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Fantasy Baseball Rankings from FantasyPros’ No. 1 Ranked Analyst for 2020

Editor’s Note: What better place to get your Fantasy Baseball Rankings than from FantasyPros’ No. 1 ranked analyst from the 2020 MLB season. Mick’s a pretty humble guy, but we’re pretty proud of him around here. If you didn’t know it, he’s also won several national fantasy football contests. FantraxHQ is proud to present you his rankings for 2021 fantasy baseball!

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did a thing recently. Well, sort of. 

 As I was about to sit down with my wife for dinner last Friday while I was simultaneously dealing with work and a trio of slow drafts, I was prompted by a text from my buddy Josh to check Twitter. I saw a bunch of notifications and an influx of new followers. My first thought was that the nudes must have leaked. Then I remembered that I don’t have any nudes. You’re welcome, by the way.

I discovered that the reason for my sudden notoriety (or perhaps notoriety-adjacent behavior) was that I had been The Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler of Fantasy Baseball. In truth, I had won the annual accuracy contest put together by FantasyPros. It was a bit of a letdown to find out I had not actually been named Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler of Fantasy Baseball because I was really looking forward to rocking this getup. I mean, the drip on this guy is phenomenal! In any event, the Twitter followers have continued to trickle in throughout the week, and several people have asked me when I am putting out my official 2021 fantasy baseball draft rankings. As you may have gathered, that time is now. But first, a word or two if I may.

First, it’s not like I won the accuracy contest all by myself. It’s not as if the entire fantasy community was down on Trea Turner last spring and I was the lone voice whispering, “I don’t know, guys… I think this kid’s got potential.” I can tell you that I did consume a ton of content last season. First and foremost, the team here at FantraxHQ is incredible. Just interacting with them and participating in a couple of mock drafts with them opened my eyes to a couple of players I may not have paid as much attention to. Todd Zola gifted many of us a Mastersball subscription last season, which is an amazing tool. I purchased Baseball ProspectusThe ProcessThe Fantasy Baseball Black Book, and Ron Shandler’s Baseball Forecaster. I subscribed to Fangraphs and Razzball’s Roto Deluxe service, and also downloaded both Vlad Sedler’s DraftBook and Alex Chamberlain’s pitching tableau. And then there is Twitter. 

 I can’t even tell you the number of times a tweet caught my attention and made me dig deeper into a player. Matt Williams, Micah Henry, Alex Fast, and John Laghezza are just a few of literally hundreds of people whose content piqued my interest at one time or another. I feel a little guilty mentioning the names above, only because it leaves out countless others who also do fantastic work. If I could break off my crown into a bunch of pieces like Cady in Mean Girls and share it with all the amazing content creators out there, I would. Unless, of course, I literally get a crown for winning the accuracy contest. Because, again, the drip would be phenomenal.

Also, just because I was named most accurate does not mean I was infallible by any means. I got a ton of stuff wrong last year. For example, I thought Fernando Tatis, Jr. was being overvalued at this time a year ago. To say that was a bad call would be an understatement. That was just one of many calls that I got wrong last season. And – spoiler alert – I am going to get a lot of calls wrong this year as well. We all do. It is part of the gig. We digest the information available and formulate our opinions on players based on a multitude of factors. So while I cannot promise you that I will win this year’s accuracy contest, or even that I will be “right” on a vast majority of players, I can tell you that plenty of thought and effort went into what you see below.

I have ranked my Top 300 overall and provided positional rankings as well. I went at least 60 deep at every position, so these should be pretty straightforward. Positional eligibility can vary greatly between leagues, so keep that in mind. Expect some tweaks to these rankings before Opening Day as news breaks and rosters are finalized. In the meantime, feel free to comment below or hit me up on the Twitter machine with any questions you have on your roster and/or draft decisions.

Players I Am Most High On Versus Consensus

1 – 100 Overall

As of this moment, there is not a ton of variance between my ranks and the Expert Consensus Ranks in the first few rounds. The biggest spread between my rankings and theirs among players inside the top 50 is that I am seven spots higher on DJ LeMahieu. I do not think my rank is much of a reach. He was rated 19th last season per Baseball Monster. Even with an expected drop from last year’s numbers, I still think he is a mid-third round value in 12-team leagues. The players I am most high on versus consensus in my top 100 are Teoscar Hernandez, Dansby Swanson, and Marcus Semien. Hernandez and Swanson were top-20 hitters in Roto last season and return to loaded lineups. Semien was a top-20 hitter in 2019 and joins a loaded Toronto offense this season. He will quickly gain dual-eligibility, for whatever that is worth to you.

