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Updated Outfielder Rankings (May) - 2018 Fantasy Baseball


We have made it to the end of May in fantasy baseball. Now is the time everyone starts to take a hard look at their roster to make improvements and changes. At Rotoballer we are going to help you out by reshuffling the deck and updating the outfield rankings as a tool in reshaping your squad.

There have been several standouts in the early going who have made a steep climb up the rankings, as well as those who have had a similar fall. Rookies, injuries, and bounce backs have changed the preseason rankings in many ways. I am here to show you who the risers and fallers are, and why. These rankings were made before recent rookies (such as Austin Meadows and Juan Soto) were called up to the majors, so please keep that in mind as you peruse the article. Notes about injuries and missing prospects can be found in the player notes. You can find player analysis for each tier following the rankings chart, That being said, read on! * Rankings/Tiers made by Pierre Camus while Player Analysis was written by Matt Williams.

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 in case you’re curious, it's all free!

Editor's Note: Get our 2020 MLB Premium Pass for 50% off, with exclusive access to our draft kit, premium rankings, player projections and outlooks, our top sleepers, dynasty and prospect rankings, 20 preseason and in-season lineup tools, and over 200 days of expert DFS research and tools. Sign Up Now!

 

2018 Fantasy Baseball Tiered Rankings: Outfield (May)

Staff rankings/tiers by Bill Dubiel, Nick Mariano, Pierre Camus while player analysis was written by Matt Williams

Ranking Tier Player Position
1 1 Mike Trout OF
2 1 Mookie Betts OF
3 1 Bryce Harper OF
4 1 Charlie Blackmon OF
5 1 Aaron Judge OF
6 1 J.D. Martinez OF
7 2 Kris Bryant 3B/OF
8 2 Giancarlo Stanton OF
9 2 Starling Marte OF
10 2 George Springer OF
11 3 Cody Bellinger 1B/OF
12 3 Dee Gordon 2B/OF
13 3 Justin Upton OF
14 3 Tommy Pham OF
15 3 Rhys Hoskins 1B/OF
16 3 Khris Davis OF
17 3 Nelson Cruz OF
18 3 Christian Yelich OF
19 3 Lorenzo Cain OF
20 4 Andrew Benintendi OF
21 4 Marcell Ozuna OF
22 4 Yoenis Cespedes OF
23 4 Ronald Acuna OF
24 4 Mitch Haniger OF
25 4 Ender Inciarte OF
26 4 Nick Castellanos 3B/OF
27 4 Andrew McCutchen OF
28 4 Shohei Ohtani SP/OF
29 5 Ryan Braun OF
30 5 Michael Brantley OF
31 5 Whit Merrifield 2B/OF
32 5 Eddie Rosario OF
33 5 A.J. Pollock OF
34 5 Joey Gallo 3B/1B/OF
35 6 Nomar Mazara OF
36 6 Nick Markakis OF
37 6 Adam Jones OF
38 6 Gregory Polanco OF
39 6 Matt Olson OF/1B
40 6 Corey Dickerson OF
41 6 Jose Martinez OF/1B
42 6 Odubel Herrera OF
43 6 Michael Conforto OF
44 6 Yasiel Puig OF
45 6 Byron Buxton OF
46 6 Brett Gardner OF
47 6 Billy Hamilton OF
48 6 David Peralta OF
49 6 Delino DeShields OF
50 6 Chris Taylor 2B/SS/OF
51 6 Kyle Schwarber OF
52 7 Jay Bruce OF/1B
53 7 Brandon Belt 1B/OF
54 7 Trey Mancini 1B/OF
55 7 Shin-Soo Choo OF
56 7 Adam Duvall OF
57 7 Matt Kemp OF
58 7 Domingo Santana OF
59 8 Scooter Gennett 2B/3B/OF
60 8 Jorge Soler OF
61 8 Kevin Pillar OF
62 8 Stephen Piscotty OF
63 8 Max Kepler OF
64 8 Adam Eaton OF
65 8 Steven Souza OF
66 8 Mallex Smith OF
67 9 Ian Happ 2B/OF
68 9 Teoscar Hernandez OF
69 9 David Dahl OF
70 9 Dexter Fowler OF
71 9 Avisail Garcia OF
72 9 Franchy Cordero OF
73 9 Josh Reddick OF
74 9 Manuel Margot OF
75 9 Eric Thames 1B/OF
76 9 Ian Desmond OF/1B
77 10 Aaron Hicks OF
78 10 Michael Taylor OF
79 10 Leonys Martin OF
80 10 Carlos Gonzalez OF
81 10 Bradley Zimmer OF
82 10 Travis Jankowski OF
83 10 Jason Kipnis 2B/OF
84 10 Scott Schebler OF
85 10 Lewis Brinson OF
86 10 Dustin Fowler OF
87 10 Aaron Altherr OF
88 11 Brandon Drury 3B/OF
89 11 Randal Grichuk OF
90 11 Jose Pirela OF/2B
91 11 Mark Trumbo OF
92 11 Marwin Gonzalez 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF
93 11 Denard Span OF
94 11 Jackie Bradley OF
95 11 Mac Williamson OF
96 11 Jesse Winker OF
97 11 Howie Kendrick 2B/OF
98 11 Carlos Gomez OF
99 11 Ben Zobrist 2B/OF
100 11 Kevin Kiermaier OF
101 12 Derek Fisher OF
102 12 Chad Pinder SS/2B/OF
103 12 Chris Owings 2B/SS/OF
104 12 Curtis Granderson OF
105 12 Eduardo Nunez SS/3B/2B/OF
106 12 Jose Bautista OF
107 12 Kole Calhoun OF
108 12 Joc Pederson OF
109 12 Kyle Tucker OF
110 12 Alex Gordon OF
111 12 Nick Williams OF
112 12 Cameron Maybin OF
113 12 Hunter Pence OF
114 12 Hunter Renfroe OF
115 12 Harrison Bader OF
116 12 Jarrod Dyson OF
117 12 Gerardo Parra OF
118 13 Clint Frazier OF
119 13 Raimel Tapia OF
120 13 Jason Heyward OF
121 13 Mikie Mahtook OF
122 13 Albert Almora OF
123 13 Austin Hays OF
124 13 Brandon Nimmo OF
125 13 Andrew Toles OF
126 13 Preston Tucker OF
127 13 Ben Gamel OF
128 13 Alex Verdugo OF
129 13 Brian Goodwin OF
130 13 Jon Jay OF
131 13 Steve Pearce 1B/2B/OF
132 13 Lonnie Chisenhall OF
133 13 Jorge Bonifacio OF
134 13 Eloy Jimenez OF
135 13 Tyler Naquin OF
136 13 Enrique Hernandez OF
137 13 Austin Jackson OF
138 13 Nicky Delmonico OF
139 13 Matt Joyce OF
140 13 Melky Cabrera OF

