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2022 Fantasy Baseball Rankings (NL)

Expert Consensus Ranking (46 of 46 Experts) -

Rank Player (Team, Position) Overall Notes
1 Manny Machado (SD - 3B,DH) 11 11.0
It's a shame you don't get points for defense in fantasy baseball, as that would bolster Machado's falling stock. The former perennial top-10 selection is now going in the late second or early third round. Machado will turn 30 this year, and some positive regression seems to be in order. He's still a five-category contributor, and in a loaded Padres lineup, 80/25/80 with 10 SBs should be on the table. But expecting Machado to return to the 35 HR level would be downright delusional.
2 Austin Riley (ATL - 1B,3B) 23 19.0 -4.0
Riley's value swings wildly depending on whether you play in an OBP league or a BA league. In the former, he's a four category stud. In the latter, he's a slightly overvalued three category asset. The young slugger should continue to get better, but reaching last year's ceiling may not be realistic. Kim Kardashian has a better chance of winning an Oscar for Best Actress than Riley does of equaling his 2021 second-half .397 BABIP. That said, while you don't want to reach for him based on his RBI numbers last year, the 3B position isn't as deep as usual, so Riley isn't a bad pick in the fifth or sixth round.
3 Kris Bryant (COL - 1B,3B,CF,DH,LF,RF) 26 30.0 +4.0
He hasn't turned into the superstar we thought he was going to become, but he's still got power and will still knock in runs, and now he'll be doing his mashing at Coors Field. Bryant might not have been worth a top-100 selection if he landed in a bad spot, but going to the Rockies gives him a significant value boost.
4 Nolan Arenado (STL - 3B,DH) 28 26.0 -2.0
If only fantasy baseball awarded points for spectacular defensive plays. Alas, you're stuck relying only on Arenado's bat. That ain't half bad - but it's no longer worth overpaying for. In his first season outside of Colorado, the highlight-reel third baseman showed that he can still rake. But as anticipated, his BA, OBP and OPS all dropped. Now on the wrong side of 30, Arenado is realistically a 2.5-category guy. He'll help you in HR and RBI, and he won't hurt you in runs, but let someone else in your league jump on him early based on name recognition. You can get 80 percent of his production from other third basemen three to four rounds later than Arenado is expected to go.
5 Chris Taylor (LAD - 2B,3B,CF,LF,RF,SS) 59 56.0 -3.0
Taylor had an excellent season, hitting 20 homers and stealing 13 bases while playing all over the diamond as usual. The Dodgers rewarded him with a four-year, $60 million deal, which pretty much guarantees that he'll find his way into the lineup nearly every day. He won't wow you in any category but given his position flexibility and placement in the best lineup in baseball, Taylor is an ideal player for any fantasy team who should offer similar numbers to last year.
6 Ke'Bryan Hayes (PIT - 3B) 67 78.0 +11.0
Hayes had major buzz heading into 2021 after he batted .376 with a 1.124 OPS in 24 games in 2020. But his season went south nearly from the start, after he missed significant time with a wrist injury and continued to battle hand and wrist issues even after he returned. His hard-hit rate, average exit velocity and barrel percentage all dropped significantly, and it's fair to write if fantasy managers want to write all that off to his injury issues. But it's equally fair to acknowledge that Hayes's strong 2020 season was out of line with his minor-league career, and that fantasy managers were putting way too much stock into an incredibly small sample. The good news is that, unlike last year, fantasy managers won't need to pay a high price for Hayes, and in the wasteland (in terms of fantasy production) that is the third base position, Hayes makes a passable option at the hot corner in deeper leagues. Just make sure you draft some depth behind him in case he struggles again.
7 Ryan McMahon (COL - 2B,3B) 68 69.0 +1.0
McMahon showed that his poor performance during the shortened 2020 season was an aberration, as his 2021 statline was nearly identical to the one he put up in 2019. His batting average (.254), OBP (.331) and slugging percentage (.449) were all within four points of his 2019 mark and his counting stats were similarly comparable. There's a chance that McMahon makes some gains this season - he's entering his "magical" age-27 season and he cut his strikeout rate to 24.7% last year. But, given how closely his last two full seasons have mirrored one another, you can likely bank on a .250-ish average, 24 home runs, 145 combined runs and RBI, and five steals. Draft him with those numbers in mind.
