Fantasy Baseball 2013 Head-to-Head Points League Rankings: First Base

Mitchell Layton

Alex Kantecki takes a look at the Top 20 first basemen in H2H Points Leagues.

Last Friday, I released my first set of Head-to-Head Points League Rankings here at Fake Teams, giving you my top 20 catchers. Today I do the same thing, giving you my top 20 first basemen.

Surprisingly and maybe even shockingly, it wasn't Albert Pujols, Joey Votto or Prince Fielder who led all first basemen in points in 2012. No, that honor belonged to Edwin Encarnacion, who blasted 42 home runs and totaled 508 points, edging out Prince Fielder by eight points.

The first base position is deep again, but ideally, I'd like to grab one of the elite guys early (and you'll probably have to do it somewhere in the first two rounds), because I see a big gap between the elite tier and the second tier. (My elite tier stops after the first five on the list, by the way, and it includes a catcher, so really, it's four guys.)

Some notable players missing from the list: Corey Hart, who scored 357 points in 2012, underwent knee surgery this past week. Otherwise, he'd be a top 12 candidate. I didn't include Nick Swisher because some sites have him eligible at first base and some don't. He scored 360 points in 2012. I think his home runs come down and doubles come up, and he'd slot behind Teixeira in the rankings below. Chris Davis hit 33 home runs but only scored 288 points because he struck out 30.1% of the time and walked just 6.1%. No thanks. Adam Dunn (320 points) has a similar strikeout problem and won't be found on the list (although his walks certainly help in a points format). Justin Morneau, who scored 310 points in 2012, was the last man out. His injury history led to his absence.

As a reminder, scoring for hitters in points league is as follows: one point for every base, run, RBI, stolen base and walk, and minus-one point for every strikeout.

Included in the ranks below is each player's 2012 point total.

Rank

Player

Team

2012 Points

1

Joey Votto

Reds

341

2

Prince Fielder

Tigers

500

3

Albert Pujols

Angels

487

4

Edwin Encarnacion

Blue Jays

508

5

Buster Posey

Giants

446

6

Adrian Gonzalez

Dodgers

408

7

Billy Butler

Royals

437

8

Paul Goldschmidt

Diamondbacks

364

9

Allen Craig

Cardinals

363

10

Joe Mauer

Twins

419

11

Freddie Freeman

Braves

368

12

Paul Konerko

White Sox

373

13

Mark Teixeira

Yankees

337

14

Eric Hosmer

Royals

294

15

Adam LaRoche

Nationals

397

16

Carlos Santana

Indians

354

17

Anthony Rizzo

Cubs

216

18

Ryan Howard

Phillies

120

19

Ike Davis

Mets

316

20

Garrett Jones

Pirates

331

Votto averaged 508 points from 2010-2011, and with a full year, he should get there again...Fielder has become the best first baseman in the American League. I see 35-plus home runs for the big guy in 2013...Pujols is still great; he's just not as great. There's an obvious decline going on here, but it's not enough to push him out of the top 3 (yet)...Encarnacion had a career year in 2012, leading all first basemen in points. I actually think he gets close to 40 home runs again, but I think his walks come down and his strikeouts go up...Posey (a catcher!) cracks the top 5. I see him matching his numbers from 2012...Gonzalez isn't elite anymore. The decline in power (a career worst .164 ISO in 2012) and his walk rate (10.3% in 2011; 6.1% in 2012) can't be overlooked...Butler is on Gonzalez's heels, but I'm not buying the power surge...Goldschmidt gets a big boost from steals, and I think his power comes up to around 25 home runs without hurting his average too much...Craig missed all of April and still did great things in 2012. I don't see why he' can't do it again...Mauer is the second catcher in the top 10. I think he's back to being reliable Joe again...Freeman is underrated, in my opinion. He walks enough to offset his strikeouts, and I think he has 90/90 potential again...Konerko is right there with Freeman, but his age is starting to become a concern. Still, only eight first basemen had more points in 2012...Teixeira has more value in points leagues because his average won't kill you. His BB/K (which is big in points leagues) is always among the league leaders at first base, and he can still hit 30 home runs for you...Hosmer really went through a painful sophomore slump, but that happens. I expect a nice bounce back. He scored 350 points in 2011...LaRoche had a career year in 2012. From 2008-2010 (his string of 25-homer seasons), he averaged 334 points. I think that's more likely than 397 again...Santana was my No. 3 catcher and I expect him to top his 2012 numbers of 18 home runs, 72 runs and 76 RBI rather easily...Rizzo really showed his potential in 2012, but I see a big jump in Ks coming...Howard gets the nod over the next guy, Davis, because he's been doing it longer. I have no problem flip-flopping the two...Jones is a surprise on the list, but if he gets the at bats, I see about 330 points again.

Check back tomorrow for the second basemen.

Follow me on Twitter at @akantecki.

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