Fantasy Baseball 2018: Multi-position-eligible hitters to target

TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 20: Whit Merrifield

Players that you can slot into various positions on your roster are an underrated asset in fantasy baseball.

There is an argument that players with multi-position eligibility should be given more of a boost on draft day. All teams, whether real life and fantasy, will have injuries. The option of shuffling your roster without resorting to waivers to pick up a replacement is an underrated bonus.

On most fantasy baseball platforms, the eligibility qualification for a hitter is 20 appearances at that position during the previous season. That is the rule with ESPN and CBS, but unfortunately, Yahoo complicates matters. Their rules are “A player will gain eligibility after five starts at that position, or 10 total appearances at that position”.

ESPN = 20 games
CBS = 20 games
YAHOO = 10 games (or five starts)

For this article, we used 20 appearances as the threshold to qualify for a position. We have also referred to this as position-eligibility in ESPN/CBS leagues.

Any player with 10-19 appearances, is deemed to have qualified at that position in Yahoo leagues. There are a few others that have position-eligibility on Yahoo via the “five-starts” rule.

The rules for gaining in-season eligibility at a new position vary between platforms, but in this article, we are only concerned with the player’s position eligibility on draft day.

The final point to mention is that this list is not exhaustive. We have focused on players most likely to have fantasy impact. For instance, we haven’t mentioned Ryon Healy (eligible at 1B and 3B), Adam Lind (1B/OF), Darwin Barney (2B/3B), John Jaso (1B/OF), Daniel Descalso (2B/OF) or Ryan Rua (1B/OF).

PHOENIX, AZ – SEPTEMBER 25: Buster Posey

Multi-position-eligible catchers

No position contributes less offense than catcher. Last season, the 12th best catcher posted .660 OPS (min 400 PA), compared to 0.776 OPS from the 12th best shortstop.

It is unlikely that you will choose to use a multi-eligible catcher at another position unless a run of injuries forces your decision. Obviously, if a catcher can get a few extra at-bats at another position, it will help them accumulate a few more counting stats.

Giants’ Buster Posey qualifies at catcher and first base in all leagues. Unless you have the good fortune to also own the Yankees’ catcher Gary Sanchez, it is difficult to see a scenario where you will roster Posey at first base. His near-guaranteed ability to hit above .300 has value in many leagues, but it will take a significant investment on draft day to secure his services. Joe Mauer, eligible only at first base, could offer similar production 250 picks later. Their second-half production last year was almost identical.

In Yahoo leagues, the Blue Jays’ Russell Martin has 3B-eligibility, and the Marlins’ J.T. Realmuto qualifies at first base.

The Dodgers’ Austin Barnes made 21 appearances at second base. Perhaps it keeps his bat in the lineup for a few extra games, but you will still want to slot him in at catcher. The Barnes (0.419 OBP) vs. Yasmani Grandal (0.292 OBP) battle will be interesting this season.

Diamondbacks’ catcher Chris Herrmann will only be rostered in the deepest of leagues, but even then, it is unlikely that his outfield eligibility offers any value.

31-year-old Evan Gattis made 49 appearances behind the plate in 2017, so will keep his catcher-eligibility. This is a huge boost to his fantasy value, especially as he is expected to be the Astros’ first-choice designated hitter in 2018.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 27: Rhys Hoskins

Multi-position-eligible first basemen

There are very few high-end first basemen that qualify at a second position. Cody Bellinger and Rhys Hoskins are the only 1B/OF-eligible hitters guaranteed to be taken in the first 100 picks.

Based on the second half of last season, there is very little to choose between 1B/OF-eligible Hoskins and 1B-only Edwin Encarnacion. Perhaps the additional flexibility that Hoskins offers to allow you to slot him into the outfield will prove decisive on draft day.

Looking further down the draft board, Eric Thames and Ian Desmond are 1B/OF-eligible and will be owned in all formats.

Orioles’ Trey Mancini is also 1B/OF-eligible after recording at least 20 appearances at both first base and in the outfield. In his first full Major League season, the 25-year-old hit .293 with 24 home runs. He is expected to patrol left field in Baltimore this season.

In deeper leagues, the Cardinals’ Jose Martinez and Pirates’ Jose Osuna will also have dual 1B/OF-eligibility. Neither are expected to be in the Opening Day lineup for their team, but Martinez is particularly intriguing if he can find a way to regular at-bats. The 29-year-old hit .309 with 14 home runs and .897 OPS in 272 at-bats last season.

It is unlikely that you will play Astros’ versatile Marwin Gonzalez at first base, but we will discuss the multi-position-eligible switch-hitter later in the article.

Such is the lack of multi-position eligibility in 2018, that Rangers’ slugger Joey Gallo enters the season as the highest profile player with 1B/3B-eligibility. It is worth noting, that if you play on Yahoo, then Gallo is also eligible in the outfield.

