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Outfield - Early Points League Rankings and Tiers

juan soto fantasy baseball rankings outfield MLB injury news

It’s never too early to start looking toward the fantasy baseball season, so I’m here to continue RotoBaller’s position-by-position rankings analysis series for points league and head-to-head (H2H) formats with the incredibly deep outfield position. There is a seemingly neverending stream of useful bats, but there are still clear chokepoints where the risk portfolio thickens. I'd suggest buying at least two anchors and then letting your speculative plays run.

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 outfield points league rankings for January.

Be sure to check all of our preseason fantasy baseball rankings for Roto, Points, H2H, dynasty, best ball, prospects and more:

 

2019 Fantasy Baseball Points League Rankings: Outfield

Rank Tier Player Name Position Nick JB Bill
1 1 Mike Trout OF 1 1 1
2 1 Mookie Betts OF 4 4 2
3 1 J.D. Martinez OF 12 10 11
4 1 Christian Yelich OF 15 14 14
5 1 Bryce Harper OF 17 15 19
6 1 Ronald Acuna OF 21 19 16
7 2 Aaron Judge OF 31 25 20
8 2 Charlie Blackmon OF 28 33 29
9 2 Juan Soto OF 24 26 41
10 2 Andrew Benintendi OF 29 36 31
11 2 Kris Bryant 3B/OF 33 38 32
12 2 Giancarlo Stanton OF 37 37 37
13 3 Rhys Hoskins 1B/OF 42 40 40
14 3 George Springer OF 51 42 35
15 3 Cody Bellinger 1B/OF 47 43 48
16 3 Whit Merrifield 2B/OF 54 50 53
17 3 Starling Marte OF 53 63 52
18 3 Khris Davis OF 56 57 55
19 3 Lorenzo Cain OF 63 65 64
20 4 Michael Brantley OF 76 69 71
21 4 Eddie Rosario OF 74 76 78
22 4 Mitch Haniger OF 75 83 91
23 4 Aaron Hicks OF 85 88 87
24 4 David Peralta OF 93 84 84
25 4 Nick Castellanos OF 88 85 89
26 4 A.J. Pollock OF 99 87 76
27 4 Justin Upton OF 91 92 94
28 4 Tommy Pham OF 92 90 96
29 5 Andrew McCutchen OF 104 99 107
30 5 Marcell Ozuna OF 108 100 108
31 5 Ender Inciarte OF 113 109 106
32 5 Nick Markakis OF 110 107 112
33 5 Jesse Winker OF 115 120 113
34 5 Yasiel Puig OF 118 116 120
35 5 Gregory Polanco OF 119 121 121
36 5 Ryan Braun 1B/OF 130 119 132
37 5 David Dahl OF 122 141 124
38 5 Michael Conforto OF 128 132 131
39 5 Brandon Nimmo OF 161 152 79
40 5 Wil Myers 3B/OF 124 135 143
41 6 Eloy Jimenez OF 142 136 152
42 6 Dee Gordon 2B/OF 144 137 154
43 6 Victor Robles OF 145 140 156
44 6 Jose Martinez OF/1B 149 151 141
45 6 Harrison Bader OF 159 171 128
46 6 Kyle Schwarber OF 173 154 138
47 6 Shin-Soo Choo OF 154 153 162
48 6 Stephen Piscotty OF 153 156 161
49 6 Joey Gallo 3B/1B/OF 151 175 158
50 6 Mallex Smith OF 163 161 168
51 6 Ian Desmond OF/1B 179 172 144
52 7 Odubel Herrera OF 181 176 182
53 7 Chris Taylor 2B/SS/OF 199 187 208
54 7 Brett Gardner OF 205 200 204
55 7 Corey Dickerson OF 209 201 207
