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Ranking the top 80 outfielders in fantasy baseball [UPDATE]

We take a look at the outfielder position, including notable offseason transactions, injury news, and rank out the best options for your 2021 fantasy baseball drafts.

Ronald Acuna Jr. #13 of the Atlanta Braves at bat against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the seventh inning in Game Seven of the National League Championship Series at Globe Life Field on October 18, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

March 31 update: George Springer has officially been placed on the injured list because of his oblique strain. Such a move has been long expected, and I moved Springer down a couple of spots last week because of it. He’s still at No. 13 with the assumption that he will return in mid-April.

The Padres’ Trent Grisham (hamstring) and the Mariners’ Kyle Lewis (knee) will also begin the year on the IL. Both have been moved down a handful of spots, to No. 24 and No. 42, respectively.

The Mariners’ Jarred Kelenic has been sent to the minors. He must have needed more seasoning, because Seattle would never hold players down solely because of service time, right? Anyway, Kelenic should debut soon and remains at No. 63

March 26 update: White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez suffered a rupture of his left pectoral tendon, per GM Rick Hahn. He’ll require surgery and be out for 5-6 months. He has been removed from these ranks. He was No. 10 among outfielders, No. 35 overall.

Diamondbacks OF/C Daulton Varsho was optioned to the minors on Wednesday. He should be up with the big club fairly soon, but with this demotion, he has been dropped 13 spots to the very bottom of this top 80.

March 24 update: George Springer has a moderate oblique strain. Those kinds of injuries have kept players out for a month or more, but the Blue Jays think Springer will be ready for Opening Day. That seems really optimistic, however, so I have lowered Springer a little bit, from No. 12 to No. 14.

Trent Grisham hasn’t played in a game in almost two weeks because of his strained hamstring. He did take batting practice over the weekend, so he’s trending in the right direction.

Jackie Bradley Jr. has been out for the past few days due to wrist soreness. No need to overreact to that, but something to track.

On a positive note, Jarred Kelenic, Lorenzo Cain and Ramon Laureano all returned to game action last week after missing time due to injuries. The most surprising return belongs to Kelenic, who was out for less than two weeks after suffering a Grade 2 knee strain. I have moved him up from No. 77 to No. 64.

March 9 update: A couple of significant injuries have popped up over the past week or so at this position. The Diamondbacks’ Kole Caulhoun is likely out through April due to a torn meniscus in his right knee. And much-ballyhooed Mariners rookie Jarred Kelenic has a moderate knee strain. There is no official timetable for his return, but he will miss a handful of weeks. Those two players have been moved down, respectively, from 53 to 63 and from 69 to 77.

One player who has been added to the top 80 is new Brewers outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. He signed with Milwaukee last week and enters these ranks at No. 75. He could turn in a 15-homer, 15 steal season if everything goes right for him.

Bradley is slated to play right field most of the time in Milwaukee, but he may move back to center for a bit as Lorenzo Cain has been shut down for a week due to quad tightness. I will keep Cain at No. 52 for now.

You can’t be afraid to take chances when constructing the outfield of your fantasy baseball roster — it’s a necessity. Since you will be starting three or five or seven or more outfielders depending upon your league’s settings, some of those spots will be filled by players who are far from sure-fire commodities. So, after you select one or two of the top 20 here, players who can act as franchise tentpoles, identify your favorite later-round outfielders and see how it pans out.

Offseason transactions

George Springer earned the offseason’s richest free-agent contract as he signed a $150 million deal with the Blue Jays. The backend of that six-year agreement probably won’t be pretty as Springer already has some injury concerns and turns 32 this season. However, for this year, he should continue to bash 30-40 homers and score 100-plus runs if he plays a full slate. Expect his batting average to rise from last year’s .265, too.

Eddie Rosario will continue his career in the AL Central after moving over from the Twins to the Indians. The 29-year-old will probably hit third or fourth for Cleveland. It’s doubtful that he’ll rack up 109 RBIs like he did in 2019, but Rosario could be a 30-homer, 90-RBI player with an average around .270.

Kyle Schwarber signed with the Nationals during the winter and will likely be their everyday clean-up hitter. Thirty home runs feels like the floor for the former Cub.

