2018 Fantasy Baseball Rankings

Expert Consensus Ranking (59 of 63 Experts) -
Rank Player (Team, Position) Overall Notes
1 Jose Altuve (HOU - 2B) 2 1 1 1.0 0.0 2.0
If anyone is ever going to challenge Mike Trout for the top spot in fantasy baseball, it's Altuve, one of the true five-category producers in the game. Altuve's strikeout-rate jumped a few points last year, but he otherwise had nearly a carbon copy of his fantastic 2016 season. With an elite batting average and outstanding counting stats, Altuve should once again have a dominant fantasy season batting near the top of an excellent Astros lineup.
2 Jose Ramirez (CLE - 2B,3B) 29 2 13 3.1 2.0 22.0 -7.0
Ramirez's 2017 numbers didn't look all that different from his 2016 numbers, with one drastic exception - a dramatic increase in power. Ramirez upped his home run total to what was a then-career-high of 11 in 2016 to 29 in 2017, and increased his doubles from 46 to 56. Nothing about the gains seems particularly fluky, as Ramirez appears to have made a conscious effort to pull the ball and hit more fly balls last year, which usually does (and did for Ramirez) produce a jump in power. If he stays with that approach, he should have little trouble keeping his power gains, and should once again be one of the most valuable infielders in all of fantasy in 2018.
3 Brian Dozier (2B) FA 30 2 7 4.1 1.0 30.0
Dozier came close to repeating his career-best numbers from 2016, but his fantasy owners certainly weren't complaining. Dozier continues to be a strong four-category player with a batting average that won't hurt you. His best trait may be his durability, as he has played in at least 152 games in each of the past four seasons. Even if you took his worst single-season totals over that stretch, he would still give you a 101-23-71-12 line, and his outstanding floor keeps him near the top of the second-base ranks. With an improved walk-rate and little signs of decline elsewhere, Dozier makes an outstanding pick in the early rounds.
4 Dee Gordon (SEA - 2B,CF) 34 3 9 4.7 1.2 31.0 -3.0
After he missed half of the 2016 season with a PED suspension, Gordon got right back to work in 2017, hitting above .300 and stealing 60 bases. Gordon put the ball in play more then ever, putting up just a 13.4% strikeout rate, best of his career. His reward was a trade to the Mariners, where he'll move from second base to center field. The trade shouldn't impact Gordon's value much, as he'll continue to bat leadoff in front of a strong lineup. And with soon-to-be dual eligibility, Gordon's fantasy stock only rises.
5 Jonathan Schoop (MIL - 2B) 52 3 17 6.8 2.1 61.0 +9.0
While there may be much more depth at second base this year than in years past, the second tier is a bit bare. Schoop leads the pack thanks to elite power for the position and a reliable batting average from year to year.
6 Anthony Rizzo (CHC - 1B,2B) 19 2 4 2.4 0.6 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.
7 Robinson Cano (NYM - 2B) 58 5 12 7.7 1.6 70.0 +12.0
Cano might not be the .320 hitter he was for most of his career, but you can still bet on .280 with 20+ homers and a bunch of runs and RBI. That should be enough to tempt you into snatching him in the first 70 picks.
8 Daniel Murphy (1B,2B) FA 74 3 24 8.6 4.0 76.0 +2.0
If there were any lingering doubts that Murphy had completely changed as a hitter, last year put them to bed. With another season of more than 20 home runs, at least 90 RBI, and at least a .320 batting average, Murphy has firmly established himself as an elite fantasy option at second base. There were a few warning signs last year as Murphy continues to age - his strikeout rate jumped more than three percentage points, for example. But the biggest worry is that Murphy had knee surgery in the offseason and is questionable to be ready for Opening Day. Monitor his status closely this spring. If he looks like he'll miss little or no time, then you should have few concerns and draft him with confidence expecting similar numbers to the last two years.
