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With so many choices in the outfield, it is difficult to hone in on the “right” players to target in your fantasy drafts and auctions. Below are five staff choices for outfielders to target this year.

Lorenzo Cain, Royals
Which one of these players do you want on your fantasy team in 2016?








Player A








Player B








I want Player A. But it’s… close, isn’t it?

Player A was 2015 Jose Altuve. Player B was 2015 Lorenzo Cain. Yes, position scarcity matters. But even when the PFM factors position scarcity in, Altuve only edges Cain out by two dollars ($32.34 to $30.56, to be exact) in 15-team mixed leagues. It is fair to wonder if Cain’s 2015 power is an anomaly based on his prior major-league track record, but his ISO last year was fairly consistent with his minor-league results. Cain isn’t a banjo hitter who lucked into 16 home runs but rather a hitter with a solid track record who was finally able to string together a solid major league campaign. Even if there is some regression built into Cain’s 2016, his current draft slot makes him a significant bargain. Cain is being drafted 52nd overall in NFBC drafts, compared to Altuve’s 12th-overall ranking. Speed is perpetually underrated in fantasy, but this isn’t a Billy Hamilton who produces in one category and drags you down elsewhere. Cain is a perpetual five-category contributor who is simply getting dissed by fantasy players across the board. —Mike Gianella

Shin-Soo Choo, Rangers
Two years ago, Shin-Soo Choo signed a massive deal to play in Texas, and fantasy players were lining up around the block to invest in the consistent, in-his-prime outfielder. They were, of course, disappointed as he put together the worst year of his career in 2014. Many of then lined back up to cash in on a bounce-back in 2015, but by the All-Star Game it looked as if there was no hope for Choo to ever be the player he was. The then-32-year-old dispelled that notion, playing like a superstar in the second half with a .343/.455/.560 batting line. Looking at the early ADP figures, it appears people are underplaying that second-half surge.

Obviously, Choo isn’t going to be that kind of player again, but there’s plenty of reason to believe he can put up numbers similar to his overall 2015 line. By the time last year ended, he had put up a .276 AVG with 22 homers, 82 RBI and 94 runs. To put it simply, he looked a lot like his old self, minus the stolen bases. That doesn’t make him an OF1, of course, but he’s currently being drafted as a mid-range OF3 in 15-team leagues. While other owners are betting on upside plays like Gregory Polanco, Adam Eaton or on higher-profile veterans like Jacoby Ellsbury, Hanley Ramirez, and Kole Calhoun, you can grab Choo in the ninth round of a 15-team draft and truly solidify your outfield. —Matt Collins

Ender Inciarte, Atlanta Braves
I espoused Inciarte’s potential to reach top-25 status among outfielders in 2016 immediately after his trade out of the desert to Atlanta in the transaction analysis of the deal, and my feelings haven’t changed in the two months since. In fact, they’ve only grown stronger as the Braves haven’t made any other moves to bolster their outfield since the trade with the Diamondbacks, and they also resisted the temptation to trade Inciarte himself to the Cubs or another rumored suitor—clearing the path for him to receive 600 or more plate appearances and hit in the top-third of the Braves order.

Normally, I would be hesitant to suggest an improvement for a hitter leaving Chase Field, but Inciarte’s game isn’t reliant on power; it’s a profile based upon making contact and using his wheels. His 89 percent contract rate was the sixth-best in the league and his strikeout rate of 10.3 percent placed him inside the top 10 in 2015. Those two rates shouldn’t be affected by the move to Turner Field, although his lifetime batting average of .292 could suffer a bit. The potential dip in value should his average drop could easily be offset with a few extra stolen bases, and I think that Inciarte is a good bet to improve upon the 19 steals that he had in 2014 and his 21 in 2015 with the increased playing time that should come his way on a rebuilding/tanking Braves squad. Inciarte finished 2015 as the 26th-ranked outfielder in standard mixed leagues (according to ESPN’s Player Rater), and I think he’s a strong bet to meet or exceed his 2015 value as a Brave, which would make him a bargain, as he’s currently the 46th outfielder (181st overall) coming off of the board in NFBC drafts. —J.J. Jansons 

Wil Myers, Padres
The injury concerns are obvious, but it’s important to recognize that the former elite prospect is only 25 years old and hinted last year that he’s poised for a breakout. He posted a .173 ISO with eight homers in just 253 plate appearances. If he’s finally able to reach 600 plate appearances—which is more likely, given his transition to first base—Myers could offer 20-homer production with double-digit stolen bases. Perhaps the most encouraging piece of data from his 2015 campaign was his 23.7 percent swing rate at pitches outside the zone. There’s still some swing-and-miss in his game, yes, but not as much as in previous years. If he remains that patient at the plate and can remain healthy by not playing in the outfield everyday, Myers could vastly outperform his average draft position, which is currently behind folks like Yasmany Tomas. Patience is a virtue in fantasy baseball. Don’t forget about Myers just because you haven’t seen him put it all together yet. The building blocks are present. —J.P. Breen

Ben Revere, Nationals
In case you do not listen to the Flags Fly Forever podcast or happened to miss the particular episode when this was discussed, Revere came in as the 14th-most-valuable outfielder and 24th-most-valuable hitter last season. Thinking of Revere as more valuable than Jason Heyward, Carlos Gonzalez, and Justin Upton in anyway outside of who we would most want as a pinch-runner is unsettling. This is because Revere is nowhere near as good a real-life baseball player as the other outfielders mentioned. Revere does not walk, does not hit for power, and plays a slightly below-average center field. In this sense, he is completely average.

That said, we are not making front-office decisions in fantasy baseball; as we know, we are making fantasy-baseball decisions. And in fantasy baseball, where the stolen base is a rare commodity and where a decent batting average is becoming a rarer commodity each season, Revere is excellent. When we combine these with Revere’s new manager’s (Dusty Baker) love for attempting to steal bases, there appears to be no player with a better chance to beat his current ADP (110 or the 32nd outfielder being taken) than Revere.  —Jeff Quinton

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