Every Tuesday and Thursday for the next 4 weeks Caveball will sort out the 8 tiers for all 8 Fantasy positions. The following week at the end of February we will release our unique “Chartfelt Tiers”, the ultimate Cheat-sheet for Fantasy Baseball – unique because it allows you to easily cross-reference players in different positions who have similar value.
During that same week we will offer up our General Draft Strategy, which will then be followed by a specific strategy for 2015, which you can use in tandem with our “Chartfelt Tiers”.
Here now are Caveball’s tiers for the Outfield position:
Tier #1 – The Alpha Wolves (Level 1)
This tier includes all outfielders ranked in the top 24 players overall. For 12-team leagues this covers rounds 1 and 2.
- Mike Trout - Baseball’s ambassador is just 23 yrs. old – can he be better?
- Giancarlo Stanton - Monster season coming up for the 25 yr. old
- Andrew McCutchen - 5-category stud is all business and heart
- Adam Jones - McCutchen without the eye and patience
- Jose Bautista - 34 yr. old averaged 121 GP over last 3 yrs. – otherwise elite
- Carlos Gomez - Back to back elite mirror-image years dispels fluke theory
- Michael Brantley - Another late blossomer fills all categories
- Corey Dickerson - Burst onto the scene ’14 – 100+ R & RBI in 2015
Tier #2 – The Alpha Wolves (Level 2)
This tier includes all outfielders ranked from 25 to 48 overall. For 12-team leagues this covers rounds 3 and 4.
- Ryan Braun - Will the real Mr. Thumb please come forward?
- Yasiel Puig - Was the only OF L.A. wouldn’t part with – prime years ahead
- J. D. Martinez - Late blossomer in stacked line-up will rake
- Justin Upton - Petco won’t help his cause, but new look line-up will
- Kole Calhoun - Breakout of the year: Look out for 30 HR/110 R
- Matt Kemp - Can overcome hitter’s bane at Petco in front of Upton
- Matt Holliday - Reliable 35 yr. old is aging gracefully – no surprises here
- Jacoby Ellsbury - Unreliable speedster is always a high risk/reward pick
- Charlie Blackmon - Close to a 20/30 season (8 missed games)
Tier #3 – The Beta Wolves (Level 1)
This tier includes all outfielders ranked from 49 to 84 overall. For 12-team leagues this covers rounds 5, 6 and 7.
- George Springer - Cheapest price you’ll get for him for the next 12 years
- Carlos Gonzalez - Many elite OF in 2015 – not worth the agony of injury
- Christian Yelich - Slides perfectly in 2-spot between Gordon & Stanton
- Yoenis Cespedes - Who hits 6th him or J.D.? Does it matter?
- Nelson Cruz - Warning: Safeco/Mariners cut Cano’s HR in half
- Jay Bruce - Should see more balls to it with a healthy Votto – 30 HR
- Hunter Pence - Out until May
- Starling Marte - 30 SB in 135 GP – tremendous second half bodes well
- Jason Werth - Tier #3’s Matt Holliday, with some history of injuries
- Josh Harrison - Late bloomers do exist given the right opportunity
- Alex Gordon - Quietly valuable and reliably healthy
Tier #4 – The Beta Wolves (Level 2)
This tier includes all outfielders ranked from 85 to 132 overall. For 12-team leagues this covers rounds 8, 9, 10 and 11.
- Adam Eaton - Prime pick of 2015 with some health risk attached – 30 SB
- Melky Cabrera - Like here, will slot in nicely after Eaton (and before Abreu)
- Brett Gardner - Does newfound power give him 20/20 potential?
- Billy Hamilton - Will be picked long before you should even consider him
- Mookie Betts - Playing time is only concern for 5-category talent
- Shin-Soo Choo - Like his team, 32 yr. old fought through injuries all year
- Alex Rios - Doesn’t really seem to care, unless its contract year
- Bryce Harper - Plenty of press for all the wrong reasons, but is still only 22
- Mark Trumbo - Forgotten man in 2014 could get back to 30 HR in 2015
- Jason Heyward - Cards should fix Braves mistake of making him lead-off
- Ben Zobrist - Team-wide slump didn’t help his own down year
- Will Myers - 2013:ROY; 2014: Sophomore Slump epitome; 2015: ???
- Jorge Soler - 28 HR/117 RBI in 151 GP in minors – no math required
Tier #5 – The Gamma Wolves (Level 1)
This tier includes all outfielders ranked from 133 to 192 overall. For 12-team leagues this covers rounds 12-16 inclusive.
