We’re back with some more rankings, this time looking at 2014 Fantasy Outfielder Rankings. The outfield position, by default, is already a much deeper position than most of the others, especially when you consider each team has about five outfielders, with three starters, and many 12-team leagues only draft five outfielders to start.
But I do think the top tiers are above and beyond better than the third and fourth tiers, which makes this a relatively top-heavy position.
Once you get past the first three tiers you may be picking for upside or cheap power/steals, more so than proven players, as compared to other positions.
We’ll be going through all of the positions with our rankings previews, as well as a team preview on each of the 30 MLB teams, so stay tuned.
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Norichika Aoki, KC: New team, and new stadium shouldn’t impact Aoki’s Fantasy outlook. He is still a .280 hitter who can steal some bases and may still hit double-digit home runs (although, barely).
Oswaldo Arcia, MIN: The youngster did just fine showing defensive ability and plenty of power in his first season in the majors. He plays in a big-time power park, but he does have a high k rate. Arcia makes an excellent dynasty target.
Jose Bautista, TOR: His injuries continue to mount and his batting average/bat speed will likely dip with his growing age. Power is still real, and 35 or more home runs is definitely possible again, with a .285 average.
Carlos Beltran, NYY: He still has 20-plus homerun power, and the ability to hit close to .300, which makes him valuable in Fantasy circles still. He is now in the very friendly Yankee Stadium, which only adds to his value, keeping him relatively high in the 2014 Fantasy Outfielder rankings.
Michael Bourn, CLE: Two different injuries left Bourn with a disappointing 2013 season. If he stays healthy, his legs alone can still grab owners 35-plus steals, 80 runs and get him to hit for .275. Nice value for a rebound candidate.Ryan Braun, MIL: Remember this guy? He has the talent to remain an elite outfielder, but the dark cloud of a PED suspension over his head may destroy him. Owners should buy in completely, simply for upside in 2014. His talent shouldn’t simply disappear, and he’s been going in the second round of most mock drafts.
Domonic Brown, PHI: He had an amazing first half, but reality hit hard in the second half last season. With only four homers in the second half, it left many Brown nay-sayers saying “See I told you so.” His power is real, his plate discipline leaves much to be desired.
Jay Bruce, CIN: Free-swinging Bruce is about as reliable for 30 home runs and close to 100 RBI as they come. He won’t help you too much in the batting average department, but you never know — he is at the breakout age now. He’ll turn 27 years old in the first week of the season.
Kole Calhoun, LAA: He got an opportunity and never looked back in late August. Now, with Peter Bourjos gone, Calhoun should lock up a full season of at-bats. No reason he can’t get to 20 home runs and 15 steals, with a .270 average.
Yoenis Cespedes, OAK: Cespedes had a nagging hand injury and seems to miss plenty of games each season. However, if he is healthy, his second half is repeatable leaving you with 20-plus homers, and 80 RBI potential. Maybe even 15 steals as a sweetener.
Shin-Soo Choo, TEX: Nice speed and power combo along with his ability to get on base make him a five-category player. In Texas’ lineup, he should be in a nice situation once again. May not hit .300, but will be around .285.
Allen Craig, STL: Consistent power. Injury bug has bit him every season. If he gets over 500 ABs, he should hit close to .300, 15 homers and 80 RBI.
Coco Crisp, OAK: Last year was a nice little season, but he seems very unlikely to repeat it. Let someone else take the risk. Nice option for stolen bases and possibly another 15 home runs, however.
Nelson Cruz, FA: He is older, a free agent, and still has plenty of power, but that is about it. I am avoiding Cruz unless he slips to a very late round.
Michael Cuddyer, COL: What a late career bloomer. Although, it is doubtful he repeats his 2013 season, he can still hit 15-20 homers in Colorado, and even swipe some bases. Who knows, maybe playing with his buddy Justin Morneau will revitalize him again.
Khris Davis, MIL: What a nice surprise he was last season. Maintained his minor-league slash lines, and held his own after his call-up. Play time may be an issue this season with Braun’s return, but they will find a way to play him.
Adam Eaton, CHW: Health is a key concern, but if he is fully recovered, he should be able to maintain his five-category skill set in Chicago. He makes a nice mid- to late-round outfield option.
Jacoby Ellsbury, NYY: One of the biggest offseason signings, Ellsbury should be able to match his 2013 numbers, along with a few more sneaky homers in Yankee Stadium. As always, health is a concern, but if he stays healthy, we have him in the top 10 of our 2014 Fantasy outfielder rankings again this season.
