McCutchen sneaks my number three spot over the more powerful pair behind him. Much like Trout, he’s the safest of this tier and is a guy I can draft reasonably expecting 150-plus games, but he doesn’t offer enough steals to make up for the power he lacks compared to Trout and Harper. Bautista has the power and the plate discipline you want from an elite option, but he isn’t far removed from a dodgy injury history which has its concerns in an aging player. Stanton is the most powerful outfield option available but his injury history is a big drawback preventing me from putting him any higher.

The Potential Elite

  1. Mookie Betts, BOS
  2. J Pollock, ARI

This is my pair that I can see joining the tier above by the end of the year. Neither offers much power but they both offer 25-plus steals potential and a low enough strikeout rate to separate them from the other number one starters. Where they bat in the line-up will determine their end of season value due to the number of runs and RBI they are able to put up. The number two spot would be the perfect position for both guys.

The Safe Number One Starters

  1. Adam Jones, BAL
  2. Ryan Braun, MIL
  3. Charlie Blackmon, COL
  4. Starling Marte, PIT
  5. Nelson Cruz, SEA
  6. Jason Heyward, ChC

An interesting mix of a group here that will all contribute highly in fantasy, and frankly, it is personal choice who you want. Jones isn’t the elite option he once was but he still offers power in a hitter friendly park. Braun is someone who just seems criminally underrated for me; he is still a quality player and is a legitimate 20/20-plus guy with added peripheral’s that will make him a top 10 outfielder in points. Blackmon’s value could plummet if he is traded as I am not sure how his power will translate outside of Colorado. It already isn’t great and if he loses a bit then he would slip into the number two options. In Colorado, however, he can be a top 10 option who can offer value across the board. Marte is another guy who doesn’t have huge power but his all-around skill set make him ideal for points leagues as a number one option. Cruz is the power bat here but his value is dampened by the slumps that he can go through where his strikeouts can rise. Heyward is the name I snuck on the bottom of the tier because I really feel in the Cubs line-up he can put up monster numbers that could see him end the season a top 10 option.

The Potential Number One’s

Can Springer cut down on the strikeouts and become a points league stud?

Can Springer cut down on the strikeouts and become a points league stud?

  1. Justin Upton, FA
  2. Carlos Gomez, HOU
  3. George Springer, HOU
  4. J.D Martinez, DET
  5. Corey Dickerson, COL

This group all have monster upsides that could see them end the season as top 10 options, but also have some flaws which could see them outside the top 20. Upton’s value is very much hinged to where he signs; at this point, if he lands somewhere power friendly, he has really nice upside. However, strikeouts and a bad spot are the potential downsides here. Gomez entered last season with a lot of buzz and is now entering this season with what seems like no buzz at all. He is a decent power/speed option with good peripherals but the strikeouts are a concern. Springer has 20/20-plus upside, much like Braun, but his plate discipline is frightening. Martinez gets to play in a great line-up and has power to boot. However, he strikeouts plenty and he suffer a little batting 5th. It would be nice if he could creep above V-Mart into 4th this year and get the runs boost that would bring whilst also not sacrificing his RBI’s. Dickerson enteres last year above Blackmon in most people’s rankings but injuries hampered him and this is why he is outside my top 15 entering the season.

The Safe Number Two Starter

  1. Matt Holliday, StL
  2. Yasiel Puig, LAD
  3. Jacoby Ellsbury, NYY
  4. Carlos Gonzalez, COL
  5. Yoenis Cespedes, NYM
  6. Gregory Polanco, PIT
  7. Chris Davis, BAL

No one in this group really gets me excited, but they are all solid guys who I can trust to put up decent numbers and be useful players. Holliday had a down year last season but he is a real all-rounder and that makes him perfect as a low end number two guy. Puig has a lot of upside but there is a lot of concern as well. I debated putting him in the tier above but just held off as I think his personality concerns add enough to put him at 20. Ellsbury is another nice all-rounder with everything but power. He has a few injury concerns as well, and therefore slipped just outside my top 20. I view CarGo with permanent apprehension, even when he is playing well I just expect him to break at any point and struggle. Add in some poor plate discipline and a player with the upside fit for the tier above, but getting there is virtually impossible. Cespedes would get a decent bump if the Baltimore rumours are true and would sneak into the top 20. He is another all-rounder who has a high floor and is a safe bet in points leagues if he lands in a decent situation. Polanco has 15-ish homer power with 30-plus steals to go with all around hitting. He strikes out a little too much for his power for me to put him any higher than this. Davis was in the #3 tier before his signing with Baltimore over the weekend. Returning to Baltimore means Davis keeps his 40-plus homer potential, which is enough to counter his strikeouts and make him a number two option (although you are more likely to use him at first base).

