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If you play in a head-t0-head points league, or season long format, you already know how difficult it can be to find fantasy analysis tailored to the format. Not only are the traditional rotisserie and head-to-head arrangements more popular, but the very nature of points leagues makes them difficult to cover in a general sense because they carry significantly more variance in terms of settings.

Niche audience or no, there are still plenty of folks out there who love the format, and y’all deserve help from the experts just as much as those who stick to roto or H2H. That’s why we’re excited to unveil the first round of RotoBaller’s 2018 fantasy baseball points league rankings for third base and the month of January.

This round of rankings comes to you courtesy of Nick Mariano, Chris Zolli, Kyle Richardson, and yours truly.

Editor's Note: Be sure to also check out more of our staff's initial 2018 fantasy baseball rankings and analysis columns for other formats including mixed leagues, dynasty leagues, 2018 prospects and more.

 

2018 Fantasy Baseball Points League Rankings: Third Base (January)

Ranking Tier Player Name Pos Nick Bill Chris Kyle R.
1 1 Nolan Arenado 3B 5 3 6 3
2 1 Kris Bryant 3B/OF 16 7 8 5
3 1 Manny Machado 3B 21 17 15 15
4 1 Freddie Freeman 1B/3B 19 27 20 21
5 2 Jose Ramirez 2B/3B 26 22 28 26
6 2 Josh Donaldson 3B 40 13 23 27
7 2 Alex Bregman 3B/SS 81 44 36 45
8 2 Anthony Rendon 3B 57 52 58 49
9 3 Justin Turner 3B 56 55 53 54
10 3 Jake Lamb 3B 102 59 79 76
11 3 Miguel Sano 3B 122 66 63 77
12 3 Travis Shaw 3B 75 83 99 82
13 3 Adrian Beltre 3B 80 93 90 90
14 3 Mike Moustakas 3B 118 85 84 99
15 3 Matt Carpenter 1B/2B/3B 119 102 104 97
16 4 Kyle Seager 3B 95 126 113 109
17 4 Rafael Devers 3B 139 132 123 126
18 4 Nick Castellanos 3B 152 122 119 #N/A
19 4 Evan Longoria 3B 117 138 168 134
20 4 Scooter Gennett 2B/3B/OF 214 143 178 168
21 4 Eduardo Nunez SS/3B/2B/OF 257 147 155 177
22 4 Joey Gallo 3B/1B/OF 249 165 152 181
23 4 Eugenio Suarez 3B 198 186 218 174
24 4 Marwin Gonzalez 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF 273 182 170 213
25 4 Todd Frazier 3B 111 259 259 215
26 5 Ryon Healy 3B/1B 226 217 212 226
27 5 Maikel Franco 3B 239 261 257 234
28 5 Jeimer Candelario 3B 250 269 276 252
29 5 Logan Forsythe 2B/3B 133 348 341 278
30 5 Matt Chapman 3B #N/A 266 299 284
31 5 Jose Reyes 2B/SS/3B #N/A 301 307 303
32 5 Asdrubal Cabrera SS/2B/3B 298 308 311 304
33 5 Jedd Gyorko 1B/3B #N/A 322 322 324
34 5 Nick Senzel 3B #N/A 338 336 336
35 6 Hernan Perez 2B/3B/OF 409 347 338 358
36 6 Adonis Garcia 3B #N/A 358 388 378
37 6 David Freese 1B/3B #N/A 376 411 397
38 6 Matt Duffy SS/3B #N/A 390 432 421
39 6 Chase Headley 3B #N/A 400 445 434
40 6 Danny Valencia 1B/3B/OF #N/A 401 447 436
41 6 Brandon Drury 3B/OF 404 #N/A 449 438

 

Tier 1

Freddie Freeman is a fresh face at this position, and apparently I'm lowest on him of the group. It's easy to see why they're believers--Freeman is very much in his prime at just 27, and he's coming off back-to-back outstanding seasons. He's managed a .400 OBP in each of his last two seasons (although last year was shortened by injury) and has combined the improved contact with a power boost. His .280 ISO last year marked a career high. Wait... did I just talk myself into ranking Freeman higher in February?

Tier 2

On the flip side, I am wayyyy higher on the Bringer of Rain than my colleagues. Josh Donaldson had what most would consider a down year--a modest 33 homers and 78 RBI. Sure, that projects to a 47-homer, 111-RBI pace, but who's counting...oh yeah, I am. I'm counting. Donaldson is still just 32 and, as of this writing, will play his home games in the Rogers Centre. I have him pegged for a huge bounce-back this season, and while my top-13 ranking might be a little aggressive I think he's a lock for top-25.

Tier 3 

I'm very curious what downside my colleagues see with Jake Lamb. He has now posted 29 homers and 91 RBI in two straight seasons, and will once again be hitting behind Paul Goldschmidt in the hitter-friendly Chase Field. There is nothing jumping out at me statistically as a red flag for regression, either. His BABIP from the last two seasons is perfectly sustainable, and the improvements he made in walk-rate and K-rate are minor enough for me to think that even if he regresses to his career average it won't do any real damage to his stat line. The very obvious downside is Lamb's annual tank-fest in the second half. Early on here, I'm betting on the 27-year-old to fix what ails him in 2018 and sustain solid production for most of the year.

Tier 4 

I am lowest on Kyle Seager, although not by much, and ultimately my ranking comes down to his lack of upside. Seager will definitely produce as a startable third baseman in any format, but I don't see top-10 potential there. While there are certainly other factors at play here, the stat that jumps off the page for me was his plummeting line drive percentage. In 2017, 51.6% of his batted balls were fly balls (compared to a 43.6% career average), and in Safeco that's not going to do you many favors. I'll be interested to see if it's a trend that continues or if that was a one-off season, but either way I'm down on Seager headed into 2018.

Tier 5 and Tier 6

Extremely curious what Nick sees in Logan Forsythe. While I certainly think he's better than the atrocious line we saw out of him last year (.224, 6 HR, 36 RBI, 56 R), I view his 2016 season as the true peak of his potential (.264, 20 HR, 52 RBI, 76 R). I'm excited to see what happens with Matt Duffy in 2018. The former Giant was out for all of 2017 recovering from a surgeries on his Achilles tendon, but he should be 100% coming into 2018 with the Rays. With Evan Longoria now in San Francisco, the starting third base job is Duffy's to lose, and if he can regain any of the form from his excellent 2015 season he could make some noise in points leagues.

 

 

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