2018 Fantasy Baseball Rankings

Expert Consensus Ranking (59 of 63 Experts) -
Rank Player (Team, Position) Overall Notes
1 Paul Goldschmidt (ARI - 1B) 7 1 3 1.2 0.5 7.0
Goldschmidt had another truly elite season, bouncing back from his minor power outage in 2016 to hit 36 home runs and finish as the fifth-ranked player in fantasy. There's little to discuss with Goldschmidt at this point - he's just 30 years old, has been an elite fantasy producer for five years, and shows no signs of decline. In fact, he had his highest hard-contact rate of his career in 2017. The addition of a humidor puts a minor damper on Goldschmidt's outlook, but don't overthink it, as he remains an elite hitter on the road. He's a top-10 pick in all fantasy formats this year.
2 Joey Votto (CIN - 1B) 15 1 6 2.6 1.1 17.0 +2.0
Votto, who has been an elite fantasy option for several years, somehow took his game to another level last year in his age-33 season. He tied his career-high in runs scored, and came close to matching his career-highs in home runs, RBI, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and walk rate. He also had the lowest strikeout rate of his career (just 11.7 percent) by a wide margin. Simply put, he was as good as he's ever been last year, and there's no reason to doubt him this season. Even with the depth at the first base position, taking Votto with an early pick is an obviously safe and wise move.
3 Freddie Freeman (ATL - 1B,3B) 18 1 9 3.3 1.3 19.0 +1.0
Absent his wrist injury that cost him more than six weeks of action, Freeman easily would have had his best season ever. Regardless, he showed that the power gains he made in 2016 were real, and he posted the lowest strikeout rate and highest ISO of his career. Playing in the bandbox that is SunTrust Park, there's little reason to doubt Freeman's ability to be an elite power hitter going forward. Especially if he has third-base eligibility in your league, Freeman should be a very early pick and can be relied on as one of the building blocks of your fantasy team.
4 Anthony Rizzo (CHC - 1B,2B) 19 1 6 3.5 1.0 21.0 +2.0
Rizzo has been perhaps the most reliable fantasy player in the game over the past four seasons, hitting either 31 or 32 home runs in each season, tallying between 89 and 99 RBI, and throwing in a handful of steals. But although his fantasy numbers remained consistent, he showed plenty of gains last year, cutting his strikeout rate and increasing his walk rate significantly. In other words, there's still plenty of room for growth for the young slugger. He remains one of the top first-base options in the game right now, but to the extent he gained second-base eligibility thanks to Joe Maddon's quirky shifts, he should be considered a truly elite fantasy option this year.
5 Cody Bellinger (LAD - 1B,LF,CF) 25 3 10 5.4 1.3 26.0 +1.0
Absent Aaron Judge's season, the baseball community would have been talking about Cody Bellinger's rookie year as perhaps the greatest of all time. Despite beginning the year in the minors and missing time on the disabled list, Bellinger swatted 39 home runs, and added 10 steals to boot. He did struggle some in the playoffs, especially in the World Series, where he struck out 17 times in 28 at-bats. That could mean that there's a book out on Bellinger, which could result in more strikeouts and a bit of a sophomore slump. Still, there's plenty of room for regression with the youngster, and he should still be an excellent fantasy option this year, even if his numbers dip a bit.
6 Jose Abreu (CWS - 1B,DH) 31 3 12 6.0 1.3 37.0 +6.0
Abreu has quickly established himself as one of the most consistent players in all of fantasy baseball. In his four seasons in the majors, he's never hit fewer than 25 home runs, driven in fewer than 100 RBI, or batted lower than .290. The fact that his numbers were so gaudy last year (.304/.354/.552) is particularly impressive given the dearth of offensive talent on the White Sox roster. Essentially, there are no concerns at this point with Abreu, and his safety makes him a rock-solid option at first base, just behind the elite names.
7 Edwin Encarnacion (CLE - 1B,DH) 39 5 13 7.5 1.3 48.0 +9.0
Encarnacion got off to a very rough start with the Indians, but in the end, he wound up with his standard stat line. He hit at least 34 home runs and tallied 98 RBI for the sixth consecutive season, his strikeout rate remained constant, and he actually set a career-high in walk rate (15.5%). In the end, there's little to suggest a decline is imminent, even as Encarnacion enters his age-35 season. With enough appearances at first base to retain eligibility at the position, Encarnacion can and should once again be valued as a strong fantasy option.
