2019 Fantasy Baseball Rankings (NL)

Expert Consensus Ranking (64 of 67 Experts) -
Rank Player (Team, Position) Overall Notes
1 Christian Yelich (MIL - LF,CF,RF) MiLB 4 3.0 -1.0
There is no denying that Yelich was a first round value in 2018 and perhaps even the #1 fantasy asset thanks to a .326 average with 36 homers, 22 steals and 110+ runs and RBIs. These numbers blew away his career marks, however, so projection models all have him regressing to a high-end second round value this year
2 Ronald Acuna Jr. (ATL - LF,CF) 5 5.0
Acuna met the seismic hype, and then some, by hitting .293/.366/.552 with 26 homers and 16 steals in 111 sizzling rookie games. He flaunted his MVP ceiling by posting a .429 wOBA and 19 of those long balls after the All-Star break. Challenging Mike Trout as baseball's best player is a real ceiling he could reach as soon as 2019. Before drafting him accordingly, beware a 25.3 K% and 74.6% contact rate sending his average backyard in his age-21 season. He may also run less often in the leadoff role.
3 Bryce Harper (PHI - CF,RF) 7 7.0
Harper may have posted just a .249 batting average in 2018, but the rest of his fantasy production was tremendous, plus his underlying metrics indicate the average returning closer to the .270 mark in 2019. His fantasy value improved when he signed with Philly because their ballpark is great for lefties, but he is still just a 2nd round pick.
4 Charlie Blackmon (COL - CF) 12 14.0 +2.0
While Blackmon wasn't the number one fantasy asset like in 2017, he still knocked 29 homers, led the league in runs and batted .291, and don't forget, that was a down year. If that is his floor, fantasy owners are getting a steal in the late 2nd round.
5 Kris Bryant (CHC - 3B,RF) 14 17.0 +3.0
Bryant missed 60 games last year and had his least efficient season of his career by quite a bit. There is some risk in drafting Bryant in the 3rd round, but he also comes with 40 homer upside, a batting average near .300 and both 100+ runs and RBIs
6 Juan Soto (WSH - LF) 15 15.0
Soto was every bit as good as top-ten pick, Alex Bregman per plate appearance last season, but is going 20 picks later. Keep in mind, he accomplished that as a teenager. Don't hesitate to reach an entire round to grab him before he progresses even more
7 Starling Marte (PIT - CF) 18 20.0 +2.0
Marte bounced back from his 2017 suspension season with another big year. He stolen 33 bases, knocked 20 homers and batted a quality .277. While he may not swipe 45 bags anymore, that power/speed combo makes him well worth a fourth round pick in standard leagues
8 Rhys Hoskins (PHI - 1B,LF) 20 21.0 +1.0
Although his slugging percentage dropped from .618 to .496, Hoskins still popped 34 homers in his first full season. Boasting MLB's highest fly-ball rate (51.7%) and launch angle (22.6°) of all qualified hitters, drafters can expect more of the same. Yet it will come at the cost of batting average, and he'll only offer a handful of steals when pitchers aren't looking. Last year's 48th-ranked hitter on ESPN's Player Rater probably needs 40-plus homers to validate his hefty cost. At least he'll get plenty of RBI opportunities hitting alongside Bryce Harper.
9 Cody Bellinger (LAD - 1B,CF) 23 22.0 -1.0
Last year was a major disappointment for Bellinger owners after he hit 39 homers in just 132 rookie games in 2017. He still managed to hit 25 bombs with 14 steals, however, so the floor is plenty high. At just 23 years old, we clearly haven't seen the best of Bellinger so don't be surprised if he breaks out for 50 bombs this year or next
10 Lorenzo Cain (MIL - CF) 29 34.0 +5.0
Cain didn't experience the power growth that many were expecting when he moved from Kansas City to Milwaukee, and his fantasy value was somewhat lessened by an absurdly low RBI count (38). But he did hit north of .300 for the fourth time in five seasons and collected a career-high 30 stolen bases. It's probably time to accept that he is not going to be a 20 HR guy, but he doesn't need to be one to be a top-50 hitter in standard 5x5 leagues. And he could be even better than that if everything clicks and he goes .300-15-30 with over 100 runs scored.
