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Now we’re posting our 2016 Fantasy Baseball Third Base rankings, which is usually chock full of big-time Fantasy hitters that proliferate the first few rounds of a draft.

Have things changed this season, now that Evan Longoria has taken a step back, Miguel Cabrera and Edwin Encarnacion have moved over to first base for good, and Ryan Zimmerman has done both?

Fortunately for Fantasy Baseball players, the third base position is ever-rejuvenating with big bats, before they get moved to another position.

For the 2016 Fantasy Baseball third base rankings, we’re suddenly looking at four third basemen inside the top 20 picks that weren’t there as recent as one year ago.

Think about that – Josh Donaldson, Manny Machado, Nolan Arenado and Kris Bryant, all ranking in the top 20 in 2016 Fantasy Baseball drafts, were outside of the top 20 last year. ALL FOUR!

What’s Different From Last Year to This Year?

Joining Longoria in the disappointing 2015 category, Adrian Beltre and Pablo Sandoval struggled through much of the season. So they’re all outside the top 10, which made room for players we mentioned, as well as Xander Bogaerts,

We can even look at FanGraphs.com’s End-of-Season Rankings for 2015 to see which players climbed the rankings because of what they accomplished on the field (Machado, Bryant, Duffy), and which ones are high up because of their 2016 prospects (Maikel Franco and Joey Gallo).

I think Josh Donaldson is a top-five Fantasy player, with Nolan Arenado not too far behind. Manny Machado is a second-round player getting taken in the first round, in my opinion. I mentioned him as one of my potential 2016 Third Base Busts, mostly because everyone’s giving him insane projections. Remember this is still the guy that has torn a ligament in BOTH of his knees in recent years. Yet, we give Giancarlo Stanton crap for being “injury prone,” after he gets his face blasted two years ago (I’ll give you the broken wrist from last year, though).

Late Spring Update

The third base position is weirdly proportioned after most of Spring Training. The top four are still super studs, led by Donaldson, but then the dropoff in ADP is a few rounds before Todd Frazier gets selected. Considering third base is usually an important one for Fantasy owners, with plenty of power expected to come from the hot corner, we thought we’d share some updates on the position from this spring before your big drafts!

Anthony Rendon, 2B/3B, Washington Nationals

One of the most anticipated “comeback candidates” this season, Rendon is off to a great start in Spring Training, and it has not gone unnoticed by Fantasy drafts. One of last year’s draft darlings, the 20-20 candidate posted just five home runs and one steal in 80 games in an injury-marred season. He’s batting over .350 in spring; he’s completely healthy, and his dual-eligibility makes him a solid pick near Rounds 5 or 6. Note that on FantasyPros, his ADP sits at Round 8, but most of that is due to his ridiculous Round 12 ADP on ESPN. He cost $19 in last week’s 15-team Tout Wars Mixed League auction, which made him the fifth-most expensive second basemen, and the ninth-most expensive third basemen.

Maikel Franco, Philadelphia Phillies

Is there anyone rocketing up the Average Draft Positions faster than Franco? A broken wrist (from a pitched ball) sidelined him for a couple months last season, although, he did return near the end. But his seven home runs this spring – leading all batters – proves his wrist is healthy, and Fantasy drafters are happy to believe! In Tout Wars, he went for $21, which was just behind Rendon.

Jung-Ho Kang, SS/3B, Pittsburgh Pirates

Coming back from a broken leg and torn meniscus, the Korean sophomore is still working his way back, doing modified base-running drills. While he hasn’t been ruled out for Opening Day, it doesn’t look good. At the very least, he’ll be behind. But he ranked fourth among shortstops in Fantasy points per plate appearance last season, according to CBSSports.com.

Yasmany Tomas, 3B/OF, Arizona Diamondbacks

Tomas is eligible at third base, but he won’t be playing there much this season. The D-Backs have Tomas and Socrates Brito battling it out for the starting left-field position. Through March 24, Tomas is batting .455 with five doubles and three RBI in seven games this spring, and Brito is hitting .348 with four extra-base hits in 15 games. Tomas is likely going to cost you more in a draft, which makes Brito an intriguing late-round option for your outfield.

2016 Fantasy Baseball Third Base Rankings

These Fantasy rankings are mainly for Rotisserie leagues that use home runs, RBI, runs scored, stolen bases and batting averages.

2016 Fantasy Baseball Rankings powered by FantasyPros

Hopefully, if you use our 2016 Fantasy Baseball Third Base Rankings for your Fantasy drafts, they won’t change as much by the end of the season as they did in 2015.

[su_box title=”SCFE 2016 Fantasy Baseball Position Rankings” box_color=”#d75c37″] Overall Top 300 | Catcher |First Base | Second Base | Shortstop | Third Base | Outfield | Starting Pitchers | Relief Pitchers[/su_box]

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David Gonos

David Gonos has been writing about Fantasy Sports online since 2000 – and playing Fantasy Sports since 1989. He has drafted both Curt Warner and Kurt Warner, along with Big Unit and Big Papi. A veteran of hundreds of drafts in the past 15 years alone, Gonos is closely acquainted with sleepers, breakouts and busts – as he has drafted many of all three. He was a Senior Fantasy Writer for CBSSports.com for five years, and he has been columnist on SI.com and FanDuel.com, while also getting published on MLB.com, NFL.com, FoxSports.com and USAToday.com.
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