- Martin Prado - Don’t underestimate Marlins beefed up line-up
- Marcell Ozuna - 23 HR/85 RBI last year – skipped AAA on his way up
- Oswaldo Arcia - 20 HR in just 103 GP – may flirt with 30 in 2015
- Marlon Byrd - Begins his 9th stint (8th different team) with the Reds – 37 yr. old hasn’t slowed yet (25 HR/85 RBI), but there’s thousands of late 30s decliners for every Torii Hunter. Even still, I like this move for the Reds, at least for 2015.
- Denard Span - Overlooked and undervalued: had .771 OPS with 31 SB
- Rusney Castillo - Hit .405 in Winter Ball. Cuban rookie is 27 yrs. old
- Brandon Moss - Tribe are packed at 1B/OF – could see less playing time
- Ben Revere - Quietly had 49 SB amidst a year of turmoil in Philly
- Leonys Martin - 31 SB last year with upside due to age and healthier team
- Lorenzo Cain - Found his table-setting role last year with 28 SB
- Carl Crawford - 2-yr. avg. of 111 GP may change with Kemp clearing space
Tier #6 – The Gamma Wolves (Level 2)
This tier includes all outfielders ranked from 193 to 240 overall. For 12-team leagues this covers rounds 17-20 inclusive.
- Desmond Jennings - 3-yr. avg. of 131 GP makes him a needless injury risk
- Coco Crisp - 3-yr. avg. of 126 GP dittos him
- Avisail Garcia - Early comparison to Miggy has overhyped him for years
- Torii Hunter - Completes full circle in return to Twins just in time for his 40th B-Day in July. 6 straight years of 80-plus RBI, including 83 in 2014. He joins a team of hard-hitting youngsters, which might keep his streak going
- Gregory Polanco - Yet another Pirate who can steal, with some pop
- Arismendy Alcantara - Future 20/30 threat. Expect growing pains
- Carlos Beltran - Speaking of which, some teams know exactly when to dis”Card” aging players. He’ll turn 38 in April
- A. J. Pollock - An “artist” on the base paths with modest pop (Sleeper)
- Stephen Souza - Unheralded part of the 3-team trade, who may be the Ray’s next “Rookie of the Year” candidate
- Yasmany Tomas - Yet another unknown Cuban who could be hitting directly behind, or better yet, in front of Goldschmidt. The D-Backs may experiment with Tomas playing the hot corner – Stay tuned
Tier #7 – The Omega Wolves (Level 1)
This tier includes all outfielders ranked from 241 to 276 overall. For 12-team leagues this covers rounds 21-23 inclusive.
- Khris Davis - Fought well thru Sophomore Jinx, 27 yr. old should peak this yr.
- Curtis Granderson - 34 yr. old has started an expected decline
- Allen Craig - BoSox are jammed at 1B and OF, and he’s a D.L. regular
- Michael Cuddyer - Injury-prone 36 yr. old switches Fields: Coors to Citi
- Joc Pederson - Playing time is the issue, not talent
- Josh Reddick - Had a great second half, unlike most of his teammates
- Dexter Fowler - Sneaky good when healthy – that’s a big when
- Nick Markakis - Move from Baltimore to Atlanta bodes poorly
- Steve Pearce - Must be close to the record for # of consecutive yrs. (7) playing in both Minors and Majors. May have found a home in Camden Yards. He had 21 HR in just 102 games, and a crazy .930 OPS (sleeper)
Tier #8 – The Omega Wolves (Level 2)
This tier includes all outfielders ranked lower than 276 overall who have a chance to crack the top 300. For a 12-team league this covers rounds 24 and higher.
- Josh Hamilton - Might be highest risk/reward in fantasy (33 yrs. old). Suspension looms.
- Rajai Davis - Too bad there’s not more lefties – cheap steals
- Dustin Ackley - Upcoming 27 yr. old season will establish ceiling
- Austin Jackson - Safeco has a way of deflating offensive value
- Dee Brown - Expected regression last yr., but 111 hits in 144 games?
- Angel Pagan - Injury-riddled 33 yr. old is not worth the risk
- Dayan Viciedo - Melky acquisition hurts 26 yr. old’s playing time
- Nori Aoki - No power, and not enough speed to tolerate it
- Nick Swisher - Full-time broadcasting days are near
- Colby Rasmus - 28 yr. old signed 1 yr. deal with Astros: last chance?
- Alejandro De Aza - Positive yet tiny sample size with the Birds
- Byron Buxton – 21 yr. old top prospect may emerge at some point this year