11 Marcell Ozuna (STL - LF) 34 41.0 +7.0
Ozuna's massive 2017 season seemed destined to go down as an outlier, and that's exactly what happened as he experienced a major drop-off in every offensive category last season. A shoulder injury reportedly impacted his performance last year, but the fact remains that Ozuna now has three full seasons where he has hit exactly 23 home runs with a batting average between .265 and .280 and 75-90 RBIs. That's the player we should expect in 2019, not the one that went .312-37-124 in 2017.
12 Nicholas Castellanos (CHC - RF) 41 47.0 +6.0
There's no doubt that Castellanos is a solid fantasy option, but last season's .298 batting average looks due for quite a bit of regression, he doesn't run, and his run production numbers could also take a hit as the Tigers enter into a full-on rebuild. There are better outfielders available at his late-seventh round ADP.
13 Michael Conforto (NYM - LF,CF,RF) 44 58.0 +14.0
We've seen enough of Conforto by now to know that the hype was overblown. Sure, he has had some extremely promising stretches, but over a full year of health in 2018, he wasn't as good as Randal Grichuk who is going over 100 picks later because of the difference in name value.
14 David Dahl (COL - LF,CF,RF) 43 50.0 +7.0
There is plenty of reason to be excited about David Dahl, as his upside is a true five-category contributor. With that said, he has been among the most injury-prone players in baseball so even 400 plate appearances is no guarantee.
15 A.J. Pollock (LAD - CF) 46 48.0 +2.0
Pollock was a fantasy monster in 2015, but then an elbow injury cost him almost the entire 2016 season and he hasn't been quite the same player since. A 20-20 season is in the realm of possibility here, and Pollock should score plenty of runs atop the Dodgers lineup as long as he can stay healthy. Just don't reach too early while dreaming of 2015.
16 Andrew McCutchen (PHI - LF,RF) IL60 48 74.0 +26.0
McCutchen's strikeout rate has grown and his batting averaged has dipped over the last few seasons, but he has continued to be a very reliable source of 20+ homers, 10+ SBs, and solid run and RBI totals. Now, at age 32, he is finally set to play a full season in a hitter's park while surrounded by a potent lineup. McCutchen's numbers may fluctuate a bit based on where he ends up hitting in the lineup, but it's not unreasonable to expect his power and run production numbers to trend upward a bit in the best hitting environment of his long career.
17 Wil Myers (SD - 3B,LF,RF) 49 54.0 +5.0
Myers will play the outfield in San Diego this year, but will carry over third base eligibility from last season, making him one of the very few options for speed at 3B. He averaged 29 home runs and 24 stolen bases between 2016 and 2017, and was on pace to again go 20-20 last year if not for missing nearly half the season due to a host of different injuries. You can't expect Myers to do much better than his .253 career batting average, but his combination of power and speed makes him a sneaky contender to finish as a top-12 third baseman in roto/categories leagues if he can stay healthy.
18 Victor Robles (WSH - RF) 58 65.0 +7.0
Robles has been somewhat overshadowed by Juan Soto in Washington, but he had success in a brief stint with the Nationals last year and looks poised to break out in 2019. The projection systems generally expect Robles to steal at least 25 bases with low-double digit home runs and a batting average in the .275 range, which would probably be enough to make Robles worth deploying immediately, even in three outfielder leagues.
