Fantasy Baseball 1B Rankings: First Base Tiers, Sleepers, Draft Strategy

Fantasy Baseball 1B Rankings: First Base Tiers, Sleepers, Draft Strategy

First base is a position many don’t really think about on draft day. Because most first basemen generally provide fantasy baseball owners with power and RBIs — and not much else — it’s easy to assume you’ll get a decent one even without a specific draft strategy. If you want to target a top-tier guy, that’s just as easy: Grab him early and move on with the rest of your draft. However, this year, with seemingly more 1Bs eligible at other positions (at least on Yahoo), our rankings could thin out quicker than usual, leaving you scrambling to find the slugger you want.

The top first basemen either provide batting average, elite power and RBIs, at least some SBs, or a combination of all. It’s still unlikely any will go in the first round, though, as no 1B can match the SB potential of the top players at other positions, particularly OF and SS. There are a few 1B-eligible players who could steal around 15 bases — namely Cody Bellinger, Keston Hiura, and Wil Myers. Hiura won’t be eligible at first base on draft day, though — and even then you’d likely play him at 2B — and Myers is more valuable as an OF, so if you want some steals from your first baseman, you will probably have to make sure you get Bellinger in the second round. 

Once you get past the top tier (Freddie Freeman, Bellinger, Jose Abreu, Pete Alonso), it’s tough to tell the difference between a lot of the remaining guys. You know at least one or two will have monster homer/RBI years (Matt Olson? Rhys Hoskins? Miguel Sano?), but their batting averages could be a real negative. Runs will be hit or miss, and you might have to worry about more off-days from the NL guys who can’t DH this year. That’s why getting at least one versatile 1B-eligible player is nice, at least in daily leagues. 

There’s certainly no shortage of potential sleepers at this position, as it’s easy to imagine a second-tier guy like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. breaking out and joining the top tier or someone like Alec Bohm or Ryan Mountcastle taking advantage of their favorable home parks and posting big power numbers. You’ll notice that all three of those players are eligible at other positions, though, so you might have to target a bounce-back candidate like Trey Mancini, Jesus Aguilar, or Josh Bell in shallow leagues or go further down the list for someone like Jared Walsh, Nate Lowe, or Andrew Vaughn as your backup 1B or CI in deeper leagues. 

Ultimately, there will always be power available at this position, whether it’s late in drafts or on the waiver wire. Everyday playing time is an issue with the late-round guys, as many platoon, but be on the lookout for hot starts and ride the wave as long as possible. Or just draft a stud in the first five rounds. That’s not always the best use of draft capital, but very few owners complain about having Freeman or Abreu.

We’ll be updating these 1B rankings throughout the spring, so check back for the latest player movement. Also, please note that these rankings are compiled as if a player is only eligible at 1B. Certain players, such as DJ LeMahieu or Brandon Lowe, may be ranked higher overall because of their eligibility at other positions.

Fantasy Baseball 1B Rankings: First Base Tiers, Sleepers, Draft Strategy

Rankings based on 5×5 H2H leagues with Rs, HRs, RBIs, SBs, and Batting Average as hitting categories. 

Position eligibility based on Yahoo’s default settings

* = player not eligible at a position on draft day but expected to play there during the season

Rank Player (bats) Age (as of 4/1) Team Other Pos. Tier
1 Freddie Freeman (L) 31 Braves 1
2 Cody Bellinger (L) 25 Dodgers OF 1
3 Jose Abreu (R) 34 White Sox 1
4 Pete Alonso (R) 26 Mets 1
5 DJ LeMahieu (R) 32 Yankees 2B, 3B 2
6 Luke Voit (R) 30 Yankees 2
7 Paul Goldschmidt (R) 33 Cardinals 2
8 Anthony Rizzo (L) 31 Cubs 2
9 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (R) 22 Blue Jays 3B 2
10 Keston Hiura (R)* 24 Brewers 2B 2
11 Matt Olson (L) 27 A’s 3
12 Rhys Hoskins (R) 28 Phillies 3
13 Brandon Lowe (L) 26 Rays 2B, OF 3
14 Wil Myers (R) 30 Padres OF 3
15 Christian Walker (R) 30 D-backs 3
16 Max Muncy (L) 30 Dodgers 2B, 3B 3
17 Mike Moustakas (L) 32 Reds 2B, 3B 3
18 Alec Bohm (R) 24 Phillies 3B 4
19 Trey Mancini (R) 29 Orioles OF 4
20 Josh Bell (S) 28 Nationals 4
21 Ryan Mountcastle (R) 24 Orioles OF 4
22 Dominic Smith (L) 25 Mets OF 4
23 Miguel Sano (R) 27 Twins 3B 4
24 Eric Hosmer (L) 31 Padres 4
25 Yuli Gurriel (R) 36 Astros 3B 4
26 Jesus Aguilar (R) 30 Marlins 5
27 Jared Walsh (L) 27 Angels 5
28 Ryan McMahon (L) 26 Rockies 2B, 3B 5
29 Joc Pederson (L) 28 Cubs OF 5
30 Nate Lowe (L) 25 Rangers 5
31 Bobby Dalbec (R) 25 Red Sox 5
32 Joey Votto (L) 37 Reds 5
33 Brandon Belt (L) 32 Giants OF 5
34 Hunter Dozier (R) 29 Royals 3B, OF 5
35 Jeimer Candelario (S) 27 Tigers 3B 6
36 Jake Cronenworth (L) 27 Padres 2B, SS 6
37 Carlos Santana (S) 34 Royals 6
38 Andrew Vaughn (R) 22 White Sox 6
39 Mark Canha (R) 32 A’s OF 6
40 C.J. Cron (R) 31 Rockies 6
41 Colin Moran (L) 28 Pirates 2B, 3B 6
42 Garrett Cooper (R) 30 Marlins OF 6
43 Josh Fuentes (R) 28 Rockies 7
44 Albert Pujols (R) 41 Angels 7
45 Miguel Cabrera (R) 37 Tigers 7
46 Rowdy Tellez (L) 26 Blue Jays 7
47 Ji-Man Choi (L) 29 Rays 7
48 Mike Brosseau (R) 27 Rays 2B, 3B 7
49 Evan White (R) 24 Mariners 7
50 Michael Chavis (R) 25 Red Sox 2B, OF 7