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Updated First Base Rankings - 2018 Fantasy Baseball


Welcome back RotoBallers. With the MLB season just a few short weeks a way, it's time to update our rankings and analysis to account for injuries, free agent signings, spring training risers/fallers and more. We kick off our updated March rankings today with the first base position.

Harris breaks down each tier and provides analysis for which players might be overvalued or undervalued in fantasy baseball drafts. The position is very strong at the top and provides incredible depth, particularly in the power department. Many of the names remain the same, but some of the regulars have fallen and been replaced with younger talent. Let's take a look.

Don't forget to bookmark our famous Rankings Wizard where you can see all of our rankings for mixed leagues, points leagues, AL/NL only leagues, dynasty leagues, top 2018 prospects, dynasty prospects and more. You will also find our tiers, auction values, player news, stats, projections and more. You can easily download everything - oh, and it's all free! We hope you enjoy...

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2018 Fantasy Baseball Tiered Rankings: First Base (March)

Ranking Tier Player Position Auction $
1 1 Paul Goldschmidt 1B 41
2 1 Joey Votto 1B 37
3 1 Freddie Freeman 1B/3B 36
4 2 Anthony Rizzo 1B/2B 31
5 2 Cody Bellinger 1B/OF 30
6 3 Jose Abreu 1B 27
7 3 Edwin Encarnacion 1B 25
8 3 Rhys Hoskins 1B/OF 23
9 3 Wil Myers 1B 19
10 4 Buster Posey C/1B 18
11 4 Miguel Cabrera 1B 16
12 4 Eric Hosmer 1B 16
13 4 Ryan Zimmerman 1B 15
14 4 Justin Smoak 1B 14
15 4 Matt Olson OF/1B 13
16 4 Matt Carpenter 1B/2B/3B 12
17 4 Carlos Santana 1B 12
18 4 Ian Desmond OF/1B 11
19 4 Greg Bird 1B 10
20 5 Justin Bour 1B 9
20 5 Josh Bell 1B 9
21 5 Joey Gallo 3B/1B/OF 9
22 5 Jay Bruce OF/1B 8
23 5 Chris Davis 1B 8
24 5 Marwin Gonzalez 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF 7
25 5 Hanley Ramirez 1B 5
26 5 Eric Thames 1B/OF 4
27 6 Ryan McMahon 1B/3B 4
28 6 Trey Mancini 1B/OF 3
29 6 Yulieski Gurriel 1B 3
31 6 Logan Morrison 1B 2
32 6 Kendrys Morales 1B 2
33 6 Albert Pujols 1B 2
34 6 Yonder Alonso 1B 2
35 6 Ryon Healy 3B/1B 2
36 6 Brandon Belt 1B/OF 1
37 7 C.J. Cron 1B 1
38 7 Jedd Gyorko 1B/3B 1
39 7 Victor Martinez 1B 1
40 7 Colin Moran 3B/1B 1
41 7 Jose Martinez OF/1B 1
42 7 Mark Reynolds 1B 1
43 7 Adrian Gonzalez 1B 1
44 7 Lucas Duda 1B 1
45 7 Mike Napoli 1B 1
46 8 Mitch Moreland 1B 1
47 8 Joe Mauer 1B 1
48 8 Matt Holliday 1B/OF 1
49 8 Kennys Vargas 1B 1
50 8 Matt Adams 1B 1
51 8 Tommy Joseph 1B 1
52 8 Wilmer Flores 1B/3B 1
53 8 Jake Bauers 1B/OF 1
54 8 Dominic Smith 1B 1

 
 
Tier 1
The cream of the crop. All three guys -- Paul Goldschmidt, Joey Votto, Freddie Freeman -- should post something in the realm of 30/100/100 with a .300/.400/.500 slash line. Goldschmidt could lose some power with the new humidor in Chase Field, but he holds onto the top spot as a result of his 20-steal ability.

Tier 2

Anthony Rizzo is one of the safest fantasy options, with at least 30 HR and a .380 OBP in each of the last four years. Cody Bellinger broke out in his 2017 rookie campaign, and while he may not improve upon his 39 home runs, he should be able to remain in that range while bolstering his rate stats as he cuts down on his strikeouts. All six of the rankers agree that both players should be drafted within the top 30.

Tier 3

Three durable guys with 30-homer power in Jose Abreu, Edwin Encarnacion and Wil Myers. Myers may not put up the runs and RBI totals of the other two, but he brings solid value in stolen bases. Rhys Hoskins doesn’t have quite the same track record, but he provided fantasy owners with a glimpse of something special late in 2017, smashing 18 bombs over just 212 plate appearances. There’s not a whole lot of disparity in the rankings of these players, and all four should finish the season firmly in the top-15 first basemen.