8 Rhys Hoskins (PHI - 1B,LF) 47 4 31 8.5 3.7 41.0 -6.0
Hoskins had an incredible season between Triple-A and the majors, swatting 47 home runs and totaling 115 RBI between the two levels. His 48 RBI in his first 50 Major League games is the best mark ever by a rookie, and his incredibly high walk rate and manageable strikeout rate suggests that his performance was not a fluke. With an improving Phillies lineup and another year under his belt, the sky is the limit for Hoskins heading into this season, and he should have dual-eligibility at both first base and outfield.
9 Wil Myers (SD - 1B,LF,RF) 53 5 18 9.8 2.3 68.0 +15.0
Myers' batting average dropped and his strikeout rate rose in 2017, but those are really the only negatives you can point to. He went 30-20, increased his walk rate to a career high 10.8%, and set a career high in hard-contact rate by a large margin. Yes, his runs and RBI totals dropped significantly, but those declines are hardly his fault, as the Padres' abysmal offense prevented him from padding his totals in those categories. Although the Padres may not be strong offensively again, Myers' combination of power and speed makes him an outstanding fantasy option at first base in 2018.
10 Eric Hosmer (SD - 1B) 66 6 18 10.9 2.5 81.0 +15.0
Hosmer had a career-year at just the right time, hitting 25 home runs for the second consecutive season but raising his batting average to an impressive .318. That season garnered him a large contract from the Padres (after a lengthy wait), where he'll man first base for the next several seasons. Petco Park isn't nearly the pitcher's park it once was, and Hosmer shouldn't see too much of a dip in power with the move from Kauffman Stadium. The bigger issue for Hosmer is whether he can keep his average gains despite an extremely high ground ball-rate (fourth-highest in the league among qualified hitters last season). If he does, expect him to be a low-end starting first baseman in mixed leagues or a strong corner infielder.
11 Miguel Cabrera (DET - 1B,DH) 70 6 24 11.7 3.2 84.0 +14.0
Cabrera had the worst season of his career by far, batting just .249 and hitting just 16 home runs. He battled back and hip injuries for pretty much the entire season, and although he tried to play through them, he was clearly not the same player. His jump in strikeout rate and drop in walk rate suggests that age may also be catching up to the slugger as he enters his age-35 season. But Cabrera has had down years before (i.e., 2015) and bounced back with superb seasons, so it's probably unwise to write him off completely. But the days of needing to take him with an early pick appear to be over.
12 Joey Gallo (TEX - 1B,3B,LF) 95 8 46 15.9 6.3 105.0 +10.0
Yes, the batting average is disgusting and will almost certainly remain that way, but you can't easily replace the 40 to 50 homers we should expect this year. Plus, we have to consider that he got substantially better each year in the minors so growth in the BA department can't be ruled out.
13 Buster Posey (SF - C,1B) 80 6 28 13.9 4.6 56.0 -24.0
From a fantasy standpoint, Posey had perhaps the worst full season of his career last year, hitting just 12 home runs and knocking in just 67 RBI, though he still finished as the third-best catcher in fantasy baseball. But his dip in performance was largely based on his lack of supporting cast, as he had the second-highest batting average and on-base percentage of his career. That supporting cast should look much better this year with Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria on board. Posey will be just 31 years old on Opening Day, and should still have another year or two before the inevitable "catcher decline." Though he may have been surpassed by Gary Sanchez, he's still an easy second choice at the position.
14 Justin Smoak (TOR - 1B,DH) 104 10 29 16.7 3.7 137.0 +33.0
A former top prospect, Smoak was largely forgotten in fantasy circles heading into last season. But he exploded for 38 home runs, setting career highs across the board. The only truly dramatic change in Smoak's underlying numbers was a significant decrease in strikeout rate, which seemed to come from a legitimate effort by him to lay off on pitches outside the strike zone. Though it's always a worry to rely on a breakout season from a 30-year-old, Smoak's profile suggest that his gains are legitimate and repeatable.
