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Outfielder Rankings

The outfield is next, as we've ranked catchers, first basemen, second basemen, shortstops, and third basemen already.  These dollar values apply to 5x5 12-team mixed leagues with standard categories.  Average draft position from Mock Draft Central is in parentheses.  Warning: these are not similar to the rankings you'll find in a standard-issue fantasy magazine at the grocery store.  Also, they are subject to change at my whim!

  1. Ryan Braun (1) - $29.25
  2. Carl Crawford (2) - $27.87
  3. Nelson Cruz (3) - $26.68
  4. Carlos Gonzalez (1) - $26.15
  5. Matt Holliday (2) - $24.01
  6. Josh Hamilton (2) - $20.80
  7. Matt Kemp (2) - $19.95
  8. Mike Stanton (13) - $19.94
  9. Shin-Soo Choo (3) - $19.75
  10. Rajai Davis (25) - $16.40
  11. Jayson Werth (5) - $15.63
  12. Juan Pierre (12) - $15.00
  13. Jay Bruce (7) - $14.88
  14. Andrew McCutchen (4) - $14.82
  15. Justin Upton (4) - $14.48
  16. Corey Hart (9) - $13.66
  17. Jason Heyward (5) - $13.57
  18. Hunter Pence (8) - $13.31
  19. Jose Bautista (5) - $13.31
  20. Alex Rios (6) - $13.26
  21. Ichiro Suzuki (3) - $12.99
  22. Ryan Raburn (29) - $12.63
  23. Jacoby Ellsbury (6) - $12.41
  24. Shane Victorino (13) - $12.22
  25. Andre Ethier (4) - $11.70
  26. B.J. Upton (6) - $11.52
  27. Carlos Beltran (24) - $11.24
  28. Chris Young (9) - $11.20
  29. Brett Gardner (17) - $11.10
  30. Curtis Granderson (7) - $11.05
  31. Delmon Young (10) - $10.22
  32. Torii Hunter (8) - $10.19
  33. Coco Crisp (29) - $9.61
  34. Michael Bourn (10) - $9.51
  35. Andres Torres (25) - $9.50
  36. Bobby Abreu (11) - $9.45
  37. Nick Markakis (10) - $9.41
  38. Jose Tabata (23) - $9.07
  39. Drew Stubbs (14) - $8.96
  40. Sean Rodriguez (30) - $8.27
  41. Colby Rasmus (8) - $8.26
  42. Ryan Ludwick (11) - $7.89
  43. Denard Span (15) - $7.82
  44. Chris Coghlan (33) - $7.74
  45. Carlos Quentin (19) - $7.60
  46. Vernon Wells (9) - $7.41
  47. Carlos Lee (12) - $7.18
  48. Adam Jones (16) - $7.07
  49. Nick Swisher (11) - $6.69
  50. Jason Bay (13) - $6.63
  51. Ben Zobrist (11) - $6.62
  52. Travis Snider (26) - $6.32
  53. Austin Jackson (28) - $6.17
  54. Angel Pagan (26) - $6.11
  55. Aubrey Huff (10) - $5.99
  56. Nate McLouth (33) - $5.35
  57. Manny Ramirez (15) - $5.25
  58. Michael Cuddyer (24) - $5.17
  59. Grady Sizemore (9) - $4.96
  60. Logan Morrison (25) - $4.32
  61. Julio Borbon (30) - $4.10
  62. Magglio Ordonez (20) - $4.01
  63. Dexter Fowler (24) - $3.67
  64. Cameron Maybin (Not drafted) - $3.38
  65. Josh Willingham (31) - $2.98
  66. Johnny Damon (22) - $2.73
  67. Michael Brantley (Not drafted) - $2.62
  68. Alfonso Soriano (9) - $2.62
  69. Alex Gordon (34) - $2.18
  70. Jason Kubel (12) - $1.32
  71. Omar Infante (25) - $1.09
  72. Marlon Byrd (31) - $1.00
  73. J.D. Drew (30) - $0.95
  74. Nyjer Morgan (31) - $0.50
  75. Domonic Brown (29) - $0.24
  76. Cody Ross (33) - $0.01

Let's begin with more disclaimers.  I am not saying you should draft Stanton in the first or second round, nor am I saying that I think he's a better bet than Choo.  Choo has done his thing for two and a half big league seasons, Stanton just a half.  The point is more that with 570 ABs I can see Stanton hitting 40 home runs and driving in 110 - and I don't think I'm going out on a limb with that.  He's just unproven, and that's why he comes at a discount.  Rightfully so.

Others come at a discount because of injury history.  Barring a Chipper Jones situation where the guy simply cannot get 550-600 ABs this year, I typically project players for full seasons.  So guys like Cruz and Hamilton are getting 550 right now, and you can see that Cruz would be one of the game's top fantasy outfielders if he avoids the DL.

Also, my valuations consistently show that fantasy leaguers undervalue steals.  I'm not sure exactly why, but a one steal in a vacuum is worth just as much as one home run (of course, the homer has more residual benefits).  Take Davis' projected line of a .281 AVG, 7 HR,  57 RBI, 82 R, and 52 SB.  His value would be almost the same if he had a .281 AVG, 52 HR, 82 RBI, 57 R, and 7 SB.  Putting aside the rarity of a line like that, if he projected as a 50 HR guy you'd sure as hell draft him earlier than the 25th round.  The burners don't have the same aesthetic appeal as the sluggers in fantasy leagues, but they often have similar value.  Of course, the value of an SB goes down if you get a ridiculous amount of them, so don't stock up on Davis, Pierre, and Gardner just because of the nice dollar values.

Another important point on my valuations: they are not linear.  As a player gets further away from being a $1 guy, his value increases exponentially.  A 20% increase in ABs increases value by much more than 20%.  For example, if Manny Ramirez gets 600 ABs instead of my projected 500, he goes from $5.25 to $13.74.  Players such as Ellsbury, Quentin, Sizemore, Willingham, Soriano, Kubel, and Brown are projected for fewer than 530 ABs right now.  If you like them for 575-600 you should draft them earlier.

Overall I've got some aggressive AB projections; I usually prefer to see what a guy can do if he maintains his standing as a regular.  So I'm showing you that Raburn can do .273-25-90-86-8 with 575 ABs, but it's up to you on draft day to guess as to whether he'll really get that many ABs.  Guys like Crisp, Tabata, Coghlan - they're projected as regulars and I'm not putting them down for DL time right now.

Right now my projections aren't giving huge counting stats to someone like Justin Upton, but the kid is certainly capable of 30 homers, 100 RBIs, and 20 SBs.  Don't get boxed in my dollar values and ignore obvious potential.

I always aim for balance, and outfield offers about 13 true five-category guys: Braun, Cruz, CarGo, Holliday, Kemp, Choo, Werth, Justin Upton, Hart, Heyward, Pence, Beltran, and Hunter.  That's the group if you limit it to a .280 average, double digit homers and steals, and 80+ RBIs and runs.  Guys like Hamilton, Rios, and Jones can creep into that mix too.


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