The Big Question Mark

  1. Michael Brantley, CLE
Can Brantley come back from injury early or is doomed to be a fantasy disappointment?

Can Brantley come back from injury early or is doomed to be a fantasy disappointment?

Brantley gets his own tier because he has top 10 upside but the lack of news over when he will return deflates his value in redraft leagues. In the number three outfield range is a safe place to draft him in a points league where many play with just three outfielders per team and there are decent options available on the waiver wire.

The Number Three’s

  1. Lorenzo Cain, KC
  2. Adam Eaton, CWS
  3. Hanley Ramirez, BOS
  4. Ben Revere, WSH

This group isn’t exciting enough to slip above Brantley’s potential but are safe enough to sit above the next tier. Cain is a 30-ish steals guy with 10-ish homers power who bats in the middle of a decent if underwhelming line-up on paper. Eaton’s value comes from the fact he should see a ton of plate appearances more than what he will actually do with those plate appearances but volume is a big safety blanket in points leagues. Ramirez had a tough year last season but he is rumoured to be changing position which should allow him to focus on his hitting and increase his playing time. Revere was borderline top 20 for me until he was trading to Washington. The line-up is a big reduction and there is even talk of a potential splitting of time with Taylor.

The Borderline Number Three’s

 

  1. Josh Reddick, OAK
  2. Brett Gardner, NYY
  3. Christian Yelich, MIA
  4. Ben Zobrist, ChC
  5. Delino DeShields, TEX
  6. Nori Aoki, SEA
  7. Matt Kemp, SD
  8. Melky Cabrera, CWS
  9. Wil Myers, SD
  10. Kole Calhoun, LAA
  11. Shin-Soo Choo, TEX

This is a fairly large tier and I am just going to pick out the main talking points from it. The whole group offer decent upside but also have enough safety to be number three starters in points leagues. Reddick surprised me a little being this high but he doesn’t strikeout much and he is a decent talent who should put up consistent points. DeShields has the opportunity to bat atop the Rangers line-up all season and he has enough speed to make him an exciting fantasy option given the volume of plate appearances he could get. Aoki is slated to bat atop the Seattle line-up and is to an extent a lesser version of Eaton in fantasy who has good value through volume. Myers is my fantasy darling this year who I think can put his talent together with a healthy year to play regularly whilst batting in the top third of his line-up.

The Massively Underrated

  1. Denard Span, SF
  2. Ender Inciarte, ATL

I really like the potential of this pair who will bat atop their orders. Span loses some value moving from Washington to San Francisco but the perception is that he has lost more value than he actually has meaning he has become something of a bargain in drafts. Batting atop the Atlanta line-up is nothing exciting for Inciarte compared to line-up he had behind him in Arizona. However, he is now a full time player in Atlanta so he should be able to put up useful stats with plenty of plate appearances.

The Unexciting Names

Can Billy Hamilton hit well enough to be relevant in the points format?

Can Billy Hamilton hit well enough to be relevant in the points format?

  1. Billy Hamilton, CIN
  2. Jay Bruce, CIN
  3. Hunter Pence, SF
  4. Carlos Beltran, NYY
  5. Alex Gordon, KC
  6. Curtis Granderson, NYM
  7. Nick Markakis, ATL

This group are well known names in fantasy baseball but are relatively unexciting for me entering this year. Hamilton has speed to burn but his value is all in roto baseball. Batting 8th is a massive issue and Hamilton still hasn’t managed to hit consistently. Bruce has power to burn but he strikes out a ton as well which hampers his value hugely in this format. Pence has a ton of upside but he is ageing and the Giants are bringing in fresh blood to bat in the main holes of the line-up pushing him down towards the bottom half. Beltran is ageing and his value is decreasing year after year. Gordon would have top 30 potential if the Royals would consistently bat him in the top half of the line-up rather than 6th. Granderson get the boost of batting a top the Mets line-up but his talents are more suited to roto than points. Markakis will bat second in the Atlanta line-up but it is an underwhelming group and there is a chance he could get flipped somewhere will he will be batting lower during the season.

 

https://twitter.com/FPL_brolfe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>