 

Tier 1

Mike Trout and Mookie Betts are technically in Tier 1-A, as they are in a class by themselves. Trout is up to his usual tricks in 2018, batting .303/.448/.672 with 18 home runs and 12 stolen bases. The Angels superstar currently has a career high 20.2% BB rate, while maintaining a ridiculous .462 wOBA. The man is amazing and will occupy the top spot in all of fantasy baseball for the foreseeable future.

Mookie Betts owners may have something to say about that though. The Red Sox' center fielder is having a breakout after a breakout in 2018, doing his best Mike Trout impersonation. Betts is carrying his own impressive slash line of .359/.437.750 with 17 home runs and 13 stolen bases this season and has been the fantasy MVP so far. Still, it was not enough to dethrone Trout for the top spot in the outfield. That will take a bit more of a track record by Betts, and also a bit of a decline from Trout himself.

The rest of tier is rounded out by mainstays Charlie Blackmon and soon to be free agent Bryce Harper. Nothing special to report here, they are both great players and are locked into Tier 1-B.

Tier 2

The second the tier is filled with all of the slugging outfielders that can't quite produce enough in all five categories to move into the top tier. Players like Aaron Judge, Kris Bryant, J.D. Martinez, and Giancarlo Stanton settle in to this "next best thing" tier. They are all performing the way we expected, to a degree, and should remain locked in this tier for the season.

The surprise of the tier is our first big "climber" so far in the rankings, Starling Marte. The five-tool stud from the Pirates has been working his reputation back from the stigma of a PED suspension last year, and Marte has not disappointed. The Pittsburgh outfielder is hitting .309/.361/.514 with seven home runs and 10 stolen bases. Marte. like Trout, is earning the highest walk rate of his career and is shaping up to be one of the best early round value of fantasy drafts.

Tier 3

Tier three is a group filled with a power hitter, a speed threat, and a power/speed hybrid. Headlining the group is Astros' star George Springer, followed by Cody Bellinger and Dee Gordon. The Houston outfielder may be the last true "five-category player" with the talent to hit into the top-10 in fantasy drafts. Springer is just not stealing enough anymore to make that a reality. He has still collected three stolen bases to go with 11 home runs and .284 batting average so far. If Springer can bring his walk rate back to his career norm he should be able to climb back up into tier two.

