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2018 Third Basemen - Dynasty Tiered Rankings

The hot corner runs relatively deep in terms of draft value this year. While stalwarts like Arenado, Machado, and Bryant easily claim the top tier, you can find a former MVP at the ninth spot, a back-to-back 30-HR hitter at 14, and perhaps the best prospect in all of baseball at the 20th spot.

Without any more delay, let's explore the 2018 third base dynasty rankings for February. 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.

Check out our previous iterations of dynasty rankings analysis, such as shortstop or second base.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball lineup tools and weekly lineup resources:

 

2018 Fantasy Baseball Dynasty League Rankings: Third Base

Ranking Tier Player Name Pos
1 1 Kris Bryant 3B/OF
2 1 Nolan Arenado 3B
3 1 Manny Machado SS/3B
4 2 Jose Ramirez 2B/3B
5 2 Alex Bregman SS/3B
6 2 Freddie Freeman 1B/3B
7 3 Miguel Sano 3B
8 3 Anthony Rendon 3B
9 3 Josh Donaldson 3B
10 4 Kyle Seager 3B
11 4 Travis Shaw 3B
12 4 Justin Turner 3B
13 4 Rafael Devers 3B
14 4 Jake Lamb 3B
15 4 Mike Moustakas 3B
16 4 Nick Castellanos 3B/OF
17 4 Matt Carpenter 1B/2B/3B
18 4 Joey Gallo 3B
19 5 Adrian Beltre 3B
20 5 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 3B
21 5 Eugenio Suarez 3B
22 5 Maikel Franco 3B
23 5 Evan Longoria 3B
24 6 Ryan McMahon 1B/3B
25 6 Nick Senzel 3B
26 6 Ryon Healy 1B/3B
27 6 Scooter Gennett 2B/3B
28 6 Eduardo Nunez 2B/SS/3B
29 6 Jeimer Candelario 3B
30 6 Yangervis Solarte 3B

Tier 1

Perhaps more than any other position on the infield, the top tier of third baseman are locked in without much of any doubt or debate. Each is just entering their prime and as a result have five years of elite production barring disaster. Fantasy owners can’t go wrong building around any of Bryant, Machado, or Arenado as the foundation of their team.

Tier 2

Freddie Freeman is the safest option of Tier 2 as he is nearly on the level of Bryant, Machado, and Arenado. However, his eligibility at third figures to be short-lived.

Jose Ramirez and Alex Bregman should be mainstays at the position and both offer nice power-speed upside for the time being. Entering his age 24 season, Bregman figures to have power upside left to go along with an otherwise well-rounded stat-line. Some of his stolen base production may wane as he grows into his power, but team context and batting average will keep his ratios and other counting stats strong. Meanwhile, we likely saw Ramirez’s best output in terms of power in 2017, but he should be a safe four-category contributor for seasons to come thanks to his strong team context and youth.

Tier 3

Tier 3 is where we start to see diversity in risk, age, and ceiling among the players. The highest upside belongs to Miguel Sano who is still just 24 and has power metrics to match the likes of Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge. On the other hand, an exceptionally high strikeout rate and  health bring plenty of risk to his fantasy profile. His recent off field troubles present more risk in the short-term rather than long run, but are still worth noting as an extra layer of risk.  

Donaldson is still a strong asset but his days of being one of the top options at the position are likely over. Entering his age 32 season, Donaldson is coming off a year in which he missed significant time due to injury and recorded the highest strikeout rate of his career. It would be premature to say Donaldson is done as an elite fantasy option, but those out of contention cycles should be looking in to cash in his value to kick start their rebuild.   

Now that Anthony Rendon has put together three full and healthy seasons out of his past four, he has emerged as a safe floor option at the position. He doesn’t have the ceiling of either Donaldson or Sano, but at 27 his fantasy owners have a number of years of consistent production to look forward to.

Tier 4

This tier features relatively stable assets who have been fantasy mainstays for several years in Justin Turner, Kyle Seager, and Matt Carpenter. You can pencil in their production on a yearly basis, and though they won’t be league winners based on upside they also present little risk of sinking your team. They are on the back end of their careers, so they are best fits for contending teams.

Nick Castellanos and Joey Gallo are young risers in this tier. Castellanos finally had his breakout campaign in 2017 that his batted ball profile suggested was possible and deserved. At the age of 25, there should be no looking back for him. Joey Gallo showed that his touted power was real in 2017, mashing 41 home runs in just 449 at-bats. However, he posts comparable strikeout rates to Sano and also has an infield flyball issue that will keep his average anchored below .230 unless something changes. In OBP leagues, however, he is worth bumping up to Tier 3.

Rafael Devers was impressive in his major-league debut, headlined by a 1.074 OPS in 57 plate appearances against left-handed pitching. If he shows that he can hit against lefties just as effectively as righties, he should be on the fast track to bump up another tier or two in short order as he is just 21 years old.

Jake Lamb is entering the prime age for production, but the rest of the context surrounding him isn’t positive. He has shown an utter inability to hit left-handed pitching and could realistically be forced into a platoon role as a result. There has been and will continue to be plenty of talk about the humidor at Chase Field heading into the 2018 season, but Lamb has shown nearly equal ability to hit both on the road and at home which should help soften some of that blow.   

Tier 5

Age may finally starting to be catching up to Adrian Beltre as he failed to appear in 100 games in the 2017 season, the first time that happened since his rookie campaign in 1998. This spring, there has been talk that Beltre will remain primarily at third base, but that he would see more at-bats as the Rangers’ DH. That may help in protecting his health and keeping him in the lineup, but adds to the indicators that Beltre is slowing down.

Maikel Franco didn’t take the step forward that was projected for him last season, but it’s not time to give up on him yet. He maintained a low strikeout rate and his hard contact rate was also consistent from his solid 2016 season. His flyball rate also continues to tick up, but he was held back last year in both power and average production by an popup problem that will need to be resolved for him to take a step forward.

Eugenio Suarez is the name that doesn’t fit in with this group in terms of name value. However, in terms of production and age, he is one of the better long-term options in the tier. He appeared to be a beneficiary of the “juiced ball” phenomenon in 2017 as he posted his career best HR/FB rate at any level. That said, there likely won’t be a repeat of his 2017 season in terms of power, but he should be a stable 20 home run producer for several seasons with a decent average and solid counting stats. Think of him as a poor man's Anthony Rendon.

Tier 6

Tier 6 is littered with players best used as streaming options or stashes on minors rosters. Eduardo Nunez, Yangervis Solarte, and Scooter Gennett all enter the season with unclear roles on their teams. Gennett could be a useful streaming option for those teams short on pop with Nunez providing stolen base production in a similar role.

Ryan McMahon and Nick Senzel are both hot names this spring, with news that Senzel is taking reps at shortstop and McMahon being in the mix to start at first for the Rockies this season. That said, these top prospects could make an impact at the major league level as early as this season. Jeimer Candelario should have playing time locked in at third base for the Tigers, but he has shown a lack of power throughout his minor league career that will limit his value if his batted ball profile doesn’t change.

 

More Dynasty Leagues Analysis




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