9 Whit Merrifield (KC - 1B,2B,CF,RF,DH) 82 5 22 10.4 3.8 77.0 -5.0
You may have missed this one, but Whit actually led the American League with 34 steals last season. He also added some power to his game to accompany a .286 career average. If you are waiting on second base, Whit will be a great option.
10 Rougned Odor (TEX - 2B,DH) 81 6 24 10.9 3.8 136.0 +55.0
Odor is a good lesson in how important batting average can be. The fact that the young second baseman topped 30 homers yet again and added 15 steals to boot should make him a desirable fantasy commodity. But a .204 batting average and his inability to get on base generally has taken the shine of Odor this season. That batting average, however, is bound to come up, as a player with Odor's speed who does not hit the ball in the air at an egregious rate should do much better than a .224 BABIP. If he can raise his batting average to just the .230 range, which would still be well below average, the effect on his overall numbers would leave him as a top-10 second baseman, without question. Draft him with those expectations.
11 DJ LeMahieu (2B) FA 94 6 21 12.5 3.5 109.0 +15.0
LeMahieu is one of those players that fantasy owners hate to draft. He contributes significantly in two largely forgotten categories (batting average and runs scored) and is just sort of there, without helping or hurting, in the other categories. The good thing is that LeMahieu rarely misses time - he's played in at least 146 games in each of the last four seasons - and his home park pretty much guarantees that he'll contribute. But there are no signs that a power jump or an uptick in stolen bases is imminent, making LeMahieu the grilled cheese sandwich of fantasy baseball (reliable but unexciting without much upside).
12 Ozzie Albies (ATL - 2B) 99 5 31 13.2 4.9 130.0 +31.0
Albies has a historically good season for a 20 year old in the majors, but that came without many homers or RBI. Repeating that efficiency as a sophomore will be a challenge, but he does possess 20 HR/40 SB upside and may end up the breakout of the season.
13 Chris Taylor (LAD - 2B,SS,LF,CF) 103 8 23 13.8 3.7 110.0 +7.0
The first 250 at-bats of Taylor's career were uninspiring, but he had always been a solid hitter in the minors. A repeat of his 21/17 season seems unlikely, however, so don't draft him as the top 50 hitter he was in 2017.
14 Ian Happ (CHC - 2B,3B,LF,CF,RF) 129 7 27 15.3 4.0 131.0 +2.0
If we can guarantee Happ a full season worth of at-bats, we'd be looking at a middle infielder with 35 homers and double-digit steals. The problem is that the Cubs are so loaded that he will probably only see 400 at-bats unless an injury opens up full playing time.
15 Ian Kinsler (2B) FA 134 9 25 16.0 3.3 169.0 +35.0
Kinsler is a bit old and his batting average plummeted, but the batted ball rates indicate he should be back around .270 this season, which when paired with 20 HR, 15 SB is a quality second basemen.
16 Javier Baez (CHC - 2B,3B,SS) 137 8 33 16.3 5.1 126.0 -11.0
It is easy to forget that Baez is still just 25 years old and that we likely haven't seen his prime yet. That may be 30 HR and 10 SB with a .280 average. For a middle infielder, that is well worth a top 100 pick.
17 Matt Carpenter (STL - 1B,2B,3B) 131 4 28 15.0 5.5 145.0 +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.
18 Yoan Moncada (CWS - 2B) 152 10 40 18.2 5.6 147.0 -5.0
There are some major holes in Moncada's screen, as indicated in his 54 game sample size last year, but his ceiling is enormous. We could be talking about a 20/40 fantasy player if he realizes his potential. There is substantial bust-potential, though, so draft at your own risk.
19 Paul DeJong (STL - 2B,SS) 162 10 36 19.6 4.4 149.0 -13.0