56 7 Nomar Mazara OF 211 198 210
57 7 Joey Wendle 2B/3B/SS/OF 214 212 201
58 7 Hunter Renfroe OF 222 213 219
59 7 Matt Kemp OF 226 204 232
60 8 Brandon Belt 1B/OF 221 240 218
61 8 Trey Mancini 1B/OF 232 221 230
62 8 Ian Happ 3B/OF 235 227 224
63 8 Austin Meadows OF 234 222 234
64 8 Teoscar Hernandez OF 241 235 216
65 8 Adam Jones OF 247 228 225
66 8 Randal Grichuk OF 236 230 237
67 8 Billy Hamilton OF 250 220 241
68 8 Ramon Laureano OF 249 243 246
69 8 Max Kepler OF 258 236 255
70 9 Adam Eaton OF 248 245 260
71 9 Jackie Bradley Jr. OF 255 234 265
72 9 Kyle Tucker OF 289 217 257
73 9 Kole Calhoun OF 262 244 262
74 9 Domingo Santana OF 246 282 244
75 9 Brian Anderson 3B/OF 270 250 272
76 9 Franmil Reyes OF 265 286 249
77 9 Steven Souza Jr. OF 292 278 253
78 9 Manuel Margot OF 269 284 271
79 9 Jake Bauers 1B/OF 283 269 279
80 10 Jason Kipnis 2B/OF 286 277 286
81 10 Daniel Palka OF 294 261 294
82 10 Cedric Mullins OF 290 274 292
83 10 Scott Schebler OF 287 298 288
84 10 Josh Reddick OF 301 299 301
85 10 Franchy Cordero OF 281 320 #N/A
86 10 Kevin Kiermaier OF 298 314 298
87 10 Kevin Pillar OF 310 305 309
88 10 Byron Buxton OF 312 307 310
89 10 Carlos Gonzalez OF 323 310 307
90 10 Tyler O'Neill OF 306 321 #N/A
91 10 Marwin Gonzalez 1B/2B/SS/OF 320 306 316
92 11 Adam Duvall 1B/OF 322 312 317
93 11 Willie Calhoun OF 326 319 322
94 11 Jake Cave OF 318 358 315
95 11 Jay Bruce OF/1B 331 332 #N/A
96 11 Bradley Zimmer OF 340 336 336
97 11 Yoenis Cespedes OF 346 335 333
98 11 Delino DeShields OF 344 355 #N/A
99 11 Scott Kingery SS/3B/OF 356 343 359
100 11 Steve Pearce 1B/2B/OF 370 359 350
101 11 Niko Goodrum 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF 381 365 346
102 11 Jason Heyward OF 380 364 376
103 11 Lewis Brinson OF 391 368 365
104 11 Avisail Garcia OF 361 369 401
105 11 Raimel Tapia OF 360 414 360
106 12 Eric Thames 1B/OF 400 376 372
107 12 Joc Pederson OF 396 397 369
108 12 Mikie Mahtook OF 410 385 379
109 12 Mark Trumbo OF 393 392 #N/A
110 12 Aaron Altherr OF 402 403 377
111 12 Jorge Soler OF 389 427 373
112 12 Steven Duggar OF 401 395 #N/A
113 12 Albert Almora Jr. OF 392 428 375
114 12 Peter O'Brien OF 423 410 387
115 12 Alex Verdugo OF 457 432 384
116 12 Brock Holt 2B/3B/OF 443 435 399
117 12 Jorge Bonifacio OF 428 #N/A #N/A
118 12 Nick Williams OF 424 437 #N/A
119 12 Phillip Ervin OF 438 #N/A #N/A
120 12 Derek Fisher OF 446 434 #N/A
121 12 Ben Zobrist 2B/OF 467 416 #N/A
122 12 Dustin Fowler OF 448 #N/A #N/A
123 12 Leonys Martin OF 451 456 #N/A
124 12 Kike Hernandez 2B/SS/OF 459 451 #N/A
125 12 Michael Taylor OF 469 461 #N/A
126 12 Chris Owings 2B/3B/OF 478 455 #N/A
127 12 Dexter Fowler OF 482 470 #N/A
128 12 Mac Williamson OF 484 #N/A #N/A
129 12 Travis Jankowski OF 487 #N/A #N/A
130 12 Jose Osuna 1B/OF 499 #N/A #N/A

