Chad Young’s 2023 Ottoneu 1B Rankings

With catchers out of the way, we continue to move around the IF, going from the worst offensive position to the best. First base is always both top-heavy and deep, and that is the case again this year. It creates an interesting dynamic where there is big production to be had by adding the top guys, but there is also good value to be had by waiting out the rest of the league and seeing who shows up cheap later in the auction. It creates an interesting strategic choice in which there are a lot of ways to build a team.

As with catchers, before I share the list, I want to share some notes on my process.

All of my Ottoneu Position Rankings: C | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | OF | SP | RP

  1. Tiers > Ranks. The specific order of the rankings is less helpful and less meaningful than the tiers. Vinnie Pasquantino is #7 and Christian Walker #8, but Walker is closer to Jose Abreu for me than he is to Pasquantino. I am always open to discuss my rankings – and I will change them based on convincing feedback – but moving guys around within the tiers just doesn’t matter much. If you want to argue, tell me who is in the wrong tier entirely.
  2. Format Matters. These are for Ottoneu FanGraphs points format, but can be used fairly effectively for SABR Points (bats are slightly more valuable; for pitchers things vary more) and 4×4 (which values the same skills if not the same way).  Also note that, compared to roto leagues (4×4 or 5×5), points leagues have a steeper value curve, so the most expensive players are not quite so expensive in roto. The biggest difference, of course, is that 5×5 values SB highly and this format does not. For 5×5, there are a ton of other rankings out there, including right here on FanGraphs. Make sure to note that redraft rankings are not the same as keeper rankings, and Ottoneu will be more similar to keeper or dynasty. Finally, while it won’t be a full ranking, I’ll be sharing my top tens at each position for 5×5 keeper leagues as part of the Keep or Kut podcast.
  3. Projected P/G are the Basis but not the Ranking. On each table, you will see a projected P/G for each player. For this list, those are based on the Depth Charts projections as of 11/30. You’ll note, however, that I didn’t simply put the top projection first and then work down the list. A few things can cause me to break from the projections. Playing time and role, age and track record, future value and possible breakout potential are all factors that could cause me to move someone around. For example, Rowdy Tellez has a better projection than a number of players a tier above him, while Josh Bell is ahead of C.J. Cron.  The former is because I see a lot more risk in Tellez, due to his less impressive track record. The latter is because the way I expect you have to use Cron in fantasy limits his value relative to his overall projection.
  4. One Position at a Time. Players are ranked for just one position at a time, and will only be ranked at positions where I think they might be/should be used in fantasy. Any player who qualifies at catcher or MI will be left off this list, but I am including OF and 3B. The reason is I found myself using 1B/3B and 1B/OF at first on occasion last year. Especially for teams in OPL, using multi-position 1B can be useful and productive.
  5. N/A Means Not Enough Data. If the P/G column reads N/A that either means the projection doesn’t exist or the playing time was too small and I decided to ignore it.
  6. Tiers are Pre-Inflation. In practice, this means these tiers are most applicable to first-year leagues, but you can also adjust for inflation for your league. If you expect 20% inflation in your league, the top tier at 1B becomes $42-$60.
Ottoneu FanGraphs Points 1B Rankings
Tier Rank Player Eligibility Projected P/G Notes
$35-$50 1 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 1B 6.97 I have a hard time justifying this, after a lackluster 2022, but the projections are still so much better than anyone else, so I’ll roll with it.
$35-$50 2 Freddie Freeman 1B 6.32 Just an absolute monster.
$26-$34 3 Paul Goldschmidt 1B 6.01 He was the top guy at the position in 2022, but he doesn’t have Vlad’s upside or Freeman’s recent track record Plus, he’s old.
