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It's a new year, and with that comes our first set of rankings for the 2018 fantasy baseball season. As a reminder, our first round of rankings comes to you courtesy of Pierre Camus and Jeff Kahntroff, in addition to yours truly.

Today, I’ll be finishing up the hitter side of things with a look at how we ranked players in the outfield. You can see our previous ranking and analysis columns for catcher, first base, second base, third base and shortstop.

Expect a fair amount of adjustments in future installments. These are preliminary rankings and a lot can happen between now and March, particularly with so many free agents still languishing on the market.

Editor's Note: In our Rankings Wizard, you can check out all of our staff's initial 2018 fantasy baseball rankings for mixed leagues, points leagues, AL/NL only leagues, dynasty leagues and more.

 

2018 Fantasy Baseball Tiered Rankings: Outfield (January)

Ranking Tier Player Position Kyle Pierre Jeff
1 1 Mike Trout OF 1 1 1
2 2 Charlie Blackmon OF 8 6 4
3 2 Mookie Betts OF 9 5 9
4 2 Bryce Harper OF 10 7 8
5 2 Kris Bryant 3B/OF 11 15 17
6 2 Giancarlo Stanton OF 23 11 13
7 2 Aaron Judge OF 12 24 21
8 2 J.D. Martinez OF 28 22 12
9 2 Cody Bellinger 1B/OF 30 25 27
10 3 Marcell Ozuna OF 32 26 34
11 3 George Springer OF 33 37 29
12 3 Starling Marte OF 45 35 31
13 3 Rhys Hoskins 1B/OF 31 42 41
14 3 Justin Upton OF 34 33 51
15 3 Nelson Cruz OF 43 48 35
16 3 Domingo Santana OF 51 68 48
17 3 A.J. Pollock OF 48 62 61
18 4 Dee Gordon 2B/OF 35 82 58
19 4 Khris Davis OF 53 58 65
20 4 Byron Buxton OF 74 57 46
21 4 Andrew Benintendi OF 81 47 50
22 4 Andrew McCutchen OF 54 74 52
23 4 Tommy Pham OF 67 81 42
24 4 Christian Yelich OF 69 64 60
25 4 Yoenis Cespedes OF 72 49 94
26 5 Ryan Braun OF 82 72 79
27 5 Michael Conforto OF 87 98 69
28 5 Lorenzo Cain OF 109 104 76
29 5 Billy Hamilton OF 116 63 124
30 5 Ender Inciarte OF 85 129 101
31 5 Adam Eaton OF 110 102 112
32 5 Gregory Polanco OF 106 105 118
33 5 Matt Olson OF/1B 130 99 117
34 6 Shohei Ohtani SP/OF 118 97 141
35 6 Adam Jones OF 120 88 149
36 6 Chris Taylor 2B/SS/OF 96 175 106
37 6 Adam Duvall OF 137 117 127
38 6 Ian Desmond OF/1B 176 138 82
39 6 Whit Merrifield 2B/OF 84 111 225