19 David Peralta (ARI - LF) IL60 56 73.0 +17.0
Peralta is a .293 career hitter, so it wasn't exactly a surprise that he hit .293 last year. What was shocking, however, was that he hit 30 home runs after never hitting more than 17 in any of his previous four Major League seasons. The power spike was backed up by a ton of hard contact, but his ground ball rate remained high, making a repeat quite unlikely. Buy Peralta for the batting average, and consider anything more than 20 home runs to be a bonus.
20 Ender Inciarte (ATL - CF) MiLB 72 78.0 +6.0
Inciarte is not the kind of player that fantasy managers drool over, but he is a strong bet to steal 20 bases and hit 10 home runs while batting close to .300. If he does that again, he'll be well worth starting in standard 12-team mixed leagues.
21 Ryan Braun (MIL - 1B,LF) 76 103.0 +27.0
Braun isn't often healthy, but when he is on the field, he has continued to rake over the last three years. In that time, his per 162 game average is 30 homers, 18 steals and a .279 batting average. If he can finally stay on the field, fantasy owners will hit the jackpot this year.
22 Ian Desmond (COL - 1B,LF) 83 83.0
Desmond has now gone 20/20 in five of his last six healthy seasons. His .236 batting average isn't what you'd hope for, but keep in mind that he batted .285 and .274 the previous two seasons so he should jump back in 2019.
23 Brandon Nimmo (NYM - LF,CF,RF) 89 90.0 +1.0
The Mets finally found playing time for Nimmo, who responded in kind with 17 homers, nine steals, and the sixth-highest wRC+ (149) among all qualified hitters. Because of his stellar 15.0% walk rate, the Mets are likely to deploy him in the leadoff role (at least against righties) ahead of a refurbished lineup. He should deposit plenty of runs with 20-homer, 10-steal potential, but beware a low batting average because of his precise pickiness at the plate. A solid mid-draft investment in five-by-leagues, Nimmo's gold in OBP formats.
24 Adam Eaton (WSH - LF,RF) 88 110.0 +22.0
If he stays healthy, Eaton could go down as one of 2018's biggest steals. Pun somewhat intended, as he swiped nine of 10 opportunities in just 95 games when not sidelined by an ankle injury. Probably more important to his stock, he hit .301 with a .394 OBP, giving him an average and OBP above .280 and .360, respectively, in each of the last five seasons. That could give him an opportunity to bat ahead of Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto atop Washington's lineup. If his body cooperates, he'd become 2019's Michael Brantley.
25 Kyle Schwarber (CHC - LF) 91 97.0 +6.0
The experts (146) and ADP (179) are still dreaming of what Schwarber could be rather than accepting who he is: a left-handed Evan Gattis with more walks and strikeouts. Both burly sluggers, unfortunately, no longer have catcher eligibility. While Schwarber can contribute in OBP or OPS leagues, the career .228 hitter is an average liability who won't make up for the glaring liability if the Cubs keep limiting his playing time. If lucky, drafters will get a .240, 30-homer outfielder with more intriguing power bats (Hunter Renfroe, Justin Smoak, Jake Lamb, a much cheaper Jay Bruce or Randal Grichuk) still on the board. Drafters could stay in Chicago and take the same power gambit on Daniel Palka over 100 picks later.
26 Jesse Winker (CIN - LF,RF) 100 104.0 +4.0
27 Corey Dickerson (PHI - LF,DH) IL60 96 116.0 +20.0
28 Harrison Bader (STL - LF,CF,RF) 102 98.0 -4.0
The latest byproduct of Cardinal Devil Magic, Bader broke out with 12 homers, 15 steals, and a 3.5 fWAR in 138 games. The WAR doesn't directly help fantasy investors, but stellar defense in center field should preserve a starting job on a crowded Cardinals roster with one corner-outfield spot left for Dexter Fowler, Tyler O'Neill, and Jose Martinez. A 29.3 K% and .220 xBA threaten his passable .264 batting average and said security, but there's also a high steals ceiling with last year's ninth-highest Statcast Sprint Speed Score (29.9 feet/second). Don't go overboard on his rookie success.
