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First Base - Early Points League Rankings and Tiers

It’s never too early to start looking toward the fantasy baseball season, so I’m here to kick off RotoBaller’s position-by-position rankings analysis series for points league and head-to-head (H2H) formats with the hard-hitting first base position. Traditionally a power haven, first base has a fairly clear top three tiers and then the floor starts to get frightful. It is recommended that you buy-in early or have several depth options ready to go.

Our mixed-league points staff rankings come straight from the minds of myself, JB Branson and Bill Dubiel (a.k.a. the fourth-most accurate MLB expert for 2017 on FantasyPros), and we’ve got them broken down into tiers for both the sake of digestible content and because your rankings should always be tiered. For this exercise, hitters get a bump for total bases, walks and take a hit for strikeouts.

Keep an eye out for all other positions to follow! In the meantime, you can also see all of our preliminary 2019 fantasy baseball rankings for mixed leagues here. Bookmark that page and come back for updates throughout the coming months as you prepare to dominate on draft day. Without any more delay, let's take a look at the 2019 first base points league rankings for January.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including Best MLB Series, NFL Series, NBA Writer, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!

 

2019 Fantasy Baseball Points League Rankings: First Base

Rank Tier Player Name Position Nick JB Bill
1 1 Paul Goldschmidt 1B 16 16 15
2 1 Freddie Freeman 1B 20 22 21
3 1 Anthony Rizzo 1B 25 23 26
4 2 Joey Votto 1B 38 30 23
5 2 Matt Carpenter 1B/2B/3B 41 39 39
6 2 Rhys Hoskins 1B/OF 42 40 40
7 2 Cody Bellinger 1B/OF 47 43 48
8 3 Edwin Encarnacion 1B 67 61 67
9 3 Daniel Murphy 1B/2B 71 78 72
10 3 Robinson Cano 1B/2B 79 77 82
11 3 Jesus Aguilar 1B 95 89 90
12 3 Travis Shaw 1B/2B/3B 96 94 97
13 3 Jose Abreu 1B 97 101 98
14 3 Carlos Santana 1B/3B 103 97 105
15 4 Matt Olson 1B 114 112 111
16 4 J.T. Realmuto C/1B 105 130 114
17 4 Max Muncy 1B/2B/3B 102 102 151
18 4 Ryan Braun 1B/OF 130 119 132
19 4 Jurickson Profar SS/3B/1B/2B 141 118 126
20 4 Eric Hosmer 1B 140 125 148
21 4 Buster Posey C/1B 143 138 153
22 4 Miguel Cabrera 1B 129 150 155
23 4 Jose Martinez OF/1B 149 151 141
24 5 Joey Gallo 3B/1B/OF 151 175 158
25 5 Ian Desmond OF/1B 179 172 144
26 5 Justin Smoak 1B 164 163 169
27 5 Yulieski Gurriel 1B/2B/3B 184 166 172
28 5 Miguel Sano 1B/3B 165 184 179
29 5 Luke Voit 1B 150 206 174
30 6 C.J. Cron 1B 224 224 220
31 6 Brandon Belt 1B/OF 221 240 218
32 6 Trey Mancini 1B/OF 232 221 230
33 6 Ryan Zimmerman 1B 237 233 238
34 6 Tyler White 1B 217 276 229
35 6 Josh Bell 1B 242 241 242
36 6 Peter Alonso 1B 261 263 236
37 6 Jake Bauers 1B/OF 283 269 279
38 6 Justin Bour 1B 300 271 290
39 6 Yonder Alonso 1B 295 279 295
40 6 Ryon Healy 1B 319 290 270
41 6 Albert Pujols 1B 313 285 284
42 6 Kendrys Morales 1B 297 289 297
43 7 Marwin Gonzalez 1B/2B/SS/OF 320 306 316
44 7 Adam Duvall 1B/OF 322 312 317
45 7 Ryan O'Hearn 1B 317 339 314
46 7 Jay Bruce OF/1B 331 332 #N/A
47 7 Mitch Moreland 1B 341 354 340
48 7 Steve Pearce 1B/2B/OF 370 359 350
49 7 Niko Goodrum 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF 381 365 346
50 7 Ehire Adrianza SS/1B/3B 406 372 342
51 7 Ryan McMahon 1B/3B/2B 375 373 #N/A
52 7 Tyler Austin 1B 390 366 367
53 7 Eric Thames 1B/OF 400 376 372
54 7 Chris Davis 1B 388 429 #N/A
55 7 Ronald Guzman 1B 407 412 #N/A
56 7 Colin Moran 3B/1B 433 408 394
57 7 Tucker Barnhart C/1B 430 440 #N/A
58 7 Greg Bird 1B 444 430 #N/A
59 7 Rowdy Tellez 1B 456 444 #N/A
60 7 Jedd Gyorko 1B/3B 470 463 #N/A
61 7 Dan Vogelbach 1B 495 #N/A #N/A
62 7 Jose Osuna 1B/OF 499 #N/A #N/A