101 – 200 Overall

Steamer (another amazing point of reference and projections, by the way) projects that 24 pitchers will get at least 20 saves in 2021. I see virtually no chance of that happening. There were only 18 pitchers who recorded at least seven saves in last year’s shortened season. That is a 162-game pace of 19 saves. There are no sure things when it comes to closers, but I like the chances of Ryan Pressly and Brad Hand to remain the closers for their respective clubs throughout the year. Hence my relatively high ranking on the veteran relievers. Devin Williams is not a veteran, but he was a third-round value without recording a save last season. I took him in the 10th round of TGFBI and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Williams is a top-12 reliever for me this year if you remove the SP/RP eligible players in the rankings.

I did not think I was overly high on Tommy Edman, but apparently, I am. To be frank, I don’t mind it. He is a probable leadoff hitter on a good offense with eligibility all over the field and a decent power/speed combo. I am well aware of how high I am on Nick Senzel, and I definitely do not mind that either. He is the prototypical post-hype sleeper, and should also provide well-rounded fantasy production for a fraction of the cost of some of his counterparts. I am somewhat higher than consensus on Corey Kluber, Aaron Civale, and Zach Eflin. Kluber could bounce back nicely if his health will allow. Civale has added a pitch and revamped his delivery. His xFIP was nearly a full run lower than his ERA last season. Among 81 pitchers who threw at least 50 innings last season, Eflin had the 14th best xFIP and 20th best strikeout rate. If he can avoid getting BABIP’d again in 2021 (.344 last year – seventh highest), he could break out.

201 – 300 Overall

There is much more variance as we get lower in the rankings, as expected. I am somewhat high on Jonathan Villar, Chris Taylor, and Leody Taveras compared to the consensus. Villar and Taylor provide versatility, and Villar and Taveras provide speed. There are question marks about Villar’s playing time and Taveras’ lineup spot, but I think both are worth a flier. However, I would not want Villar and Taveras on the same fantasy team. And give me all of the cheap Rockies. Raimel Tapia, Ryan McMahon, and C.J. Cron are all inside my top-250, and I have all of them ranked at least 10 spots higher than the consensus. The Rockies will Rockie, so full-time at-bats are guaranteed for no one outside of Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon but I’ll take my chances late in drafts. I am also higher than most on Sam Hilliard, though he fell just outside my top 300. Speaking of chances, I think we see Andrew Vaughn early in 2021, making him worth a late pick if you can spare the bench spot early in the season.

Another player I was surprised to see the consensus on was Jake Odorizzi. I have him outside my top 60 starting pitchers, so it is not as if I am all-in. But it is worth it to me to see if the former Twin can benefit from the pitching factory in Houston. He did win 15 games with a 3.51 ERA two years ago, after all. Mike Minor is another boring veteran who is just two years removed from a top-25 fantasy finish. Expecting a repeat of 2019 in 2021 is unrealistic, but a modest bounce-back seems very much in play.

Last but certainly not least we have a couple of Brewers hurlers on the list. Freddy Peralta and Josh Lindblom are likely battling it out for the club’s fifth starter role, with the loser likely to land in middle relief. However, that is hardly a death sentence for their fantasy value. Whoever ends up in the bullpen will likely be used in high-leverage situations where games are often won and lost. They can also be used in swing roles or to piggyback a starter, most likely Brett Anderson. Anderson has started 71 games over the last four years and has thrown 358.2 innings in that span. Some basic math highlights that is barely five innings per start. It would not surprise me at all to see both Lindblom and Peralta compile solid win totals regardless of whether they start a full complement of games. The pair should also rack up a ton of strikeouts while posting excellent ratios.

Top 300 Fantasy Baseball Rankings for 2021

For more great rankings, strategy, and analysis check out the 2021 FantraxHQ Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit. We’ll be adding more content from now right up until Opening Day!

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