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Believe it or not, professional baseball is right around the corner and that means you need to start preparing for the upcoming fantasy baseball season.
Outside of catcher, first base is probably the weakest position in the entire league right now with a couple big names at the top but very little depth. If you can't snag one of the guys near the top, you'll be looking for value in specific categories to fill out your team or overall flexibility. We've got you covered with the Top 10 fantasy first basemen for the 2019 season.
Fantasy Baseball Top-10 Rankings:
10. Edwin Encarnacion, Seattle Mariners
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To further emphasize how shallow the 1B pool is this year, we start with a 36-year-old primary DH joining his a new team. Encarnacion isn't the MVP-caliber player he once was, but he still hit 32 home runs last year with Cleveland. He'll give you home runs and RBI but also a batting average that's dropped for three straight seasons.
9. Joey Gallo, Texas Rangers
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Gallo is primarily an outfielder but plays enough first base during the season to qualify. His fantasy flexibility gives him a slight advantage as do his back-to-back, 40-HR seasons. However, his .206 batting average is just too ugly to make him anything more than pickup for a team that needs home run power.
8. Matt Olson, Oakland Athletics
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Olson is one of the few young up-and-coming stars at 1B in the MLB and was a Gold Glove winner last season. His bat is still raw, but he hit 29 home runs and 84 RBI in his first full year with Oakland with a .247 average. He's not in the top tier yet, but if he makes the jump in 2019, he could be a draft day steal.
7. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
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Votto is another member of the old guard gracing the 2019 Top 10. Votto appears to have lost his power stroke after he hit only 12 home runs in 2018, but he's still an OBP machine. He's also been an All-Star each of the past two years and came just two points short of winning MVP in 2017, so maybe he's not done just yet. At least you're looking at a solid shot of an OBP over .400.
6. Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers
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After a Rookie of the Year campaign in 2017, Bellinger performed about just as well overall in 2018 except for a slight drop in his power numbers. After hitting 39 home runs as a rookie, he hit just 25 home runs in 30 more games in 2018. However, it didn't really hurt his batting average too much and he's still young. He should be looking at a bounce-back year in 2019.
5. Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
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Carpenter is technically a first baseman now, but he's more like a valuable utility player. With Paul Goldschmidt joining the Cardinals, Carpenter will surely play all around the infield, but he does have first-base eligibility. He's fresh off a season where he hit a career-high 36 home runs and drove in 81 to earn a Top-10 MVP voting finish.
4. Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox
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Jose Abreu's numbers dipped a bit in 2018 due to missing around 30 games, but he still managed to earn an All-Star spot and win Silver Slugger in the AL. He hit 22 home runs and drove in 78 RBI while also slapping 36 doubles. He's a career .300 hitter, so look for his power to return in 2019.
3. Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
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We've finally reached the point in this list where players are not just top 1B options but top overall fantasy options. Freeman had a scorching 2018 season, finishing fourth in the MVP voting with a .309 average and a league-leading 44 doubles. He also hit 23 home runs and had 98 RBI. He's a Top 20 fantasy player heading into 2019 and a rock to build around.
2. Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
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Rizzo's power numbers dipped a bit in 2018, but he still smashed 25 home runs and drove in 101 home runs while still drawing 70 walks. He improved his .283 average and is one of the better all-around players in fantasy right now. He won't blow you away in any one category, but he's not going to drag down the team either.
1. Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals
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Even with Goldschmidt joining a new team, he's still the only 1B in the overall fantasy Top 10. The six-time All-Star hit .290 with a .389 OBP in 2018 winning his fourth NL Silver Slugger. He added 33 home runs, 35 doubles and 83 RBI as he fills up the stat sheet in nearly every category. If you're picking near the end of the first round, look to grab Goldschmidt and you won't have to worry about 1B production all year.
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Ian McCafferty is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ian McCafferty also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username itmccaff. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.