 

Outfield Points League Rankings: Upper Tiers

Tier One

Make no mistake, the points format would have to be incredibly pitcher-friendly for you to pass up Mike Trout at No. 1. I understand that’s perfectly possible, but we run the risk of normalizing just how great Trout is due to his lack of flair and postseason record, in my opinion. The amateur meteorologist has been a first-round stud for seven seasons even though he’s just 27 years old, as even injuries in the past two seasons haven’t kept him from crossing the 30 HR/20 SB threshold in each year. With a wild 20.1% walk rate thrown on top of the action last season, Trout’s your alpha.

If you don’t have the first overall pick or an auction strategy that supplies you with Trout, then any of Betts, Martinez, Yelich, Harper and Acuna will surely suffice as an offensive anchor. The two Red Sox are established hitting stars, while Yelich only has one killer year under his belt but it came once he was freed from Miami’s awful park/team environment so there’s hope for lesser regression. Harper’s 18.7% walk rate trailed only Trout in the OF department (min. 200 PAs) and while he’s without a team at the moment, we need to remember he has 40-homer pop, 20-steal wheels and a swing capable of a .330 average as he enters his age-26 season. Acuna is the “outlier” without a full big-league season but has 30/20/.300 skills to flex atop Atlanta’s lineup with all of the PAs that provides despite the 25% strikeout rate.

Tier Two

Fear not if you missed out on the top six, as the next six are pretty damn good too. You can see Bill and JB agree on Judge being the best of this bunch, as he fought through an injury to produce a .919 OPS after posting a mammoth 1.049 OPS during his 52-homer rookie campaign. He turns 27 in April and will likely always bring a 30% strikeout rate with him, but a 15% walk rate and a real shot at 230 R+RBI in that lineup/stadium helps bring balance.

Call me crazy, but I’d rather have Soto over Judge in this format, which will cause Bill to backhand slap me. I know, I know. But the .923 OPS and 16% walk rate against 20% strikeout rate as an age-19 rookie using all fields is just beautiful. That kind of plate discipline and bat control doesn’t grow on trees and I’m here in case he brings that K rate below his BB rate like he often did in the Minors. Let’s be clear, you’re happy with either.

Blackmon and Benintendi are on opposite sides of the aging curve, but both offer a solid HR+SB floor while getting a R+RBI boost by hitting in the upper third of a high-octane offense. Bryant’s shoulder injury dinged his 2018 but we know he’s a special talent and while he may still have a lower fly-ball rate and tempered power returns, a healthy KB means an OBP around .400 and around 200 R+RBI. Meanwhile Stanton’s “down season” saw him stay off of the DL for the second straight season while reaching both 100 runs and 100 RBI with 38 dingers.

Tier Three

While I’d prefer to have the Tier Three group be my second outfielder, there’s no shame in bulking up the rest of your squad and having one of these lead the way. Hoskins is a thrilling young talent who won’t have to worry about manning the outfield anymore. Springer gets to feast atop Houston’s batting order and even with terrible baserunning and an uninspiring average, he’s a threat for 700 PAs and volume makes him a big player.

We’re all largely in step on these guys, but it’s worth noting JB is a bit lower on Marte. This is likely due to a walk rate that’s lucky to hold around 6% and an OPS that’s only topped .790 once in his last four seasons. Not to mention Pittsburgh’s rebuild is going to hinder those counting stats, which also need to bake in Marte’s durability. Between injuries and a suspension, he’s only played in more than 150 games once with a career-high mark of 633 PAs.

 

Outfield Points League Rankings: Middle Tiers

Tier Four

Here’s where the depth of OF talent really starts to make itself known. We’re going beyond the top-25 with this crop and yet you’re still dealing with top-100 players -- none of us have a single player in the triple digits. Those with notable gaps in the ranks are Haniger, Peralta and Pollock. Please note that Pollock hadn’t signed when we submitted these for article use.

Haniger’s 90-26-93-8-.285/.366/.493 line from 2018 showed that the flash in ‘17 was legitimate and his walk rate rising from 7.6% to 10.2% alongside modest hard-hit rate gains is enough for me to buy in. My bearishness on Peralta comes from trusting an age-30 breakout that hinged on his hard-hit rate exploding to 48.6% after never topping 36% before. This yielded a HR/FB rate that jumped from 12.2% in ‘17 to 23.4% in ‘18, but his OPS still sat at .868 with 162 R+RBI.

Pollock deserves more love from me now that I know he’s embedded in LAD’s lineup, though he’ll need to stem the awful plate discipline he showed last season. His walk rate fell a bit (from 7.5% to 6.7%) while his K rate went from 15.2% to 21.7% on the back of a career-worst 10.7% swinging-strike rate. At least it came with a career-best .228 ISO and his going 13-of-15 on steal attempts, though, so the talent finds ways to show itself.

Tier Five

The fifth tier sees us widen the lens with a grouping over 10, but they’re all worthy of your attention. While a few of these guys are “boring” (aka stable commodities), there’s a ton of upside mixed with a low floor. Boring can work a bit better in points leagues than other formats due to the value of accumulators. Targeting playing time and PAs is a good formula.

