We continue our 2016 fantasy baseball rankings with the top 20 first basemen. The position is strong and deep, as usual, but I would still target one of the elites.

2016 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Catcher/Second Base/Shortstop/Third Base/Outfield(Top 25)/(Top 50)/(Top 75)/Starters(Top 25)/(Top 50)/(Top 75)/(Top 100)/Closer/Top 250 Overall

1) Paul Goldschmidt ARI – The gold standard. 2016 Projection: 101/31/115/.308/17

2) Miguel Cabrera DET­ – Many are worried about Cabrera’s health, but he is completely healthy coming into 2016. He feels good, strong, and like he can do anything. He told reporters earlier this off-season, “I feel good. I feel strong, like I can do anything.” 2016 Projection: 98/30/112/.324/3

3) Anthony Rizzo CHI-NL – Everyone’s favorite shiny new toy. But just can’t bump him over Cabrera quite yet. Still a 5-category beast. 2016 Projection: 99/33/108/.285/12

4) Edwin Encarnacion TOR – Coin flip between Encarnacion and Chris Davis for this spot. Both are going to mash. Davis will give you a few more homers, Encarnacion a better AVG. 2016 Projection: 94/37/110/.271/3

5) Chris Davis BAL – Look up one inch. 2016 Projection: 97/42/118/.258/2

6) Joey Votto CIN – The Reds are crumbling around him, but I’m not letting a guy who just put up a 1.000 OPS fall beyond this point. 2016 Projection: 95/28/85/.310/8

7) Jose Abreu CHI-AL – A bit of an unknown compared to the first six names on this list. Still provides elite upside. 2016 Projection: 89/33/108/.288/1

8) Eric Hosmer KC – There is a real drop off after Abreu. I like Hosmer’s solid 5-category production over the more established sluggers ranked below him. 2016 Projection: 93/20/92/.290/8

9) Adrian Gonzalez LAD – Safe and unexciting. Consistently good hitter in the middle of a good lineup. 2016 Projection: 82/26/98/.280/1

10) Albert Pujols LAA – The elite all-time greats like Pujols can defy the typical aging curve. He is ahead of schedule coming back from off-season foot surgery, and might be ready for opening day. 2016 Projection: 79/32/93/.263/3

11) Prince Fielder TEX ­– Logged 18 games at 1B last year, so make sure to check your league’s eligibility rules. The weirdest mix of upside, downside, and reliability, if that makes any sense. 2016 Projection: 80/26/100/.283/0

12) Buster Posey SFG – Wrote about Posey in my 2016 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Top 20 Catchers post. 2016 Projection: 73/21/90/.312/2

13) David Ortiz BOS – 9 GS at 1B in 2015. Age defying beast. Ride him into the sunset. 2016 Projection: 71/31/101/.271/0

14) Freddie Freeman ATL – Talented young hitter who would rank higher if he was hitting in the middle of a better lineup. 2016 Projection: 78/24/89/.287/3

15) Kendrys Morales KC – Proved last season that his horrible 2014 was just a fluke. Hits in the middle of a strong KC lineup. 9 GS at 1B in 2015. 2016 Projection: 75/23/94/.280/0

16) Mark Teixeira NYY – Was enjoying a bounce back season in 2015 before fracturing his shin. Great source of affordable power if he can stay healthy. 2016 Projection: 76/30/95/.252/1

17) Brandon Belt SFG – Solid across the board production, but does not standout in any category. 2016 Projection: 78/20/80/.278/8

18) Byung-ho Park MIN Jung-ho Kang’s success last season has raised the expectations for Park coming into 2016. Park smashed 105 homers his last two seasons combined in Korea. 2016 Projection: 76/23/81/.269/5

19) Lucas Duda NYM – Homers and RBI’s. Not much else. 2016 Projection: 72/28/90/.247/1

20) Carlos Santana CLE – Down year in 2015, but not ready to jump completely off the bandwagon yet. Silver lining, he stole 11 bases last season. 2016 Projection: 73/23/84/.243/6

By Michael Halpern
Email: michaelhalpern@imaginarybrickwall.com

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