2021 Fantasy Baseball Rankings (NL)
Expert Consensus Ranking (49 of 53 Experts) -
|Rank||Player (Team, Position)||Notes|
|1||Bryce Harper (PHI - RF,DH)||14.0||+4.0||
In 157 games in Harper's first year with the Phillies, he batted .260 with 35 home runs, 98 runs, 114 RBI, and 15 steals. In 2020, his 157-game pace was .268 with 35 home runs, 111 runs, 89 RBI, and 21 steals. In other words, Harper provides an incredibly safe baseline now with Philadelphia, and fantasy managers can expect roughly 35 home runs, 15-20 steals, and 220 combined runs and RBI. There were some gains for Harper in 2020, as he walked more and struck out less than he ever had in his career, and hit the ball as hard as ever. But there's no reason to expect much growth in Harper's surface numbers at this point. Take the incredibly high floor in the second round and be happy with it.
|2||Marcell Ozuna (ATL - LF,DH) IL10||26.0||+3.0||
Ozuna had a career year with the Braves last year, slashing .338/.431/.636, a career best in each category. His 18 home runs and 56 RBI led the National League, while his barrel rate, average exit velocity, and hard hit rate were all among the best in baseball. Given that he had shoulder surgery before the 2018 season, it's fair to assume that he needed two full years to recover. And although perhaps we can't expect him to again lead the league in power categories, you should expect roughly a 35-homer, 100-RBI season with a plus batting average. That makes him capable of being your first outfielder in mixed leagues and an asset to any fantasy team.
|3||Pete Alonso (NYM - 1B,DH)||28.0||-1.0||
Alonso didn't quite follow up his incredible 2019 season last year, but he certainly wasn't terrible. The vast majority of his underlying statcast data and metrics looked similar, and he mostly just didn't make quite as consistently hard contact as he did the previous year. Alonso is never going to help you in batting average, but you should expect 40 home runs and 100 RBI this year and for the foreseeable future. With such a high floor, Alonso makes a more than adequate starting first baseman in mixed leagues.
|4||Keston Hiura (MIL - 1B,2B,DH) MiLB||39.0||+1.0||
Hiura looked to be on the verge of superstardom heading into 2020, if he could just cut back on his bloated 30.7% strikeout rate. Instead, he struck out more than ever (34.6% of the time), en route to a league-leading 85 strikeouts. That led to a massive drop in production, notably in batting average, which fell from .303 in 2019 to .212 last year. Hiura was never a high-strikeout player in the minors. He never struck out more than 26.3% in any level and he had an overall strikeout rate of just 21%. If he can manage to cut down on the whiffs, he should be a top option at second base given his power and speed, but for now, drop him down your draft board a bit from where he was heading into 2020. He's still a borderline top-five option, especially since he will add first base eligibility after the Brewers signed Kolten Wong, but exercise more caution.
|5||Tommy Pham (SD - CF,DH,LF)||73.0||+19.0||
Pham had a terrible 2020 season, during which he slashed .211/.312/.312 and hit just three home runs. A broken hamate bone limited him to just 31 games, and to make matters worse, he was stabbed in the lower back during an altercation in the offseason. But even entering his age-33 season, there are reasons to be optimistic about his 2021 outlook. Pham had averaged roughly 22 home runs and 22 steals with a .284 batting average the three years prior to last, and he had the highest hard-hit rate of his career in 2020. Indeed, his expected batting average of .266 was 55 points higher than his actual average. There's reason to expect Pham to return to his 20-20 ways if he can remain healthy, and batting in a loaded Padres lineup, he should add plenty of counting stats.
|6||Josh Bell (WSH - 1B,DH)||74.0||+11.0||
Bell looked like a superstar in the making in the first half of 2019, but struggled for much of the second half of the season and then fell off a cliff in 2020. He slashed a mere .226/.305/.364 and hit only eight home runs. His strikeout and ground ball rates took massive jumps, while his walk rate and launch angle plummeted. Bell blamed his struggles on his swing getting long, and you could tell by how often he changed his stance and swing last year that he simply could not figure things out. Now with the Nationals, the 29-year-old Bell will have a chance to revive his career. We've seen the upside, so he's certainly worth drafting at a discount, but he's much more of a borderline corner infielder than a starting-caliber first baseman.
|7||Willson Contreras (CHC - C,DH)||65.0||-12.0||
Contreras has established a pretty decent baseline for what fantasy managers can expect over the course of a full season. He'll likely give you a floor of 15 home runs and 110 combined runs and RBI, with upside for more. Those numbers don't sound impressive, but they're enough to make Contreras a top-five catcher easily. Given his safety, there's an argument to be made to take him as high as second overall at the position. But, even so, there's no need to select him before the eighth round or so, as there's not an appreciable difference in the production of the next seven or eight catchers beyond J.T. Realmuto.