The batted ball data suggests that Dejong's power is legitimate. He does have holes in his wing, however, and may see the batting average drop to around .255. Still, with 30+ homers and at shortstop, that is a quality mid-round pick.
20 Eduardo Nunez (BOS - 2B,3B,SS,LF,DH) 180 8 43 21.2 6.9 142.0 -38.0
Nunez was an all-star two years ago, but was actually better last season, driving his batting average up to .313 and swatting 12 homers with 24 steals in just 114 games. He may reach 20 and 35 this season if he can stay healthy.
21 Marwin Gonzalez (1B,2B,3B,SS,LF) FA 164 11 35 20.8 5.5 133.0 -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.
22 Jonathan Villar (BAL - 2B,CF) 181 3 34 21.6 5.2 199.0 +18.0
Villar may have been the biggest non-injury bust in fantasy baseball last year. You may be sensing a trend here, as Villar is like many of the other names on this list having put up a terrible first-half. He still finished the season with double-digit homers and 20+ steals, which is a far cry from the 20/60 line he put together in 2016. With that said, it isn't crazy to think he can cut the difference in half going 15/40 with the .280 batting average he put together after the all-star break and throughout both 2015 and 2016. That, folks, is a top 30 fantasy hitter, and worth far more than just a few bucks.
23 Jason Kipnis (CLE - 2B,CF,DH) 189 10 32 22.5 4.3 206.0 +17.0
It is remarkable how far Kipnis has fallen after batting .275 with 23 HR, 15 SB, 90+ runs and 80+ RBI in 2016. Just know that while last year was a disaster, he isn't far enough removed from those numbers to discount a significant bounceback. Plus, he has been killing it in Spring Training, which may not mean much, but has to be a little encouraging.
24 Scooter Gennett (CIN - 2B,3B,LF) 210 13 59 24.7 6.9 190.0 -20.0
While it is reasonable to expect Scooter to take a major step back after last year's major breakout, even regression would leave him as a .270 hitter with 20 homers which is a plenty useful fantasy middle infielder.
25 Cesar Hernandez (PHI - 2B) 232 14 35 24.9 4.6 265.0 +33.0
It may seem like a boring pick to you, but Hernandez has now hit over .290 in consecutive full seasons and scored 85 runs last year. He won't hit for much power, but the 15 to 20 stolen bases certainly help.
26 Jose Peraza (CIN - 2B,SS) 233 17 40 26.2 5.2 239.0 +6.0
Peraza is certainly no source of power, but he is a .277 hitter through his MLB career thus far and averages 34 stolen bases per 162 games played. He is a safe source of steals late into drafts as we can virtually guarantee he holds onto the starting job all season even if he struggles a bit.
27 Scott Kingery (PHI - 2B,3B,SS) 255 7 63 29.1 9.9 227.0 -28.0
Kingery has the skill-set to push the envelope. If he ends up slated to start opening day, consider him a top 200 overall fantasy player, otherwise he is merely a draft and stash play for deeper leagues.
28 Starlin Castro (MIA - 2B) 236 17 40 26.9 4.8 300.0 +64.0
Castro does take a sizeable ballpark factor dip this season which could knock his HR, RBI and R down, but let's try to not be so quick to forget that he batted .300 last season and was on pace for over 20 homers for the second straight season if it weren't for his injury.
29 Tim Beckham (BAL - 2B,3B,SS) 243 16 39 27.1 5.2 286.0 +43.0
After being dealt to Baltimore last summer, Beckham broke out to hit .306 with 10 HR in 50 games. No one is expecting him to keep that pace, but if he bats .280 with 20 homers, that would be well worth a late-round pick.
30 Josh Harrison (2B,3B,LF) FA 266 17 43 28.8 5.3 283.0 +17.0
Harrison's power has been up and down over the last few seasons, but you can be sure he will get you a .270 batting average with double digit steals and around 60 runs scored. The homers may or not be there, but that is a quality late-round utility player.
31 Chris Owings (KC - 2B,SS,CF,RF) 343 19 49 34.4 7.1 318.0 -25.0
 