Tier 4

Ignore Buster Posey here. You’re not drafting him to be your first baseman. Just don’t do it. End of story. Similarly, if Ian Desmond doesn’t bring his fly ball rate back up around 30 percent (20.6 percent last season), he won’t serve as a viable first base option, and should be limited to an outfield slot.

In the rest of the tier, you’ll find a couple of OBP machines in Carlos Santana and Matt Carpenter, and two young sluggers with limitless power in Matt Olson and Greg Bird. Then you have two veterans in Ryan Zimmerman and Justin Smoak who revitalized their respective careers with monster 2017 campaigns. Both come with a regression warning, but they should still produce at a decently high level. Additionally, new San Diego Padre Eric Hosmer has proven he’s capable of contributing despite the frustratingly groundball-heavy batted ball profile, and is deserving of selection in the first seven or eight rounds.

Miguel Cabrera is one of the more polarizing players on our list. His batted ball profile is encouraging, but he is coming off a season in which he slashed just .249/.329/.399 with 16 HR-- mostly due to a nagging back injury. Clearly, four of our rankers believe there’s reason for optimism, but I’m skeptical he can remain healthy, and wouldn’t spend a top-100 pick on the future Hall of Famer.

Tier 5

Josh Bell and Justin Bour have 30-HR potential and decent on-base skills, but both players saw their respective teams get dismantled and could have a tough time racking up runs and RBI.

Joey Gallo is what he is -- a low-average hitter with a ton of power -- and there will be fantasy owners who can look past his flaws, and others who are unwilling to invest in a guy who will likely hurt them in AVG or OBP. Jay Bruce is similar in the sense that his rate stats will be suboptimal, but at least he has a history of driving in runs to go along with 35-HR pop.

Bill still believes in Hanley Ramirez, despite an obvious decline in skills and the fact that he is technically out of a starting role in Boston. In an era where power is anything but at a premium, Chris Davis and his .215/.309/.423 slash line just don’t cut it. He’d need to revert back to his 40 HR days in order to make a real impact. Eric Thames slashed .225/.334/.447 with 20 HR from April 28 through the end of the season. That’s probably roughly what his 2018 stat line will look like, and I’ll be staying away-- especially with the possibility of losing playing time to Ryan Braun.

Marwin Gonzalez falls under the Posey category-- he’s much better off in literally any other roster spot.

Tier 6

This is where we really start to drop off. Albert Pujols can still hit 25 HR and drive in a bunch of runs, but his OBP is unlikely to scrape .300. Ryan McMahon is appealing given his power potential and home field, but he is a completely unproven commodity-- only four of our six experts have ranked him as of our last update.

Trey Mancini, Logan Morrison, Yonder Alonso and Ryon Healy all have starting jobs and should all hit between 25-30 HR with respectable rate stats. These guys are basically interchangeable and likely won’t finish as top-12 first basemen, but any of them can help you late in drafts. Concussions have derailed Brandon Belt’s career a bit, but he still possesses strong on-base skills and tied his career high in homers despite playing just 104 games. Bill believes the Giants’ first baseman is in for a big year. Finally, Yulieski Gurriel would have been higher on the list had it not been for a hand injury, and is a risky draft day selection as a result.

Tier 7

Two guys stick out to me here-- C.J Cron and Lucas Duda found secure jobs in the later part of the offseason, and both could smash 30 homers with a full slate of at-bats. Both should be useful in deeper formats. Beyond that, there’s not much to take notice of in this tier. Jedd Gyorko, Colin Moran and Jose Martinez are better off used in other positions; injuries and the aging process have rendered Victor Martinez and Adrian Gonzalez undraftable in standard leagues; and Mike Napoli, who is coming off a .193 batting average and could only find a minor league deal this offseason, shouldn’t be on any radars, either. Mark Reynolds is still without a job, and wouldn’t hold any value unless he lands back in Colorado-- which seems very unlikely at this point.

Tier 8

Of this group, only Joe Mauer is expected to see consistent at-bats, and he provides next to nothing in the power or speed departments. Mitch Moreland is likely to split time with Hanley Ramirez, while Tommy Joseph, Kennys Vargas and Matt Adams will hold down backup roles. Dominic Smith is set to begin the year in Triple-A, Wilmer Flores will remain in a super utility role, and Matt Holliday is currently jobless.

 

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