15 Miguel Sano (MIN - 1B,3B,DH) 84 8 23 14.6 3.4 89.0 +5.0
You cannot find five hitters in all of baseball with more power than Sano. We haven't seen it fully realized quite yet, but he is still just 24 and hasn't played more than 120 games in his career. If he does this year, don't be startled if he knocks 45 out of the yard with a healthy batting average and a load of RBIs.
16 Ian Desmond (COL - 1B,LF) 109 11 38 17.8 4.9 127.0 +18.0
Weighed down by a league-leading 62.7% ground-ball rate, Desmond failed to take advantage of playing in Coors Field, hitting just seven home runs in 95 games last season. He missed significant time with a fractured hand early and a strained calf in the middle of the season, and just never seemed to get in a groove. Despite his troubles, he still managed to steal 15 bases in limited time, and his .274 batting average certainly didn't hurt you in today's landscape. With dual-eligibility at both first base and outfield, Desmond should be able to bounce back to being a reliable fantasy option if he can get get the ball in the air a bit more next season.
17 Carlos Santana (PHI - 1B,RF) 112 9 31 17.9 4.4 144.0 +32.0
Santana had a decent season overall and played in at least 152 games for the fifth-consecutive season. But his home run total dropped from 34 to 23, suggesting that 2016's surge was an outlier. He should have the opportunity to move his home run number back in the opposite direction, however, as his move to the Phillies and hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Ballpark should lead to a bit of a power spike. Regardless, you know what you'll generally get from Santana - a mediocre average, decent counting stats, and a bunch of walks. Although he's more valuable in points formats and OBP leagues, his safety is valuable in rotisserie leagues, too.
18 Matt Olson (OAK - 1B,RF) 111 7 34 18.1 5.4 120.0 +9.0
Olson played in only 59 games with the A's last year, but hit an incredible 24 home runs in that span. Although there's little reason to doubt his status as a power hitter, his HR/FB rate was an unsustainable 41.4% last season, meaning dreams of him hitting 50-plus home runs are likely unrealistic. Still, Olson should provide plenty of pop, along with a mediocre batting average and tons of strikeouts. Although his skillset isn't particularly unique, he should provide decent fantasy value in 2018, particularly in rotisserie formats.
19 Ryan Zimmerman (WSH - 1B) 122 10 36 18.7 4.1 146.0 +24.0
Zimmerman went largely undrafted in 2017, but turned in one of the most surprising seasons in recent memory. Buoyed by a torrid April in which he bashed 11 home runs and batted over .400, Zimmerman set career highs in both home runs and RBI in 2018. He slowed down a bit in the second half but he kept his power gains, showing that he was a fantasy-relevant first base option regardless of his hot start. Even if Zimmerman regresses as expected, there's plenty of room for him to remain a fantasy-relevant option even with decreased numbers. There are always question marks surrounding his health, but don't be afraid to buy into last year if your league gives you a discount.
20 Matt Carpenter (STL - 1B,2B,3B) 131 8 32 19.3 5.9 145.0 +14.0
Carpenter's batting average dropped to a career-low .241, but the rest of his numbers remained almost entirely consistent with his career norms. He may have been one of the few victims of the fly-ball revolution, as his large jump in fly-ball rate (50.8%) led to a career low in BABIP (.274), despite a strong hard-contact percentage. In the end, don't let the .241 batting average fool you. Carpenter has not declined much if at all, and he should once again put up excellent numbers in 2018 batting at or near the top of a strong Cardinals lineup.
21 Jay Bruce (NYM - 1B,RF) 135 12 33 20.8 4.8 141.0 +6.0
Bruce had another fine year at the plate last season, hitting 36 home runs and totaling 101 RBI between his time with the Mets and the Indians. He'll return to the Mets on a three-year deal, playing a mix of outfield and first base and batting in the middle of the order. Bruce's underlying metrics have remained steady, as his walk rate and strikeout rate remained generally consistent with his career norms. All in all, there's little reason to expect a decline from Bruce heading into 2018, and another season of 30-plus home runs, around 100 RBI, and a .250-ish batting average can be penciled in with confidence.