In deeper leagues, maybe the dual 1B/3B-eligibility of Chase Headley, Luis Valbuena or Wilmer Flores could be useful.

The position is very deep, but it is worth noting that Daniel Murphy (3B), Travis Shaw (3B) and Brad Miller (2B) have all lost 1B-eligibility.

CINCINNATI, OH – AUGUST 06: Matt Carpenter

Multi-position-eligible first basemen in Yahoo leagues

The lower threshold of 1B-eligibility in Yahoo leagues gives Brandon Belt, Matt Olson, Jay Bruce and Matt Adams dual 1B/OF-eligibility. If you play on multiple platforms, you need to ensure that you don’t get caught out when drafting these players in ESPN/CBS leagues. Bruce is only OF-eligible and the other trio only 1B-eligible in non-Yahoo leagues.

Although the Yahoo format dilutes position scarcity, the platform will give fantasy baseball players three very interesting decisions this season.

Second base is weak this year, and Cubs’ superstar Anthony Rizzo made 10 appearances there last season, which will make him the most valuable player at the position behind Jose Altuve. That should push him firmly into the first round of Yahoo drafts.

Although third base is far deeper than second base, Freddie Freeman’s 16 appearances at the hot corner to give 1B/3B-eligibility, will give him additional value in Yahoo leagues on draft day.

The final player to get a significant boost on Yahoo compared to the other platforms is Cardinals’ Matt Carpenter. Although he is only 1B-eligible on ESPN/CBS, he will retain 2B and 3B-eligibility on Yahoo. Expect the 32-year-old to be drafted far earlier in Yahoo leagues than on other platforms.

With no starting position, Carpenter’s teammate Jedd Gyorko appears to have a future as bench-player. He is only eligible at third base on ESPN/CBS but, like Carpenter, Gyorko has 1B/2B/3B-eligibility in Yahoo leagues.

Of the group of hitters who only qualify at first base due to Yahoo’s lower requirements, the Twins’ Miguel Sano (1B/3B) is the only player with mixed-league viability. The others are of more interest in deep Yahoo leagues: Chase Utley (1B/2B), Neil Walker (1B/2B), Matt Davidson (1B/3B) and Steve Pearce (1B/OF).

CLEVELAND, OH – OCTOBER 01: Jose Ramirez

Multi-position-eligible second basemen

Second base could be the worst position in fantasy baseball this season. In our recent article looking at the top-100 ADP, fewer 2B-eligible players appeared on the list than any other position except catcher.

It is likely that you will only want to play the hitters featured below in your 2B or MI slot, regardless of their multi-position eligibility.

The Indians’ Jose Ramirez is the highest ranked player with eligibility in more than one position across all platforms. Although the switch-hitter lost OF-eligibility, he qualifies at second base and third base for the 2018 season.

Cubs’ Javier Baez, Reds’ Jose Peraza and Cardinals’ Paul DeJong will all have the useful dual 2B/SS-eligibility. Whether you are hoping to get power from DeJong, speed from Peraza or a mixture of both from Baez, the additional positions will certainly help.

Logan Forsythe, Josh Harrison and Yolmer Sanchez have dual 2B/3B eligibility. This is not as valuable as qualifying at second base and shortstop, but it will be handy if you have a roster squeeze.

Astros’ Marwin Gonzalez has 1B, 2B, SS & OF-eligibility in ESPN/CBS leagues. He adds 3B-eligibility in Yahoo leagues.

Eduardo Nunez has dual 2B/3B-eligibility on ESPN/CBS, but in Yahoo leagues, he gets an extra boost of additional eligibility at shortstop and outfield.

If you play in deep leagues where versatility is of most importance, there are three under-the-radar hitters you need to know about as they will have triple-eligibility at second, third and shortstop in all leagues: Jose Reyes, Yangervis Solarte and Asdrubal Cabrera. Don’t forget that when he returned from injury on August 26, Reyes hit .317 with six home runs and 10 stolen bases in the final five weeks of the season.

The Diamondbacks’ Chris Owings also has three position eligibility in all leagues. The 26-year-old hit .268 with 12 home runs and 12 stolen bases in 97 games. He qualifies at 2B, SS & OF to start the season.

Staying with Diamondbacks, Brandon Drury is only 2B-eligible in 2018, having lost his 3B & OF-eligibility. With .764 OPS and 12 home runs in 135 games, it was not a great season, but he is only 25-years-old.

Two Cubs, Ben Zobrist and Ian Happ, both have 2B & OF-eligibility. The Dodgers’ Chris Taylor also qualifies at 2B & OF, but if you play on Yahoo, he adds SS-eligibility as well.

WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 10: Trea Turner

Players losing 2B-eligibility

The biggest loss to the position is Nationals’ Trea Turner, who loses qualification at both second base and outfield to become only SS-eligible.

