As you are getting ready for your upcoming fantasy baseball draft or auction, there are a few different ways that can help you determine where there is value or a drop off in talent at each position. One way is by grouping each position into tiers to separate different levels of projected performance. By setting up tiers, it will give you a good idea how many first basemen are at each level and what the chances are that someone in said level make it back to you for your next pick if you do not draft that position in the current round
Here is a look at the 2012 fantasy baseball tiers for first basemen.
Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Joey Votto, Adrian Gonzalez, Mark Teixeira, Prince Fielder
In a mixed-league format with 14-16 teams, all six of these first basemen could go in the first round. I have Pujols ahead of Cabrera given Albert’s stolen bases and consistency. While it is nice that Cabrera will get third base eligibility at some point, it also makes him a little more susceptible to injury. I have Teixeira and Fielder rated dead-even almost. The only thing holding Teixeira down has been his batting average the last couple of seasons but I expect that to rebound this year.
Paul Konerko, Eric Hosmer, Mike Morse
The temptation for some fantasy owners is going to grab Hosmer earlier than his average draft position given his upside, power and stolen base totals. Morse qualifies at first base and in the outfield but has much more value here.
Kendrys Morales, Gaby Sanchez, Lance Berkman
Morales is the question mark of the group as he comes back from injury. While I have him rated here based on 475 at bats, he will be on my do not draft list given the risk his selection carries. Sanchez did not make progress like season, but still has a little upside whereas Berkman is likely to regress. That being said, I have them fractions of a point away from each other so I would be okay with flip-flopping them.
Mark Trumbo, Carlos Lee, Paul Goldschmidt, Ryan Howard, Adam Dunn, Adam Lind, Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Freddie Freeman, Adam LaRoche, Justin Morneau.
Lots of players in this group as their stats should be all relatively close. Trumbo is more appealing if he starts at third base and gains eligibility the first month of the season. Adam Dunn is the wild card given his disastrous 2011 season. I have him somewhere between his 2010 and 2011 seasons, but the batting average is hard to roster. If I knew Ike Davis was going to be 100% healthy, I would be willing to move him up a couple of spots. Just like with Morales, Morneau will be on my do not draft list given his concussion issues, nor will Ryan Howard who is out until May or possibly later.
Aubrey Huff, Carlos Pena, James Loney, Mike Carp, Mitch Moreland, Justin Smoak
I think Huff bounces back this season which gives him somewhat sleeper status, though his at bats could be impacted by Brandon Belt. Carp and Smoak both offer 20 home run potential in Seattle but each carry low batting averages.
Players like Mark Reynolds, Edwin Encarnacion and Chris Davis I left at third base where they carry more value.