40 6 Steven Souza OF 148 121 154
41 6 Michael Brantley OF 190 #N/A 96
42 6 Yasiel Puig OF 162 125 142
43 6 Ian Happ 2B/OF 114 169 148
44 7 Eduardo Nunez SS/3B/2B/OF 171 148 123
45 7 Brett Gardner OF 156 133 157
46 7 Jay Bruce OF 195 140 111
47 7 Joey Gallo 3B/1B/OF 141 130 191
48 7 Manuel Margot OF 168 127 168
49 7 Ronald Acuna OF 155 #N/A #N/A
50 7 Nomar Mazara OF 187 134 171
51 7 Marwin Gonzalez 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF 142 221 129
52 8 Corey Dickerson OF 182 163 155
53 8 Scooter Gennett 2B/3B/OF 170 #N/A 172
54 8 Kevin Kiermaier OF 161 153 201
55 8 Matt Kemp OF 154 190 #N/A
56 8 Shin-Soo Choo OF 198 156 177
57 8 Aaron Altherr OF 121 280 137
58 8 Mitch Haniger OF 169 263 122
59 8 Jackie Bradley OF 194 241 130
60 8 Eric Thames 1B/OF 177 164 235
61 8 Trey Mancini 1B/OF 252 135 #N/A
62 9 Josh Reddick OF 241 151 195
63 9 Kyle Schwarber OF 209 179 203
64 9 Dexter Fowler OF 218 183 190
65 9 Bradley Zimmer OF 158 #N/A 239
66 9 Nick Williams OF 206 195 #N/A
67 9 Michael Taylor OF #N/A #N/A 204
68 9 Odubel Herrera OF 167 181 266
69 9 David Peralta OF 199 218 197
70 9 Eddie Rosario OF 174 204 246
71 9 Jason Kipnis 2B/OF 278 188 160
72 9 Mark Trumbo OF 254 167 226
73 10 Jose Bautista OF 253 #N/A 179
74 10 Howie Kendrick 2B/OF #N/A #N/A 216
75 10 Aaron Hicks OF 224 #N/A 209
76 10 Max Kepler OF 263 171 #N/A
77 10 Carlos Gonzalez OF 213 246 193
78 10 Carlos Gomez OF 185 #N/A 263
79 10 Avisail Garcia OF 229 274 175
80 10 Clint Frazier OF #N/A 226 #N/A
81 10 Stephen Piscotty OF 272 202 212
82 10 Chris Owings 2B/SS/OF 220 267 211
83 11 Delino DeShields OF 300 223 205
84 11 Hunter Renfroe OF 255 231 #N/A
85 11 Jorge Soler OF #N/A #N/A 247
86 11 Cameron Maybin OF #N/A #N/A 248
87 11 Melky Cabrera OF 205 #N/A 300
88 11 Scott Schebler OF 228 #N/A 278
89 11 Gerardo Parra OF 320 #N/A 206
90 11 Keon Broxton OF 240 284 268
91 11 Derek Fisher OF #N/A 265 #N/A
92 11 Lewis Brinson OF #N/A 262 274
93 11 Kole Calhoun OF 266 276 #N/A
94 11 David Dahl OF 289 293 237
95 12 Jarrod Dyson OF #N/A #N/A 273
96 12 Brandon Belt 1B/OF #N/A 287 270
97 12 Kevin Pillar OF 293 #N/A 277
98 12 Jacoby Ellsbury OF #N/A 282 290
99 12 Hernan Perez 2B/3B/OF 297 #N/A 291
100 12 Joc Pederson OF 311 #N/A #N/A
101 12 Jose Martinez OF/1B 318 #N/A #N/A