The Mariners’ Jean Segura’s value takes a dent by also losing 2B-eligibility. He will only qualify at shortstop and, with the arrival of Dee Gordon in Seattle, Segura is likely to lose his leadoff spot and will not see any time at second base if veteran Robinson Cano needs a break.

Further down the food chain, The Cardinals’ Jedd Gyorko loses both 2B & SS eligibility in ESPN/CBS leagues, retaining just 3B. In Yahoo leagues, the 29-year-old will have 1B, 2B & 3B-eligibility.

Padres’ Cory Spangenberg will give you double-digit home runs and stolen bases, but it will be from third base or the outfield as he loses 2B-eligibility in 2018.

Howie Kendrick’s run of second base eligibility in every one of this 12 seasons in the majors comes to an end in 2018. He will start the season with only OF-eligibility (unless you play in Yahoo leagues, where his 15 games at second base will give him 2B-eligibility).

Brewers’ Hernan Perez loses 2B and SS-eligibility in ESPN/CBS leagues to remain 3B/OF-eligible, although the 26-year-old retains eligibility at all four positions on Yahoo.

Willie Calhoun hit 33 home runs as a 22-year-old in Triple-A last season. He debuted for the Rangers in September and is expected to be a feature in their lineup this year. Unfortunately, he has lost his 2B-eligibility and is unlikely to regain it in-season. The left-handed slugger will be OF-only.

Regression is surely on the cards for Tim Beckham after hitting .306 AVG with 0.871 OPS since moving to the Orioles at the trade deadline. Beckham loses 2B-eligibility to be SS-only. He has an excellent pedigree as the first overall pick in the 2008 draft, but his previous MLB experience resulted in .236 AVG with 30.5% strikeout rate.

LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 15: Anthony Rizzo

Multi-position-eligible second basemen in Yahoo leagues

Among the Yahoo anomalies are Jason Kipnis and Whit Merrifield who are both only 2B-eligible in most leagues but add OF-eligibility in Yahoo leagues.

The Reds’ Scooter Gennett is also only 2B-eligible on ESPN/CBS but qualifies at third base and in the outfield in Yahoo leagues.

Of course, as mentioned early in the article, potentially the biggest difference between the platforms is Anthony Rizzo’s additional 2B-eligibility in Yahoo leagues.

Delving deeper, Neil Walker and Chase Utley are currently free agents, but when they secure employment, they will only be 2B-eligible in most leagues, but get a small boost of additional 1B-eligibility in Yahoo leagues.

We need to talk about Marwin Gonzalez. It looks like he will be a must-own player in all leagues. He has eligibility at four positions on ESPN/CBS but the Astros’ star made 19 appearances at third base last season, so he will have 5-position 1B, 2B, 3B, SS & OF-eligibility in Yahoo leagues.

Wilmer Flores gains 2B-eligibility on the Yahoo platform only. In all other leagues, Flores qualifies at first and third base only.

The Brewers led the NL in stolen bases last season but their speedster Hernan Perez was unable to match the 34 bags he swiped in 2016. His value takes a hit as he is projected to steal fewer than 20 bases. He is slightly more valuable in Yahoo leagues where he is a four-position-eligible player by adding 2B & SS-eligibility to the 3B/OF-eligibility he has in ESPN/CBS leagues.

After a breakout season where he hit 21 home runs, Twins’ Eduardo Escobar is a more interesting player to own in Yahoo leagues where he has 2B, 3B & SS-eligibility compared to ESPN/CBS leagues where he only qualifies at the hot corner.

KANSAS CITY, MO – SEPTEMBER 27: Nicholas Castellanos

Multi-position-eligible third basemen

Third base is deep, but first base is deeper. If you are rostering Joey Gallo, Luis Valbuena or Chase Headley, then you will probably be starting them at third base rather than first.

We have already mentioned that Jose Ramirez’s dual 2B/3B-eligibility gives him the status as the highest ranked player who qualifies at two positions. The disappointment of slugging just .100 in the postseason should not overshadow Ramirez’s excellent year. For the second straight season he hit over .300, but last year he produced even more power with 29 home runs and league-leading 56 doubles. The ability to slot him in at second base is hugely valuable in fantasy baseball this season.

Another third baseman with a boost to his draft day value due to additional position eligibility is Astros’ Alex Bregman. The 23-year-old hit .315 with 11 home runs, nine stolen bases and .903 OPS in the second half of the season. He could be a five-category fantasy baseball superstar if he can maintain that production for a full season. Bregman starts the year with 3B & SS-eligibility in all leagues.

Nicholas Castellanos had 101 RBI last season. He hit 26 home runs with 10 triples and 36 doubles. He starts the 2018 season with dual 3B/OF-eligibility. There is little to choose between the depth in either position, but the flexibility Castellanos offers should push him up your rankings.

