Fantasy Baseball Preview 2014: Outfielders

We’ve done it. We’ve covered hundreds of players spanning every position on the field but one — outfield…well, I guess that’s three positions. That’s what she said.

It totally depends on how your league is setup, but don’t think for one second just because there are more players in this pool that you can wait on outfield — it isn’t as deep as you think. Every team needs 3-5 outfielders so they tend to go faster than most realize. Grab at least one stud early and then play it by ear depending on your needs. 

Fantasy Baseball Preview: Catchers

Fantasy Baseball Preview: First Base/DH

Fantasy Baseball Preview: Second Basemen

Fantasy Baseball Preview: Third Basemen

Fantasy Baseball Preview: Pitchers


Babe Ruth Tier

The very best in fantasy baseball.

1 Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels

Arguably the best player in baseball. He is very capable of a 40/40 season. You want him on your team. The only player even worth considering over Trout is Miguel Cabrera. 

2 Bryce Harper – Washington

Harper has been the “next big thing” for a couple years now; a once in a generation talent. He’s a year younger than Mike Trout, had a monster April before getting banged up last season and showed up to Spring Training absolutely jacked. You won’t see him this high on most lists but everyone keeps clamoring he’s on the verge of a monster MVP season. It’s more likely than not this is the year.

3 Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh

Last year’s MVP. Great power/speed combo.

4 Carlos Gonzalez – Colorado

Consistently great at generating power and speed. Has the advantage of hitting in Colorado.

5 Adam Jones – Baltimore

I would have no problem with Adam Jones being ranked third here, he’s that good. Hit 30 HRs last year and is fast enough to steal 20. He is also hitting between Nelson Cruz and Chris Davis now. Bingo.


Stan Musial Tier

Still among the best in the game, drafting here ensures great consistency and reliability.

6 Jacoby Ellsbury – New York Yankees

One of the best fantasy studs out there; if only he weren’t an injury risk. He’s missed significant time two of the last four seasons, but when he plays he provides some pop and is one of the best base-stealers in the game. 

7 Ryan Braun – Milwaukee

Braun is a question mark coming into this year after serving his suspension for PEDs. After being busted (for the second time most likely) will he come back as the same MVP-caliber player or just a shell of himself, similar to Melky Cabrera post-PED suspension? My bet is he still hits 30 HRs. 

8 Yasiel Puig – Los Angeles Dodgers

Ohhhhh Spark-Puig. Yazi was just that for the Doyers last year, putting up outstanding numbers in his first month — after that he plateaued. He’s still a rare talent, but he’s immature and we only have a small sample size of a few months to go off of. Expect a 20/20 season with a good batting average. I still love the huge upside here. 

9 Matt Holliday – St. Louis

Mr. Consistency: A .300/22/90 season is a lock. Not many players are safer. 

10 Giancarlo Stanton – Miami

Stanton would no doubt be in the top tier of the category if not for the atrocious Miami lineup. But hey, it can’t get any worse than last season. Stanton only hit 24 HRs last year, a 13 HR drop off from the previous season, however the 2014 Miami lineup is slightly improved and Stanton is still only 24 years old. He’s still capable of popping 40 bombs. 

11 Carlos Gomez – Milwaukee

We figured he would be a sleeper last year but we didn’t expect 24 HRs and 40 SBs. Analysts expect some regression, so don’t pay too much, however he’s still one of the best out there.

12 Allen Craig – St. Louis

If he’s healthy he’s the most clutch hitter in baseball on one of the most sound teams in baseball. He could easily get you a .300/30/100 season. 

13 Jose Bautista – Toronto

Big injury risk as he’s only played part-time the last two years due to injury. However, when he plays he’s still elite — he’s hit 55 HR’s in just 210 games over the last two years. 

14 Bargain Alert! Wil Myers – Tampa Bay

This kid is on the verge of exploding — seriously, a super star in the making. He was one of the best prospect in the minors for years, first as a catcher in Kansas City. Last year’s rookie season saw him hit 13 HRs with a .293 average in just more than a half season. This Opening Day he’ll be hitting in the middle of the Tampa lineup. I like him a lot more than I like donuts, and that’s a lot. 

15 Justin Upton – Atlanta

Has incredible hot streaks….followed by ice cold binges. Sounds like college huh?… When he’s on his game he’s one of the best in the league and will play like an MVP. 

