Outfield is a position that must be handled based on your leagues rules as it is a position you can wait on if you are in a mixed league that only starts three, while it can become scarce in a hurry in NL and AL only leagues.
True there are 90 starters at outfield in the Major Leagues yet not all are worthy fantasy players so even though there is almost always someone on waivers that will at least get playing time for mixed league owners the cream of the crop will still consist of some of the upper echelon hitters that can’t be replaced by just anyone.
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1 Mike Trout, ANA: Over the last five seasons Trout may be the best player in baseball and is rightly a consideration with the top overall pick in fantasy drafts. Trout is a true five category stud to anchor a fantasy team with regardless of format or how weak the rest of the Anaheim lineup is.
2 Mookie Betts, BOS: Last year Betts became an elite player by turning up his power production and turning into a five category stud. While he doesn’t have a long track record, Betts is already considered one of the very top fantasy options regardless of position.
3 Kris Bryant, CHC: Being eligible at 3B makes Bryant a bit more valuable than he already would be for those in daily lineup leagues although he is a first round stud either way. Bryant is a three category star with the ability to steal a few bases and if he can maintain the boost he saw in his AVG he could easily be one of the best fantasy hitters again in 2017.
4 Charlie Blackmon, COL: For three straight years now Blackmon has been one of the best outfielders in fantasy as a contributor in all the counting categories. Blackmon benefits from playing in Colorado quite a bit but that’s part of what you get with him and that should remain a factor as long as he’s with the Rockies.
5 Nelson Cruz, SEA: Since leaving Texas, Cruz has put up three straight 40 home run seasons to go along with tons of runs and RBI. He doesn’t steal any bases although his AVG is well above league average making him a four category stud.
6 Bryce Harper, WAS: In 2015 Harper showed just how good he can be although in the three years prior he averaged just 119 games per season and in 2016 Harper put up less than expected numbers for his high draft slot. Harper’s potential makes him a tier one player however his lack of consistency makes him the last of the group.
7 George Springer, HOU: In his first full year Springer showed his power and speed although he also showed he can get caught stealing as he was thrown out in ten of 19 attempts. Springer has a solid walk rate and if he can improve his stealing percentage Springer could be a fantasy star in the making.
8 Starling Marte, PIT: Big time speed to go along with some power and a very good AVG is what you get with Marte. If he can get the runs and RBI a little bit higher Marte can be elite, although he’s still a highly useful fantasy piece even if those numbers are already at their peak.
9 J.D. Martinez, DET: Martinez won’t steal bases but that’s about all he doesn’t do with an OPS around .900 over the last three seasons. If Martinez plays a full season he’ll be one of the league’s best in power numbers with a strong AVG and run total to boot.
10 Ian Desmond, COL: Perhaps a repeat of last year would be too much to expect from Desmond except he moved to Colorado and now the regression is countered by the Coors Field factor. Desmond’s AVG will determine just how valuable he’ll be although he’s a good bet to be close to another 20-20 season no matter what.
11 Ryan Braun, MIL: One of the most consistent players over the last decade, Braun is still capable of contributing in all five traditional categories. If you wait a little bit at the position and start your fantasy outfield with Braun you are still in a good spot in terms of total team construction.
12 Giancarlo Stanton, MIA: If you could guarantee 150 games from Stanton he would be a great early round pick that would give his owners a huge leg up in the power numbers although Stanton hasn’t played in that many games since 2011. Only once in the last five years has Stanton played more than 120 games and that’s why he’s out of the top ten however he has the potential to be an easy top five outfielder with enough plate appearances.
13 Trea Turner, WAS: Turner is one of the top choices in dynasty drafts and even in re-draft leagues he has great appeal although he’s better at 2B in most instances. Turner showed he can do it all in 2016 but with just 347 Major League at-bats under his belt he could easily slump his way to a major regression in 2017.
14 Carlos Gonzalez, COL: CarGo has two straight seasons with 150 games played yet it’s still hard to get over his injury history and now he no longer steals bases like he used to. Gonzalez has plenty of power left and is a great OF2 on draft day but a very risky OF1.
15 Christian Yelich, MIA: Yelich saw a dip in stolen bases last year but it came with a boost in all the other counting stats while maintaining a great AVG. At just 25 Yelich is one of the up and coming fantasy bats at the position.
16 A.J. Pollack, ARI: A risk/reward pick as Pollack missed most of last year with a broken elbow. If you get the Pollack of 2015 he’s a steal at this point in the draft and he is definitely a player to keep an eye on in spring training.
17 Andrew McCutchen, PIT: Expect a rebound in McCutchen’s AVG which will help him in runs and RBI. It’s hard to count on many stolen bases at this point although at least 20 home runs shouldn’t be an issue.
18 Yoenis Cespedes, NYM: After two big seasons it’s safe to expect Cespedes to be a four category contributor worthy of tier two status if the rest of the Mets’ lineup can produce around him.
19 Gregory Polanco, PIT: Polanco saw a .082 rise in his slugging percentage last year making him a four category contributor with a decent AVG. More power and an uptick in AVG aren’t out of the question for the youngster.
20 Matt Kemp, ATL: How Kemp’s bat will play in the new Atlanta stadium remains to be seen although there aren’t a lot of players with 100 RBI in back to back years. Stolen bases are likely a thing of the past and Kemp’s value really hinges on his ability to hit for average.
THE BEST OF THE REST
21 David Dahl, COL
22 Mark Trumbo, BAL
23 Jose Bautista, TOR
24 Adam Jones, BAL
25 Justin Upton, DET
26 Khris Davis, OAK
27 Adam Eaton, WAS
28 Andrew Benintendi, BOS
29 Billy Hamilton, CIN
30 Kyle Schwarber, CHC