Fantasy Baseball: 1B Rankings (Roto)

(Charles LeClaire-USA Today)

Up next in my roto draft prep series are the 1B rankings. There are currently three first basemen with a first round ADP and 14 being drafted inside the top 100 so it’s certainly a spot that offers plenty of fantasy production. That said the lowers tiers of this group are filled with questions marks, making the selection of potential CI and utility players a very intriguing exercise.

If you saw my catcher preview earlier this week you noticed I’m making some changes to my rankings format this season. Instead of tiered commentary I’ve broken down my analysis into two sections; overall draft approach to the position and thoughts on individual players. Hope you enjoy the new setup and as always I’d love to hear your feedback.
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Note: I’m using Yahoo positional eligibility which tends to be more lenient than most other sites so there’s a chance some players you see here may not actually be 1B eligible in your league.

C | 1B | 2B| 3B | SS | OF | SP | RP

PlayerRankLeagueTeam
Kris Bryant1NLCubs
Paul Goldschmidt2NLD'backs
Anthony Rizzo3NLCubs
Miguel Cabrera4ALTigers
Joey Votto5NLReds
Edwin Encarnacion6ALIndians
Freddie Freeman7NLBraves
Daniel Murphy8NLNationals
Ian Desmond9NLRockies
Jose Abreu10ALWhite Sox
Wil Myers11NLPadres
Matt Carpenter12NLCardinals
Chris Davis13ALOrioles
Hanley Ramirez14ALRed Sox
Todd Frazier15ALWhite Sox
Eric Hosmer16ALRoyals
Carlos Santana17ALIndians
Albert Pujols18ALAngels
Victor Martinez19ALTigers
Kendrys Morales20ALBlue Jays
Adrian Gonzalez21NLDodgers
Brandon Belt22NLGiants
Mike Napoli23ALRangers
Brad Miller24ALRays
Tommy Joseph25NLPhillies
Justin Bour26NLMarlins
Eric Thames27NLBrewers
Greg Bird28ALYankees
Travis Shaw29NLBrewers
Lucas Duda30NLMets
Matt Holliday31ALYankees
Brandon Moss32ALRoyals
Mitch Moreland33ALRed Sox
C.J. Cron34ALAngels
Jedd Gyorko35NLCardinals
Kennys Vargas36ALTwins
Josh Bell37NLPirates
Danny Valencia38ALMariners
Chris Carter39ALYankees
Steve Pearce40ALBlue Jays

Positional Strategy

  • If possible I really want to grab one of the top six guys. This works best if you have a mid to late pick where you can grab one of the elite 3B in the first and then either Miguel Cabrera, Joey Votto or Edwin Encarnacion on the way back.
  • Given how it has been historically difficult for first basemen to sustain steal totals over multiple years, I’m downgrading my speed expectations for both Ian Desmond and Wil Myers.
    • Now my ranking of each still projects them to swipe at least 12-15 bags, but the larger point is that drafting either won’t affect how I approach the category later in the draft.
  • Hanley is the last player I would feel comfortable with as my starting 1B. The Carlos Santana, Albert Pujols, Kendry Morales group is much better suited as an option for your utility spot and beyond that things start to get really messy.
  • With the exception of a few guys, everyone outside the top 20 is essentially in a platoon role and thus has playing time questions.
    • This actually presents some great value in daily leagues, but in weekly formats I’m leaning towards looking at 3B to fill my CI spot.

Player Notes

  • I touched on Hanley Ramirez earlier and he’s quickly becoming one of my main targets in drafts.
    • Health has always been a bigger concern than performance for him and that should no longer be an issue given his new DH role.
    • Last year’s huge second half showed he still has plenty of power potential and that along with Boston’s powerhouse lineup is enough to give him top-5 upside at the position this season.
  • Tommy Joseph and Justin Bour are decent power options in deeper leagues and especially in NL-only.
    • Both should get fairly consistent at-bats and 25-30 home runs seem likely.
    • The upside is limited, but the floor should be higher than for most other players in this range.
  • Milwaukee is such a terrific park for left-handed power that it instantly makes Eric Thames and Travis Shaw interesting late round options.
    • Steamer projections absolutely love Thames as their model has him down for 29 home runs and 13 steals.
    • Shaw’s value will depends on his playing time, but even in a platoon role he should approach 20 homers.

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