The 2011 Fantasy Baseball season has begun folks and why not kick it off with The Fantasy Man's 2011 Fantasy Baseball Rankings. There's no question that the first 3-5 rounds of your fantasy baseball draft are most important as these choosen players provide the foundation of your teams' stats for the season. Muff up a pick here and you can kiss your championship dreams goodbye! Below we'll rank our top 50 fantasy players heading into 2011.
Now, if you've been following The Fantasy Man for a few years, you know my style by now. I like to do things my own way, at my own pace, and usually like to go against the grain. This philosophy has treated me with success over the years whether it's picking closers earlier than everyone else or simply loading up on the two biggest power hitters in the first two rounds from the two most plentiful positions. Whatever the strategy may be, just remember that there are a hundred different ways to win a fantasy baseball league. It takes preparation, research, a plan, and execution.... and that all starts right here with recognizing who is on top!
2011 Fantasy Baseball Rankings - Updated 2/22/11
1. Albert Pujols - Still #1 dominant, reliable, no sign of a drop off yet, CONTRACT YEAR!!!
2. Hanley Ramirez - Somebody help this guy get us 30+HR please!
3. Carl Crawford - Does everything and now in an amazing lineup
4. Carlos Gonzalez - He was out of his mind yet still consistent all year, 5 tool stud, 30/30 potential
5. Joey Votto - Young, on the rise with more upside, great to build a keeper team around
6. Miguel Cabrera - Last year was his best, still just entering prime but DUI charges in back of mind
7. Robinson Cano - I said last year he was top 2, no one believed me. 2nd half tailed off....so what!
8. Alex Rodriguez - You're crazy if you dismiss A-Rod, if he's not in your top 10.... you're crazy!
9. Ryan Braun - Lower than expected performance last year means lots of upside this year and too much hype
10. Josh Hamilton - Injury risks knock him down a few slots but if healthy, he's top 3
11. Chase Utley - Should have a bit of a comeback year if healthy, "plays like his hair is on fire"
12. Prince Fielder - Load up on power here, CONTRACT YEAR
13. Ryan Howard - Injury hurt performance, will bounce back to expectations, always a slow starter
14. Evan Longoria - On the rise, haven't seen his best season yet
15. David Wright - Better situation, consistent stats every year, less pressure, 5 category player
16. Matt Holliday - Same kind of stats as Wright but more BA and less SB
17. Mark Teixeira - He was "man-down" at the end of 2010, if healthy = bounce back
18. Tim Lincecum - He's ridiculous but prolonged season worries me
19. Roy Halladay - As dominant as they come + the wins
20. Cliff Lee - He'll rack up 18+ wins with a great WHIP and plenty of K's in Philly
21. Jose Reyes - See David Wright. The right situation = better season! He'll drop lower than this spot in drafts which means value
22. Jimmy Rollins - His half season slumps are tough to deal with, but CONTRACT YEAR is nice
23. Troy Tulowitzski - First 5 months of 2010 season = 12 HR/55 RBI, Last month 15HR/45RBI, I'll pass
24. Joe Mauer - If he brings the power back, he's a great value here
25. Matt Kemp - Has potential to be top 5 and 30/30/.300 easy but has to cut down on K's and be patient
26. Adrian Gonzalez - Shoulder injury could hurt his ADP which means value for you
27. Ryan Zimmerman - On the rise, still plenty young, great to build a keeper team around
28. Nelson Cruz - If he stays healthy he'll out grow this rankings easy, he does it all but has hamstring issues
29. Andrew McCutchen - We all expected 20/30/.280, we got 16/33/.286... look for slight upside
30. Ichiro Suzuki - Same output every year, why would you expect less? Age? Nah.
31. Dustin Pedroia - If he's 100% ready, expect to start where he left off
32. Justin Morneau - Same as Pedroia but needs to show he's healthy, could be dominant
33. Victor Martinez - Mr. Consistent from the catcher position
34. Brian McCann - Gives you the quality numbers you want from the 3rd-4th round catcher, just entering prime
35. Buster Posey - Position eligibility and upside has you drooling
36. Jason Heyward - He's more hype than anything but tons of upside, could be top 5 by 2012
37. Shin-Soo Choo - Solid all around stats .300/20+/20+ all day
38. C.C. Sabathia - Don't see any sign of regression, will rack up wins
39. Felix Hernadez - CY Young candidate but wins may suffer again
40. Adam Wainwright - He's just as dominant as Halladay/Lee minus some hype, better value down here
41. Adam Dunn - HR/RBI/R machine with surprising BA in 2010, look for him to build on that
42. Jose Bautista - Bust of 2011?? This one is a crap shoot! Expect a low BA though, I LOVE THIS GUY!
43. Justin Upton - Bounce back could make him top 10 in 2011
44. Jayson Werth - Didn't go contract year crazy as we expected but solid speed/combo output
45. Andre Ethier - Maybe too high but he is a special hitter, let him drop and watch him have a career year
46. Delmon Young - Boom or bust? Was 2010 for real? You'll have to pay to find out
47. Grady Sizemore - Come back player of year, .275/30HR/20SB I'll predict, but hopefully better
48. Alex Rios - I like the power/speed combo here with the solid .280+BA
49. Kevin Youkilis - Always plays with nagging injuries or else he'd rank higher
50. Kendry Morales - Should come back healthy and start where he left off