8 Eduardo Escobar (NYM - 1B,2B,3B) 89 81.0 -8.0
Escobar rarely gets much love from fantasy managers, probably because everything under the hood doesn't usually support his numbers. He almost always outperforms his expected statistics, and he offers no help in batting average or steals. But he does have plenty of pop (53 homers over his last two full seasons, at least 21 in each of his last four), and he's been a plus in runs scored and RBI despite playing on mediocre teams. He'll now be the everyday third baseman for the Mets, so managers can enjoy his dual eligibility, and his placement in the middle of a strong lineup should keep all his counting stats afloat. There's not a ton of upside with Escobar, but there's a high floor.
9 Luis Urias (MIL - 2B,3B,SS) 91 89.0 -2.0
Urias exploded last year, putting up 23 homers with 149 combined runs and RBI. Just to put that into perspective, Urias's high in home runs before last year was four, and his best combined runs and RBI total was 51. Most of his production was backed up by the underlying data, as his hard-contact rates exploded. He'd be a prime sleeper but he's battling a quad injury that is going to shut him down until early April at least, so knock him down your draft board a bit with the injury news. Performance-wise, however, last year looks legitimate.
10 Mike Moustakas (CIN - 1B,3B,DH) 103 140.0 +37.0
11 Alec Bohm (PHI - 1B,3B) 107 136.0 +29.0
Bohm was dreadful last year, but there's a pretty plausible theory as to what went wrong. He was one of the unluckiest hitters in baseball in the first half of the year, ranking near the top of the league in quality of contact but just not seeing the results. Eventually, that got into his head, and he expanded the zone and watched his strikeout rate climb significantly. By the end of the year, Bohm was a total mess, swinging at pitches out of the zone, taking pitches in the zone, and watching his already poor numbers decline. That's not the type of thing that usually derails a hitter for multiple seasons, so hopefully he can get back to doing what made him a strong prospect- being patient and hitting the ball hard. He's worth a flier late in your drafts, just don't go into the season relying on him.
12 Patrick Wisdom (CHC - 1B,3B,LF,RF) 128 125.0 -3.0
13 Josh Rojas (ARI - 2B,3B,SS,LF,RF) 118 109.0 -9.0
Rojas chipped in last year, but he didn't quite meet expectations placed on him after a strong spring. He came a steal short of reaching double digits in both home runs and steals, but his expected stats leave little to be desired. He's got position flexibility and won't hurt you while he's in there, but he's not someone you can draft as a starter and feel confident about. Expect a similar line to last year.
14 J.D. Davis (SF - 1B,3B,DH) 139 212.0 +73.0
15 Joey Wendle (MIA - 2B,3B,SS) 127 169.0 +42.0
16 Ha-Seong Kim (SD - 2B,3B,SS) 160 161.0 +1.0
17 Wilmer Flores (SF - 1B,2B,3B,DH) 191 146.0 -45.0
18 Diego Castillo (PIT - 2B,3B,RF,SS) 204    
19 Carter Kieboom (WSH - 3B) 223 230.0 +7.0
20 Jon Berti (MIA - 2B,3B,LF,SS) 305 243.0 -62.0
21 Tommy La Stella (SF - 2B,3B,DH) 235 232.0 -3.0
22 Mark Vientos (NYM - 3B,DH,SS) 400    
23 Nolan Gorman (STL - 2B,3B,DH) 281 186.0 -95.0
24 Juan Yepez (STL - 1B,3B,DH,LF,RF) 245 228.0 -17.0
25 Nolan Jones (COL - 3B,RF) 272 269.0 -3.0
26 Mike Brosseau (MIL - 1B,2B,3B) 315 265.0 -50.0
27 David Bote (CHC - 1B,2B,3B) MiLB 336 286.0 -50.0
28 Zach McKinstry (CHC - 2B,3B,LF,RF,SS) 361 214.0 -147.0
29 Emmanuel Rivera (ARI - 3B) 373    
30 Rylan Bannon (CHC - 3B) 360    
31 Luis Guillorme (NYM - 2B,3B,SS) 367 200.0 -167.0
32 Elehuris Montero (COL - 1B,3B,DH) 379 291.0 -88.0
33 Isan Diaz (SF - 2B,3B) MiLB 366    
34 Jordan Groshans (MIA - 3B,SS) 392 288.0 -104.0
35 Alejo Lopez (CIN - 2B,3B,LF) 382    
36 Ildemaro Vargas (WSH - 2B,3B,SS) 397    
37 Taylor Motter (STL - 3B) MiLB 395    
38 Jake Noll (WSH - 1B,2B,3B) MiLB 402    
39 Brendan Donovan (STL - 1B,2B,3B,DH,LF,RF,SS) 411    
40 Kevin Padlo (PIT - 1B,3B) MiLB 401    
41 Erik Gonzalez (MIA - 1B,3B,SS) MiLB 404    
42 Domingo Leyba (SD - 2B,3B) MiLB 407