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I have the honor of tackling the ever-so-deep class of outfielders for you, the esteemed points-league owner. We realize that many sites tailor their analysis toward the standard rotisserie league, but we love everyone equally. That said, we have to recognize that standard 5x5 categories are also much easier to create white-label rankings that anyone else can use since the variation tends to be less than in points leagues.

There's never anything wrong with asking us for clarification on what we were thinking either, but I know (and directly address) that there are several corrections needed to be made, but that's why we call these early rankings and get to honing our product as we review the ranks.  Of course, they're still a great tool and I'd stand by them in a heartbeat, so let's check in on RotoBaller’s 2018 fantasy baseball points league rankings for outfielders in the month of January.

This round comes to you courtesy of Bill Dubiel, Chris Zolli, Kyle Richardson and myself, Nick Mariano. You can also see more of our staff's 2018 fantasy baseball rankings and analysis columns for mixed leagues, dynasty leagues, AL/NL leagues, 2018 impact prospects and more.

Editor's Note: Stay on top of our MLB off-season news and fantasy analysis all year round. Read our daily fantasy columns about MLB prospects, dynasty outlooks, player outlooks and much more. It's always fantasy baseball season here. Let's Go!

 

2018 Fantasy Baseball Points League Rankings: Outfield (January)

Ranking Tier Player Name Pos Nick Bill Chris Kyle R.
1 1 Mike Trout OF 1 1 1 1
2 1 Charlie Blackmon OF 13 5 5 9
3 1 Kris Bryant 3B/OF 16 7 8 5
4 2 Mookie Betts OF 11 8 12 6
5 2 Bryce Harper OF 12 15 7 12
6 2 Giancarlo Stanton OF 7 14 19 14
7 2 Aaron Judge OF 15 18 11 17
8 2 J.D. Martinez OF 23 21 21 20
9 2 George Springer OF 30 26 25 24
10 2 Cody Bellinger 1B/OF 24 34 26 30
11 2 Marcell Ozuna OF 49 29 29 32
12 3 Starling Marte OF 52 32 32 38
13 3 Justin Upton OF 44 37 44 35
14 3 Nelson Cruz OF 46 39 40 37
15 3 Dee Gordon 2B/OF 34 56 47 43
16 3 A.J. Pollock OF 59 54 43 53
17 3 Rhys Hoskins 1B/OF 85 33 35 58
18 3 Andrew Benintendi OF 55 60 55 50
19 3 Khris Davis OF 54 57 57 55
20 3 Andrew McCutchen OF 60 61 64 60
21 3 Domingo Santana OF 73 53 56 63
22 4 Christian Yelich OF 106 58 59 70
23 4 Ryan Braun OF 67 78 78 72
24 4 Yoenis Cespedes OF 76 73 76 71
25 4 Tommy Pham OF 93 65 66 74
26 4 Byron Buxton OF 88 103 61 78
27 4 Gregory Polanco OF 89 100 92 94
28 4 Billy Hamilton OF 94 89 102 95
29 4 Michael Conforto OF 146 80 75 84
30 5 Ender Inciarte OF 107 91 101 102
31 5 Lorenzo Cain OF 129 87 87 103
32 5 Adam Jones OF 116 112 112 111
33 5 Matt Olson OF/1B 140 107 96 115
34 5 Chris Taylor 2B/SS/OF 105 119 125 119
35 5 Adam Eaton OF 165 97 94 120
36 5 Adam Duvall OF 121 121 126 117
37 5 Whit Merrifield 2B/OF 125 131 133 129
38 5 Steven Souza OF 158 136 135 138
39 5 Ian Desmond OF/1B 184 125 122 139
40 5 Yasiel Puig OF 143 140 153 141
41 5 Shohei Ohtani SP/OF 211 120 107 142
42 5 Nomar Mazara OF 136 156 163 133
43 6 Brett Gardner OF 151 150 147 144
44 6 Ian Happ 2B/OF 179 141 143 145
45 6 Ronald Acuna OF 169 166 140 146
46 6 Matt Kemp OF 142 153 185 153
47 6 Corey Dickerson OF 197 160 161 150
48 6 Manuel Margot OF 207 164 151 163
49 6 Jay Bruce OF/1B 221 151 156 158
50 6 Kevin Kiermaier OF 166 180 179 164
51 6 Michael Brantley OF 262 139 128 162