Andre Ethier, LAD: He can put up decent numbers, but his main concern this season will be playtime in a bloated outfield. If Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp stay healthy, Ethier may be the odd man out. I wouldn’t draft him as a starter.
Dexter Fowler, HOU: His power may take a slight hit moving to Houston, but the free-swinging speedster should still be able to hit 15 home runs, and rack up 80 runs and up to 30 steals. I will be targeting him this season.
Avisail Garcia, CHW: Young with plenty of upside, Garcia could surprise plenty this season in Chicago. I am not expecting it, however, and think he will develop into a nice player, perhaps just not in 2014.
Brett Gardner, NYY: A speedy outfielder who can steal 30 bases and hit close to .270. He will steal bases and score plenty of runs in 2014. I would gladly take him as a third outfielder.
Carlos Gomez, MIL: Steals, power and runs make Go-Go a great value. Most thought his 2012 season was a fluke, but he nearly duplicated it in 2013. I wouldn’t expect the average, but everything else is realistic, hitting .250, with 70 runs, 15 home runs and 30 steals.
Carlos Gonzalez, COL: He does it all, and is actually improving. If, and it’s a big if, he stays healthy all season, he will be a top-three outfielder without question. Draft with confidence.
Alex Gordon, KC: Here is another five-category player. He isn’t very flashy, and is far more valuable in Rotisserie leagues than Head-to-Head, but Gordon produces, especially at the top of the lineup.
Curtis Granderson, NYM: Moving to Citi Field should hurt his reliable power numbers this season. He can still hit 25-30 home runs, but it’s doubtful he gets back to 40 again. If he can still swipe bases, some value can be found.Billy Hamilton, CIN: Hamilton is one of the most discussed players this offseason, and is getting drafted all over the map. If he plays the full season, he is a lock to be the league leader in steals. He will also rack up runs by default. I am gladly buying into him this season. Even his namesake, another Billy Hamilton from over a century ago, put together the best Fantasy Baseball season of all-time!
Josh Hamilton, LAA: Never thought I’d say Hamilton is a risk, but he essentially is this season. All of his numbers dipped again last season, and there isn’t much evidence showing he should bounce back. I am avoiding him this season if possible.
Bryce Harper, WAS: Power time. Harper has been strengthening all offseason, and he is close to his breakout of 25-plus home runs. Will be a highly selected, top-10 outfielder this season for sure. Draft him if you can.
Jason Heyward, ATL: Heyward had a series of misfortunes last season, and it is unlikely to happen again. This season could be his much awaited breakout season: 20 homers, .270 average, 75 runs, and 70 RBI are a possible outcome in 2014.
Matt Holliday, STL: The beacon of consistency, even with a likely dip in all of his numbers due to natural decline, he still lands in the top 20 of our 2014 Fantasy Outfielder rankings.
Austin Jackson, DET: He should be a league leader in runs, especially with Miguel Cabrera batting behind him. He also has the speed to steal a lot of bases, but the Tigers tend to play it safe. Solid in all categories, with a plus in the runs category.
Desmond Jennings, TB: Could improve on his 2011/2012 numbers this season, but needs to focus on getting on base first. Could hit 20 homers, but should hit 10 to 15 and steal 30 bases. Plenty of upside and potential, I will take a chance on him this season.
Adam Jones, BAL: If he stays healthy, Jones is a lock for 30 home runs, 90 runs and RBI, and 12-plus steals as a sweetener. Over-aggressive or not, it hasn’t mattered. I am all in.
Matt Kemp, LAD: Health questions plagued his 2013 season. One can hope his dramatic plunge in the average and power categories were because of nagging injuries all season. If healthy, he could return to 2011/2012 form. That is a big IF.
Nick Markakis, BAL: Missed his expected power surge years, and with dwindling speed he provides solid average and 75-plus run potential. Could be the Orioles leadoff hitter this season.
Starling Marte, PIT: Young, talented, and showed his ability to develop into a top-20 outfielder this season in 2013. Marte can hit for average, score plenty of runs, 15-plus home runs and 30 steals. I am targeting him this season.
Leonys Martin, TEX: Has some speed, and can hit for average. He could hit 15-plus HRs, and steal 30 bases. May not contribute as much in the runs and RBI categories this season, however.
Andrew McCutchen, PIT: He’s a five-category stud, who has been consistently great over the past two seasons. Plenty of room to develop more. There is only one outfielder who could, or should, out-produce McCutchen this season and it is Mike Trout.
Michael Morse, SF: He is still a legitimate power source, and once again, if he is healthy, he could easily hit 30 home runs, and close to .275. He will get his full-time at-bats on his new team. Sneaky value and cheap power source in 2014.