 

First Base Points League Rankings: Upper Tiers

Tier One

While Paul Goldschmidt burned fantasy owners in April and May last season, he tore the cover off of the ball over the final two-thirds of the fantasy season to end up with a Goldschmidt-ian line. The only thing that didn’t return was his speed, as it was revealed that the D-backs weren’t running him in order to preserve him. If that carries over then he’s no longer a first-round lock, especially in points formats where pitchers get a bump. That said, he’s got a great eye and St. Louis should provide a chance at 200 R+RBI for his troubles.

Freddie Freeman and Anthony Rizzo are at their peak ages right now and find themselves surrounded by great lineups. There’s little to dissect here, as you should be thrilled with either of these guys as your first or second hitter, pending a pitcher being your first-round selection. Even though Rizzo posted a .187 ISO after living in the .234-.252 range for four straight seasons, his batted-ball profile is largely unchanged so I’d expect the 13.6% HR/FB rate to creep back toward his respective 16.2% and 16.9% marks from 2016 and ‘17 here.

Tier Two

I understand the desire to look at 35-year-old Joey Votto’s sharp decline in OPS (1.032 in 2017, .837 in ‘18) and decide the plate discipline isn’t worth the third-round trigger. As you can see, I have him 38th compared to Bill’s optimistic ranking of 23rd while JB splits the difference at 30. If you believe the cerebral slugger can return to his 30-homer form as Cincinnati infuses Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp and (soon) Nick Senzel into the lineup around him then I think you have to pounce. He should remain the team’s three-hole hitter and his 17.3% walk rate outpaced the 16.2% strikeout rate. One thing is for sure, even the biggest hater has to expect positive regression for that 9.5% HR/FB rate that somehow occurred despite a career-high 41% hard-hit rate against his career 18.3% HR/FB mark.

Matt Carpenter, Rhys Hoskins and Cody Bellinger offer three exciting options before you start to wade into players with worrisome floors, as each of these players supplies myriad reasons to get excited. Carpenter’s midseason surge was no fluke, as his ridiculous 49% hard-hit rate was nearly 40 percentage points higher than his soft-contact rate -- a feat few can boast. Hoskins’ first full season saw him belt 34 homers with 187 R+RBI with a 13.2% walk rate despite his being stuck in the outfield. Now at first and playing with Jean Segura and Andrew McCutchen, he could explode. Bellinger also put up a double-digit walk rate (10.9%), but a slight dip in exit velocity cut his HR/FB rate by 10 percentage points from his wild rookie campaign. That said, he’s just 23 years old and a returning Corey Seager plus A.J. Pollock will keep the top of that lineup in formidable run-scoring shape.

 

First Base Points League Rankings: Middle Tiers

Tier Three

Here’s where you’ll get starting-caliber talent, but the question marks enter your mind. Can Edwin Encarnacion age gracefully? Will Daniel Murphy stay healthy? Could Robinson Cano produce at Citi Field? Was Jesus Aguilar’s breakout for real? Can Travis Shaw recapture his 2016 batting average? Will Jose Abreu rebound as the next generation of White Sox grow around him? And might Carlos Santana recover some of the 30 batting average points he lost in ‘18? Find out next time, on Dragon Baseball Z!