52 6 Scooter Gennett 2B/3B/OF 214 143 178 168
53 6 Aaron Altherr OF 204 145 187 169
54 6 Odubel Herrera OF 145 192 220 166
55 7 Eduardo Nunez SS/3B/2B/OF 257 147 155 177
56 7 Mark Trumbo OF 128 204 233 179
57 7 Kyle Schwarber OF 170 202 199 176
58 7 Joey Gallo 3B/1B/OF 249 165 152 181
59 7 Eric Thames 1B/OF 185 198 196 180
60 7 Dexter Fowler OF 167 206 202 185
61 7 Michael Taylor OF 168 219 213 193
62 7 Jason Kipnis 2B/OF 155 226 222 199
63 7 Jackie Bradley OF 225 193 193 197
64 7 Shin-Soo Choo OF 235 183 186 208
65 7 Carlos Gonzalez OF 188 203 236 198
66 7 Jose Bautista OF 144 231 249 212
67 7 Marwin Gonzalez 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF 273 182 170 213
68 7 Mitch Haniger OF 271 189 177 204
69 8 Eddie Rosario OF 208 225 211 222
70 8 Josh Reddick OF 256 201 201 219
71 8 Avisail Garcia OF 181 238 237 227
72 8 David Peralta OF 236 220 221 221
73 8 Bradley Zimmer OF 265 211 204 224
74 8 Stephen Piscotty OF 200 245 240 225
75 8 Trey Mancini 1B/OF 295 199 191 232
76 8 Max Kepler OF 230 234 225 239
77 8 Howie Kendrick 2B/OF #N/A 232 232 240
78 8 Nick Williams OF 288 214 210 242
79 8 Carlos Gomez OF 255 236 229 248
80 8 Chris Owings 2B/SS/OF 233 253 252 236
81 8 Aaron Hicks OF 291 233 224 238
82 8 Keon Broxton OF 199 295 286 259
83 8 Hunter Renfroe OF 268 265 245 268
84 8 Brandon Belt 1B/OF 159 317 314 262
85 8 Kole Calhoun OF 209 306 309 279
86 9 Melky Cabrera OF 284 274 282 282
87 9 Randal Grichuk OF 220 #N/A 354 274
88 9 Delino DeShields OF 337 263 266 288
89 9 David Dahl OF 274 311 304 273
90 9 Derek Fisher OF #N/A 299 288 291
91 9 Clint Frazier OF 399 240 254 283
92 9 Jason Heyward OF 279 #N/A 357 265
93 9 Scott Schebler OF 348 277 279 301
94 9 Joc Pederson OF 238 321 358 295
95 9 Jorge Soler OF 366 271 277 312
96 9 Cameron Maybin OF 368 272 284 305
97 9 Hunter Pence OF 292 #N/A 361 269
98 9 Jarrod Dyson OF #N/A 312 315 314
99 9 Kevin Pillar OF 296 329 335 320
100 9 Lewis Brinson OF 379 302 290 326
101 9 Gerardo Parra OF 377 293 301 327
102 9 Jose Martinez OF/1B 309 344 369 345
103 9 Jacoby Ellsbury OF 386 331 346 355
104 9 Ben Zobrist 2B/OF 341 #N/A 377 360
105 10 Mallex Smith OF 350 352 383 363
106 10 Hernan Perez 2B/3B/OF 409 347 338 358
107 10 Travis Jankowski OF #N/A 353 384 368
108 10 Denard Span OF 369 357 390 374
109 10 Teoscar Hernandez OF 358 #N/A 387 376
110 10 Nick Markakis OF 356 377 396 380
111 10 Matt Joyce OF 365 #N/A 394 381
112 10 Michael Saunders OF #N/A 370 400 387
113 10 Lonnie Chisenhall OF 376 374 409 388
114 10 Melvin Upton Jr. OF #N/A 378 413 399
115 10 Victor Robles OF 381 #N/A 416 401
116 10 Alex Gordon OF #N/A 383 419 405
117 10 Abraham Almonte OF 383 #N/A 420 406
118 11 Jake Marisnick OF 384 #N/A 422 409
119 11 Matt Holliday 1B/OF 385 #N/A 424 411
120 11 Raimel Tapia OF 400 382 433 412
121 11 Mikie Mahtook OF 389 #N/A 430 407
122 11 Brandon Moss OF 387 #N/A 426 414
123 11 Hyun-soo Kim OF #N/A 387 427 415
124 11 Jefry Marte 1B/OF #N/A 388 428 417
125 11 Jorge Bonifacio OF 396 #N/A 440 428
126 11 Jesse Winker OF 408 #N/A 453 404
127 11 Robbie Grossman OF 398 #N/A 443 430
128 11 Leonys Martin OF 421 393 451 433
129 11 Yasmany Tomas OF 406 #N/A 450 425
130 11 Blake Swihart C/OF 401 #N/A 446 435
131 11 Danny Valencia 1B/3B/OF #N/A 401 447 436
132 11 Brandon Drury 3B/OF 404 #N/A 449 438
133 11 Alex Dickerson OF 407 #N/A 452 439
134 11 Jeremy Hazelbaker OF 417 #N/A 458 445
135 11 Rajai Davis OF 418 #N/A 459 446
136 11 Tyler Naquin OF 422 #N/A 460 447