32 Dustin Pedroia (BOS - 2B) DL60 299 14 61 35.0 8.3 397.0 +98.0
The power and speed are apparently gone for Pedroia at this stage in the career, but he was playing through an injury. With that said, he will miss the start of the year on the DL. When he returns, expect a batting average up near .300, plenty of runs and not much else.
33 Jedd Gyorko (STL - 1B,2B,3B,SS) 280 14 46 31.9 6.5 423.0 +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.
34 Neil Walker (1B,2B,3B) FA 310 20 60 33.0 7.3 363.0 +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.
35 Joe Panik (SF - 2B) 320 20 52 36.0 7.7 276.0 -44.0
 
36 Logan Forsythe (2B,3B) FA 337 18 59 38.8 8.2 377.0 +40.0
While Forsythe is much better in on-base percentage leagues, you've got to recognize that his .224 BA last year must have been a fluke. He hit .281 and .264 the previous seasons with 27 combined homers and 15 combined stolen bases. That is much more in line with what his 2018 expectations ought to be.
37 Devon Travis (TOR - 2B) 330 22 52 36.7 7.2 337.0 +7.0
 
38 Austin Barnes (LAD - C,2B) 298 23 53 34.4 7.5 229.0 -69.0
The Dodgers used Barnes and Grandal in a platoon type situation last year. That doesn't mean Barnes is guaranteed at-bats, however, in 2018. If he does, it is safe to expect him to take a step back well outside of the top 12 at his position.
39 Brandon Drury (TOR - 2B,3B) 385 22 51 36.8 6.2 367.0 -18.0
 
40 Jed Lowrie (2B,3B) FA 398 22 49 38.7 6.0 491.0 +93.0
 
41 Yangervis Solarte (2B,3B,SS) FA 336 22 49 36.0 6.4 271.0 -65.0
Had Solarte played a full season last year, he likely would have hit 22 or 23 homers. That was in Petco, so imagine what he may do playing his games in Toronto. 30 is a distinct possibility, and coming with a .267 career batting average, that is a very useful late-round fantasy pick.
42 Wilmer Flores (1B,2B,3B) FA 413 25 61 42.4 7.6 429.0 +16.0
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.
43 Matt Duffy (TB - 2B,3B,SS,DH) 419 25 56 44.6 7.9 508.0 +89.0
 
44 Asdrubal Cabrera (2B,3B,SS) FA 328 25 45 34.1 4.9 301.0 -27.0
If you are looking for upside, you've come to the wrong place, but in terms of a floor, you won't find a better middle infielder late into drafts. He is a strong bet to hit 15 homers with a solid batting average and both runs and RBI help for your fantasy squad.
45 Ben Zobrist (CHC - 2B,LF,RF) 428 27 55 41.7 6.1 306.0 -122.0
There is no doubt about it that Zobrist is on the last leg of his career, but after hitting .270 or higher for five consecutive years, his .232 line screams positive regression. Zobrist will still hit double-digit homers and tack on both runs and RBI for you.
46 Brad Miller (MIL - 1B,2B,SS,DH) DFA 461 27 54 41.3 7.0 512.0 +51.0
 
47 Kolten Wong (STL - 2B) 418 27 48 36.9 4.6 427.0 +9.0
If Wong could stay on the field for a full season, we would see that he has 15 HR, 15 SB upside to go with his .285 batting average from last season. With that said, he has only managed even 420 at bats just twice in his career so a full bill of health may be a pipe dream.
48 Franklin Barreto (OAK - 2B,SS) 494 28 61 43.7 8.0 513.0 +19.0
 
49 Jose Reyes (2B,3B,SS) FA 475 28 57 43.5 5.6 356.0 -119.0
Reyes is far removed from hitting .337 with near 80 stolen bases, but he does still offer 20+ steals to go with a sudden on-surge of power that can help your fantasy team from multiple positions late into drafts.
50 Eduardo Escobar (ARI - 2B,3B,SS,DH) 438 29 56 42.5 6.6 392.0 -46.0
 