22 Josh Bell (PIT - 1B) 139 13 34 21.6 4.2 175.0 +36.0
Overall, it was a mildly disappointing season from Bell, who despite being a high-average hitter in the minors, struggled to the tune of a .255 batting average. Both his walk rate and strikeout rate were significantly worse than he showed in his 45-game stretch in the majors in 2016, and he simply didn't take the leap that some people expected. Still, Bell did hit 26 home runs and made strides over the second half of the season, so there's reason for optimism going forward. But there's little currently to suggest a true breakout in 2018, and he should be considered more of a roster-filler than a potential difference-maker in fantasy leagues in 2018
23 Justin Bour (PHI - 1B) 151 11 34 23.5 4.7 188.0 +37.0
There's little reason to doubt Bour's ability at this point, as he's established himself as a legitimate power hitter over the last three seasons. An increase in hard-contact rate led to a 26% HR/FB rate last season, which was 13th-best in the league despite Bour playing his home games in Marlins Park. The total lack of supporting cast this season is certainly worrisome for Bour, and his RBI totals may take a dip. But he should still be considered a relatively safe source of home runs heading into 2018.
24 Trey Mancini (BAL - 1B,LF) 160 10 41 25.0 6.2 168.0 +8.0
Mancini quietly had an extremely productive season for the Orioles, batting .293 with 24 home runs. Although his HR/FB rate was a bit high for his profile (19.8%, 29th-best among qualified hitters), little in his underlying metrics suggested that his season was unsustainable. Batting in an excellent hitter's park in Camden Yards atop an above-average lineup, Mancini should once again deliver solid counting stats and decent all-around numbers in 2018.
25 Marwin Gonzalez (1B,2B,3B,SS,LF) FA 164 16 44 26.3 6.8 133.0 -31.0
Marwin broke out in the first-half last season with a top 10 OPS in all of baseball. He took a step backward after the all-star break but was still more than a quality fantasy asset. The concern will be playing time, as Derek Fisher and others are breathing down his neck.
26 J.T. Realmuto (MIA - C,1B) 157 15 52 25.1 7.0 129.0 -28.0
While Realmuto showed last season that his .303 batting average from 2016 was a fluke, he did tack on 6 more homers and 17 extra RBIs. He is also the most stolen base friendly catcher, so depending on the makeup of your team, you may want to target him toward the middle of your drafts.
27 Greg Bird (NYY - 1B) 212 14 54 29.7 9.3 171.0 -41.0
Bird looked like a breakout candidate after a big spring training, but a late ankle injury got his season off to a terrible start, before he finally missed a large chunk of the season with the injury. When he returned, however, he showed how dynamic he could be, hitting eight home runs over his final 29 games and playing well in the postseason. Bird should be the everyday first baseman and, given the Yankees' lineup and home park, and Bird's performance to close out the season, he should once again be a prime breakout candidate heading into 2018.
28 Chris Davis (BAL - 1B) 169 6 39 26.7 5.8 210.0 +41.0
Davis had nearly a carbon copy season to his dreadful 2014, and he was essentially unplayable in fantasy. Never one to make much contact, Davis's strikeout rate ballooned to a league-worst 37.2%, and he simply could not hit lefties at even his usual anemic rate. Davis's skillset doesn't play well in the new environment where 35 home runs simply does not mean what it used to. He's still young enough to bounce back, and he obviously did so after his similar 2014 season. But he's much more of a late-round flyer than anything else.
29 Hanley Ramirez (1B,DH) FA 215 10 49 31.5 7.2 274.0 +59.0
After a resurgent 2016, Ramirez disappointed last season, hitting just 23 home runs and batting a career-low .242. There was certainly some noise in Ramirez's numbers, as he batted just .179 against lefties after hammering them his whole career, and the underlying metrics, such as his increased line-drive percentage, suggested that he saw his fair share of bad luck. Still, Ramirez is 34 years old at this point and has earned his draft position just once in the last four seasons. While another rebound season is certainly possible, it's not worth wasting significant draft capital on.
30 Yulieski Gurriel (HOU - 1B,3B,DH) 216 12 51 30.0 6.2 252.0 +36.0
It took Gurriel a while to get going after a few seasons away from baseball, but he ended the season batting .299 with enough homers, RBIs and runs make him a worthwhile mid-round first basemen if he can get off the disabled list quick enough to get 450+ at bats.
