We have some bigger bats now that we have moved over to the hot corner and some more first round picks for sure. The question for a lot of Cubs fans is when to pick our stud bats and not feel like you are reaching and bypassing better options due to our Cubbie Kool-Aid being too strong. This is the first position we have discussed where you can take our Cubs player, Kris Bryant, almost whenever you feel like it as he is in the first tier for the true Super Stars of the game. Now, don’t go taking him before the handful of guys in the MVP tiers and let’s be honest there are other Super Star players to take before Bryant, but really if you want Bryant go ahead and take him when it is your turn because I don’t think anyone would be shocked if he led all third basemen in points and even was a Top 5 batter this year. But what makes him a pretty safe pick is his floor is really high and at worst he should be a Top 5 third baseman and Top 20 batter and that is what differentiates players for me the most. Third base has a lot of depth, but some very distinct drop off as you work your way through the tiers.
When looking at each position, I will divide the players into tiers. In theory, each tier should be filled with similar players. The ultimate goal would be to get the last player in each tier as that would mean you waited the perfect amount of time to draft that position and didn’t have to reach in the draft. Of course even within a tier we can have our favorites and preferences which are hard to ignore. Sometimes I have to force myself to take a player I don’t like or usually want on my team when they are the last player in a tier and they are clearly the best pick. When doing your own tiers you should always ask yourself if you would be good with the next player, if not, that player goes into the next tier. Keep in mind that when deciding between players from different positions, if you set your tiers up correctly, you should not have any Super Stars left to draft before going on to the All-Star tier, no more All-Star tier players before moving on to the solid players, etc., etc. Within each tier names are listed in alphabetical order with their 2016 projected point totals from the CCO leagues on ESPN.
Nolan Arenado (581), Kris Bryant (573), Josh Donaldson (615), Manny Machado (582) You can’t go wrong with anyone one of these guys as your third baseman. You will likely be using a first or second round pick on these guys depending on the size of your league and how many starting pitchers get drafted in the first round.
Matt Carpenter (563), Todd Frazier (550), Kyle Seager (540) Pretty small group at this level, but part of that is the four guys in the first tier. If you want a third baseman that is clearly one of the best you really need to fill this position no later than this group as the decrease in production is happening fast.
Adrian Beltre (478), Maikel Franco (473), Evan Longoria (485), Anthony Rendon (472) If you missed out on the first two tiers, you will likely want one of these as the drop off is pretty steep after these guys, but with only 11 players so far, in deeper leagues many teams will have to dig through the rest of the list.
Nick Castellanos (426), Matt Duffy (416), Chase Headley (414), Brett Lawrie (435), Mike Moustakas (431), Daniel Murphy (440), Trevor Plouffe (406), Justin Turner (405) At this point you have missed out on the top guys and even the mid-tier guys and are now hoping to catch a break with one of these guys. I have waited this long at third base and had it work out, but there is just not as much upside at this point.
If You Wait
Yunel Escobar (353), Josh Harrison (392), Jung Ho Kang (391), Jake Lamb (378), Jed Lowrie (368), Martin Prado (369), Yangervis Solarte (392), Danny Valencia (388) With some of the guys being multi-position, in a 20-team league this group could be the starter at third base for more than a few teams. Can’t say I would feel good about any one of these guys as my starting third baseman.
The overall points have gone up at third base for the upper tiers versus the middle infielder upper tiers, but just don’t last as long and seem to fall off pretty fast. This will make the top 11 players go pretty quickly for sure and then a long wait before the rest of the third basemen should start to go off the board. Next up is First Base!
CCO fantasy baseball leagues are on ESPN and we will fill up to 20 teams in each league. This year we will have three different styles of leagues.
- Weekly H2H with daily lineups, rules on pitching.
- Weekly H2H with daily lineups, rules on pitching, auction draft and keepers.
- Weekly H2H with weekly lineups and no additional rules.
If you are interested in playing in one of these leagues, please send your email information to Neil at this link and he will forward it to me. Also include which league you are interested in playing. We have four leagues right now. Option 3 is the weekly H2H lineup league and has openings and takes less time than the other leagues as lineups lock at the beginning of the week. The style we used the last two years is option one and we have two different leagues that are full but I will take more names for a waiting list or even to create another league. Option 2 is the auction/keeper league and it is almost full.