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I'm taking a preliminary crack at my fantasy baseball top 10 overall players. I'll start positional rankings next week.
1. Matt Kemp, OF, LAD: I'm still not completely okay with Kemp as my No. 1, and I have no idea why, since he led the NL in home runs (39) and RBIs (126) last season and was No. 2 overall in batting average (.324) and No. 5 in stolen bases (40). I think I'm leery because he had a crappy 2010 after a great 2009. Anyway, he's No. 1 for now.
2. Miguel Cabrera, 1B/3B, DET: The Prince Fielder trade concerns me a little if position anxiety gets to Cabrera, but off-the-field problems last spring didn't stop him from having a great 2011. Plus, batting before or after a great lefty slugger will keep pitchers from pitching around Miggy.
3. Albert Pujols, 1B, LAA: Big risk putting him this high, but I like that he landed in the AL. He failed to collect 100 RBIs and a .300 average for the first time in his amazing career last season, which I think worries people, but considering he missed both marks by the slimmest of margins (99 RBIs, .299 average), I'm not ready to panic.
4. Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati: Took a small step back from his 2010 MVP season last year, but should be a good bet for 30 HRs, 100 RBIs and a .300-pluss average. He'll really earn this spot if he runs more, putting up something closer to the 16 SBs he had in 2010 than the eight in 2011.
5. Clayton Kershaw, SP, LAD: How did the Dodgers only manage 82 wins with both Kemp and Kershaw? Has a strong chance to again lead the NL in wins, strikeouts and ERA, and the real key is he'll turn just 24 in March.
6. Prince Fielder, 1B, DET: I'm not convinced his HR totals will suffer much in this pitchers' park, since Comerica's most batter-friendly feature is its right-field line distance of 330 ft. Right field in Milwaukee is deeper than that.
7. Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, BOS: Only Ellsbury could have an MVP-like year but have fantasy owners disappointed about 39 SBs (considering he had 70 two years earlier). Might not be wise to look for another 32 HRs out of him, but he's easily the AL's best fantasy outfielder.
8. Justin Verlander, SP, DET: Three Tigers in my top 10, and Verlander easily could have been higher. I'm just a little cautious about expecting another 24-win, 250-strikeout season.
9. Roy Halladay, SP, PHI: The Philly flop in the playoffs is no reason to be concerned about Mr. Consistency, who should flirt with 20 wins again and get his share of complete games.
10. Robinson Cano, 2B, NYY: His batting average dropped from .319 to .302, but RBIs were up from 109 to 118, and his 81 hits for extra bases is tops at his position.
Just missed the top 10: Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, BOS; Jose Bautista, 3B/OF, TOR; CC Sabathia, SP, NYY; Ian Kennedy, SP, ARI.
* Razzball lists the top 20 fantasy starting pitchers. Halladay gets top honors.
* Rotoworld also ranks the top starters, with Verlander coming in at No. 1.
* CBSSports.com features its top 300 players, with Kemp at No. 4 and Cabrera at No. 1. I can't say I disagree all that much.
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