When it comes to your team having success in fantasy baseball this season it may come down to one simple question – who is on first? Looking ahead, this is a position that seems to thin out rather quickly after the top five or six players.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t options after that without upside and/or appeal, but there also is a pretty clear drop-off. That’s why one of my primary goals entering my drafts this year is to target a tier one first baseman for sure.
The primary categories you hope to get our of your first baseman in fantasy are RBIs, HRs and runs with a batting average that will not sink your teams. This season we are seeing players who will be manning first base for the first time this season and who won’t have that elite power profile – guys like like Matt Carpenter, Ian Desmond (not yet eligible to be ranked as a 1B), and Daniel Murphy. These players can certainly fill the position on your roster and should produce decent numbers, just don’t expect the 30-plus home run and 100-RBIs upside of the elite options. They may provide a higher batting average and possibly add a few more stolen bases to the mix.
Everyone has their own way of approaching a fantasy draft or auction, but my advice is to target an elite 1B early and then maybe look at snagging one of the “newer” guys for a Corner Infield or Utility spot on my roster. If you decide to wait for your starter, you can survive but know that the drop-off from the top tier and the next is significant.
Other considerations: Eric Thames of the Milwaukee Brewers is currently not eligible at 1B or I would have had him in my top 20.
— Rankings by Chris Meyers, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a member of the FSWA. Meyers' work appears on many other sites, including socalledfantasyexperts.com. Follow him on Twitter @FantsyChillpony.