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To read the previous editions in this series, follow the links below:

There might be more exciting, younger, and dynamic players at other positions, but a big chunk of your stats will still come from your outfielders. This is particularly true in deeper leagues, where the replacement level talent drops of considerably. The top of the position has some familiar names but a couple of new ones as well.

Five-star players are the studs at their position. In general, they are the players who will be nabbed in the first couple of rounds of the draft, and will fetch mixed-league auction bids over $30. Four-star players are a cut below the studs at the position. They will also be early-round selections, and are projected to be worth more than $20 in most cases. Three-star players are the last tier in which players are projected to provide double-digit dollar value in auctions, and two-star players are projected to earn single digits in dollar value in auctions. One-star players are late-round sleepers and roster placeholders. The positional tiers aren't a regurgitation of last year's values but rather offer insight into what we expect will happen in 2017.

Positional eligibility for the series is determined by 20 games or more at a position in the majors, with priority determined using the following order: catcher, shortstop, second base, third base, outfield, first base, and designated hitter. Designated hitters were ranked with first basemen. Players who played fewer than 20 games at a position in the majors are ranked at the position they played most frequently. Players who did not play in the majors in 2016 are ranked at the position they played most in the minors. Brandon Drury played 89 games in the outfield and 29 at third base. He was profiled at third base in this series.

Dollar values come from last year's PFM using a 12-team, standard 5×5 scoring format, with 23-man rosters and the following positions: C (2) 1B (1) 2B (1) 3B (1) SS (1) CI (1) MI (1) OF (5) UT (1) P (9). The minimum bid for players is $1, and we allocate $180 of a $260 budget to hitters. The PFM is customizable, so if your league uses a different format you can adjust it to match your league settings and see how it impacts players' dollar values.

FIVE STAR

Player

Team

Mixed $

AL/NL $

PA

R

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

Mike Trout

LAA

$39.67

$42.40

681

123

29

100

30

.315

Mookie Betts

BOS

$43.37

$44.60

730

122

31

113

26

.319

Bryce Harper

WAS

$17.34

$25.36

627

84

24

86

21

.243

Starling Marte

PIT

$19.60

$30.01

529

71

9

46

47

.311

Charlie Blackmon

COL

$30.16

$33.94

641

111

29

82

17

.324

Every year there is going to be some facile argument about taking someone besides Trout first overall in fantasy leagues. Every year I will caution against this strategy. Yes, Betts was the best player in 2016, but the combination of Trout’s track record, youth, and ability keeps him at the no. 1 spot until he either finally “regresses” (remember all that talk of Trout’s inevitable regression back in 2013?) or gets hurt.

This effusive endorsement of Trout shouldn’t be construed as a knock on the other outfielders in this tier. Betts’s skills are legitimate, but 20-25 dongs might be a more realistic target than the 31 he hit last year. The issue with Harper isn’t so much that he had a down year in 2016, but that 2015 is the only elite season he has compiled. That batting average is a red flag that puts a ceiling on Harper’s earnings even if he bounces back to his 2012-2014 levels, and unless the Nationals decide to bat Daniel Murphy behind Harper, there is a significant risk that Harper’s value is tamped down in traditional 5×5 leagues because of the walks. Even with these caveats in mind, it’s far too soon write off a 24-year-old potential superstar as a less than elite talent, and in fantasy Harper’s 21 steals last year indicate that he could be a five-category monster.

Five-Star Value Pick: Starling Marte
Speed alone makes Marte a great fantasy asset, but unlike one-dimensional players like Billy Hamilton or Dee Gordon, Marte has the potential to hit 15-20 home runs while hitting .300. As if often the case for players who amass more than 500 plate appearances, it is easy to forget that Marte missed time due to injury, in his case a back ailment that cost him about a month. The sub-10 home run season in 2016 masks the 15-20 home run potential that Marte possesses. This pick comes with the usual caveat that there are no true bargains in the five-star tier.

FOUR STAR

Player

Team

Mixed $

AL/NL $

PA

R

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

Ryan Braun

MIL

$22.59

$29.14

564

80

30

91

16

.305

Ian Desmond

COL

$26.12

$31.24

677

107

22

86

21

.285

Yoenis Cespedes

NYM

$13.06

$21.31

543

72

31

86

3

.280

George Springer

HOU

$22.23

$26.57

744

116

29

82

9

.261

Giancarlo Stanton

MIA

$3.38

$13.93

470

56

27

74

0

.240

J.D. Martinez

DET

$8.27

$15.66

517

69

22

68

1

.307

Gregory Polanco

PIT

$15.65

$23.93

587

79

22

86

17

.258

Justin Upton

DET

$15.01

$21.70

626

81

31

87

9

.246

Carlos Gonzalez

COL

$18.63

$24.59

632

87

25

100

2

.298

Andrew McCutchen

PIT

$11.72

$20.42

675

81

24

79

6

.256

Christian Yelich

MIA

$18.02

$24.92

659

78

21

98

9

.298

Nelson Cruz

SEA

$25.83

$28.15

667

96

43

105

2

.287

A.J. Pollock

ARZ

($21.00)

($1.20)

46

9

2

4

4

.244

Billy Hamilton

CIN

$12.59

$25.85

460

69

3

17

58

.260

Kyle Schwarber

CHC

($15.89)

($2.48)

5

0

0

0

0

.000

Matt Kemp

ATL

$20.46

$26.10

672

89

35

108

1

.268

Lorenzo Cain

KC

$3.50

$14.02

434

56

9

56

14

.287

Because a minimum of 60 outfielders must be active in a 12-team mixed league, every tier is going to be more crowded than it is in the other articles in this series. Based solely on the PFM, Hamilton is the most likely candidate to be a five-star contributor. His $31.33 projected earnings are second highest among outfielders and eighth highest overall. The ranking here tries to balance Hamilton’s 70-80 steal potential with the risk for injury and the fact that he is at best a two-category contributor.

Yelich is everyone’s favorite candidate to break out, and it is certainly understandable if you want to rank him higher within this tier based on his upside. I love what he does for the Marlins in real life, but the combination of a tough home park and an extremely high ground-ball rate limits Yelich’s ceiling in fantasy. Yes, the power did spike in the second half but that spike came with a 41-point drop in batting average. There is a superstar lurking within Yelich, it just may not be a fantasy superstar, particularly for a player whose stolen base totals have dropped from 21 to 16 to nine over the course of last three seasons.

The move to Colorado makes me want to get all hot and bothered about Desmond and dream on a 30/30 season for the former shortstop turned outfielder turned first baseman. His raw counting stats should spike, but a jump in Desmond’s ground-ball rate for the third year in a row makes it possible the home runs won’t increase as much as anticipated. He is moving from Texas to Colorado, so while any move to Colorado is an upgrade, it’s not like Desmond is transitioning from a pitchers’ paradise.

It is difficult to know what to make of Kemp’s resurgence in 2016. Sustained health over the last three years has certainly helped Kemp’s cause, but while the home run power has been terrific, he has profiled as merely a slightly above average hitter three of the last four seasons.

Four-Star Value Pick: Lorenzo Cain
Cain justifiably gets dinged for injury concerns, but on and at-bat for at-bat basis 2016 wasn’t that much of a down year for Cain, particularly when it comes to his fantasy numbers. Fifteen home runs, 20 steals and a .300 batting average are all within the realm of possibility for Cain, and while you can get a lot more power from several hitters in this tier, there are few options in this group who can run and potentially provide double-digit home runs with an elite or near-elite batting average.