Cody Bellinger has been a bit of a disappointment in 2018. The reigning NL Rookie of the Year is batting just .235/.307/.431 with eight home runs and a 102 wRC+. Fantasy owners are worried about the slugging first baseman, and with his below waiver wire performance it's easy to see why. While he is carrying a career low .278 BABIP, it is hardly enough reason to suspect it will impact a turnaround of noticeable measure. Bellinger's hard contact rate in down 6%, while his ground ball rate is up 7% so far this season. Gains in his chase rate and erased by a small spike in his swinging strike rate. The kid has all of the talent in the world to turn it around this year, which is why he remains so high in the rankings. However, if Bellinger does not find a way to reverse his current approach he will continue to slide down the tiers all year.

Dee Gordon is Dee Gordon. He is going to bat .300, steal 60 bases, and score between 90-100 runs.

Tier 4

Rhys Hoskins was out on the disabled list with a broken jaw after these rankings were finished and he should be dropped. The Phillies first baseman is not going to require surgery, but he should still be out for a while. No official timetable has been announced. Injuries are never a good thing, but it's possible that the young slugger could use some time off to clear his head. Hoskins was coming off an amazing rookie campaign that saw him put up 18 home runs in just 170 at-bats last year. 2018 has been a horse of a different color with the Hoskins hitting just .233 with a spike in his swinging strike rate and significant dip in hard contact. He did manage to hold onto a modest .182 ISO and decent .340 wOBA during his struggles, so maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel. Fantasy owners can hope that this time off gives Hoskins a chance to adjust and come back fresh and motivated.

Tommy Pham was a but of a polarizing player in the offseason when it came to projections and predictions. Could the out of nowhere Cardinal repeat his 2017 season? Or was it just a metric mirage? So far, so good for Pham who is putting up a .271/.372/.476 slah line with nine home runs and eight stolen bases. The St.Louis outfielder is holding a strong .367 wOBA and 134 wRC+ that helps solidify the legitimacy of the effort as well. The main issue for Pham this season has been injuries. He has missed games with a groin injury and almost cut his head open because his helmet was too tight. If he can avoid these types of mishaps he should be in for a strong season.

You can't go wrong with Khris Davis, he is about as consistent as they come. What you see is what you get, and what you get is 40 home runs. On the other hand. Justin Upton is a grab bag. Will he be good Justin or bad Justin? In roto leagues you don't have to worry as much through his streaky nature because at the end of the year he is going to put up his typical .260 25-20 home runs 85-95 RBI. In head-to- leagues is where Mr.Upton can cause some headaches. The veteran outfielder can either win you the week or be flat out useless. Still, the Angels power hitter is enough of  a dynamic threat to remain entrenched near the top of the rankings.

Tier 5

Marcell Ozuna fell in the rankings after coming out with a disappointing start after his breakout 2017 campaign. Acquired from the Marlins in the off season, Ozuna was poised to pick up where he left off playing for the Cardinals. Instead he stumbled hard out of the gate and never really recovered, batting a disappointing .260/.305/.337 with a .284 wOBA and 78 wRC+. Ozuna's troubles have been compiled by off the field issues that have led to the outfielder being benched on more than on occasion for being late. All is not lost for the St. Louis slugger though, as he holds a solid 44.5% hard contact rate while also improving up his strikeout rate, chase rate, and swinging strike rate this season.

Andrew Benintendi joins Ozuna of those who fell down to this tier. However after a disappointing start, the Red Sox outfielder has caught fire and is looking like the guy everyone thought they drafted. Benintendi is batting .340 with six home runs and three stolen bases over the last 30 days, bringing his season slash line to .294/.376/.517 with a .378 wOBA. He is a stud dynasty plaer who should finish the season higher in the rankings as we go further into the summer.

Tier 6

Ronald Acuna was just as advertised before going down with an ACL sprain. The 20-year-old rookie was hitting .265/.326/.453 with seven doubles, five homers, 13 RBI, 19 runs and two steals in 29 games this season. The good news is that Acuna will likely be out only weeks instead on the months many feared. If you saw the play he was injured on, you would understand. These rankings were done prior to the DL stint, so downgrade him accordingly.

Mitch Haniger and Ender Inciarte are two of the highest climbers in the updated outfield rankings. Haniger should not have been a big surprise to those who followed him last season. The Seattle outfielder proved that he belonged in the major leagues in 2017 hitting .282/.352/.491 with 16 home runs. Haniger also proved to have solid  plate discipline, carrying a 27.9% O-swing% (% of balls chased outside the zone). In 2018 he seems to have gotten even better, slashing .276/.361/.520 with a .373 wOBA, 11 home runs and three stolen bases.  A well earned bump in the rankings.

Inciarte is an interesting player. He is consistent, yet always undervalued. Well we see you Ender, and we appreciate your efforts. The Braves' leadoff hitter has stolen 18 bases to lead the majors, hitting on top the one of the better hitting lineups in the National League. He is striking out a bit more than we would like, but he has proven to provide tremendous value in the speed department.