Seriously, though, you’re sweating a little with each of these bats. I’m not worried about age-36 E5 yet since he managed to top 100 RBI even with a DL stint and a lingering injury, but the odds of nagging issues increase as the body ages and we don’t want to be holding the bag when the next Jose Bautista crumbles. I’m confident in Murph and Cano posting solid returns at cost, and both Brewers are welcome on my team as well. I don't love Santana but he's consistently underrated due to lack of flash and the wide gap between his points league utility and traditional fantasy buzz. The plate discipline hasn't gone anywhere and swinging a left-handed stick in Cleveland is an automatic green light in DFS. It doesn't take much imagination, as Cleveland is exactly where Santana hit. 259 in 2016 and '17 before his Philadelphia adventure.

Tier Four

Let’s get this out of the way: You’re not drafting J.T. Realmuto or Buster Posey to play at first base. They’re eligible, sure, but don’t do it. I’ll let the catchers article chat about them.

Matt Olson, Max Muncy and Jose Martinez are all powerful guys whose bats demand playing time. Olson and Muncy are better fielders than JoMart, who will need to produce or risk losing playing time due to his subpar glove. Olson is a nice value and those in auction leagues can probably get a discount thanks to a disappointing .788 OPS after he topped 1.000 in his brief 2016 showing. His hard-hit rate jumped seven percentage points to 47.4% yet his HR/FB rate predictably regressed from 41.4%, but it went too far, dropping all the way to 16.1%, with his true potential lying closer to 25% methinks.

The biggest question here is Miguel Cabrera. You can see I’m in more than my colleagues, who are baking in post-surgery risk for a guy that turns 36 in April a little more than me. The tenth round is exactly where I’m willing to take a risk, and I’ve already waited this long for a 1B so I at least need Miggy’s top-50 upside. Even with the diminished lift, he put up a .299/.395/.448 line over 157 PAs last season with a 14% walk rate. The 83.6% zone-contact rate was his worst mark since 2004 and the 20.4% fly-ball rate was over 10 percentage points lower than any other year, but I’m okay chalking that up to his biceps.

Tier Five

Will Joey Gallo draw three walks and hit a 480-foot moonshot, or will he don a platinum sombrero and torpedo your day? It’ll be the latter more often than not, but the back-to-back 40-homer campaigns covered up some interesting slips in his sophomore year. His walk rate went from 14.1% to 12.8% with a slight increase in his chase rate, which could just be noise but is worth noting. The real trouble is in his fly-ball rate, which fells 4.6 percentage points. He needs fly balls to provide his one valuable asset. He also went 3-of-7 on steal attempts in ‘18 after going 7-of-9 in ‘17, which doesn’t bode well for the green light moving forward.

Those seeking a bounce back story can try to snag Miguel Sano late, as he's another high-walk rate and big power guy, but you're eating a 35% strikeout rate no matter what. If he doesn't rebound from his disastrous .199 batting average last year then that K rate is going to burn you immediately. And you can also get a piece of the potent Yankees lineup that is coming off of its historic HR-hitting pace in Luke Voit, though he needs to hold off Greg Bird and a deep infield that could push Miguel Andujar or DJ LeMahieu to first base at times, especially once Didi Gregorius returns. But Voit's upside made itself known down the stretch in 2018, with a wild 15 homers and 1.067 OPS over 47 games in pinstripes, so I'm all for taking a shot there.

 

First Base Points League Rankings: Lower Tiers

Tier Six

These make for murky waters, but you can still find hitters capable of hot stretches that you’ll want to start, or at least showing a few skills that point to a potential breakout. Belt has only topped 600 PAs once in his career and hasn’t reached 500 since 2016, but posts walk rates above 10% and is one year removed from a .228 ISO.

If you’re in a 14-team league and need a CI then I’d want Tyler White or Josh Bell for their upside. White and Yuli Gurriel should be a nice 1B/DH combo in a star-studded Houston lineup. Meanwhile, Bell’s power slipped in 2018 from his 26-homer 2017, as he popped just 12 homers in his age-25 season with a HR/FB rate that more than halved despite improvements in his soft- and hard-hit rates, line-drive rate and fly-ball rate. He upped his walk rate from 10.6% to 13.2% in the process and I won’t be surprised by an OPS above .800.