29 Billy Hamilton (ATL - CF) 106 85.0 -21.0
Hamilton is going to give you no power, of course, and his batting average will almost certainly drag you down, but 50 steals will more than make up for both of those problem spots. If you are low on steals in the middle of your draft, Hamilton can quickly solve that problem.
30 Odubel Herrera (PHI - CF) SUS 112 124.0 +12.0
31 Hunter Renfroe (SD - LF,RF) 121 112.0 -9.0
Looking like no more than a short-end platoon bat, Renfroe unearthed his raw power to rake 19 home runs in 60 second-half games. That late surge helped secure some fantasy titles, but the price isn't rising since he must compete with Wil Myers, Manuel Margot, Franmil Reyes, and Franchy Cordero for playing time in San Diego's outfield. A 112 wRC+ against righties should give him a shot to avoid a small-portioned timeshare, but any slump could promptly cost the 27-year-old playing time. He's also a solid bet to pop 30 long balls if given just 500 plate appearances, so don't sleep on him if competitors are avoiding a crowded outfield.
32 Gregory Polanco (PIT - RF) IL60 124 132.0 +8.0
33 Nick Markakis (ATL - RF) 142 135.0 -7.0
34 Chris Taylor (LAD - 2B,SS,LF,CF) 139 121.0 -18.0
The Dodgers will oddly relegate Taylor to a super-utility role after recording 7.9 fWAR over the last two years combined. Although he didn't fully repeat a breakout 2017, he was still a productive starter (113 wRC+, 3.1 WAR) in 2018. He's versatile enough to still play more often than not, and an injury (or poor performance from Enrique Hernandez as the full-time second baseman) could propel him right back into an everyday role. He's droppable in shallow mixed leagues with three starting outfielders and no corner/middle infielders, but everyone else should stand pat.
35 Jose Martinez (STL - 1B,RF) 144 114.0 -30.0
Martinez rakes, there is no doubt about that, but he also lost his path to playing time when Paul Goldschmidt was acquired this off-season. Now, he requires an injury to either Marcell Ozuna or Dexter Fowler/Tyler O'Neill to see more than 300 at-bats.
36 Adam Jones (ARI - CF,DH) 148 175.0 +27.0
Steven Souza's season-ending knee surgery will likely clear up a starting spot for Jones, who still hit .281 with 15 homers in a down 2018. The durable veteran has averaged 151 games played over the past nine seasons, and he had gone seven straight seasons with at least 25 long balls before last year's decline. He's a boring depth piece who can help fill an injury void in deep leagues.
37 Manuel Margot (SD - CF) 158 205.0 +47.0
38 Brandon Belt (SF - 1B,LF) 155 184.0 +29.0
Belt still hasn't surpassed 20 homers in any season and over the last two seasons, his batting average has dropped down below .255. If he can stay healthy for once, however, Belt may reach 25 homers if he keeps up his HR-rate.
39 Kike Hernandez (LAD - 1B,2B,SS,LF,CF,RF) 160 160.0
Hernandez's production has risen (67, 92, and 118 wRC+) along with playing time (244, 342, 462 PAs) over the past three seasons. The latter trend will at least continue, as he will open 2019 as the Dodgers' starting second baseman. He no longer needs to hide in a platoon after popping 12 homers and a 123 wRC+ against righties last season. His strikeouts also continue to decline, so the featured role could lead to a solid average with 20-25 homers. The 27-year-old is also eligible at least three positions (2B, SS, and OF), making him a useful spark plug to pluck off the waiver wire.