Brandon Moss, OAK: Warning: Platoon player — but does it matter? He has developed late in his career, and struggles mightily against lefties. If he can overcome those struggles, he will play even more and should get back to 30 homers again in 2014. Another undervalued, sneaky power source, even with platoon risk. In daily leagues, I am buying. Weekly? Much more risky.
Wil Myers, TB: Great bat speed with plenty of power makes Myers an instant threat to put up top 20 Fantasy Outfielder numbers. Still struggles with plate discipline, but should hit 20 plus homers, hit .280 and steal some bases. Will be a popular pick this season.
Hunter Pence, SF: The oft-overlooked outfielder continually puts up numbers in all five categories. He is 30, but hasn’t shown too many signs of declining yet. Sneaky, and cheap way to fill your Rotisserie categories.
Martin Prado, ARI: Consistently fills categories without flash or pizzazz, but he does fill the stat sheet. You won’t be excited, but also won’t be disappointed to have him and his flexibility on your roster.
Yasiel Puig, LAD: Talk about making a splash in 2013. Puig is here to stay, and he showed he has power, speed (although, lousy base-running skills) and can hit for average. No reason not to buy into his skill set in 2014. His power may still develop.
Colby Rasmus, TOR: He has real power and should be able to reach 30 home runs again this season. His average will drop, but most will take a .250 batting average, as long as it includes 30 home runs, 70 runs scored and 65-RBI potential. Sneaky, cheap power source. Streaky, so is a nice weekly play when he is hot.
Ben Revere, PHI: Patient hitter who won’t provide much in the power and RBI categories, but can steal 50 bases and hit .280 if he plays a full season. There is value here.
Alex Rios, TEX: Rios went from being an every-other-year performer to a relatively stable player. Still has speed, power and will knock in plenty of runs, as well as score plenty in Texas’ revamped lineup in 2014. Much like Pence, Rios is another undervalued Fantasy player.
Alfonso Soriano, NYY: Somehow, he is still producing, and did nothing but hit home runs in Yankee Stadium late last season. He should still reach 20-plus homers, and could even steal double-digit bags for one more season.
George Springer, HOU: It is “Springer Time” in Houston, and he will likely begin the season with Houston and his 30/30 potential will be there to stay. The upside and potential are there, and he will be a player many owners reach for in this year’s drafts.
Giancarlo Stanton, MIA: He will hit plenty of home runs and knock in a lot of RBI again this season, while hitting for a reasonable average. If he plays a full season, even with a weak lineup, Stanton will be a top 10 outfielder.
Mike Trout, LAA: Not much to say here besides he is the best all-around Fantasy player in the league, and he will not disappoint in 2014. Draft with complete confidence, although, you will need one of the top two picks to do so.
Mark Trumbo, ARI: Here is a power guy who will supply HRs and RBI this season, especially in the same lineup as Paul Goldschmidt. Won’t help too much in other categories. If you can afford the batting average drain, Trumbo is a great source for power categories.
B.J. Upton, ATL: What a nightmare of a season 2013 was for Bossman Junior, and there is no reason to believe 2014 will be any different. He needs to regain his confidence, and show more plate discipline with a dramatic decline in his K rate. Could be a low-risk, high-reward player this season. Why not take a chance, and have him on your bench?
Justin Upton, ATL: It’s breakout time? He was close in the first month in 2013, but simply couldn’t maintain his amazing 1.134 OPS. That is unsustainable, but he could lock in this season, and if so, possibly hit 40 home runs, along with stealing 20 bases.
Shane Victorino, BOS: He likely has at least one more valuable season left in him. He will steal double-digit bases, hit close to 20 homers, and score plenty of runs in Boston again in 2014.
Jayson Werth, WAS: Injury prone, but still valuable with 20/15 potential if he can play an entire season. I can see Washington bouncing back this season, and Werth should be able to squeeze out one more Fantasy-relevant season if they do.
Josh Willingham, MIN: Willingham had a quiet 2013 combined with injuries, but the power is still there. If he remains healthy, he should hit close to 25 bombs, without many RBI/Runs, though, due to the Twins’ weak lineup.
Ben Zobrist, TB: In Rotisserie leagues, he could be ranked higher for his ability to fill five categories. Versatile player, with multi-position eligibility, and consistent as they come. May be slowing down and losing some power, but still valuable.
The 2014 Fantasy Outfielder rankings will prove to be a great resource for you to check regularly throughout the draft season. The rest of our rankings are coming soon, along with top 50 Prospects, and several other team previews as part of the ongoing Fantasy 30-for-30 series. Keep reading, and expect plenty more to come!
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