Tier Seven

Time for some Hail Mary action! You’re here to find reliable playing time, or at least a platoonable bat to lean on four times a week. Ryan O’Hearn has power, but the strikeouts and KC run totals are going to burn you. Marwin Gonzalez has yet to find a home and may not hold down a full-time starting role where he ends up, not to mention his production slip in ‘18. Niko Goodrum is eligible nearly everywhere but is better in rotisserie leagues. Ryan McMahon is a victim of Rockies GM Jeff Bridich’s legendary mismanagement of young bats. Ronald Guzman holds some intrigue in hitter-friendly Arlington, but the power isn’t actionable yet.

More Fantasy Baseball Rankings Analysis




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Welcome to Week 4 of the WR/CB Matchup chart. As the year goes on, the PPGA metric will become more and more predictive. Results from a small sample like one or two weeks usually tell more about how talented a CB's opponent was rather than the difficulty of the matchup going forward. It is not... Read More


Fantasy Football Week 4 Busts? Players Who May Disappoint: Derek Carr, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, D.K. Metcalf, Jeff Wilson Jr.

Welcome to Week 4 RotoBallers! The season is starting to ramp up, and it is crucial to start getting some wins under your belt to make the playoffs and win a fantasy championship. For those who have started 0-3 or 1-2, this is a huge opportunity to get in the win column. It is getting... Read More


Allen Lazard - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Week 4 FLEX Rankings for Fantasy Football: Cam Akers, Greg Dortch, Allen Lazard, Richie James, Jerry Jeudy, Michael Carter, Zay Jones

Welcome back RotoBallers to more fantasy football rankings. We're going to try our best to help you win big this year, and today we're back with our updated Week 4 fantasy football FLEX rankings, as of October 1st. Our goal is to help you set those winning lineups, so let's see where key FLEX options... Read More


Curtis Samuel - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Week 4 Wide Receiver Rankings for Fantasy Football: Marquise Brown, DJ Moore, Allen Robinson, Amari Cooper, Curtis Samuel

It's Week 4, and we're here as always to set those winning fantasy football lineups. Below you can find our NFL rankings team's updated Week 4 fantasy football wide receiver rankings, as of October 1st. Our goal is to help you set those winning lineups, so let's see where key wide receivers like Marquise Brown,... Read More


Khalil Herbert - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Week 4 Running Back Rankings for Fantasy Football: James Robinson, AJ Dillon, Kareem Hunt, Josh Jacobs, J.K. Dobbins, Cam Akers

On we go to Week 4, as the first month of the NFL season has been a very exciting one. We're here to help you win your fantasy football matchups with our updated Week 4 fantasy football running back rankings, as of October 1st. Our goal is to help you set those winning lineups, so... Read More


Travis Kelce - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, DFS Lineup Picks

NFL DFS Lineup Picks for FanDuel, DraftKings - Chiefs vs Buccaneers SNF Showdown

Welcome back, RotoBallers! I'm still on cloud nine with football being back, and we're back at it again with some Week 4 Sunday Night Football DFS lineups. We have what should be an awesome matchup tonight, as the Chiefs head down to Tampa for a Super Bowl 55 rematch against the Bucs. The Bucs are... Read More


josh reynolds fantasy football rankings NFL DFS lineup picks

Key Starters and Tough Calls - Lineup Spotlights for Fantasy Football Week 4 Include Devin Singletary, Chris Olave, Josh Reynolds

Every week, I share some of my favored choices and players to go with when dealing with challenging lineup decisions. These selections are based on my Premium Weekly Lineup Rankings, available as part of the RotoBaller NFL Premium Pass. Enter promo code KING at checkout for a discount and get access to my ranks in all formats, plus... Read More


Nick Chubb - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, DFS Lineup Picks

Fantasy Football Start Em, Sit Em - Week 4 Matchups Analysis

Welcome back RotoBallers to our Week 4 matchups analysis and Start Em, Sit Em column for fantasy football. Week 3 featured a lot of disappointing performances with lower overall scoring totals. Some of these players will regress back to the mean while others will continue to struggle. For those who are unfamiliar, each week we'll be... Read More


jared goff fantasy football rankings NFL DFS lineup picks

NFL Survivor Pool Picks (Week 4) - Targets and Avoids

Week 3 saw the most entrants in survivor pools make it through so far, but those who had Kansas City did not have a happy Sunday. The Chargers were not picked by as many as one may have thought. Week 4 has a no-brainer play and one team that could be deemed risky, but you'll... Read More


