First Base: Points Leagues Rankings and Tiers

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Welcome to this series of analyzing our site’s points league rankings, compiled by myself and Kyle Bishop. We’re good people, you should get to know us. Today we're taking a look at our tiered first base rankings for points leagues.

Points leagues abide by different rules, with walks and strikeouts usually being of notable importance compared to typical 5x5 leagues. It’s not as simple as that of course, but we’ll go off of ESPN’s default model. For hitters, it's one point per Total Base, Run Scored, Stolen Base, Walk and RBI, with a point deducted per strikeout. We looked at catchers first, and now we're off to first base.

Editor's note: Be sure to also check out our 2017 fantasy baseball rankings dashboard. It's already loaded up with tons of great rankings articles and draft analysis. Aside from our tiered staff rankings for every position, we also go deep on MLB prospect rankings, impact rookies for 2017, and dynasty/keeper rankings as well. Bookmark the page, and win your drafts.

 

2017 Fantasy Baseball Points Rankings: First Base

Ranking Tier Player Name Pos Nick Kyle Composite Rank
6 1 Paul Goldschmidt 1B 7 5 6
11 1 Miguel Cabrera 1B 13 11 12
13 1 Anthony Rizzo 1B 15 12 13.5
22 1 Joey Votto 1B 18 25 21.5
32 2 Freddie Freeman 1B 34 34 34
35 2 Edwin Encarnacion 1B 38 36 37
52 3 Hanley Ramirez 1B 52 54 53
54 3 Jose Abreu 1B 51 57 54
58 3 Matt Carpenter 1B/2B/3B 61 52 56.5
59 3 Wil Myers 1B 49 68 58.5
67 4 Chris Davis 1B 77 66 71.5
97 4 Carlos Santana 1B 69 117 93
113 4 Adrian Gonzalez 1B 118 118 118
123 4 Eric Hosmer 1B 119 138 128.5
126 4 Albert Pujols 1B 145 116 130.5
136 4 Victor Martinez 1B 132 144 138
160 5 Brandon Belt 1B 115 207 161
171 5 Greg Bird 1B 201 150 175.5
191 5 Kendrys Morales 1B 172 221 196.5
209 5 Matt Holliday 1B/OF 182 236 209
212 5 Justin Bour 1B 223 206 214.5
214 5 Tommy Joseph 1B 215 219 217
221 5 Mike Napoli 1B 232 217 224.5
236 6 Chris Carter 1B 231 255 243
239 6 Lucas Duda 1B 273 216 244.5
266 6 C.J. Cron 1B 284 258 271
284 6 Joshua Bell 1B/OF 282 299 290.5
297 6 Eric Thames 1B 291 317 304
309 6 Mitch Moreland 1B 256 375 315.5
324 6 Danny Valencia 1B/3B/OF 358 297 327.5
332 6 Steve Pearce 1B/2B/OF 300 372 336
339 7 Jefry Marte 1B/OF 362 318 340
352 7 Ryan Zimmerman 1B 309 399 354
370 7 Joe Mauer 1B 363 373 368
377 7 Adam Lind 1B 364 389 376.5
388 7 Matt Adams 1B 370 408 389
399 7 Travis Shaw 1B/3B 386 411 398.5
401 7 Wilmer Flores 1B/3B 414 395 404.5
407 7 A.J. Reed 1B 376 446 411
416 7 Dan Vogelbach 1B 375 455 415
420 7 Byung-ho Park 1B 459 377 418
429 7 Kennys Vargas 1B 389 477 433
439 7 David Freese 1B/3B 390 496 443
447 7 Luis Valbuena 1B/3B 488 412 450
452 7 Logan Morrison 1B 483 424 453.5

 

First Base Points Rankings Analysis: The Tiers

Tier One

None of these guys are going to let you down, as you have the five-category stud Paul Goldschmidt, the ever-consistent Miguel Cabrera and the prime-aged Anthony Rizzo. Goldy’s “down year” still yielded an extremely valuable season. Cabrera is only 34 and his skill set is allowing him to age very gracefully, so I’m not expecting any decline. Rizzo is in that cherished age-27 season while hitting smack dab in the middle of one of baseball’s most potent lineups.