$26-$34 4 Pete Alonso 1B 6.28 A year ago, I found him indistinguishable fro the name below him here, but he separated from the rest of the pack in 2022.
$26-$34 5 Matt Olson 1B 5.85 His departure from Oakland didn’t lead to the jump in performance I was hoping for, and I am a little worried he might fall another tier by next season.
$20-$25 6 Nathaniel Lowe 1B 5.71 His 2022 was a bit surprising but his projection is pretty much, “yeah, that again.”
$20-$25 7 Vinnie Pasquantino 1B 6.13 Is this premature? Maybe? But he outperformed Olson last year and his projection is top-5. I expect some growing pains, but still think this is justified, and maybe low.
$14-$19 8 Christian Walker 1B 5.43 Steamer sees some plate discipline and power regression counteracted by a less atrocious BABIP; but what if the discipline and power gains were real?
$14-$19 9 Rhys Hoskins 1B 5.32 Every year, I wonder if this is the year that Hoskins puts together peak walk rate, decent BABIP, and peak power and just explodes and it may never happen, but I’ll buy that upside every. single. season.
$14-$19 10 Anthony Rizzo 1B 5.41 Yankee Stadium is still just such a perfect home for him.
$14-$19 11 José Abreu 1B 5.43 I am always lower than others on Abreu and now his power looks like it might be fading.
$9-$13 12 Josh Bell 1B 5.27 Progressive Field isn’t that great a hitters park, but it’s arguably the best home Bell has ever had.
$9-$13 13 C.J. Cron 1B 5.47 Honestly think he would move up if he left Coors; as it stands you have to platoon him and that hurts his value.
$9-$13 14 Rowdy Tellez 1B 5.66 He projects to put up almost a full point per game more than last year, largely on a jump in BABIP, and I am not sure I can completely buy that.
$9-$13 15 Josh Naylor 1B/OF 5.53 Do not let him face LHP and you’ll be thrilled with what he does for you.
$9-$13 16 Jose Miranda 1B/3B 5.26 He needed time to adjust, but if you throw out his first 63 PA, his line goes from good to great.
$9-$13 17 Andrew Vaughn 1B/OF 5.26 With Abreu out of the picture, playing time won’t be an issue and if he can elevate the ball just a bit more, there is a breakout coming.
$9-$13 18 Ty France 1B/3B 5.31 He’s a pretty unexciting 1B, but the floor is high.
$9-$13 19 Yandy Díaz 1B/3B 5.52 Go look at what he did last year in Ottoneu. Seriously, check.
$5-$8 20 Ryan Mountcastle 1B 5.06 The floor keeps him here, but if you told me the next five guys on this list all blew by him this year, I wouldn’t be that surprised.
$5-$8 21 Triston Casas 1B 5.54 As we run through some youth, he is my favorite bat of the bunch.
$5-$8 22 Spencer Torkelson 1B 4.77 He’s still Spencer Torkelson, so don’t ignore him, but we need to dampen expectations a bit.
$5-$8 23 Juan Yepez 1B/OF 5.32 I would have him over Tork if I thought he would get enough playing time.
$5-$8 24 Matt Mervis 1B 5.48 I am just a little skeptical of guys who seem to emerge from no where, as they oftentimes return from whence they came.
$5-$8 25 Joey Meneses 1B/OF 5.31 Remember Frank Schwindel? These late breakouts rarely stick, but I don’t blame you for spening a bit to find out.
$5-$8 26 Alex Kirilloff 1B/OF 4.91 I still very much believe in the bat.
$3-$4 27 Seth Brown 1B/OF 4.84 The A’s seem open to trading anything not nailed down and Brown would benefit greatly from a change of scenery.
$3-$4 28 Gavin Sheets 1B/OF 4.86 As of right now, he seems to have a good shot at a regular lineup spot in Chicago, and he has a solid .321 wOBA for his career.
$3-$4 29 Alec Bohm 1B/3B 4.81 He hits the ball well but lacking elite power means you are always counting on BABIP to save you.
$1-$2 30 Jared Walsh 1B 4.92 His 2022 had a lot of similarities to his 2021 and I think that might be a bad thing.
$1-$2 31 Nick Pratto 1B/OF 4.76 Once upon a time, he was more highly thought of than Pasquantino but boy does that feel like ancient history.
$1-$2 32 Kyle Manzardo 1B NA This is his current value but he might make more sense as a guy you take a big bet on and cut if he doesn’t keep it up in 2023.
$1-$2 33 Trey Mancini 1B/OF 4.67 Just absolutely cratered after being traded, but not sure I can keep making excuses for him.
$1-$2 34 Sean Bouchard 1B/OF 5.70 He’ll climb up these rankings if we get any clarity on how he’ll be used, but I don’t trust Colorado at all.
$1-$2 35 Connor Joe 1B/OF 5.03 Did you read the note on Bouchard?
$1-$2 36 Michael Toglia 1B/OF 5.15 Did you read the note on Joe?
