Tier 1: Cody Bellinger, Freddie Freeman
Tier 2: Pete Alonso, Anthony Rizzo
Tier 3: Paul Goldschmidt, Matt Olson, Josh Bell
Tier 4: Rhys Hoskins, Jose Abreu, Max Muncy, DJ LeMahieu, Trey Mancini, Carlos Santana, Yasmani Grandal, Danny Santana
Tier 5: Yuri Gurriel, Edwin Encarnacion, Luke Voit, Eric Hosmer, Daniel Murphy
First base doesn’t have the oomph that it used to have back in fantasy yore. Outfielder / first base eligible Cody Bellinger sits solidly as a top five overall pick, and Freddie Freeman should be selected no later than the early part of round two. The Mets’ Pete Alonso emerged last year with a 53 HR rookie debut season, carrying many fantasy teams to the playoffs and beyond. Anthony Rizzo joins Alonso in the second tier, with a strong batting average and 40 HR potential, even as his numbers slipped a bit last season. But these four guys are it in terms of first basemen who will be anchors for your fantasy team.
There’s reasonable debate as to how the first basemen should be ranked following the quartet in tiers 1 and 2. Paul Goldschmidt has been a fixture at the top of the position, but his batting average took a severe dip last year. Now at age 32, his numbers predictably will continue trending south. Matt Olson and Josh Bell follow Goldy in tier 3, but both players have a higher ceiling - so no issue if you prefer one of those guys over the veteran Goldy instead.
Not much of a dropoff exists from tier 3 to tier 4, with Hoskins, Abreu and the rest of that group presenting solid options. The folks in tier 5 make for serviceable starters in leagues with utility slots, or as short-term starters as an injury fill-in, but should not be relied upon as your top first base option.
The value cliff at first base lies between tiers 2 and 3 – meaning that you should either snag one of the tier 1 or 2 players at the appropriate draft slot (view my top 150 rankings to see how these players are valued in comparison to players at other positions), or otherwise wait to address first base later in your draft. Once you arrive at tier 3, you’ve got several options that provide similar value – so no need to rush the pick at that point. In that scenario, fortify your other positions, and then grab your first baseman from tiers 3-4 in the 8-12 round range of your draft. Dip into the tier 5 group in the later rounds for depth.
Other Positional Rankings