31 Yonder Alonso (CLE - 1B) 218 17 40 29.8 5.8 254.0 +36.0
Alonso wasted away to begin his career in San Diego after being recognized as a top prospect. He joined the fly ball revolution last season, swatting 28 homers and scoring 70 runs. Now that he is out of a pitcher's park and into Cleveland, which plays just fine for hitters, we may just see 30+ bombs from him.
32 Eric Thames (MIL - 1B,LF,RF) 190 19 41 29.3 5.3 200.0 +10.0
We all rememeber how phenomenal Thames was to start last season, but don't forget that he only hit 8 homers and drove in 20 runs in the second half last year. That isn't to say he will be a complete flop, but be advised that his 2018 numbers are unlikely to mirror his 2017 breakout.
33 Ryan McMahon (COL - 1B,2B,3B) 246 19 63 33.2 7.9 309.0 +63.0
McMahon batted .355 with 69 extra-base hits and 11 steals in just 119 minor league games last season. He offers elite rookie potential playing half of his games in Coors if he can earn the starting job out of Spring Training.
34 Brandon Belt (SF - 1B,LF) 237 17 45 31.9 5.9 304.0 +67.0
Belt's batting average dipped last season as he struggled to stay healthy, but if he can get on the field this year, we know Belt should return to delivering a .275 BA with 15 to 20 HR, 65+ RBI and 70+ runs. That isn't a great fantasy player, but it is a useful bench asset for sure.
35 Logan Morrison (1B,DH) FA 221 18 43 30.8 5.7 249.0 +28.0
Until last season, Morrison had never topped 500 at bats or 25 homers, but he earned himself a full-time gig and broke out for 38 homers. Even if he takes a step backward, 30 homers with a .240 batting average is nothing to sneeze at with a late pick, and his power might actually improve with the home ballpark change.
36 Ryon Healy (SEA - 1B,3B,DH) 261 15 48 34.3 6.2 247.0 -14.0
Healy had a nice season for the A's and now averages 28 HR, 84 RBI, 75 R and a .282 batting average over his career per 162 games played. The problem here, is that he might start the season on the DL with a hand injury. If he is healthy, you'll end up with a late-round steal.
37 Kendrys Morales (TOR - 1B,DH) 228 17 43 32.5 5.5 282.0 +54.0
Over the past three seasons, Morales has averaged 27 homers, 95 RBI and a .265 batting average. If he can come close to maintaining that in his age 35 season this year, you've got yourselves a steal to fill your bench late in drafts.
38 Jose Martinez (STL - 1B,LF,RF) 258 19 50 35.0 7.3 281.0 +23.0
39 Albert Pujols (LAA - 1B,DH) 252 19 45 34.2 5.3 288.0 +36.0
We won't pretend it is likely that Pujols will bounce back as a 38 year old, but it is entirely possible considering he hit 31 and 40 homers in two of the past three seasons. Even if he just sustains his recent production, 100+ RBI, 20 HR and a .240 BA is well worth owning in fantasy baseball.
40 Matt Davidson (CWS - 1B,3B,DH) 331 15 57 43.9 8.1 433.0 +102.0
41 C.J. Cron (TB - 1B,DH) 290 21 49 37.8 5.5 428.0 +138.0
42 Colin Moran (PIT - 1B,3B) 365 22 69 44.1 8.4 441.0 +76.0
43 Jedd Gyorko (STL - 1B,2B,3B,SS) 280 22 51 38.7 5.4 423.0 +143.0
Jedd has 50 HRs in his last 825 at bats and batted .272 last season. If he remains the starter, fantasy owners will have a bargain utility player late in drafts.
44 Joe Mauer (1B,DH) FA 327 24 52 40.0 5.7 348.0 +21.0
Mauer won't hit homers or steal any bases, but he offers a likely .290 BA once again with 65+ runs and 65+ RBI. He doesn't qualify at catcher anymore, but that is plenty useful if you need a safe option to fill out your bench.
45 Lucas Duda (1B,DH) FA 319 25 54 40.2 4.9 437.0 +118.0
Duda's batting average killed fantasy owners last year, but he has managed 27+ homers in each of the last three seasons that he stayed healthy. That makes up for the batting average deficiencies and makes him a worthwhile fantasy bench bat.
46 Neil Walker (1B,2B,3B) FA 310 26 51 39.4 6.4 363.0 +53.0
Walker is still looking for a big league team to join, but he is a quality enough player that one will eventually pay up to get him in the starting lineup. From there, we can expect him to continue his trend of hitting .260 over higher with about 15 runs.