|8||Justin Turner (LAD - 3B,DH)||97.0||+16.0||
Turner signed a two-year deal with the Dodgers, and it's a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, he remains a key cog in an incredibly strong lineup where he's had plenty of success for several years. On the other, he's almost certainly going to see a downtick in his playing time given his age and the presence of Edwin Rios. Turner is still a batting average asset, has shown little decline in his batted ball data, and almost always produces when he's in the lineup. But he's much more valuable in daily transaction leagues where you can swap him in and out of the lineup.
|9||Andrew McCutchen (PHI - LF,CF,DH)||103.0||+17.0||
McCutchen returned from his torn ACL and put up a decent season, hitting 10 home runs and stealing four bases in 57 games. If you watched him play, you could see he wasn't 100% himself, and his sprint speed dropped to just 27.4 ft/s, by far a career low. But he looks and reportedly feels healthier this spring, and will lead off again for the Phillies. Expect 20-plus homers, close to double-digit steals, and plenty of runs scored. And because he's an aging veteran, expect him to be a value on draft day.
|10||AJ Pollock (LAD - LF,CF,DH)||92.0||+7.0||
Pollock's production when healthy is rarely in doubt. In 141 games over the last two seasons, he's hit 31 home runs, scored 79 runs, drove in 81, and stolen seven bases while batting .270. But it's the "when healthy" part that is the key to Pollock's value, as he hasn't topped 113 games played since 2015. He's a better pick in shallow leagues where you can replace him if and when he misses time due to injury. But the performance is that of a solid OF3 or OF4 when he's in the lineup.
|11||Christian Walker (ARI - 1B,DH)||108.0||+17.0||
Walker's power waned last season and his barrel rate dropped precipitously, but there were still plenty of things to like about his 2020 campaign. Notably, he cut his strikeout rate to a career-best 20.6% while raising his average to a strong .271. Walker is not, and is probably never going to be, a superstar fantasy asset. But he is a quiet producer who should help in four of the five rotisserie categories and is often overlooked. He's an ideal corner infielder for a team that needs steady production.
|12||Jesse Winker (CIN - LF,CF,RF,DH)||115.0||+19.0||
Winker had a quietly strong 2020 season, getting on base at a .388 clip and hitting 12 home runs in 54 games. He hit the ball hard consistently and walked an impressive 15.3% of the time, which help to offset his rise in strikeout rate (25.1%, well above his career mark). He'll likely bat leadoff for the Reds, and should be an asset in both home runs and runs scored. That's not a profile that blows you away, but it's enough for you to use as a fifth outfielder.
|13||J.D. Davis (NYM - 3B,LF,DH) IL10||138.0||+24.0|
|14||Raimel Tapia (COL - LF,CF,DH)||112.0||-3.0||
Tapia doesn't make a ton of hard contact, but he slashed .321/.369/.402 last year and led off for the Rockies for the majority of the season. He's slated to do so again this year, which means he should be a cheap source of runs, batting average, and steals. Tapia's been around for awhile and never held a starting job all season, but he's in an excellent position this year and can be drafted late in all mixed leagues as a fifth outfielder or bench player.
|15||Joc Pederson (CHC - 1B,LF,RF,DH)||121.0||+1.0|
|16||Jesus Aguilar (MIA - 1B,DH)||191.0||+46.0|
|17||Colin Moran (PIT - 1B,2B,3B,DH) DTD||233.0||+63.0|
|18||Wilmer Flores (SF - 1B,2B,3B,DH)||183.0||‐|
|19||Austin Slater (SF - 1B,CF,DH,LF,RF)||205.0||-26.0|
|20||Garrett Cooper (MIA - 1B,RF,DH) IL10||234.0||+20.0|
|21||Jose Martinez (NYM - RF,DH) IL60||428.0||-30.0|
|22||Daniel Vogelbach (MIL - 1B,DH)||335.0||+77.0|
|23||Victor Caratini (SD - C,1B,DH)||253.0||-13.0|
|24||Matt Carpenter (STL - 2B,3B,DH)||259.0||+2.0|
|25||Yoshi Tsutsugo (LAD - 1B,3B,DH,LF) IL10||283.0||+2.0|
|26||Albert Pujols (LAD - 1B,DH)||168.0||-115.0|
|27||Asdrubal Cabrera (ARI - 1B,2B,3B,DH)||202.0||-101.0|
|28||Brad Miller (PHI - 1B,2B,3B,DH,LF,RF)||340.0||+14.0|
|29||Tim Lopes (MIL - LF,RF,DH)|
|30||Pablo Sandoval (ATL - 1B,3B,DH)||230.0||-155.0|
|31||Yadiel Hernandez (WSH - DH,LF,RF) MiLB|
|32||Matt Joyce (PHI - LF,RF,DH)|
|33||Matt Adams (COL - 1B,DH) IL10|