Last Updated: 2/16
A couple of things to note before reading:
- These rankings are for 10- and 12-team head-to-head category leagues with standard scoring and a starting lineup consisting of 1 C, 1 1B, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 SS, 3 OF, 2 UTIL, and a shallow bench, and were created by me with input from Nick Pollack.
- Within the write-ups, I will call out individual players who would see value boosts or drops in alternative formats, such as rotisserie leagues, deeper leagues, or points leagues.
- Projected stat totals assume that teams each play at least 145 games unless specifically stated otherwise.
- I am more than happy to answer your questions, requests, and counter-points in the comments!
Tier 9: Taking a Flyer (Continued)
No. 81: Kole Calhoun (Arizona Diamondbacks)
This might be a little harsh for Calhoun, but I just have very little fantasy interest in a player with his profile. The power spikes in 2019 and 2020 are somewhat interesting, and it’s pretty apparent in this handy rolling chart (I hope you didn’t think I was quite done with those yet):
Calhoun may have 25-30 home run upside, but the floor is abysmally low and even if he does hit for power, the .230 batting average is tough to swallow.
No. 82: Adam Eaton (Chicago White Sox)
In deep roto leagues, there’s always a place for a guy like Eaton to wind up. He can do just a little bit of everything, and there are formats where that’s a really nice thing to have. In 10- and 12-teamers, though, Eaton just can’t move the needle in any category, and even though he’s greater than the sum of his parts, it’s still not enough.
No. 83: Jurickson Profar (San Diego Padres)
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before for a Padres middle infielder: “If you told me he’d play a full-time role, I’d be moving him up this list.”
Profar returned to San Diego on a nice little three-year deal, and while he was a full-time player for them in 2020, it’s hard to see more than 100 games or so in 2021. It’s a shame, too, because 2020 was probably the best showing of his career and had me hoping he could be more than the 20 home run, 10 stolen base guy with a mediocre average we saw in 2018 and 2019.
No. 84: Jon Berti (Miami Marlins)
In 116 career major league games, he has 8 home runs, 75 runs scored, 27 steals, and a .269 batting average. If we pulled that out into a 150 game average, that’s 10 home runs, 97 runs scored, and 35 steals. That’s a heckin’ good player!
Of course, turning 116 games over three seasons into 150 games in a single season requires a lot of squinting and dreaming for a guy with a lot of internal competition for his second base job, not to mention the fact that batting eighth for the Marlins is not known to be a fantasy-friendly proposition. The upside here is probably a player similar to Andres Giménez, if that’s a helpful comparison.
No. 85: Joc Pederson (Chicago Cubs)
If you can just start him against righties, you can get some nice power and ratios that won’t kill you. That’s what we’ve seen for years out of Joc, and I think that’s just what he’s able to do. That’s a fine player in real life and in some deeper daily fantasy formats, but shallow and weekly players can probably do better.
Tier 10: Watch List Candidates
No. 86: Yasiel Puig (Free Agent)
If he signs somewhere, he shoots up this list. It is worth noting that there is virtually no news about him signing somewhere.
No. 87: Nick Senzel (Cincinnati Reds)
While Senzel might still have the potential to clear 15 home runs and 15 stolen bases with a .260 batting average, odds are that he’ll split playing time with some of the other outfielders with the Reds and wind up with barely 10 home runs or steals and a .245 batting average.
That really only plays in NL-only formats, but the theoretical upside is enough for me to list him here.
No. 88: Edward Olivares (Kansas City Royals)
The athletic young outfielder has a clear-ish path to playing time and enough power and speed to hit 15 home runs and steal 15 bases in a full season. I don’t think the batting average would be great, but it’s a start! For a deeper analysis, I recommend Nate Handy’s breakdown of the Royals system from earlier in the offseason.
No. 89: Gregory Polanco (Pittsburgh Pirates)
Sure, why not? What’s one more offseason of hoping for something? He did fracture his wrist playing in the Dominican League this winter, but reports suggest he should be good to go for Spring Training. If you can ignore the awful ratios, there’s 20 home runs and 10 stolen bases in there somewhere, though he’d have to be healthy to make that happen, and it’s not a quality he’s well-known for.
