Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

2017 fantasy All-Stars: NL edition

Posey, Bellinger among Senior Circuit's best fantasy assets in first half
MLB.com

Rosters have been announced and final preparations are underway for the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard. And while fantasy value will never determine the participants for the Midsummer Classic, owners may gain some knowledge of the current landscape by checking out the top fantasy producers at each position through this point in the season. Without further ado, here are your 2017 National League All-Stars.

Buster Posey, catcher, Giants
One of the most reliable fantasy assets, Posey has once again paced the NL catcher pool during the first half of the season. In fact, the 30-year-old has been so effective from an individual perspective (.331 average, .923 OPS across 300 plate appearances) that he has managed to join this squad despite compiling just 35 RBIs while batting in a lineup that ranks 28th in baseball with 334 runs scored.

Rosters have been announced and final preparations are underway for the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard. And while fantasy value will never determine the participants for the Midsummer Classic, owners may gain some knowledge of the current landscape by checking out the top fantasy producers at each position through this point in the season. Without further ado, here are your 2017 National League All-Stars.

Buster Posey, catcher, Giants
One of the most reliable fantasy assets, Posey has once again paced the NL catcher pool during the first half of the season. In fact, the 30-year-old has been so effective from an individual perspective (.331 average, .923 OPS across 300 plate appearances) that he has managed to join this squad despite compiling just 35 RBIs while batting in a lineup that ranks 28th in baseball with 334 runs scored.

Video: Zinkie discusses fantasy buy-low options

Paul Goldschmidt, first baseman, D-backs
Not only does Goldschmidt sit atop the NL first basemen list, but he's also been arguably the No. 1 NL fantasy hitter to this point in 2017. Even in a season that has been flush with sluggers, Goldschmidt has stayed ahead of the pack by mixing elite plate skills (.315 average, 19 homers across 302 at-bats) with outstanding speed (13 steals) and run production (NL-leading 72 runs, MLB-leading 66 RBIs).

:: Complete All-Star Game coverage ::

Daniel Murphy, 2B/1B, Nationals
The first of four Nationals on this list, Murphy has proven that his 2016 breakout season was no fluke by hitting .341 with 14 homers and 60 RBIs across 308 at-bats this year. The 32-year-old ranks among the most stable second-half assets due to his outstanding plate skills and lineup spot behind star sluggers Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman.

Jake Lamb, third baseman, D-backs
Lamb has tormented pitchers during the first half for a second straight season, this time producing 18 homers, 65 RBIs and a .916 OPS across 351 plate appearances. As part of a D-backs lineup that ranks fifth in baseball with 435 runs scored, the slugger has the necessary supporting cast to stay ahead of Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado -- provided he can avoid a repeat of his second-half fade (.197/.283/.380 slash line) from a year ago.

Video: Fantasy 411 with Fred Zinkie

Trea Turner, SS/2B/OF, Nationals
Turner overcame inconsistencies at the dish during the first half (.239 average, .630 OPS in May) by using his fleet feet to make a major fantasy impact. But the Major League leader in steals (35) unfortunately has little chance of being part of this list at the end of the season due to a right wrist fracture that will keep him off the field for much of the second half.

Charlie Blackmon, outfielder, Rockies
Blackmon has turned in an excellent follow-up to his stellar 2016 campaign, hitting .311 with 18 homers, 59 RBIs and 67 runs scored across 387 plate appearances this season. As the sparkplug atop a potent Rockies lineup, the outfielder could rank as the top overall second-half asset if he can combine his excellent bat work with the baserunning aggressiveness he showed while swiping 71 bases across 2014-15.

Bryce Harper, outfielder, Nationals
Harper has faded some after playing at a furious pace in April (.391/.509/.772), but he's still notched a sterling .293/.391/.520 slash line since the outset of May. As the linchpin in a dominant Nationals lineup, the 24-year-old has the skills and supporting cast to challenge for the status of top fantasy hitter at the conclusion of this campaign.

Video: Zinkie on American League All-Star fantasy risers

Cody Bellinger, OF/1B, Dodgers
The eye-popping statistics amassed by Bellinger (24 homers, 56 RBIs) become even more astonishing upon noticing that he did not make his big league debut until April 25. Simply put, the 21-year-old has stolen the show from Senior Circuit stalwarts such as Goldschmidt and Harper by producing long balls at a rate rarely seen from such a young player. And while a measure of per-game regression is likely coming, Bellinger could rank among the elite fantasy hitters even if he tails off some.

Max Scherzer, starter, Nationals
Fantasy owners who ignored Scherzer's Spring Training finger injury have been rewarded with arguably the top overall fantasy asset to this point in the season. In a year with few ace-level starters, Scherzer and his 10-5 record, 1.94 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and 12.2 K/9 rate are as valuable as any position player.

Clayton Kershaw, starter, Dodgers
Owners who tabbed Kershaw early in 2017 drafts have thus far received another one of his typically dominant years (13-2 record, 2.19 ERA, 0.89 WHIP). And although the 29-year-old has sometimes been overshadowed this year by the head-turning strikeout totals of Scherzer and Chris Sale, he could easily finish the season as the most productive fantasy pitcher.

Video: ARI@LAD: Kershaw tosses 6 1/3 no-hit innings, K's 11

Alex Wood, starter, Dodgers
Wood is the second of three Los Angeles hurlers to earn a spot on this squad, and he is by far the most surprising member after entering the season with a lifetime 1.27 WHIP and 8.2 K/9 rate. The left-hander has followed the lead of his southpaw rotation-mate Kershaw, handcuffing batters (.174 opponents' batting average) while producing a 9-0 record, a 1.67 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP.

Kenley Jansen, reliever, Dodgers
As good as Jansen has been in years past, 2017 may be his best season yet. While compiling saves (20-for-20 in 2017) and posting low ratios (1.01 ERA, 0.59 WHIP) are common occurrences for the closer, he has taken his strike-zone mastery to another level by producing a 56-to-2 K/BB ratio this year.

On Tuesday, July 11 at 7:30 p.m. ET, tune in to the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2017 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. The 88th All-Star Game, in Miami, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB.