The final installment of our 2016 MLB Fantasy Guide as we wrap up with the outfield position. The one position that requires a well balanced mixture of top tier options as well as fantasy sleepers to build our daily fantasy lineup while looking deeper for season long leagues.
This group includes a nice list of top tier talents including Bryce Harper for the Washington Nationals and Mike Trout for the Los Angeles Angels. Harper is coming off an impressive 2015 MVP campaign that saw the Nationals star to hitting .330 with 42 home runs and 99 runs batted in.
Meanwhile Trout has continued his success posting his third 30 plus home run season in his first four full seasons. Along with the home runs Trout has posted at least 104 runs in each of those full seasons as well as at least 27 doubles as well. Trout is also a threat to pick up some triples as well as at least double digit stolen base totals each season.
Now not everyone will be able to land one of those two in season long leagues as will daily fantasy owners on FanDuel or DraftKings be able to anchor them both together while providing enough salary cap to build a solid fantasy lineup from top to the bottom.
That is where a solid list of fantasy bargains and sleepers will come into play when building a winning fantasy lineup. One of those bargains in our opinion is Mark Trumbo for the Baltimore Orioles. Trumbo who was acquired by the Orioles this offseason opens up the season at just $2,900 on FanDuel while costing the same as Hyun-soo Kim who is not expected to be on the teams 25 man roster come opening day.
Top Fantasy Outfielder Options in 2016:
Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals: We expect Harper to continue his success during the 2016 Major League Baseball season after coming off his first MVP award. Only worry for us is if the Nationals outfielder can stay healthy after missing time over the past few seasons.
Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels: It is nearly impossible not to put Mike Trout on any top tier list of fantasy outfielders. Trout might be the safest fantasy play of all the outfielder positions for fantasy owners taking place in full season leagues.
Hunter Pence, San Francisco Giants: After appearing in just 52 games last season Pence looks ready for an amazing 2016 season. Through 11 spring training games this spring, Pence is hitting .471 with six home runs and 11 runs batted in. Look for Pence to bounce back for the Giants in 2016 while delivering for his fantasy owners.
Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox: Betts is another emerging young outfielder that is slowly emerging as one of the top outfielders in the game. After finishing the 2015 season with 18 home runs and 77 runs batted in Betts has gotten off to a fast start this spring. The Red Sox outfielder has picked up four home runs over his first 56 at bats this spring.
Outfielders to avoid in 2016:
Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers: When healthy the Brewers outfielder is one of the games top hitters and a potential fantasy stud night in and night out. The problem is Braun has been dealing with back symptoms this season something that could limit his production on the field.
J.D. Martinez, Detroit Tigers: Martinez broke out in a big way for his fantasy owners last season finishing with a .282 batting average to go with 38 home runs and 102 runs batted in. The Tigers outfielder has showed his power this spring with four home runs but is only hitting .213 through his first 47 at bats.
Breakout Candidates at the Outfield position in 2016:
Michael Conforto, New York Mets: Michael Cuddyers sudden decision to retire this offseason has now opened up a full time spot for Conforto. Last season in just 174 at bats, Conforto posted nine home runs and 26 runs batted in. If that success can roll over to between 500-600 at bats Conforto will post between 25-30 home runs with 60-80 runs batted in.
Billy Burns, Oakland A’s: After a solid rookie campaign Burns looks to be poised to be a solid fantasy contributor in 2016. Wihle Burns won’t produce big time power numbers, the A’s outfielder will provide not only doubles and triples but also a true threat on the base paths.
Joey Rickard, Baltimore Orioles: Now we are looking at Rickard as more of a big time fantasy sleeper entering the first week of the regular season. While we might not suggest drafting Rickard in season long leagues he should be an excellent gamble in daily fantasy tournaments to open the season on FanDuel and Draftkings. Currently the rule five draft pick is left off the initial FanDuel lineup he should become available within the first couple days.
Fantasy Position Outlook:
The outfielder position is an interesting position with a ton of options to build a lineup around. While the season long fantasy owner will have plenty of time to not only build through the draft but also find a ton of solid waiver options throughout the season, as players will break out at anytime.
Meanwhile daily fantasy owners will have a different approach entering the 2016 campaign, as fantasy salaries are yet to take on their true value. For example Adam Jones enters the season costing just $3,100 while A.J. Pollock enters the season at $4,400. Pollock is coming off a 20 home run season but a threat on the base paths while Jones enters the season riding five straight season with 25 home runs and at least 82 runs batted in.
Early on we suggest looking for the best fantasy sleepers and bargains to allow for extra cash for the top tier starting pitching options. Overall the outfield position is the one slot that can very easily win or lose a fantasy contest for you on any giving night!