Fantasy Baseball: 2011 First Base Primer: Strategy, Stock Watch, and More

Albert Pujols is the first overall pick. No doubt about it. Miguel Cabrera is the second pick in my book. [Editor’s note: this was written before Cabrera’s latest DUI.]

First base is a pretty deep position, but it is important to get a top-notch first baseman early who will anchor your lineup. First base produces power and all the other necessary numbers for fantasy, so do not wait too long to pick a first baseman.

However, do not be afraid to use the later rounds to draft the next great first baseman as a potential high value flyer. As we have seen with Prince Fielder‘s and Ryan Howard‘s sophomore explosions, it is not always the top players picked that deliver the best seasons. Give guys like Freeman, Moreland, and Smoak a shot.

The Stock Watch

Rising:

Gaby Sanchez, Florida Marlins

Sanchez is a key part of the new youthful core of the Marlins. Sanchez can hit for power (19 home runs last season) and had a solid .273 batting average last season. In another year, Sanchez would have been a front-runner for NL Rookie of the Year. With the emergence of Mike Stanton, as well as the continued support of Hanley Ramirez, the Marlins’ first baseman should continue his rise up the ranks of first basemen.

carlos-pena-fantasy-baseball-first-baseFalling:

Carlos Peña, Chicago Cubs

Hitting .196 is unacceptable, plain and simple. While Peña will bring the power numbers, his terrible average puts him beyond the top few tiers of first basemen. Do not draft him to be your number one first baseman. He is much better to have as a backup and hope that a change of scenery will result in a big change in his average. Peña could end up being a nice buy low option, but recognize that he is an incredibly high risk.

Derrek Lee, Baltimore Orioles

Lee suffered through his worst statistical season since 1999 last year. It is tough to see the 35 year old bouncing back to the numbers he posted a few years ago. While a change of scenery to Baltimore may help, Lee still looks like he will not make it to his previous position in terms of fantasy.

The Big Questions

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