No. 90: Harrison Bader (St. Louis Cardinals)
Bader has double-digit power and speed along with an awful batting average and a high strikeout rate. That’s par for the course at this end of the rankings, but at least with Bader we’ve seen him do it before, and relatively recently, too.
No. 91: Manuel Margot (Tampa Bay Rays)
He could steal 20 bases and hit 10 home runs like he did in 2019, but I’d be more than a little surprised if he plays in more than 120 games.If you’re desperate for steals at the very end of your draft, this is probably the best play.
No. 92: Hunter Renfroe (Boston Red Sox)
Renfroe could smash anywhere from 20 to 30 home runs, the only question is going to be how often the Red Sox give him the chance when he’s striking out 30% of the time and batting around .220.
At 29, Renfroe is a bit old to be a prospect and it wouldn’t be a shock at all if he became a platoon player at some point this season.
No. 93: Sam Hilliard (Colorado Rockies)
He has pretty good power and speed, but his strikeout rates and the fact he plays for the Rockies really limits his upside. Coors is great and all, but you have to be put in the lineup (and the Rockies famously don’t play any of their recent homegrown talent very consistently) and hitting the ball (his 36.8% strikeout rate shows he doesn’t do that very often) to take advantage of it.
If you need a Hail Mary and want to dream of a 20/20 season, I won’t stop you.
No. 94: Cristian Pache (Atlanta)
Pache is coming up for his glove, but his bat is probably good enough to put up 10-13 home runs and his legs could likely add up to 10 steals. I’m not sure whether he’ll hit closer to .240 or .260, but I’m not sure Atlanta will care that much when they’re watching him glide around in center field.
No. 95: Raimel Tapia (Colorado Rockies)
If the Rockies weren’t so bent on jerking around their young talent, Tapia might be a 10 home run, 15 stolen base outfielder with a strong batting average. He could still be that, theoretically, but I’ll believe it when I see it when it comes to young Colorado hitters.
No. 96: Jared Oliva (Pittsburgh Pirates)
If he plays 100 games, he could feasibly steal 25 bases and do almost nothing else. There are leagues where that matters, and I felt I needed to point out that there is such an upside play this late in the draft. It just has no business in a 10- or 12-team league.
No. 97: Josh Naylor (San Diego Padres)
I’m intrigued by the power and the opportunity to play. In a full season, he could hit 20 home runs with a .275 batting average, which is a fringe starting outfielder.
No. 98: Oscar Mercado (Cleveland)
If you forgot how bad he was in 2020, look again. A .128/.174/.174 line in 93 plate appearances. A negative wRC+. While 2019 suggested he had 20/20 upside, the bad taste 2020 left in my mouth made it hard to even rank him at all.
No. 99: Kevin Pillar (New York Mets)
I had Pillar as high as 61 on this list because I foolishly assumed he’d wind up on a team that needed a starting outfielder. Instead, he joined the Mets, who now have three of them on their bench.
No. 100: Nomar Mazara (Detroit Tigers)
He was sort of good once, and should be able to play most days for Detroit. He was relatively useful as recently as 2019, and I suppose I could see him being that again.
…And a few more for the road
Daulton Varsho (Arizona Diamondbacks)
He’s ranked at catcher, but let’s be clear—his outfield eligibility is meaningless.
Jason Heyward (Free Agent)
If he finds a starting job, he can do what he did with the Cubs and hit for a little power and show off a little speed.
Kevin Kiermaier (Tampa Bay Rays)
He has pop and speed, but his amazing-yet-aggressive work in the outfield leaves him on the IL a few times per season.
Jackie Bradley Jr. (Free Agent)
He’ll probably be ranked somewhere between 70 and 90 once he signs somewhere. . . unless it’s the Mets or somewhere else that could result in a platoon. He needs a lot of plate appearances to create fantasy value.
Michael A. Taylor (Kansas City Royals)
He could push for 15 home runs and 15 steals if he had a full time job, but he probably doesn’t. Not even for the Royals.
Willie Calhoun (Texas Rangers)
I don’t have much faith that he’s going to pan out, but once upon a time we had dreams of 30 home runs and he should at least start the season with regular playing time.
Oscar Colás (Free Agent)
He’ll generate some buzz when he signs, but it’s mostly for dynasty and keeper league managers.
Photos by Tim Spyers & Dustin Bradford / Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)