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Fantasy Fix: First Basemen and First Benchmen

After taking a crack at my preseason overall fantasy baseball top 10 last week, I'll kick off position rankings this week with first basemen. The 1Bs list tends to be the easiest because four or five of them are usually among the top 10 or so players in baseball, but 2012 should be an interesting year, as a few veteran 1Bs get acclimated to new surroundings or new situations, and some young upstarts try to break into the top ranks of the position:

Miguel Cabrera, DET: The No. 1 1B probably will play very little at that position this season, but should still get enough games to keep his 1B/3B eligibility. Lack of speed is his only weakness.

Albert Pujols, LAA: As noted last week, the numbers say he has dropped off slightly, but I think the new scene will do wonders for him.

Joey Votto, CIN: I've toyed with ranking Votto ahead of Pujols, but also behind Fielder and Gonzalez. He hits better than the first two, and has better OBP and SB potential than all three.

Prince Fielder, MIL: I'm going out on a limb to predict 40 HRs and a .300-plus average.

Adrian Gonzalez, BOS: HRs are dropping, but doubles are way up. The second-best pure hitter on this list after Cabrera.

Mark Teixeira, NYY: Potential for 40 HRs, 120 RBIs cancels out a circa .250 average.

Paul Konerko, WHITE SOX: Paulie proved age and a dead line-up couldn't keep him from .300, 31 HRs, 105 RBIs last year. What can he do if Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Gordon Beckam suck even a little less?

Eric Hosmer, KC: The first of my upstarts brings a little speed to the table with potential for .300/25/100.

Michael Morse, WAS: With Pujols and Fielder in the AL now, this former WHITE SOX draft pick could lead all NL 1Bs in HRs.

Lance Berkman, STL: Fat Elvis got in shape and re-booted his career in the process. His average nudges him ahead of the guys listed below:

Just missed the top 10: Ryan Howard, PHI; Carlos Santana, CLE; Kevin Youkilis, BOS; Pablo Sandoval, SF.

Expert Wire
* Full Spectrum Baseball has fantasy baseball's biggest winners and losers of the offseason.

* Fantasy Baseball Dugout lists the top sleeper picks at every position.

* Bleacher Report ranks the top 15 fantasy catchers.

Mob Scene
The Bulls have their Bench Mob, and you need one, too. I'm not saying these guys should be fantasy starters on the nights when the entire NBA is playing, but they make good pick-ups for those nights of the week when your starters are off and you need stats to keep pace with the competition:

Jeremy Lin, PG, NJ: Shooting FGs around .500, delivering more than 13 PPG.

Greivis Vasquez, PG/SG, NO: Averaging about 13 PPG and almost 7 APG over the last two weeks.

Daequan Cook, SG/SF, OKC: Averaging 2.5 3PG the last two weeks and will get the odd block.

Marcus Camby, C, DEN: Who else could go for 20 rebounds and zero points, as he did one game last week? Who else averaged 12.4 RPG and 2.6 BPG the last two weeks?

Alonszo Gee, SG/SF, CLE: A minutes boost lately has seen him average 14.3 PPG and 2 SPG the last few games.


Send your comments to Disco Danny O'Shea.

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