40 Brian Anderson (MIA - 3B,RF) IL60 165 181.0 +16.0
41 Joc Pederson (LAD - LF,CF) 166 173.0 +7.0
42 Kevin Pillar (SF - CF) 167 176.0 +9.0
43 Adam Frazier (PIT - 2B,LF,RF) 172 182.0 +10.0
44 Tyler O'Neill (STL - LF,RF) MiLB 176 187.0 +11.0
45 Ian Happ (CHC - 3B,LF,CF,RF) 180 180.0
Surprisingly demoted to Triple-A, Happ will open 2019 on many waiver wires while working his way back to the majors. Despite his strikeout woes, the 24-year-old has displayed a strong batting eye and solid pop for the Cubs. There's a good chance he'll quickly work his way back to the bigs, so monitor closely in shallow leagues and keep him stashed in deeper formats.
46 Matt Kemp (NYM - LF,RF) FA 178 162.0 -16.0
47 Jay Bruce (PHI - 1B,RF) 193 177.0 -16.0
48 Franchy Cordero (SD - LF,CF) IL60 188 223.0 +35.0
49 Scott Schebler (CIN - CF,RF) 194 206.0 +12.0
50 Lewis Brinson (MIA - OF) 196 224.0 +28.0
51 Eric Thames (MIL - 1B,LF,RF) 224 215.0 -9.0
52 Yoenis Cespedes (NYM - LF) IL60 198 222.0 +24.0
53 Pablo Reyes (PIT - RF) 222 403.0 +181.0
54 Raimel Tapia (COL - CF) 208 282.0 +74.0
55 Albert Almora Jr. (CHC - CF) 256 248.0 -8.0
56 Steven Duggar (SF - CF,RF,DH) IL60 237 269.0 +32.0
57 Alex Verdugo (LAD - LF,CF) MiLB 251 195.0 -56.0
Now that the Dodgers signed A.J. Pollock, it seems unlikely that Verdugo will make an impact in the majors until June. When he does, we are looking at a startable fantasy outfielder, but he isn't quite worth drafting in standard leagues as a stash and hold.
58 Nick Williams (PHI - LF,RF) 253 275.0 +22.0
59 Curtis Granderson (MIA - LF,RF,DH) 254 359.0 +105.0
60 Dexter Fowler (STL - RF) 247 263.0 +16.0
61 Phillip Ervin (CIN - LF,RF) 242 344.0 +102.0
62 Ben Zobrist (CHC - 2B,LF,RF) 261 185.0 -76.0
Zobrist isn't going to see 500 at-bats, nor does he offer much in the way of power or speed, but he is a reliable source of batting average late in drafts and that should be enough to warrant owning him as a depth piece.
63 Lonnie Chisenhall (PIT - RF) IL60 274 339.0 +65.0
64 Jason Heyward (CHC - CF,RF) 263 246.0 -17.0
65 Adam Duvall (ATL - 1B,LF) 244 230.0 -14.0
66 Hernan Perez (MIL - 2B,3B,SS,LF,RF) FA 272 231.0 -41.0
Although Perez likely won't steal 34 bases like we saw in 2016, he is a sufficient source of speed late into drafts with enough at-bats that he'll add counting stats. There won't be much in the way of power, but his batting average won't kill you either.