 
Tier One

This is still Mike Trout’s world. Despite missing around 40 games with a hand injury, the 26-year-old phenom still finished second in the Majors in offensive fWAR. I stipulate that because most of us don’t utilize defensive stats. In a world where everyone and their mother that stayed healthy throughout 2017 got to anchor us with stat lines that reflected the crazy home-run trend, Trout’s shortened season deflated what was likely going to be a 40/30 campaign, as he still had 33 dingers and 22 bags (only caught four times!) in just 507 plate appearances. He had at least 639 PAs in the previous five seasons - we can usually bank on durability here. Few need reasons to take Mike Trout No. 1, but this is to further illustrate his potential and talk down anyone who may be wavering.

I'm also not worried about Mookie Betts at all, as his age-24 "down season" still saw him essentially produce a 25/25 season while topping the century mark in runs and RBI. This man is only 25 years old and while Boston's lineup is not the juggernaut of years past, his five-tool skill set is a host unto itself and that .264 average is ripe for regression thanks to a low .268 BABIP. Prior to 2017, his career BABIP was a full 50 points higher. He drew 77 walks, not including nine intentional ones, compared to just 79 strikeouts. He's a points-league stud.

Tier Two

First of all, I should state that my OF rankings will look a bit lower because I was the only one to rank more than one pitcher in their top 10. I ranked four in there because of the points-league tilt, so just be aware. That said, I definitely didn’t notice that Marcell Ozuna was as low as 49 on my overall board, he’ll be in the low-to-mid 30s next time. Last season’s 37 HR/124 RBI is best treated as the ceiling, but I think topping 100 runs is possible with St. Louis.

I’m all-in on the Giancarlo Stanton train given his lineup and hitting environment. I know his ~24% strikeout rate is high and dings points-league owners, but I need to bake in the 150-RBI potential and this is where I’ve settled.

Tier Three

Not only was Starling Marte shut down from the Dominican Winter League with a left-hand injury, but his team is crumbling, ahem, rebuilding around him as he continues to re-establish himself after a suspension-marred 2017. When everyone else was slugging homers, Marte only mustered seven longballs in 339 PAs, tagging along an uninspiring .275 batting average. His saving grace was going 21-for-25 on the basepaths, but I don’t get why he’s viewed so much differently than A.J. Pollock, say. Don’t pay for the name.

Oh, and I can officially say that my Rhys Hoskins ranking suffered the same fate as the Ozuna slippage. I thought things looked good on my positional tabs, but they weren’t. This is our Spring Training month, but I can safely say that he should be in the 35-40 range. Everyone also loves Domingo Santana, he was on quite a few of my teams last year, but I’m worried about his 29.3 percent K rate. It’s great that he’s running now and that double-digit walk rate is helpful, but I expect a .340 BABIP rather than .363 and that 31 percent HR/FB rate to slip toward 25-27 percent. Nothing huge, but the sticker price in points leagues might leave little room for profit.

Tier Four

Originally, I had a big ol' paragraph here going off on how buying Christian Yelich within the top 100 was a poor move given the climate in Miami. Of course, all that changed when the Brewer Nation attacked traded for the 26-year-old. Yelich raised his fly-ball rate from 20 percent to 25.2 percent last season, which could translate to about 22-25 homers in '18 thanks to Miller Park (and being out of Miami). The Brewers also finished '17 with the second-most stolen bases as a team, whereas the Marlins stood at 10th despite having Dee Gordon. HRs and SBs should both rise, and the counting stats in this lineup compared to Miami's Quad-A squad could be nearly double. That's a bit hyperbolic, but not as much as I wish it was for the sake of parity. Yelich will move toward my top 50 next time around.