Tier 7

In case you did not get the memo, Shohei Ohtani is pretty good. We are just going to zero in on the imports hitting ability for the purposes of this article though. The Angels "rookie" is batting an a solid .291/.376/.533 with a .394 wOBA and six home runs through 103 at-bats. He loses a bit of value due to the fact that he doesn't play everyday, but what he lacks in quantity he makes up for n quality. Ohtani hits the ball hard almost every time, holding a 42.5% hard contact rate to just a 9.5% soft contact rate. The kid is legit, but you know that by now.

Michael Brantley has seen a resurrection of sorts in 2018. Everyday is the day we expect him to get injured, but here he stands. Brantley may not be the player he used to be, especially in the speed department, but he has contributed amazing value for an end of draft or possibly waiver wire add for fantasy owners. The Indians outfielder is hitting a fantastic .343/.383/.569 with nine home runs, a .405 wOBA and 156 wRC+. Honestly, he would be a lot higher in these rankings if he were anyone else. The injury bug follows Brantley around like a hungry puppy and it seems like just a matter of time.

*This would be the tier Juan Soto would likely fit in today, maybe even tier six.

Tier 8

A.J. Pollock fell pretty far in the rankings following a tremendous start due to an unfortunate thumb fracture that sent him to the disabled list. Pollock was one of the hottest hitters in baseball going down, but just like Michael Branltey, he is snake bit when it comes to injuries and setbacks and it's tough to see from such a talented player. He is currently due back from mid-to-late June.

Nomar Mazara is a hitting machine and one of the more underrated players in baseball. After a year in which Mazara hit 100 RBI, he came into the 2018 season as an afterthought in fantasy drafts. Even now, hitting .272/.343/.500 with a .360 wOBA and 12 home runs, Mazara remains an underappreciated fantasy asset. The Texas outfielder is just 23 years-old and should continue to hone is craft. Don't sleep on Nomar Mazara, he is a star, you just don't know it yet.

Tier 9

Nick Markakis is having a bit of a resurgence this season, batting .332 with seven home runs for the Braves. The veteran is getting all sorts of help in the BABIP department (.344), but is nonetheless worthy of this huge bump in the rankings, Markakis has always been a professional hitter and has cut way down on his strikeout rate in 2018.

Corey Dickerson was cut by the Tampa Bay Rays this offseason. Corey Dickerson is batting ..308/.344/.492 with five home runs and three stolen bases for the Pirates. I repeat, Corey Dickerson was CUT by the Tampa Bay Rays this offseason. (insert rolling eyes .gif)

Tier 10 plus

Byron Buxton. We have seen this movie before. He is awful. We cut him. He comes back, We pick him up. He is awful. We cut him, He gets injured, Someone else picks him up. They cut him. Then he has a monster end to the season. It's just hard to see that happening again considering how lost he looks at the plate. That being said, he would be a good player to target once July rolls around. Until then, he will remain buried in the rankings.

Billy Hamilton may finally be on his last life. The speedy outfielder has been permanently planted in the nine hole in the Reds lineup. It looks like only a matter of time before he is seeing the bench or maybe the minor leagues.

Jay Bruce singed with the Mets this offseason with both of them knowing he had plantar fasciitis. This has bothered him all season long so far. Could we see a bounce back from Bruce and witness a wild hot streak? Sure. But this foot injury is not going anywhere and makes him a worrisome addition on a fantasy roster in 2018.

Matt Kemp was supposed to be released wasn't he? He sure didn't think so. The former MVP is back and looking great in the Dodgers outfield, batting .345/.372/.554 with a .393 wOBA and seven home runs. If he continues this trend going into June we may have to consider giving him a much larger jump in the rankings than we already have.

Domingo Santana was playing with fire in 2017, carrying a 30.9% HR/FB ratio. That is roughly double the league average. This season he has that rate down to a more sustainable 10.3%, which should go up actually. The Brewers outfielder has been picking it up lately but aside from his struggles at the plate, the additions of Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich in Milwaukee have put a playing time strain on Santana. He will need something to change to recapture his preseason hype.

Adam Eaton was the best hitter is baseball when he went down with an ankle injury in April. The Nationals center fielder was slashing ..343/.424/.655 with a .456 wOBA and 192 wRC+ to start the year. Unfortunately, injuries and Adam Eaton go together like peanut butter and jelly. Jelly being what his bones are made of. I kid,I kid. For what it's worth, Eaton is nearing his return and should be back in action sometime in early June. He could be an amazing asset if healthy and leading off for the Nationals, but how many at-bats will fantasy owners get out of him? We will have to see.

 

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