Tier Two

Freddie Freeman and Edwin Encarnacion are just a hair below those bats in Tier One, but no one should ever feel bad having to “settle” for them. Freeman’s stock is a hot topic as people wonder whether last season is largely replicable, which this writer certainly does. Meanwhile, Encarnacion may not get to enjoy his parrot trots in Rogers Centre anymore, but Cleveland will treat him just fine. Only one of his homers last season wouldn’t have left the yard at Progressive Field, and he had 20 “no doubt” homers according to HitTrackerOnline. Second place had 15. Rest assured, he’ll be his usual self.

Tier Three

Hanley Ramirez, Jose Abreu, Matt Carpenter and Wil Myers are all capable of turning in powerful seasons alongside strong floors. Carp has the lowest ceiling here, but also offers a unique blend of positional versatility with his now-proven pop. Ramirez will look to fill Big Papi’s shoes, a task he appears up to after blasting 22 second-half homers last season. Sustained health is quite the weapon.

Wil Myers could also speak on that, as he turned his first full season into a wild 28/28 campaign. The steals are tough to bank on (just ask Anthony Rizzo), but the bat skills are definitely there. Jose Abreu bounced back from his first-half struggles last season and still posted his third-straight season of at least 25 homers, 100 RBI and a .290 average. He also brought his strikeout rate down from 21% to 18%, which points-leaguers can appreciate.

Tier Four

This one brings some volatility, which is the nature of tiers, I suppose. This is evidenced pretty handily by me and Kyle being so far apart on Carlos Santana. Santana’s solid 2016 was backed by steady metrics that saw him hit more like he did in 2015 – with more power – only his batted-ball rates were just a tad better. Mix in his ever-impressive walk rate and a reduced strikeout rate (18.3% to 14.4%), and you’ve got someone I want in points formats.

How about Victor Martinez? Some formats still support him as a first baseman (he started five games there in ’16), and since we’re not doing a DH piece we’ll include him here anyway. According to FantasyPros average ADP, he’s currently going off the board as the 1B25 at No. 217. This is egregious, but also makes for dynamite value. His first half was strong (.305/.353/.514) and then he battled through a hernia in a still-useful second half. He has 25 homer potential with a solid average in a plus-lineup spot. Mix in a strikeout rate that should sit between 11-14% and you’ve got a solid bargain!

Tier Five

It’s no secret that I enjoy targeting Kendrys Morales and Matt Holliday from my other writings, as both veterans find themselves in some truly hitter-friendly situations. Both still have plenty offer with their bat, and I expect Holliday’s walk rate to rebound to its usual double-digit percentage after he had to press a bit through injury last season.

Justin Bour becomes somewhat intriguing due to his no longer platooning, though this may end up burning those in points leagues disproportionately if he can’t conquer his southpaw woes (36 Ks in 110 PAs). I’d rather gamble on Tommy Joseph, who looked respectable against both LHP and RHP to the tune of 21 homers in only 347 PAs in his rookie season.

The Rest of the Field

Lucas Duda makes for an intriguing late-round flier with his 11.3% career walk rate and a swinging-strike rate that has decreased in each year since 2013, but don’t make him your starter. If so, perhaps you can pair with him with another bat that houses some sneaky value. No, we’re not talking about preseason darling Eric Thames. We’re talking about Steve Pearce.

Blue Jays’ reporter Shi Davidi reported that Pearce was now Toronto’s preferred option for left field. Pearce has been mired in platoon duty for years, but may now get a chance at consistent ABs. He has delivered respective ISOs of .204 and .205 in the last two seasons, with a healthy double-digit walk rate and a strikeout rate that should sit below 20%. He’s a real candidate for 25 homers in a powerful Toronto lineup.



2017 Fantasy Baseball Rankings