$1-$2 37 Tyler Soderstrom C/1B NA His prospect value takes a big hit if he ends up 1B-only.
$1-$2 38 Joey Votto 1B 4.66 Age catches up to us all.
$1-$2 39 Luke Voit 1B 4.63 He’s a right-handed bat that has a career reverse platoon split, largely due to an awful performance against LHP in 2022.
$1-$2 40 Brandon Belt 1B 4.78 Is he 34 and often-injured and now just…done? Or is he going to be recovered from his knee injury and return to 2020-21 form?
$1-$2 41 Garrett Cooper 1B 4.88 Right-handed bat who has pretty even career splits but has alternated between being a small-side platoon bat and having huge reverse splits over his career. So how do you use him?
$1-$2 42 Wil Myers 1B/OF 4.56 Very curious where he is playing and what his role is.
$0 43 Patrick Wisdom 1B/3B/OF 4.40 Has mashed 53 HR over two seasons and really hasn’t been a great Ottoneu points bat in either.
$0 44 J.J. Matijevic 1B 4.84 I know I have him at $0, but I suspect I’ll pick him up for $1 somewhere on the hopes he clicks.
$0 45 J.D. Davis 1B/3B 4.80 If he gets an everyday-or-close-to-it job, his bat might do enough to carry him to back-end 1B value, but it’s not a great bet.
$0 46 David Villar 1B/3B 4.84 I don’t think there is enough here to help at 1B.
$0 47 Miguel Sanó 1B 4.59 Too many open questions to roster him; too much upside to leave him off the watchlist.
$0 48 Elehuris Montero 1B/3B 5.40 Remember much earlier in this list when all those Rockies popped up? Montero is like them but less.
$0 49 Darick Hall 1B 5.17 Probably needs a trade to have value.
$0 50 Bobby Dalbec 1B/3B 4.75 People think he could be Wisdom but he hasn’t really shown it yet.
$0 51 Mark Vientos 1B/3B 4.88 He’s an interesting bat but I don’t see how he gets regular playing time.
$0 52 Ji-Man Choi 1B 4.94 Did you know he was on Pittsburgh now? I totally missed that. He is a semi-productive bat but the new park won’t help.
$0 53 Jesús Aguilar 1B 4.63 Doesn’t have a job and doesn’t offer much production.
$0 54 Harold Ramírez 1B/OF 4.93 Between the risk in the bat and platoon-happy usage in Tampa, I don’t see the upside at 1B.
$0 55 LaMonte Wade Jr. 1B/OF 4.57 Showed so much promise but 2022 was so ugly and there are just better options at 1B
$0 56 Yuli Gurriel 1B 4.41 38 year old FA with a roller coaster of a track record coming off an abysmal season? No thanks.
$0 57 Franchy Cordero 1B/OF 4.57 Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me once per season every season for multiple years and I rank you 53rd at first base.
$0 58 Seth Beer 1B 4.84 He needs to show me something in MLB before I want to roster him again, and he may not get that shot.
$0 59 Darin Ruf 러프 1B/OF 4.58 The combination of points scoring and 1B just isn’t where he is best.
$0 60 Eric Hosmer 1B 4.99 He somehow projects best season in five years (non-2020 season, anyway) and that still isn’t enough to make me want to buy in.
$0 61 Evan White 1B 4.06 Hasn’t been good in the majors and 2022 wasn’t good in Triple-A either.
$0 62 Dominic Smith 1B 4.70 I really hope he gets another shot to be a regular.
$0 63 Hunter Dozier 1B/3B/OF 4.13 He showed flashes at times last year, but the final line was still ugly.
$0 64 Carlos Santana 1B 4.78 Did some good things with Seattle, but another year older and now in a terrible park to hit.
$0 65 Pavin Smith 1B/OF 4.59 Even his platoon split vs. RHP isn’t good enough to carry him as a part-time 1B, and that is assuming he gets playing time.
$0 66 Bligh Madris 1B/OF 4.21 I know some people will point to fun minor league numbers, but he has been old for his level and the bar to produce at 1B is just so high.
$0 67 Mike Moustakas 1B/3B 4.18 There might be a dead cat bounce there, but that still might not get him to the heights of “1B worth $1.”

A long-time fantasy baseball veteran and one of the creators of ottoneu, Chad Young's writes for RotoGraphs and PitcherList, and can be heard on the ottobot podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @chadyoung.

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Blue Shoesmember
1 year ago

That change in Rowdy Tellez’s PPG isn’t because of the BABIP (which I would expect to rebound some), but rather that the DC projections have him averaging 4.3 PA/G rather than the 3.65 he averaged in 2022. By extrapolation, his PPG in 2022 would have been 5.55 if he had that many PA/G.