51 Hernan Perez (MIL - 2B,3B,SS,LF,CF,RF) 502 30 58 47.7 6.4 404.0 -98.0
 
52 Derek Dietrich (1B,2B,3B,LF) FA 441 32 59 45.5 6.7 567.0 +126.0
 
53 Raul Adalberto Mondesi (KC - 2B,SS) 470 35 65 45.3 7.4 478.0 +8.0
He is a former top 20 prospect who despite already having two major league seasons under his belt, is still just 22 years old. He has struggled thus far in less than 200 MLB at-bats, but in that time he has stolen a base 30% of the time he got on. To put that into perspective, that is the same rate as Trea Turner and barely behind Billy Hamilton. While it won't matter much if Mondesi never gets on, it is worth noting that he did bat .305 last year in Triple-A. That isn't all though, Mondesi also carried a .234 ISO which measures raw power. Anthony Rizzo had the same exact .234 line in the bigs. Mondesi is a legitimate power/speed threat like his old man who was a multi-time 30/30 guy.
54 Brandon Phillips (2B,3B) FA 481 36 70 51.4 9.4 315.0 -166.0
 
55 Yolmer Sanchez (CWS - 2B,3B) 523 36 60 47.7 7.4 474.0 -49.0
 
56 Dixon Machado (MIA - 2B,SS) NRI 551 39 72 55.4 10.0 634.0 +83.0
 
57 Adam Frazier (PIT - 2B,LF,RF) 550 40 59 48.2 4.9 493.0 -57.0
 
58 Howie Kendrick (WSH - 2B,LF) 601 42 64 52.4 5.3 585.0 -16.0
 
59 Johan Camargo (ATL - 2B,3B,SS) 610 43 60 51.5 5.7 506.0 -104.0
 
60 Chad Pinder (OAK - 2B,3B,SS,LF,RF) 627 46 59 52.9 4.2 511.0 -116.0
 
61 Luis Garcia (WSH - 2B) 668 47 68 59.7 9.1    
 
62 Wilmer Difo (WSH - 2B,3B,SS) 726 49 64 55.8 5.0 454.0 -272.0
 
63 Luis Urias (SD - 2B,SS)   49 63 56.0 7.0 599.0  
 
64 Sean Rodriguez (2B,3B,SS,LF,RF) FA 673 50 78 61.2 9.5 727.0 +54.0
 
65 Carlos Asuaje (TEX - 2B,3B) 651 50 71 60.6 7.7 646.0 -5.0
 
66 Tyler Wade (NYY - 2B)   50 69 60.3 6.8 738.0  
 
67 Joe Wendle (TB - 2B,LF)   51 64 57.5 6.5    
 
68 Kelby Tomlinson (ARI - 2B,3B,SS) NRI   52 71 61.5 9.5    
 
69 Chase Utley (1B,2B) FA   54 79 66.3 9.1    
 
70 Daniel Descalso (1B,2B,3B,LF) FA   55 87 67.2 10.7 733.0  
 
71 Ronald Torreyes (MIN - 2B,3B,SS) 740 55 62 59.0 2.7 322.0 -418.0
 
72 Brock Holt (BOS - 2B,3B,SS,LF,RF)   56 67 61.5 5.5 768.0  
 
73 Tyler Saladino (MIL - 2B,3B,SS)   58 64 60.3 2.6    
 
74 Eric Sogard (2B,SS) FA   59 75 67.5 6.7 678.0  
 
75 Greg Garcia (SD - 2B,3B,SS)   60 70 65.7 4.2    
 
76 Kaleb Cowart (SEA - 2B,3B)   61 74 66.0 5.7 794.0  
 
77 Dilson Herrera (2B,SS) FA   63 80 70.7 7.0 798.0  
 
78 Andrew Romine (1B,2B,3B,SS,LF,CF,RF) FA   65 74 69.5 4.5 823.0  
 
79 Taylor Motter (1B,2B,SS,LF) FA   73 75 74.0 1.0 731.0