February 20, 2014
Dynasty League Positional Rankings
Top 120 Outfielders
To read the previous articles in this series, click below:
Outfield is a monster of a position to rank. Unfortunately, it’s no longer a monster position as far as depth at the major-league level. You have the superstars at the top, but as you may be noticing as you do mock and real drafts this pre-season, if you wait too long to fill those last two outfield spots, you’re going to be at more of a disadvantage than five years ago. And the reason why makes sense—with major league teams focusing more on defense, fewer first basemen are parading around the grass aimlessly. The minor leagues, however, could see a good wave of talent coming up at the position over the next two seasons—led by two of the top three fantasy prospects in the minors. The next wave is less impressive, but only by comparison. And the influx of young talent at the major league level, even in the form of players who haven’t quite lived up to expectations yet, is heartening to say the least. And as a disclaimer, you won’t see players who are outfield eligible and have been ranked at other positions on this list. This is purely fresh blood. Dig in.
And now, your top 120 outfielders in dynasty formats:
YOU’RE THE BEST! AROUND! NOTHING’S GONNA EVER KEEP YOU DOWN. YOU’RE THE BEST! AROUND! NOTHING’S GONNA EVER KEEP YOU DOWN.
If you own one of these guys, you’re happy. But if you own Harper, you’re double happy. Stanton may have had some injuries recently, but he’s still not turning 25 until after the 2014 season is over and he’s going to hit 50 homers one of these years. Braun may not steal as many bases from here on out, but he’s still an elite hitter even with reduced impact there.
These are all guys you could call your best outfielder, even though they’re not as elite as the first grouping. Jones should really be in a tier by himself, but this isn’t “Being John Malkovich.” Ellsbury is a better value in redraft leagues because his steals are going to decline in the near future—even though he’s still pretty elite now. Heyward over Puig may surprise some, but it’s more of a vote of confidence in Heyward, who I still believe in as a top-shelf fantasy outfielder long-term.
The young guns are here. If Taveras was going to start the season in the majors, he’d be first in this group of three. He is going to hit and hit a lot. We all know the upside that Buxton has, but Myers’ has the least ceiling in this group. He gets this spot because he’s done it already at the major-league level.
You could rank Kemp anywhere on this list and it would look wrong. I really hope he moves past these injuries because he’s one of my favorite players to watch.
This tier is so superfluous that you could make an argument for these players in nearly any order. You can’t beat the consistency of Holliday and Pence, but the Reds’ speedster splits them up with his potential league-changing speed. The most important take away from this tier is not to forget how good Christian Yelich can be. He has the potential to be a .300 hitter with good pop and speed. I’ll still gamble on Bautista for another year or two in redraft formats, but he’s 33 years old, and I’m thinking he won’t get less injury prone.
This group is sprinkled with power/speed guys that have disappointed recently (Jennings and Jackson), prospects with big upside (Springer, Polanco, Frazier) and some former high-impact players (Hamilton, Beltran, Granderson). The guys who could be had at somewhat of a discount here based on their initial non-stardom are Arcia and Eaton—both of whom could be top-25 outfielders in relatively short order.
If you’re looking for a ton of prospects, you’re probably going to be disappointed here. And the big reason for that is the relative shallowness of the position at the major-league level. Crawford would be ranked higher if he weren’t so brittle at this point—when he’s on the field, he’s been the type of hitter he was in Tampa, just with a lot less speed. B.J. Upton and Josh Reddick are looking to bounce back from tough years in 2013, and to an extent I think both can do it. I also do not think Ethier will be a fourth outfielder forever.
And here are some of the riskier players. I still am a fan of both Goodwin and Cain, but they’ll have to show more in 2014 to get back to previous heights in dynasty leagues. Also, beware of post-hype guys like Choice, Hicks, and Marisnick—they all have real upside that shouldn’t be discounted because they haven’t set the world on fire yet.
I don’t understand the intensity of some of the Kole Calhoun love. He’s a decent player, but a near 20/20 candidate he is not. Ozuna gets overlooked in Miami, but he showed a stronger than expected contact level in the majors and will get the first half of the 2014 season to show he belongs in their outfield long-term. Bell and Renfroe are players who could make nice jumps in 2014 and both have significant fantasy upside.
Yes, I actually went 120 players deep. Gose is another name not to forget about—if he could figure out how to get on base, the speed could be fun to own. Dickerson, Parker, Stubbs, and Blackmon all benefit from the potential playing time in Colorado, but unfortunately only one of them will likely get it (barring an injury). I’m not a believer in Urrutia’s power, as I think he’ll be severely lacking in the category. I’m as amazed as you are that I ranked a 93-year-old Raul Ibanez on this list, but it’s the right thing to do. I don’t need a discrimination suit on my hands here.