Also, Michael Conforto shouldn’t even be as high as I have him, let alone my fellow rankers. I know the Mets made some changes to their medical staff, but unless they hired Billy Crystal as the medic from The Princess Bride, I'm not buying it.

Tier Five

I was bearish on Lorenzo Cain until he signed somewhere, but now I have to put him around 90. I still worry about his durability and Milwaukee's current depth leading to more off-days than anyone would like, but 140 games wouldn't be awful here with the aforementioned aggressiveness on the basepaths in Milwaukee. I feel wrongfully bearish on Matt Olson here, as his 9.7 barrels per batted-ball event was seventh-best out of all MLBers with at least 120 batted-ball events. His 41.4 percent HR/FB rate will regress, but so will his horrid .238 BABIP, equating to a wash. I’m likely too bullish on Chris Taylor, whose .361 BABIP will probably step back like Santana’s, so I’ll move him toward 125-130 next time around.

Tier Six

Okay, I dislike Jay Bruce and how his swinging-strike rate has gone from 11.1 percent, to 12 percent, to 13 percent in the past couple of seasons, but the guy is still mashing and I shouldn’t have him that low. I also have trust issues with Michael Brantley’s health, but my PA projection had an error in it -- he’s more of a 150s player hitting in the middle of that offense. Another guy I’m trailing on is Manuel Margot, who I think is still a year away from putting it all together. I like the second-half power surge he had (.161 ISO, up from .129), but I think a 15/15 player on San Diego needs to chill.

Tier Seven

I’ve despised Jackie Bradley for a long while now, and I’m not going to stop now. He will be on zero of my teams until he can prove a consistent approach at that dish -- he hit .204 in the second half -- but at least his defense will keep him in the lineup. It’d be unfair to lay into Brantley’s health and not admit that Dexter Fowler’s biggest con is how he’s topped 125 games just once in the last five seasons, but leading off in front of Tommy Pham, Matt Carpenter and Ozuna is good eatin’.

Tier Eight

I love Brandon Belt in points leagues. I usually try to scoop him late thanks to his solid XBH contributions and a BB rate around 15 percent, but I think he holds even greater value in 2018. He still tied a career-high with 18 homers in ‘17 despite tallying just 451 PAs (thanks a lot, concussion) and he trimmed his swinging-strike rate for the third-straight season. The additions of Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria should increase the counting stats here, making the unheralded commodity a worthy get.

If I could count on at least 500 PAs out of Aaron Hicks then I’d be all aboard around the low-200s, but alas, that is one crowded picnic. It seems I like Kole Calhoun more than I should, I didn’t really reevaluate him after Ian Kinsler was added, but batting fifth for LAA should still be worthy of the 240-250 range.

Tier Nine

I was originally sad about how high Randal Grichuk ended up on my overall sheet, but I’m good with it now that he’s likely going to see everyday playing time for Toronto. Sorry, Teoscar Hernandez truthers, but hopefully he can squeeze out Curtis Granderson and Steve Pearce in left. I have a hard time getting excited about Delino DeShields anymore, and I think Willie Calhoun’s emergence will end up squeezing DD into irrelevance. Ryan Rua and even Jurickson Profar will steal ABs, and they’ll likely come at DeShields’ expense. At this point in the draft, I’m happily drafting talent upside rather than a stable job, which makes Jose Martinez a prime target.

Tier Ten

This is where delusion can start to set in, but here are the initial thoughts that hit me: I need to get Travis Jankowski ranked, he’s got too much speed potential not to be. Those requiring one last outfielder late should be happy to round out their squad with Nick Markakis, who has maintained a double-digit BB rate while chipping in at least 38 doubles in each of his last three seasons. Atlanta is on the up-and-up, meaning his ~50 XBHs, 80 runs, 80 RBI and 10 percent walk rate should leave you satisfied.

Tier Eleven

There’s one player in here that I believe warrants much more consideration, and that guy is Mikie Mahtook. Not only is his a fun name to say, but he should be Detroit’s everyday leadoff hitter with Kinsler in Cali. The 28-year-old got off to a cold start in ‘17, but delivered a .287/.349/.469 slash line with 24 XBH (10 2B, 6 3B, 8 HR) and 43 runs scored while going a perfect 5-for-5 on steal attempts from June 25 on. That date was when he started getting everyday starts, primarily in centerfield, and if the .181 ISO and sneaky speed can continue, then we’re looking at a possible 90-15-60-10-.290 year from Mr. Mahtook. I’ll Mah-Take that risk for a buck.

 

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