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First Basemen to Target in 2018

If you don’t get any of the top six!

Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

First base is a pretty deep position in fantasy. That said, there are still clear tiers among the top players. That first group of six, Paul Goldschmidt, Joey Votto, Freddie Freeman, Cody Bellinger, Anthony Rizzo, and Jose Abreu, are all Top 40 overall options. They are the guys you want in an ideal world at your first base position. I have little to no reservations about any of them. Feel safe in drafting them.

But most leagues have more than six teams! Here are the guys you should target if you miss out on the top options.

Matt Olson

Current Rank: 96
Expect Consensus Rank: 136

Olson went on an absolute tear to finish 2017. Over his final 38 games, Olson hit .285 with a .754 SLG. He crushed 20 home runs, 36 RBIs, and scored 27 runs during that span. This epic streak gave him a 162 game pace of 86 homers! This is obviously a streak he can’t hope to continue, but even at half the pace Olson is still a legitimate threat at 40+ HRs. He reminds me a lot of another player who hit a lot of home runs in a short amount of time, Rhys Hoskins. Hoskins has shown far superior plate discipline. Still, Olson’s major league career BB/K ratio of .45 is not too shabby for a 40-homer threat. What I like about him more than Hoskins is Olson is going around 6-7 rounds later in drafts. I also like Olson far more than Joey Gallo, who has similar power upside but at a much bigger hit to your batting average. Gallo and Olson are currently going in the same round in most drafts.

Justin Bour

Current Rank: 152
Expect Consensus Rank: 166

The case for Bour as a sneaky late round first base value is simply health. Bour, who hit .289 with a .902 OPS, only played in 108 games in 2017. He hit 25 home runs and had 83 RBIs. Sure, the lineup around him is much weaker, but a 30 HR/90 RBI season is certainly a possibility if he gets 140+ games under his belt. That’s great value currently going as the #28 first baseman off the board.

Yonder Alonso

Current Rank: 201
Expect Consensus Rank: 280

Alonso had a breakout season at age 30 last year. Prior to 2017, Alonso hit 39 home runs combined over his first seven big league seasons, with nine home runs as his career high for a season. Over the course of 142 games in 2017, Alonso racked up 28 homers! The big increase in long balls can be attributed to his new approach at the plate. One of the prominent breakouts due to the “launch angle” or “fly ball revolution,” Alonso had huge changes to his fly ball ratios and batted ball profile. His career GB/FB ratio went from .85 to .53. His HR/FB percentage went from a career rate of 4.5% to 14.9% in 2017. His launch angle also rose from around 15° between 2015-16 to consistently above 20° in 2017. The signing with the Indians gives Alonso a much better offense around him in 2018. If he can keep up his 2017 approach, he will easily give you plus value in Round 20. His ECR has been going even later and he has even been undrafted in some formats.

In addition to these players, here are a few other options who are currently ranked outside the Top 250 of the FantasyPros Expert Consensus Rankings:

Mark Reynolds
My Rank: 232 Expert Consensus Rank: 298
30 HR 97 RBI and 82 R in 2017. Plus, (maybe) Coors Field y’all!

Logan Morrison
My Rank: 238 Expert Consensus Rank: 269
38 HR going outside the top 250. His stock will rise once he finds a team.

Mitch Moreland
My Rank: 383 Expert Consensus Rank: 369
Some people at Fake Teams LOVE them some Mitch Moreland!