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2019 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Catcher

Sporting News — (Matt Lutovsky)

There isn't much to say about our 2019 catcher rankings. Fantasy baseball owners already know the drill: Don't overdraft a backstop , especially if you don't get one of the top guys -- and even the top-tier guys might not be all that good this year. There are some homers available, but average and homers? Almost certainly not. The "sleepers", which are really just some potentially undervalued middle-of-the-road veterans and a few prospects who don't inspire a ton of hope this early in their careers, aren't anything to get excited about either. You don't need a draft cheat sheet as much as you just need to jot a few names down on a Post-It. 

The No. 1 catcher is a real debate. Many will opt for Gary Sanchez, but power hitters who undergo shoulder surgery are always a worry -- especially ones who hit .186 last season. Perhaps he's fully healthy now and ready to pop 30-plus HRs again, but he's a risk. Yasmani Grandal might actually be the best bet for homers, and his move the hitter-friendly Milwaukee could easily lead to a career high. However, it's likely going to come with a sub-.250 average. J.T. Realmuto seems like the safest bet for a solid average and 20-plus homers (and maybe even a few stolen bases). Salvador Perez will hit homers and drive in runs, but if you're in an OBP league, tread lightly.

2019 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers:
Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Each team

Willson Contreras is a major bounce-back candidate, and Buster Posey will hit for average and might have one more solid run/RBI season in him, but after that, you're throwing a penny in a wishing well. Danny Jansen, Francisco Mejia, and Jorge Alfaro are interesting young players, but playing time is an issue for Mejia while Jansen and Alfaro both have limited ceilings this early in their respective careers.

2019 Fantasy Baseball Rankings Tiers, Draft Strategy
Catcher | First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | StarterCloser

One notable player, at least in weekly leagues, is Detroit's John Hicks, who's slated to be an everyday DH. How long that lasts is anyone's guess, but at a position as thin as catcher, more games can make a difference. (Update: With Josh Harrison now in Detroit, Hicks will likely need an injury to be an everyday DH.)

2019 Fantasy Baseball Rankings:
First | Second | Third | Short | Outfield | Starter | Reliever | Top 300

Yes, that's how weak catcher is -- we're actually highlighting a career .251/.304/.398 hitter as a potential sleeper just because he'll play an extra game per week. Good're gonna need it.

DOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: Ultimate 2019 cheat sheet

Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Catcher

These rankings are for standard 5x5, non-keeper leagues. Eligibility based on Yahoo default settings.

RankingPlayerTeamOther eligiblity
1J.T. RealmutoPhillies1B
2Yasmani GrandalBrewers
3Gary SanchezYankees
4Willson ContrerasCubs
5Buster PoseyGiants1B
6Wilson RamosMets
7Yadier MolinaCardinals
8Welington CastilloWhite Sox
9Robinson ChirinosAstros
10Yan GomesNationals
11Danny JansenBlue Jays
12Jorge AlfaroMarlins
13Francisco MejiaPadres
14Mike ZuninoRays
15Willians AstudilloTwins
16Austin BarnesDodgers
17Martin MaldonadoRoyals
18Austin HedgesPadres
19Chris IannettaRockies
20Jonathan LucroyAngels
21Francisco CervelliPirates
22Tucker BarnhartReds1B
23John HicksTigers1B
24Kurt SuzukiNationals
25Omar NarvaezMariners
26Tyler FlowersBraves
27Chance SiscoOrioles
28Isiah Kiner-FalefaRangers2B, 3B
29Brian McCannBraves
30Elias DiazPirates
31Josh PhegleyA's
32Alex AvilaDiamondbacks
33Roberto PerezIndians
34Jason CastroTwins
35Russell MartinDodgers