47 Alex Avila (ARI - C,1B) 337 29 51 41.6 4.5 335.0 -2.0
If you whiffed on your top catching targets, there is no need to fret, you can get Avila late and he may just be a top five catcher this year. Last season, his batted ball rates were through the roof. Even with Chase Field adding the humidor, he may be in for a breakout campaign.
48 Dan Vogelbach (SEA - 1B,DH) 507 32 70 50.8 12.3 598.0 +91.0
49 Wilmer Flores (NYM - 1B,2B,3B) 412 33 64 46.0 6.6 429.0 +17.0
Through his career, Flores has only given fantasy owners 350 or more at bats once. If he can compile 500 at-bats, we should see 25 to 30 homers to go with his steady .260 batting average. It further helps that he qualifies at three positions.
50 Chase Headley (1B,3B) FA 433 34 57 47.0 5.8 403.0 -30.0
51 Jake Bauers (TB - 1B,LF) 452 35 67 50.6 9.3 575.0 +123.0
52 Derek Dietrich (MIA - 1B,2B,3B,LF) 440 35 56 48.5 5.1 567.0 +127.0
53 Mark Reynolds (1B) FA 400 36 59 47.2 6.8 425.0 +25.0
54 Mitch Moreland (BOS - 1B) 383 36 52 44.4 4.4 492.0 +109.0
55 Matt Adams (1B,LF) FA 601 38 68 51.9 7.7 569.0 -32.0
56 Dominic Smith (NYM - 1B,LF) 473 38 59 48.3 5.3 523.0 +50.0
57 Adrian Gonzalez (NYM - 1B) FA 540 40 56 48.3 4.6 548.0 +8.0
58 Matt Duffy (TEX - 1B,3B) MiLB 499 41 62 49.8 7.6    
59 Luis Valbuena (1B,3B) FA 603 42 66 51.9 7.0 509.0 -94.0
60 Tommy Joseph (TEX - 1B) DFA 663 42 65 53.0 6.2 505.0 -158.0
61 Brandon Moss (OAK - 1B,DH) DFA 699 44 82 58.0 10.1 517.0 -182.0
62 Steve Pearce (1B,LF,DH) FA 628 44 74 58.0 8.7 623.0 -5.0
63 Kennys Vargas (1B,DH) FA   44 67 58.2 7.8 696.0  
64 Jesus Aguilar (MIL - 1B) 645 45 64 55.9 7.4 606.0 -39.0
65 Danny Valencia (1B,3B,RF,DH) FA 554 46 86 61.5 12.3 651.0 +97.0
66 Mike Napoli (CLE - 1B,DH) NRI 692 48 62 55.4 4.5 643.0 -49.0
67 Tyler White (HOU - 1B)   53 65 60.3 5.2    
68 Adam Lind (BOS - 1B,LF) MiLB   53 63 60.0 4.1 546.0  
69 A.J. Reed (HOU - 1B) 670 54 72 61.3 7.7 673.0 +3.0
70 Austin Romine (NYY - C,1B)   54 68 62.3 6.0    
71 Chase Utley (1B,2B) FA   55 77 67.5 8.0    
72 Matt Holliday (1B,DH) FA   56 71 61.7 6.6 812.0  
73 Daniel Descalso (1B,2B,3B,LF) FA   57 84 70.6 9.3 733.0  
74 John Hicks (DET - C,1B) 689 58 78 67.0 8.3 791.0 +102.0
75 Hunter Dozier (KC - 1B,3B,RF)   58 76 67.0 9.0 707.0  
76 Ryan Rua (TEX - 1B,LF,RF) MiLB   58 73 65.5 7.5    
77 Chris Carter (MIN - 1B) MiLB 714 59 78 64.5 7.8    
78 Pablo Sandoval (SF - 1B,3B) 729 60 77 67.6 6.5    
79 Chris Shaw (SF - 1B,LF)   62 80 71.0 9.0 698.0  
80 Andrew Romine (1B,2B,3B,SS,LF,CF,RF) FA   70 73 71.5 1.5 823.0  
81 Taylor Motter (1B,2B,SS,LF) FA   71 74 72.5 1.5 731.0