Tier 1: Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen, Giancarlo Stanton
Tier 2: Kris Bryant, AJ Pollack, Jose Bautista
Tier 3: Mookie Betts, Starling Marte, Charlie Blackmon, JD Martinez, Chris Davis, Carlos Gomez
Tier 4: Nelson Cruz, Ryan Braun, George Springer, Carlos Gonzalez, Adam Jones, Justin Upton, Yoenis Cespedes, Lorenzo Cain
Tier 5: Jayson Heyward, Matt Kemp, Kyle Schwarber, Hunter Pence, Jacoby Ellsbury, Yasiel Puig, Michael Brantley, David Peralta, Christian Yelich, Greg Polonco, Kole Calhoun
Tier 6: Corey Dickerson, Adam Eaton, Ben Revere, Shin-Soo Choo, Hanley Ramirez, Michael Conforto, Brett Gardner, Joc Pederson, Billy Hamilton, Matt Holliday, Dexter Fowler, Alex Gordon, Jay Bruce, Brandon Belt, Curtis Granderson, Ben Zobrist, Josh Reddick
Tier 7: Khris Davis, Ender Inciarte, Billy Burns, Jorge Solar, Randal Grichuk, Gerardo Parra, Kevin Pillar, Steven Souza, Melky Cabrera, Evan Gattis, Brad Miller, Denard Span, Delino DeShields, Stephen Piscotty, Wil Myers
* Note: Players in bold are my picks in tiers 3 and below to outperform their ADPs.
The outfield group has plenty of intrigue and star power, with the lines between the tiers blurry in many cases. The tier 1 group will go in the first round, with tier 2 going not to long after that. Tiers 3, 4 and 5 provide many solid core players, including some upside guys who will play their way into higher tiers next season. Value can be had in the lower tiers, even when you drop into tier 7. So we’ve got a deep outfield group this year.
A quick note about each player I highlighted, starting with Mookie Betts. The Red Sox outfielder has already established himself as a rising star, but here’s saying that he busts through to the next level this year. Betts helps in all fantasy categories – he’ll exceed what are already high expectations.
Next, we look at Marlins’ up and coming outfielder Christian Yelich. While power is not his calling call (12-15 HRs his likely range), Yelich will fill up the stat sheet otherwise with a high average, runs scored, stolen bases and on-base percentage for those of you in OBP leagues. He’s undervalued in leagues, so grab him and reap the strong ROI.
For our final bold pick, let’s look at Michael Conforto. The Mets’ young outfielder has excellent bat control, one that will keep his batting average up. And while Conforto’s not a stolen base threat, he’ll hit 20-25 home runs and should move up the batting order as he outperforms Curtis Granderson, David Wright, etc.
As mentioned above, the outfield position is deep this year. So, good news – you’ve got options on how to deal with the position! Obviously hauling in one of the tier 1 guys would be fantastic. If not, don’t worry. As a general goal, you should shoot for grabbing at least two OFs from the top 4 tiers. From there, plan to grab two to three more OFs from tiers 5 and 6, preferably one or two with upside. So grab a few studs early, add some depth with upside with later picks.