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2022 Outfield Ranking Tiers (Fantasy Baseball)

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Mar 28, 2022
Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper seems underrated among 2022’s crop of outfielders.

I love outfield. Like, a ton. There is so much value throughout, and every single round, there’s a player who stands out as a player who could – and maybe should – be drafted for your squad. 

But with the players who are available late, you have to be careful about filling out your outfield early in the draft – especially in three-outfielder leagues.

When it comes to rankings, tiers are the best way to go about them, as it allows you to group a set of players so that you know when you need to take a specific player at a position before that tier runs out.

We’ll look at outfielder ADP based on FantasyPros composite ADP and then break them down into tiers for you; this will help you know when to grab the guy you like.

We should note that these tiers are based on a 12-team standard roto league, so adjust accordingly for your league scoring.

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Tier 1: There Can Only Be Juan

Soto is the best hitter in baseball, and it’s not close for me. While not a zero, he also doesn’t have the desired speed for a No. 1 overall pick, but he is elite everywhere else. In OBP leagues, Soto is my 1.1, and for standard leagues, he’s my 1.3.

Tier 2: Also Elite

Is Harper ever not going to be underrated? It’s pretty crazy at this point. Another huge year is coming with the new additions to that lineup.

If Acuña proves to be ready for Opening Day or soon after, he’s a top-five pick. It sounds like Atlanta is planning on having him DH early.

Betts and Trout are two veteran studs who are coming off a “down” year (still really, really good) and injury-riddled seasons, respective. If healthy, but will return first-round value. I question the steals for both.

I think we may be overvaluing Tucker’s stolen base potential a tad. He’s a firm second-rounder for me. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is still my favorite player, but while I was all-in on him to take the MVP last year, I’m doing the same with Robert. He’s going to go top five next year. Mark it down.

It turns out that Yordan’s knees were just fine after all, huh? He doesn’t have the speed, but don’t pass on one of the best hitters in the game and push speed up for the lower-quality player.

Tier 3: Studs with Questions

The health issues seem to be mostly behind him. Too bad he can’t say the same about the vaccine, too, to play in Toronto.  

Marte should be a fourth-round pick, not a third. He’s an aging outfielder whose driving force is speed, and he’s dealing with an oblique injury.

It’s always tricky betting on a player after a breakout career season. Can Mullins buck the trend? The power/speed profile is tantalizing.

Merrifield doesn’t get his due respect. He’s a great speed source who isn’t a zero across the board. Altuve used to fill that void, but now he’s a good average hitter that can give you 20 homers. You’re playing him at second base.

Tier 4: The Clear Upside… and Downside

There’s nothing else for Teo to prove. His 2020 season had some question marks, but he backed it up in 2021. The most significant tangible change was cutting down on the strikeout rate.

Castellanos heading to Philadelphia is incredible for him. It’s not Cincy, but it’s not far off from it. Value points up.

We always use the qualifier with Buxton and Springer if they can stay healthy. But Buxton can be a first-round player, and Springer can be a darkhorse MVP candidate. 

Jiménez feels like this year’s version of Yordan, where we significantly underrate him and just watch him mash all season.

And he’s already hurt. This tier feels like the right spot for Tatís, assuming he can come back and play a little more than half a season. 

Look, I know his Statcast numbers are off the charts but are we sure 2021 was the true O’Neil, and it wasn’t the player we’ve seen the rest of his career? I’m treating him like how we treated Teoscar heading into 2021.

Arozarena gives you a solid power/speed mix at this point in the draft and is the last combo guy who doesn’t hurt you elsewhere. Bryant in Coors Field is a dream come true, and you’re playing him at third base, of course.

What’s not to like about Lowe? The end-of-year numbers are always there for him, though there are ups and downs en route to the production throughout the season. I prefer him a lot more in season-long roto leagues.

Marte is one of my favorite players to draft, and he’s at such a discount. Given the value, he’s my favorite player to target in this tier and at the position, and he’s easily a Tier 2 player when healthy.

Martinez is older, sure, but he can still mash the ball. He’s a great value this year, depending on your team build.

Tier 5: Floor and Ceiling

Reynolds gets punished for playing on the Pirates. It sucks, sure, but it makes him a value—one of the best floors in fantasy.

Bellinger and Yelich have to be ranked back to back. It’s a fantasy rule from now until the end of time.

Stanton is still the best pure power hitter in fantasy, but it’s hard to take him when so many other people with a power profile don’t carry the risk he has.

Haniger reminded us how good he is when he’s healthy. Buy in 2022. I’m buying his teammate Winker, too, but the ballpark difference hurts him. Will he play against lefties?

In a fully healthy Angels lineup where everything goes right, Walsh could have a monster year, but he could platoon. 

Schwarber’s batted-ball numbers look good despite the inflated BABIP in Boston. He could hit 40-plus home runs in Philly this year. Reyes could do that in Cleveland, too.

I’d have Mountcastle up a tier, but moving the left-field fence back gives me real concerns.

Bell is fine, I guess, but I’ve never been a fan, and Varsho will play every day, but you’re using him as your catcher. Is he good? I’m not sure, but he’s a cheat code.

Meadows is a reason to look for speed early because he – and others like him – are available later.

Tier 6: Good Values

Taylor is another high-floor player who saw the power rebound in a big way. The Dodgers will play him all over the place daily.

Grisham and Gurriel are a pair of bounce-back candidates who come at excellent value. I’m in on both guys.

Let’s talk ceilings for Kelenic and Suzuki! Kelenic made a late change last season and has top 25 overall potential. I think we see a big step forward. Suzuki should adapt well to MLB. I’m entirely buying into the scouting reports, and his ADP should be climbing daily.

Gallo is tough to roster in a league that uses batting average because he’s just a zero there. Fantasy managers aren’t treating Renfroe like a player who just had an incredible season, and he is a sneaky power boost that is available late.

The rest of the tier doesn’t excite me, but pairing Straw with Yordan has been my approach this season.

Soler’s power will play anywhere, so I’m not worried about him in Miami. Can someone please sign Conforto? Please?

Tier 7: Underrated

I love this tier, and I pick from here often. García is sneaky good, and I like him in Miami. 

Grossman is the OBP god but still has 18/18 potential in standard leagues. Baddoo I’m a fan of, but it comes down to how he does against lefties.

Kirilloff is my crush this year, and I have him in Tier 5 right behind Schwarber, so I’m all in on the big breakout.

Tier 8: The Rest

Take your pick from this group. I’m shooting for the upside in Adell and Vaughn, myself.

Key Takeaways

  • The position is so deep and has so many similar hitters late that you’re always going to want one. Leave an OF spot open for the later rounds. You’ll be glad you did.
  • I make my living in Tier 2 and Tier 4. I also take Kirilloff in every draft that I can, but I’m higher than the consensus on him.
  • I don’t find myself taking a lot of Tier 3 a lot. There are risks there with them all, and the only one I tend to take is Judge or, on occasion, Merrifield.

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Michael Waterloo is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MichaelWaterloo.

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