67 Gerardo Parra (WSH - LF,RF) 276 265.0 -11.0
68 Michael A. Taylor (WSH - CF) 281 280.0 -1.0
69 Matt Adams (WSH - 1B,LF) 312 240.0 -72.0
70 Adolis Garcia (STL - RF) MiLB 291    
71 Garrett Cooper (MIA - LF) 325 386.0 +61.0
72 Roman Quinn (PHI - LF,CF) 477 262.0 -215.0
73 Nick Martini (SD - LF) 301 378.0 +77.0
74 Travis Jankowski (SD - LF,CF,RF) 318 261.0 -57.0
75 Derek Dietrich (CIN - 1B,LF) 314 321.0 +7.0
76 Magneuris Sierra (MIA - CF,RF) 307 390.0 +83.0
77 Dominic Smith (NYM - 1B,LF) 371 327.0 -44.0
78 Yairo Munoz (STL - 3B,SS,CF) 323 273.0 -50.0
79 Juan Lagares (NYM - CF) 326 422.0 +96.0
80 Joey Rickard (SF - LF,CF,RF) 342 353.0 +11.0
81 Jarrod Dyson (ARI - CF,RF) 356 311.0 -45.0
82 Melky Cabrera (PIT - RF) 334 300.0 -34.0
83 Carlos Gomez (NYM - RF) MiLB 322 287.0 -35.0
84 Austin Dean (MIA - LF) 363 349.0 -14.0
85 Cory Spangenberg (MIL - 2B,3B,LF) 367 363.0 -4.0
86 Rafael Ortega (ATL - LF,CF) 392    
87 Tony Kemp (CHC - LF,CF) 362 296.0 -66.0
88 Austin Slater (SF - LF) 359 383.0 +24.0
89 Connor Joe (SF - LF) MiLB 599    
90 Michael Reed (SF - LF,CF) MiLB 591 415.0 -176.0
91 Andrew Toles (LAD - CF) RST 369 294.0 -75.0
92 Jose Osuna (PIT - 1B,3B,RF) 324 346.0 +22.0
93 Yasmany Tomas (ARI - LF,RF) DFA 395 315.0 -80.0
94 Jose Pirela (PHI - 1B,2B,LF,RF) 341 303.0 -38.0
95 Chris Shaw (SF - LF) 376 395.0 +19.0
96 Victor Victor Mesa (MIA - OF) NRI 388 348.0 -40.0
97 Howie Kendrick (WSH - 2B,LF) 444 335.0 -109.0
98 Ben Gamel (MIL - LF,RF) 400 285.0 -115.0
99 Charlie Culberson (ATL - 3B,SS,LF) IL60 347 256.0 -91.0
100 Anthony Garcia (SF - RF) MiLB 542    
101 Rajai Davis (NYM - LF,CF,DH) 587 350.0 -237.0
102 Alex Jackson (ATL - C,RF) IL60 576    
103 Drew Robinson (SF - 2B,CF) MiLB 590 343.0 -247.0
104 Matt Joyce (ATL - LF) 581 398.0 -183.0
105 Joe McCarthy (SF - 1B,LF) MiLB 472    
106 Noel Cuevas (COL - LF,RF) MiLB 549 435.0 -114.0
107 Alex Dickerson (SF - LF,RF) 480    
108 Jason Martin (PIT - LF,CF) IL60 481    
109 Tim Locastro (ARI - CF) 488    
110 Jose Siri (CIN - CF) 545    
111 Austin Listi (PHI - OF) MiLB 491    
112 Rosell Herrera (MIA - 2B,3B,CF,RF) MiLB 586 477.0 -109.0
113 Lane Thomas (STL - OF) IL60 496 478.0 -18.0
114 Justin Williams (STL - RF) MiLB 546    
115 Yonathan Daza (COL - CF,RF) 497    
116 Drew Ferguson (SF - CF) MiLB 589    
117 Braxton Lee (NYM - RF) MiLB 550    
118 Ezequiel Carrera (LAD - LF,CF,RF) FA 563    
119 Lane Adams (PHI - RF) MiLB 554    
120 Johnny Field (CHC - LF,CF,RF) MiLB 556 486.0 -70.0
121 Andrew Stevenson (WSH - LF,RF) MiLB 593 470.0 -123.0
122 Mark Zagunis (CHC - RF) MiLB 584 397.0 -187.0
123 Tyrone Taylor (MIL - LF,CF,RF) 585    
124 Matthew Szczur (ARI - LF,RF) MiLB 604    
125 Mike Gerber (SF - LF) 600    
126 Sean Rodriguez (PHI - 2B,SS,LF,CF) 606 412.0 -194.0
127 Gregor Blanco (NYM - LF,CF) NRI 588    
128 Shane Robinson (PHI - RF) NRI 595    
129 Bryan Reynolds (PIT - CF) 610