Notable injuries

Cody Bellinger suffered one of the weirdest and most famous shoulder injuries ever in 2020, when he dislocated his right shoulder while celebrating a World Series home run. Bellinger underwent arthroscopic surgery in November and says he is ahead of schedule in his rehab. He’s hoping to play in spring training games by mid-March.

Top 80 OF rankings

Outfielder rankings 2021

Rank Player Team
Rank Player Team
1 Ronald Acuna Jr. Atlanta Braves
2 Juan Soto Washington Nationals
3 Mookie Betts Los Angeles Dodgers
4 Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels
5 Christian Yelich Milwaukee Brewers
6 Cody Bellinger Los Angeles Dodgers
7 Bryce Harper Philadelphia Phillies
8 Kyle Tucker Houston Astros
9 Marcell Ozuna Atlanta Braves
10 Whit Merrifield Kansas City Royals
11 Starling Marte Miami Marlins
12 Aaron Judge New York Yankees
13 George Springer Toronto Blue Jays
14 Michael Conforto New York Mets
15 Nick Castellanos Cincinnati Reds
16 Charlie Blackmon Colorado Rockies
17 Luis Robert Chicago White Sox
18 Teoscar Hernandez Toronto Blue Jays
19 Austin Meadows Tampa Bay Rays
20 Randy Arozarena Tampa Bay Rays
21 Brandon Lowe Tampa Bay Rays
22 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Toronto Blue Jays
23 Cavan Biggio Toronto Blue Jays
24 Trent Grisham San Diego Padres
25 Jeff McNeil New York Mets
26 Tommy Pham San Diego Padres
27 Mike Yastrzemski San Francisco Giants
28 Eddie Rosario Cleveland Indians
29 Byron Buxton Minnesota Twins
30 Wil Myers San Diego Padres
31 Dominic Smith New York Mets
32 Michael Brantley Houston Astros
33 Joey Gallo Texas Rangers
34 Ian Happ Chicago Cubs
35 Alex Verdugo Boston Red Sox
36 Ramon Laureano Oakland Athletics
37 Anthony Santander Baltimore Orioles
38 AJ Pollock Los Angeles Dodgers
39 Trey Mancini Baltimore Orioles
40 Dylan Moore Seattle Mariners
41 Ryan Mountcastle Baltimore Orioles
42 Kyle Lewis Seattle Mariners
43 Tommy Edman St. Louis Cardinals
44 Max Kepler Minnesota Twins
45 Dylan Carlson St. Louis Cardinals
46 Victor Robles Washington Nationals
47 Kyle Schwarber Washington Nationals
48 Andrew McCutchen Philadelphia Phillies
49 Nick Solak Texas Rangers
50 Clint Frazier New York Yankees
51 Lorenzo Cain Milwaukee Brewers
52 Andrew Benintendi Kansas City Royals
53 Mark Canha Oakland Athletics
54 Brandon Nimmo New York Mets
55 Hunter Dozier Kansas City Royals
56 Leody Taveras Texas Rangers
57 Raimel Tapia Colorado Rockies
58 David Peralta Arizona Diamondbacks
59 Jesse Winker Cincinnati Reds
60 Aaron Hicks New York Yankees
61 Mitch Haniger Seattle Mariners
62 Joc Pederson Chicago Cubs
63 Jarred Kelenic Seattle Mariners
64 Nick Senzel Cincinnati Reds
65 Chris Taylor Los Angeles Dodgers
66 David Dahl Texas Rangers
67 Austin Hays Baltimore Orioles
68 Randal Grichuk Toronto Blue Jays
69 Manuel Margot Tampa Bay Rays
70 Jackie Bradley Jr. Milwaukee Brewers
71 Jurickson Profar San Diego Padres
72 Justin Upton Los Angeles Angels
73 Kole Calhoun Arizona Diamondbacks
74 Bryan Reynolds Pittsburgh Pirates
75 Adam Eaton Chicago White Sox
76 Avisail Garcia Milwaukee Brewers
77 Myles Straw Houston Astros
78 Victor Reyes Detroit Tigers
79 Alex Dickerson San Francisco Giants
80 Daulton Varsho Arizona Diamondbacks