Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Third Base

When I prepare for any fantasy draft, I always rank players into tiers. This way, you will have a better understanding while drafting of when there is a big drop-off in talent. Using this type of drafting strategy should lead to an increase in overall value for your team.

When compiling my rankings, I focus on a couple of major factors. First, I look at last year’s statistics. That is obviously a great place to start because it is the most recent data to project how a player might perform this year.

Then, I look into any circumstantial changes a player might have going into this year. For example, was this player traded? Did this trade lead to a new ballpark that may be more/less favorable to hitters/pitchers? Is this player surrounded by new players in the lineup? Is this player going into a contract year? Is this player injury-prone of currently injured? All of these questions can give you a better idea of who might have the biggest jump or drop from last year’s performance.

Next, I look into the player’s history. This is less important in my opinion than the first two steps of analysis because a lot can change in two or three years. What it does help me with is it shows me which players I can feel confident and safe in drafting due to a consistent run of seasons of similar statistics.

Finally, the last factor that I use in my rankings is the team that the player plays for. I mean this in a couple of different ways. I personally believe that first and foremost, fantasy sports is supposed to be enjoyable. So, if you are deciding between a few players who on paper have similar values, go ahead and be a homer and take your favorite team’s player ahead of the others. But more importantly, I look for teams that I believe will still be playing competitive baseball towards the end of the season. I have been burned many times by having my top player get a minor injury come fantasy playoff time, only to be rested for the remainder of the season due to their actual team not having any chance of making the real playoffs. If you are deciding between two players close in every other category, my advice is lean towards the player that you are confident will be in a playoff push towards the end of the year. This will give you the best chance of them playing competitive baseball when it matters most in your fantasy season.

Here are my Third Base rankings going into this season:

  1. Kris Bryant, Cubs
  2. Nolan Arenado, Rockies
  3. Manny Machado, Orioles
  4. Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays
  5. Jonathan Villar, Brewers
  6. Kyle Seager, Mariners
  7. Alex Bregman, Astros
  8. Adrian Beltre, Rangers
  9. Todd Frazier, White Sox
  10. Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
  11. Jose Ramirez, Indians
  12. Evan Longoria, Rays
  13. Anthony Rendon, Nationals
  14. Eduardo Nunez, Giants
  15. Miguel Sano, Twins
  16. Justin Turner, Dodgers
  17. Maikel Franco, Phillies
  18. Jake Lamb, Diamondbacks
  19. Nick Castellanos, Tigers
  20. Javier Baez, Cubs
  21. Jung Ho Kang, Pirates
  22. Mike Moustakas, Royals
  23. Yoan Moncada, White Sox
  24. Yulieski Gurriel, Astros
  25. Yangervis Solarte, Padres
  26. Eugenio Suarez, Reds
  27. Martin Prado, Marlins
  28. Ryon Healy, Athletics
  29. Jedd Gyorko, Cardinals
  30. Wilmer Flores, Mets

Third base is LOADED at the top. Bryant, Arenado, Machado, and Donaldson likely will make up a third of the picks in the first round of a standard 12-team draft, and for good reason.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Chicago Cubs
Kris Bryant leads a championship-caliber team in the Cubs. He is capable of doing the same for your fantasy team.

Following the elite, Villar should be the next third baseman off the board a few rounds later. Then, there is a solid group of talented third basemen that should all be drafted between rounds 5-8.

Assuming you got one player in the top three tiers, you can find a solid utility player or get solid depth on your roster with someone from the fourth tier in the later rounds. The rest should all be saved for only the deepest of leagues or as late-round fliers.

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