16 Jay Bruce – Cincinnati

This kid doesn’t get quite enough love. You’re drafting someone this deep and you’re sure to get a .260/30/100 season? Love it. Remember the average batting average these days hovers around .255, meaning his .260 hack isn’t as bad as it used to be. 

17 Alex Rios – Texas

Inconsistency has been Rios’ virtue over his career, however he’s put back-to-back solid seasons and is now in hitter-friendly Texas. You don’t know if he’ll get you more home runs or stolen bases, but he’ll get you a bunch of one and a decent amount of the other. 

18 Jason Heyward – Atlanta

He was banged up last year and had sub-par numbers in return. Remember he’s still only 24-years-old. A 30 HR season is coming eventually. 

19 Shin-Soo Choo – Texas

Will he be just as good in Texas as he was in Cincinnati? The answer is yes.

20 Yoenis Cespedes – Oakland

Has some of the best raw power in MLB, as demonstrated in last year’s Home Run Derby, but he still can’t put together the batting average to go with it. 

21 Matt Kemp – Los Angeles Dodgers

No one knows when Kemp will be back. Reports say he likely won’t be ready for Opening Day. That’s all we got.  The ankle injury he’s been battling is nasty and he’s in no rush to return. I’m not taking a chance on him. 

22 Starling Marte – Pittsburgh

We’ve only seen a couple elite months from Marte before he puttered out at the end of last year. But he still had a great rookie season overall and was a highly touted prospect coming up. He’s legit. 

23 Carlos Beltran – New York Yankees

Beltran is still one of the most feared hitters in the game, but he’s also 36-years-old. How many times have we seen the Cardinals squeeze the last juice out of a veteran only for the guy to go to a new team the following year only to fall on his face? Injuries concern me. 

24 Nelson Cruz – Baltimore

This is one of the best new homes Cruz could sign with. As crazy as it sounds I’m not too concern with him coming off his PED suspension. Like Braun, I feel Cruz most likely had the raw talent already. We will most certainly find out in a couple months. 

25 Jayson Werth – Washington

Sure, the 34-year-old Grizzly Adams is an injury risk, but when he plays he still gets it done. In 129 games last year he hit .318/.398/.532 with 25 HRs, 82 RBIs, 84 runs and 10 steals — that’s ballin. Yes I just said “ballin,” knowing this is baseball. 

26 Hunter Pence – San Francisco

Had a great bounce-back in 2013. Although I think you’re rolling the dice slightly with Pence this high in a draft, he should put up good numbers again in SF. 

27 Sleeper Alert! Leonys Martin – Texas

Martin has the skills to be an All-Star… this season. Full playing time in Texas around a powered lineup could mean 50 steals and 15 HRs for this 26-year-old. 

28 Michael Cuddyer – Colorado

He won’t win another batting title but I love the fact he’s still in Co. Grab him if he falls past round 10.

29 Curtis Granderson – New York Mets

Killer homers. Killing your batting average. 

30 Desmond Jennings – Tampa Bay

Many expect the 27-year-old to have his first 20/20 campaign this year. 

31 Mark Trumbo – Arizona

He might hit .250. Maybe. At least he’ll get you 30 HRs — which this late in a draft isn’t bad. Just make sure you have high average guys elsewhere in your lineup to compensate.

32 Alex Gordon – Kansas City

.265/20/81 with 11 steals. That was Gordon last year, and his OPS declined for the second year in a row. He’s not bad, he’s not special either. 

33 Ben Zobrist – Tampa Bay

His multiple position eligibility is huge for a manager looking for that untility guy. 

34 Josh Hamilton – Los Angeles Angels

Every analyst points out that Hamilton swung at everything last year. All the peripheral numbers tell us a bounce back therefore isn’t likely with that many swing and misses. He could easily still hit 25 HRs but he won’t have that high batting average anymore. 

35 Domonic Brown – Philadelphia

Take away his monster 12 HR May and he’s just a slightly better than average fantasy starter. 


Paul O’Neill Tier

Although not always an All-Star, these guys could show flashes of greatness and are worth starting on many teams.

36 Sleeper Alert! Billy Hamilton – Cincinnati

If he actually gets on base he could be the first to steal 100 bases in a season in nearly 30 years. But if he doesn’t get on base, he could see Triple-A again. You’ll most likely have to take him high in your draft to get a crack at the gamble thus making Billy the ultimate high risk/high reward pick. 

37 Shane Victorino – Boston

He’s good, don’t get me wrong, but do you really want to take a 33-year-old guy who hit .255 just two years ago this high?