 
 
Tier 1

Remember when people were seriously suggesting that anyone other than Mike Trout should go first overall in fantasy drafts? Oh, wait, they still are. Trout is only 26, hadn’t landed on the disabled list before last year, and nobody else in baseball has produced at anything close to his level over the last six seasons. Don’t overthink this, folks.

Tier 2

That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of other elite options in the outfield. All three rankers in this round have Charlie Blackmon, Mookie Betts, and Bryce Harper as top-10 overall players.  Kris Bryant rounds out the top five outfielders, followed closely by the Yankees’ dynamic duo of Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge. I have them essentially flipped in my rankings as compared to my colleagues. While Stanton has a longer track record, he’s also had a tough time avoiding injury. J.D. Martinez has yet to sign, but he’s been roughly Stanton’s equal in terms of offensive production over the last four seasons. Finally, Cody Bellinger’s disastrous showing in the World Series doesn’t seem to have impacted his 2018 draft stock based on early ADP data.

Tier 3

This group is mostly comprised of old reliables – emphasis on the “old” in Nelson Cruz’s case – but includes a couple of 2017 breakouts close to my Phillies-loving heart. Rhys Hoskins’ transcendent debut has a lot of owners excited to see what he can do with a full season. A 50-homer pace is unrealistic, but Steamer projects 36 bombs, with quality run production and a passable batting average. I still haven’t gotten over Domingo Santana being included as the player to be named later in the completely unnecessary Hunter Pence trade (reportedly due to a clerical error, no less!) and last season showed why. The hulking outfielder made good on the George Springer comps he earned as a prospect, contributing in all five standard categories in his first full season. It’s a testament to his impressive raw power that he managed to hit 30 home runs despite a groundball-heavy profile. If he can figure out how to elevate the ball even a little more often, there’s potential for a monster here.

Tier 4

Some divisive players in this tier (in terms of how they’re viewed in the larger fantasy community, if not by our staff rankings). That starts right at the top with Byron Buxton. The former top prospect’s struggles are well-trod territory at this stage, but he “finally” flashed the potential many had long dreamt on in his age-23 season. Buxton recovered from a horrific start to finish the year with 16 homers and 29 stolen bases. Though strikeouts remained a problem, he managed to pull his batting average up above .250 for the first time. I’m less bullish than my colleagues, but I certainly see the appeal.

I’m also the low man on Andrew Benintendi, though I’m likely to give him a bump in future iterations. While he never had a prayer of winning Rookie of the Year with Judge obliterating the league, he still put up a five-category season in his first year. Another all-around performer was Tommy Pham, whose ADP should be one of the more interesting developments this year. He’ll be 30 in March, and it’s fair to wonder how much of his breakout can be sustained. Lastly, Billy Hamilton’s elite stolen base totals are enough to put him at the end of this tier despite his considerable shortcomings as a hitter.

Tier 5 

I’m putting more stock into the breakouts of Whit Merrifield and Chris Taylor than my colleagues, even if I don’t necessarily expect them to reach those heights again in 2018. Matt Olson is certainly intriguing, but there might be no more obvious candidate stat for regression than his 41.4(!!!!) HR/FB%. Intriguing might as well be Shohei Ohtani’s middle name, but he’s much more likely to provide value on the pitching side of things than at the plate. I’m fading Ian Desmond and Michael Brantley pretty hard this year, though either could easily make that look foolhardy.

Tier 6

Somehow, I’m the only one who ranked Ronald Acuna in this round. This is admittedly an aggressive rankings, but he’s the consensus top prospect and blew through three levels of the minor leagues last year, improving at every stop. The combination of power and speed here is too enticing to ignore, and it would be surprising if he doesn’t open the year in the starting lineup now that Matt Kemp has been dealt away. For those who don’t want to pay Buxton’s expectant price, Manuel Margot could give you similar production at a much more reasonable cost.

Tier 7

While I’ll acknowledge that my ranking of Aaron Altherr probably needs to be revised downward, I’m lodging a formal complaint against Pierre for barely putting him the top 300. Toss out his injury-plagued 2016, and Altherr has a career MLB line of .261-83-24-87-11 in 578 plate appearances. The Carlos Santana signing might cut into his playing time if the Phillies don’t trade one of their outfielders – two of whom are also ranked in this tier – but his production deserves more respect. Pierre also didn’t even rank Bradley Zimmer, but that may have been an oversight. Elsewhere in this tier, Shin-Soo Choo put together a sneaky useful season in 2017, while Kyle Schwarber looks a lot less appealing after the league-wide power surge and the loss of his catcher eligibility.

Tiers 8 & 9

As you’d expect, the bottom tiers are mostly populated by players with obvious flaws, playing time concerns, or both. A few names jump out. Mark Trumbo, Carlos Gonzalez, and Jose Bautista aren’t far removed from being sought-after commodities, but a combination of recent struggles, age, and the altered offensive landscape have sent them tumbling down draft boards. Youngsters like Lewis Brinson, Derek Fisher, Clint Frazier, and David Dahl have talent to spare but lack track records and/or clear paths to playing time. Otherwise, take your pick of boring vets (Kole Calhoun, Melky Cabrera), SB specialists (Cameron Maybin, Jarrod Dyson, Delino DeShields), or guys who definitely won’t repeat their 2017 performance (Avisail Garcia).

 

More MLB Rankings and ADP Analysis