Dan Harris’s Fantasy Baseball First Base Rankings (2020)
Once the powerhouse of the fantasy baseball positions, first base has evolved over the last two seasons. While it’s not the shallowest position (that is reserved for catcher, of course), it is now one where failing to secure a strong option before the middle rounds may leave you in a pinch.
That’s especially true with many options at first base having multi-position eligibility. Certainly, Max Muncy and DJ LeMahieu have far more value at second base, while Danny Santana might be better off filling an outfield spot. Removing those players from the first base pool significantly depletes the number of reliable options.
As I’ve mentioned at times in the past, I craft my rankings as a draft guide, meaning I often weigh multi-position eligibility heavily. For that reason, you’ll see Max Muncy (1B, 2B, 3B) and Miguel Sano (1B, 3B) higher than our expert consensus ranking.
For similar reasons, I’m also higher on Ryan McMahon (1B, 2B, 3B) and Brandon Lowe (1B, 2B), though I also like both players generally. Bud Black has all but guaranteed McMahon an everyday role, and even in an extremely uneven year in 2019, he still hit 24 home runs and had an elite average exit velocity of 91.4 miles per hour last year. And Lowe is slated to lead off for the Rays, and was essentially on a 35-homer, 10-steal pace last year with an .850 OPS.
Conversely, I’m lower than the consensus on Anthony Rizzo, who is a much better real-life than fantasy option as he enters his age-30 season, and Yuli Gurriel, who will be 36 years old and has been an empty batting average hitter his entire career except for one season.