38 Austin Jackson – Detroit

He is a younger Shane Victorino with a better batting average and without the stolen base capability. 

39 Alfonso Soriano – New York Yankees

He’s older than sliced bread but had a huge resurgence last year, hitting .255/34/101. Can he do it again? Managers who’ve owned him in the past know how frustrating it is to have him on your team — he’s streaky. 

40 Sleeper Alert! Khris Davis – Milwaukee

He hit 11 HRs in 56 games last year in his debut and Milwaukee felt comfortable letting Aoki walk so Davis would have a starting spot. I love, love, loooveee this guy. Many scouts see him as the perfect compliment to Braun — someone who could hit 30 HRs this season.

41 Martin Prado – Arizona

Utility man that will get you hits. Reliable. 

42 Sleeper Alert! Kole Calhoun – Los Angeles Angels

Everyone loves this kid. He hit .354/.431/.617 at Triple-A last year before knocking the ball around after a late call-up last season where he was on a 24-homer pace. 

43 Bargain Alert! Michael Bourn – Cleveland

He only stole 23 bags last year because he was playing injured. Expect him to swipe more than 40 this season. 

44 Sleeper Alert! Adam Eaton – Chicago White Sox

Was a projected Rookie of the Year candidate this time last year but injuries kept him off the field. Everyone is excited to see what he will do in his first big-league year and with a new team.

45 Sleeper Alert! Brandon Moss – Oakland

He has 30+ home run power and he’s going around pick #133 in drafts. Boring name on a boring team doesn’t mean he won’t produce. 

46 Ben Revere – Philadelphia

Still has capability to lead league in stolen bases. 

47 Norichika Aoki – Kansas City

Under-rated speed.

48 Coco Crisp – Oakland

Can go on hot streaks — likely to get you a dozen bombs and 25 SBs. 

49 Will Venable – San Diego

He went 22/22 last year and he’s 31-years-old. Can he really breakout this late in his career?

50 Torii Hunter – Detroit

Slight power with a solid average. 

51 Angel Pagan – San Francisco

Decent numbers across the board. 

52 Brett Gardner – New York Yankees

Average hitter but should rebound on basepaths know that he’s healthy. 

53 Michael Brantley – Cleveland

A solid fourth outfielder can get you decent numbers across the board against the right matchups.

54 Colby Rasmus – Toronto

The former top-prospect has failed to live up to expectations, but if he stays on the field he’s still capable of 30 HRs — just don’t expect the batting average to blow you away. I have him listed low because he burned my Cardinals — I can’t lie. 

55 Melky Cabrera – Toronto

He burned me after I took a chance on him last year following his PED-suspension. I’m not going back. If you’re a gamblin’ man there still might be a pot o’ gold left with the 29-year-old. 


Eric Byrnes Tier

Only draftable in the deepest of leagues.

Guys I like at this price: Dare I say…

Bargain Alerts!

Eric Young Jr. – New York Mets

Sleeper Alerts!

Avisail Garcia – Chicago White Sox

Christian Yellich – Miami

Oswaldo Arcia – Minnesota

George Springer – Houston

Oscar Taveras – St. Louis

Byron Buxton – Minnesota

Gregory Polanco – Pittsburgh

Guys still worth drafting in super deep leagues:

Nick Swisher, B.J. Upton, Josh Willingham, Junior Lake, Dexter Fowler, Josh Reddick, Lorenzo Cain, Nick Markakis, Denard Span, Nate Schierholtz, Rajai Davis, Chris Carter, Carl Crawford, Nick Castellanos, Dustin Ackley, Michael Morse, Marlon Byrd, Gerardo Parra, A.J. Pollock, Jason Kubel, Daniel Nava, Robbie Grossman, Raul Ibanez, Carlos Quentin, Alejandro De Aza, Jackie Bradley Jr., L.J Hoes, Dayan Viciedo, Justin Ruggiano, Craig Gentry, Andre Ethier,


Do Not Draft Under Any Circumstance

Michael Saunders, Peter Bourjos, Marcell Ozuna, Chris Young, Ryan Ludwick, Chris Denorfia, Jonny Gomes, Matt Joyce, David Lough, David DeJesus, Charlie Blackmon, Emilio Bonifacio, Alex Presley, Lucas Duda, Jon Jay, Cody Ross, Ichiro Suzuki, Kelly Johnson

Josh Helmuth is the editor of CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him @JHelmuth or “like” CraveOnline Sports on Facebook.

Photo Credit: Getty