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Top fantasy first basemen for 2020

February 19, 2020

You know why you're here. It's not for stolen bases. You came for the dingers. These are the best fantasy first basemen for 2020. • Complete 2020 fantasy rankings From perennial top options like Freddie Freeman and Paul Goldschmidt to breakout stars like Pete Alonso and Josh Bell, there's a

You know why you're here. It's not for stolen bases. You came for the dingers.

These are the best fantasy first basemen for 2020.

Complete 2020 fantasy rankings

From perennial top options like Freddie Freeman and Paul Goldschmidt to breakout stars like Pete Alonso and Josh Bell, there's a wealth of big bats at this position. But who's going to be the cream of the first-base crop this year, and who's maybe a level below?

Here's how the fantasy tiers break down for first basemen entering the 2020 season. Player positions are based on where they played the most games in 2019. Projections are courtesy of Steamer.

Tier 1: Freddie Freeman, Pete Alonso
The first-base beasts come from the National League East. Freeman is one of the best hitters in the league every year, and you should expect no different from the Braves cornerstone in 2020. Freeman does it all at the plate. Over the last four seasons, he's a .303 hitter and has averaged 31 home runs, including a career-high 38 in 2019. Plus, he's in the middle of the reigning NL East division champs' lineup, a great place to be -- just look at Freeman's personal-best 121 RBIs and 113 runs scored last season.

Then there's Alonso, last year's runaway NL Rookie of the Year and the reigning MLB home run king. "Polar Bear" Pete's 53 home runs set a new MLB rookie record and Mets franchise record, and he's projected to outslug the rest of the National League again in 2020. Look for 40-plus home runs and 100-plus RBIs from Alonso.

Tier 2: Anthony Rizzo, José Abreu, Paul Goldschmidt, Matt Olson
Olson is a rising star among first basemen, and the 25-year-old lefty can slug with the best of them. After increasing his home run total from 24 to 29 to 36 from 2017-19, Olson should breeze past the 30-homer mark again in '20, and he has 40-homer potential. His RBI totals should look good, too, although his batting average is more in the .250 range.

Rizzo, Abreu and Goldschmidt are pretty much as rock-solid as they come. Goldschmidt might not be quite the Tier 1 option he was in years past, but he should be in the 30-homer range as usual, approach 100 RBIs and bounce back in the batting average department after an usual .260 last year. Rizzo's in the same boat -- expectations should be a high batting average, 30 or so home runs, 100 or so RBIs. And Abreu always seems to hit that 30/100 combo -- he's had at least that many homers and RBIs in four of his six MLB seasons, and he's a .293 career hitter, too.

Tier 3: Carlos Santana, Josh Bell, Rhys Hoskins
The Tier 3 first basemen just have a few more question marks or drawbacks than the pillars of the position. Santana is an on-base machine, but he doesn't have as much power upside as higher-tier first-base options (25-30 HRs would still be a good total for him though), and he's older than the players ranked above him as he enters his age-34 season. One thing he has going for him though: He's a rock out there, playing 150-plus games in seven straight seasons and 140-plus in all nine of his full years in the big leagues. And you could do worse than batting in an Indians order with Francisco Lindor and José Ramírez.

Bell was an out-of-nowhere monster for the Pirates in the first half of 2019, and even after he slumped a little in the second half the 27-year-old lefty slugger finished with a .277 average, 37 home runs, 116 RBIs and 94 runs scored. The thing is, he'd never had a season close to that before (previous high: 26 homers, 90 RBIs in '17), and the Pirates' offense doesn't offer great opportunity. Hoskins has a lot of power -- he's projected to reach 35 home runs this season -- but the 26-year-old is a low-average hitter. He batted just .226 last year and has a career .239 mark over three big league seasons.

Tier 4: Yuli Gurriel, Edwin Encarnación
Age is the main factor working against Gurriel and Encarnación in Tier 4. Gurriel is entering his age-36 season, and Encarnación is 37. But if they defy their age -- and, hey, if Nelson Cruz can do it, maybe they can, too -- they could put up more than solid fantasy production.

Gurriel just had a career year for the Astros with 31 home runs and 104 RBIs -- his first time reaching the 30-homer and 100-RBI plateaus -- and he's always in the .290-.300 batting average range. The Astros' lineup is as deep and star-studded as it gets, so his situation is ideal.

Encarnación joins an up-and-coming White Sox team that could be ready for its breakout in 2020. Even though he's entering his late 30s, that hasn't stopped him from crushing home runs at a high level. Encarnación's been amazingly consistent in the power department, hitting 30-plus homers in eight consecutive seasons -- the only player in MLB to have done so. He won't give you much batting average though.

Tier 5: Luke Voit, Joey Votto, Eric Hosmer, Daniel Murphy
It's a little sad to see Votto all the way down in Tier 5, but it's undeniable that the Reds' former MVP has declined sharply in the last two seasons, especially from a fantasy standpoint. Votto's home run totals from 2018-19? Twelve and 15, respectively. And the near-perennial .300 hitter's batting average dropped to .284 and .261, respectively. Votto's also 36 years old now. But if anyone can adjust and rebound, it's him … and it was just a few seasons ago in '17 that he was hitting at a fantasy MVP level, with a .320 batting average, 36 homers, 100 RBIs and 106 runs scored.

Murphy, like Votto, has seen his production slip since his superstar 2016-17 run, when he was a high-.300s, 25-homer type of hitter. He's entering his age-35 season, he's been plagued by injury and his peak was a lot shorter than Votto's … but, hey, he gets to hit at Coors Field. Hosmer's ground balls and contact-hitting style limit his power upside, but he should be good for 20-25 homers even if his ceiling isn't that high. His batting average tends to be hit or miss.

Voit is a boom-or-bust option. The starting first baseman in a stacked Yankees lineup should be in line for plenty of stat-padding chances, and Voit was awesome for the Bronx Bombers after arriving from St. Louis in mid-2018. But the big 29-year-old slumped as he dealt with multiple injuries last season and that brief standout run isn't exactly sustained fantasy success. So you don't know what you're going to get. It could be 20 homers, it could not be.

David Adler is a reporter for based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.