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Daily NBA Injury Roundup for October 2nd, 2022

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily NBA injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy basketball (DFS) lineups, every day of the NBA season. Below is our updated list of injured NBA players for October 2nd, 2022. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Fantasy Basketball Breakouts, Busts, And Locks - Cleveland Cavaliers 2022 Outlook

Welcome to a new series that we are debuting here at RotoBaller in order to start getting you ready for the 2022-2023 fantasy basketball season! If you play fantasy football, you'll probably recognize the format here as we had a series of preseason NFL articles that followed the same outline. The idea here is to... Read More


Daily NBA Injury Roundup for October 1st, 2022

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily NBA injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy basketball (DFS) lineups, every day of the NBA season. Below is our updated list of injured NBA players for October 1st, 2022. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily NBA Injury Roundup for September 30th, 2022

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily NBA injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy basketball (DFS) lineups, every day of the NBA season. Below is our updated list of injured NBA players for September 30th, 2022. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Must Have Late Round Picks For Fantasy Basketball (Premium Content)

All other Premium Tools can be accessed on the premium dashboard. Welcome to RotoBaller's 2022-2023 premium draft kit! We're here to be your secret weapon when it comes to this fantasy basketball season. In this article, I'll be going over some late round picks that I see as must-haves this year in fantasy basketball. All... Read More


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Top 10 Fantasy Basketball Rookies For Redraft (Premium Content)

All other Premium Tools can be accessed on the premium dashboard. Welcome to RotoBaller's 2022-2023 premium draft kit! We're here to be your secret weapon when it comes to this fantasy basketball season. Do you know which rookie finished as the highest-ranked player in 9-category leagues last season? Scottie Barnes? Nope. Evan Mobley? Wrong. Franz... Read More


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Thunder Dan's Fantasy Basketball 9-Cat Specialists (Premium Content)

All other Premium Tools can be accessed on the premium dashboard. Welcome to RotoBaller's 2022-2023 premium draft kit! We're here to be your secret weapon when it comes to this fantasy basketball season. Here I want to highlight my favorite 9-cat specialists, players who can contribute across the board in all of the nine categories... Read More


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Thunder Dan's Breakout Players to Target in 2023 Fantasy Basketball (Premium Content)

All other Premium Tools can be accessed on the premium dashboard. Thanks for grabbing our NBA Draft Kit for the 2022-2023 season, you're not going to regret it! I'm thrilled to be helping out with our premium content this year and bringing you my rankings, favorite 9-cat studs, and breakout players. Some of these players... Read More


Fantasy Basketball Category Studs: Blocks And Steals

Blocks and steals, the two defensive stats used in typical category leagues, may seem secondary but they are just as important to manage as rebounds or assists, and they should not be overlooked. Yes, it feels cool to grab all the guys who can score points and average double-doubles, but if you aren't rostering players... Read More


Thunder Dan's 2023 Draft Rankings: Fantasy Basketball

I am quite possibly more excited for this NBA season than I have been for any previous season since I was a kid. I grew up watching the golden age of the NBA in the '80s and '90s and have been an NBA fan ever since. But this season is hopefully going to be like... Read More


2022-23 Fantasy Basketball - Early ADP Analysis: Centers (Part 3)

A key part of doing a fantasy draft is avoiding players who are overvalued while finding gems buried down the ADP leaderboard. The wrong pick can completely tank your season. The perfect steal can give you a magnificent advantage. Today, let's talk about some players whose ADPs makes little sense given their projections--for the good... Read More


Alex Burns' 2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Rankings and Draft Analysis

I know what you're probably thinking."Fantasy basketball rankings in September? We haven't even begun training camp. Does he have nothing better to do with his time?" While I do find myself suffering from significant boredom during the NBA offseason, I want to clarify one thing: It is NEVER too early to begin discussing fantasy hoops.... Read More