One of everyone’s favorite “sleepers,” Jesse Winker, can be found here. Winker’s .366 wOBA was 33rd out of 313 players with at least 250 PAs while his xwOBA was 36th, but he also needs to learn to hit lefties (career 15-for-82 vs. LHP). At least he demolishes righties, with a career .328/.421/.503 slash line against them with nearly identical walk and strikeout rates around 14%.

We’ve found our first huge disagreement, as Bill thinks Nimmo is a top-100 bat while JB and I paint him closer to No. 150. I can see where Bill’s coming from given Nimmo’s ridiculous .404 OBP and the 20 HR/10 SB skill set, but I still see warning signs. Namely, that he can’t hit southpaws well at all. He only delivered a .234 /.351/.391 slash line while striking out in nearly one-of-three PAs in ‘18, and his career OPS of .688 vs. LHP (208 PAs) is ugly compared to the .893 OPS vs. RHP (622 PAs). The Mets aren’t shy about protecting him from lefties and may bat Amed Rosario leadoff (he hit .284 against them last season) against portsiders even if Nimmo does play.

Tier Six

This tier groups most speedsters in Gordon, Robles and Mallex Smith, but also some more one-dimensional sluggers such as Kyle Schwarber and Joey Gallo. You can see most of my ranks are tight within this band, though I disagree on Schwarber being this high while JB would likely drop Bader and Gallo into the next train.

Schwarber and Gallo both have walk rates around the 12-15% range to go with their strong swings, with Gallo’s increased homers coming with increased strikeouts. We can’t ignore that Schwarbs’s has a career-high 510 PAs while Gallo has banked 532 and 577 PAs in each of the last two seasons. Meanwhile, Bader is a defensive whiz and sports 20/20 potential, though the 29.3% strikeout rate from 427 PAs last season does cap his upside.

Tier Seven

We’re largely in step with one another in this bunch, with the biggest range comes from Matt Kemp. Now in hitting-friendly Great American Ballpark, his 14th season in the bigs may revive his power back over the .200 ISO mark. While his .290/.338/.481 line with a .190 ISO wasn’t mindblowing, he quietly turned in a career-best 26.8% line-drive rate and 43.5% hard-hit rate. That helps explain his BABIP bouncing back up to .339 after turning in marks of .311, .297 and .318 over the previous three seasons. If he keeps most of those gains then I get the love, but I’m hard-pressed to buy in at this point in the aging curve.

Tier Eight

Take chances, make mistakes, get messy! Let me lead with stating that Kepler needs to be higher, though I fully expect his preseason sleeper status to reach heights that chip away at much of the profit to be had.

If I could pick one bat to buy into for upside’s sake then I’ll take Happ, who could take a Javier Baez-ian leap in ‘19 with a similar power profile. The 2015 first-round pick started off the ‘18 season with a first-pitch homer but then cooled, posting a .761 OPS despite a 15.2% walk rate as the wild 36.1% strikeout rate left little room for bad luck.

You can see I’m also the lowest on Adam Jones and Billy Hamilton, as I’m worried Jones ends up signing onto a team that may not view him as an everyday, leadoff hitter and he needs volume to return value without a high walk rate or steals. Then there’s Hamilton, who is likely stuck batting ninth in a stadium known for its cruelty towards hitters with an uninspiring lineup around him. If his OBP is merely .300 then it’ll be the first time he’s hit that mark in three seasons.

 

Outfield Points League Rankings: Lower Tiers

Tier Nine

You’ve got to have faith here! Faith that Adam Eaton and Steven Souza can stay on the field. That Jackie Bradley can keep a hot streak going for more than a month. That Kyle Tucker can make it in the bigs (with relevant playing time). That Kole Calhoun won’t disappear for half the season. That Domingo Santana can reclaim some of 2016’s glory. That Brian Anderson can accumulate enough stats on the Marlins with an OPS likely under .775. That Franmil Reyes and Manny Margot can stay hot and play more than five times a week in San Diego. And that Jake Bauers won’t get platooned to irrelevance in Cleveland.

Tier 10

Here we find Byron “Best Shape of His Life” Buxton, who reportedly added 21 pounds of muscle this offseason in an effort to remain healthy and is a worthwhile flier towards pick No. 300, but he has several obstacles to overcome. He’s got a gigantic chip on his shoulder after management kept him down for all of 2018 and will probably hit ninth to open the season, though a strong spring might inspire his leapfrogging Jorge Polanco. The usual 30% strikeout rate is working against his hitting so high, though.

