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Outfielders to target in 2021 fantasy baseball

Whether you need three outfielders or five, we've got the best ones to target this season.

Getty Images/Pete Rogers Illustrations

Outfield is always the deepest position in fantasy baseball. It's simple math, really. You have three times as many outfielders compared to the infield positions. With that, you are required to draft more on your fantasy squad as well. Leagues that start three outfielders leave a plethora of talent at the position on waivers after the draft. But maybe it's worth grabbing elite talent to stand out above the rest. In five outfielder leagues you have somewhere between 50 to 100 outfielders based on league size and roster construction. With all those players drafted, you might need some advice on who to grab. Let me help you with that.

Here are some of my favorite targets at the outfield position for 2021.

Starling Marte, Miami Marlins

My Rank: 8
Expert Consensus Rank: 14
NFBC ADP: 50.65

Over the past three seasons Starling Marte has a per-162 game pace of 24 home runs, 33 steals, and 190 combined runs and RBI. This is with a .285 batting average and .808 OPS. He's Mookie Betts with a little less power and is being drafted over 40 picks later. Incredible value in my opinion. I have him in the top 30! The steals are a given. In 2020, Marte posted an 89th percentile sprint speed in his age-31 season. Give me all the Marte shares in 2021.

Mike Yastrzemski, San Francisco Giants

My Rank: 20
Expert Consensus Rank: 30
NFBC ADP: 137.62

Why do I think Mike Yastrzemski is a top 20 outfielder in 2021? Because he was one in 2020! In fact, Yastrzemski was the 13th-ranked outfielder in standard roto leagues and the 10th-ranked outfielder in points leagues. In 2020, Yastrzemski increased his walk rate from 7.8% to 13.3%. A significant improvement. The walk rate was 23rd among qualified hitters. His wOBA of .407 was 12th in baseball. Yastrzemski is a top tier hitter. His ADP outside the top 130 overall is a gift to you on draft day.

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

Trey Mancini, Baltimore Orioles

My Rank: 33
Expert Consensus Rank: 49
NFBC ADP: 178.97

One of the best feel-good stories in baseball for 2021 is Trey Mancini. Mancini missed all of 2020 battling colon cancer. He's back and ready to go for the Orioles this season and should be back on your fantasy teams as well. In 2019, Mancini had a breakout year hitting 35 home runs with 97 RBI and 106 runs. The Statcast numbers were solid across the board. He was 71th percentile in both exit velocity and barrel percentage. His hard hit rate was 72nd percentile. Those underlying metrics supported his breakout. He owned a .279 xBA, .510 xSLG, and .366 xwOBA. I see no reason to believe he won't put up similar production in 2021.

Clint Frazier, New York Yankees

My Rank: 37
Expert Consensus Rank: 53
NFBC ADP: 181.69

The breakout for Clint Frazier kind of already happened in 2020, but his draft price isn't really showing it. He hit eight homers with 26 RBI and a .905 OPS in 39 games last season. That pace would've made him a 30+ HR and 100+ RBI hitter. He posted career highs in average exit velocity and hard hit rate, and saw his walk rate skyrocket to 15.6%—which was a top 20 mark among hitters with at least 150 PAs. If his skill set sticks, Frazier profiles as a top 30 outfielder with upside for more. His current draft price is around outfielder 50.

Jarred Kelenic, Seattle Mariners

My Rank: 41
Expert Consensus Rank: 69
NFBC ADP: 218.64

Jarred Kelenic (pronounced KELL-nick) sits top 5 in everyone's fantasy baseball prospect lists. He’s number one in some I've seen! Kelenic would likely have made the majors last season in a normal year. He's all but assured a spot with the big league club in 2021. Maybe he spends a couple of weeks in the minors to start the year. Draft Kelenic and hold him! He'll be the hottest pickup during that time and you'll just sit back and relax knowing he's waiting on your bench for you. In 2019, Kelenic had 23 home runs and 20 steals over 117 minor league games. That was with a .291 average and a .904 OPS. Kelenic can be a five-category contributor from Day 1. He's getting some hype, but I honestly don't think it's quite enough.

Who are you targeting this year at the outfield position?