I’m highest on Franchy Cordero and his 70-grade raw power, but the aforementioned playing risk for Franmil Reyes goes for Cordero as well. You’re not getting away from a strikeout rate that likely settles above 30% but 154 MLB PAs saw him post a 48.2% hard-hit rate and smash seven homers while swiping five bases. He’s got 30/20 potential if he had an everyday job, but that’s impossible to vouch for at this time.

If an injury opens a lane for Tyler O’Neill to see the field regularly than you need to be there. Out of hitters with at least 50 batted-ball events, O’Neill’s 12% barrels per plate appearance rate was second only Luke Voit (12.4%) in ‘18. That would’ve evened out a bit with a bigger sample size, but the power is so real. He didn’t just luck into 26 homers over just 273 Triple-A PAs in ‘18 before getting called up, so watch his name closely.

Tier 11

Do note that Adam Duvall was ranked here before the Nick Markakis signing by Atlanta pushes his playing time further to the brink. I wouldn’t draft him if I could help it. You know that drafting Yoenis Cespedes means you’re sacrificing a bench/DL slot for the 20% chance that his heels hold up and the quads don’t strain themselves as he works back into game shape.

Instead, Bill and I would have you pay Jake Cave some mind, especially if you miss on Buxton and want to hedge against him. Not only can philosophy enthusiasts make some serious Plato jokes, but Cave quietly posted a .208 ISO in ‘18 -- tied with Haniger and just ahead of Justin Upton and Michael Conforto.

If you find yourself in leagues with only four or five bench slots then you should scoop up Niko Goodrum, Detroit’s very own Swiss-Army knife. His first full season came at 26 years old, as he smacked 16 homers while bagging 12 steals over 492 PAs (131 games). While the pop is likely maxed out, he’s shown greater speed with a 29.1 ft/sec sprint speed and he stole 84 bags between 2013-15 in the Minors.

Tier 12

The rest of the...rest, these 25 players are where you should throw caution to the wind and hunt upside. The guys I should move up a little and I think are worth your attention are Joc Pederson, Jorge Soler, Steven Duggar, Albert Almora, Leonys Martin, Enrique Hernandez and Dexter Fowler.

That last name may have caused some of you to close out the window, but Fowler’s terrible offensive season still had an 11.4% walk rate that was tied for 22nd place out of 110 outfielders with at least 300 PAs. He’ll need to hit above the Mendoza line, of course, but he’s only 33 years old and had posted an OPS of .840 and .851 in ‘16 and ‘17, respectively.

If Cleveland doesn’t do anything else between now and Opening Day, then Martin is likely their everyday centerfielder as Bradley Zimmer continues to recover. You’re not buying into any great plate discipline and he’d likely bat in the lower third of the order, but lefty-swingers taking hacks at Progressive Field are cash money.

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Narrowly Misses Out On Daytona 500 Victory
Joey Logano4 days ago

Wrecks Out Of Daytona 500 But Leads Most Laps
Ilia Topuria5 days ago

Becomes The New UFC Featherweight Champion
Alexander Volkanovski5 days ago

Loses Title At UFC 298
Henry Cejudo5 days ago

Merab Dvalishvili Defeats Henry Cejudo By Unanimous Decision At UFC 298
Henry Cejudo5 days ago

Takes Decision Loss
Roman Kopylov5 days ago

Gets Submitted At UFC 298
Ross Chastain6 days ago

Aggressiveness Could Pay Dividends at Daytona
Kyle Larson6 days ago

Searching for First-Ever Top 5 in Daytona 500
Chris Buescher6 days ago

No Worries About Chris Buescher Missing Daytona 500 Practice
NASCAR6 days ago

Bubba Wallace: 'The Best I've Felt Mentally'
Michael McDowell6 days ago

Avoid Michael McDowell in DFS for Daytona
Jimmie Johnson6 days ago

Sneaks Into Daytona 500 Field Despite Wreck
Anthony Hernandez6 days ago

Gets Submission Win At UFC 298
Geoff Neal6 days ago

Drops Split Decision At UFC 298
MMA6 days ago

Ian Machado Garry Remains Undefeated
Paulo Costa6 days ago

Loses Entertaining Fight At UFC 298
Robert Whittaker6 days ago

Edges Out Competitive Decision At UFC 298
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