Kris Bryant only made 11 outfield appearances last season, so will only be 3B-eligible in all leagues except Yahoo.

If you do own multi-position-eligible Logan Forsythe, Josh Harrison, Yolmer Sanchez, Eduardo Nunez, Jose Reyes, Yangervis Solarte or Asdrubal Cabrera, then third base looks to be the least attractive of their eligible positions.

CHICAGO, IL – SEPTEMBER 22: Yoan Moncada

Players losing 3B-eligibility

Generally, a player’s value is unaffected when they lose 3B-eligibility, as they tend to retain eligibility in an equally or more valuable position.

The biggest loss to the position is Matt Carpenter, who will only be 1B-eligible (except in Yahoo leagues). Last season, he walked over 100 times with 23 home runs. The dip in his batting average will probably be corrected with a little more BABIP fortune in 2018. Carpenter has value in all formats, especially in points leagues, but much of that value will erode with only eligibility at first base.

White Sox rookie sensation Yoan Moncada also loses his 3B-eligibility, although he is far more valuable at second base. The Cuban hit .231 with eight home in 54 games last season, so he will be available at a value on draft day as his former top prospect shine disappears. Don’t forget he is only 22-years-old and could be a top-20 player as soon as this season.

Astros’ Cuban first baseman Yuli Gurriel loses his 3B-eligibility and is facing a five-game ban at the start of the season. He only made four starts at third base last season, so he should only have 1B-eligibility in Yahoo leagues as well.

Chris Taylor was one of the best waiver picks last season. The Dodgers utility-player hit 21 home runs with 72 RBI and swiped 17 stolen bases. He finished the season with four position eligibility but loses 3B & SS this year, to start as 2B/OF-eligible (although he retains SS-eligibility in Yahoo leagues).

In this era of declining stolen bases, the 2016 leader will be available at a good value in this year’s drafts. Not everyone will remember that the Brewers’ Jonathan Villar swiped 62 bags, which contributed to his ADP of 30. With only 23 stolen bases in 2017 and 72 OPS+, he disappointed everyone who drafted him, which is why he will be dropping down draft boards this season. Although Villar loses 3B-eligibility this year, he retains the far more value 2B-eligibility.

Other players losing 3B-eligibility include Javier Baez (2B/SS), Scooter Gennett (2B), Brandon Drury (2B), Jurickson Profar (OF) and Enrique Hernandez (SS/OF).

ATLANTA, GA – JULY 14: Freddie Freeman

Third base Yahoo anomalies

The most significant third base difference between Yahoo and ESPN/CBS leagues is the 3B-eligibility of Freddie Freeman. The Braves’ first baseman slashed .307/.403/.586 with 28 home runs. He missed 45 games but produced at 39 home run and 98 RBI pace. The 27-year-old is a potential first-rounder, and this dual-position-eligibility could be very beneficial in giving you greater flexibility with your first two picks in Yahoo leagues.

Matt Carpenter’s multi-position-eligibility at 1B, 2B and 3B in Yahoo leagues will give him a significant boost compared to when he is only 1B-eligible in ESPN/CBS leagues.

Cubs’ Javier Baez contributed with the bat as well as his renowned glove last season. The Puerto Rican hit .276 AVG with 23 home runs with 75 runs, 75 RBI and 10 stolen bases, as he contributed in all five categories. The 25-year-old is 2B/SS-eligible in ESPN/CBS leagues but also has 3B-eligibility on Yahoo.

Another player who only retains his 3B-eligibility in Yahoo leagues is Scooter Gennett. The 27-year-old is best remembered for his four-homer game vs. Cincinnati in June. He slashed .295/.342/.531 in a career year last season and is only 2B-eligible in ESPN/CBS leagues.

Dodgers’ Enrique Hernandez grabbed the headlines in the NLCS with four home runs against the Cubs. It was the highlight of a disappointing year in which he hit .215 in 140 regular season games. The 26-year-old has SS/OF-eligibility in all formats but also retains 3B-eligibility in Yahoo leagues.

Jose Bautista just failed to secure 3B-eligibility on Yahoo. The 37-year-old made four starts in eight appearances at third base, so will remain OF-only in all formats.

LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 31: Alex Bregman

Multi-position-eligible shortstops

Arguably shortstop is even more shallow in 2018 than second base. Last season, Jose Reyes was the 20th best second baseman but the 16th best shortstop. It’s not rocket science, but it’s a way to show the comparable depth.

Although not multi-position, the biggest addition to the shortstop position is Trea Turner. He was 2B/OF-eligible to start last season but is only SS-eligible in 2018.

There are several elite talents the top end of the position: Turner, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa and Corey Seager. These four players will all be taken in the first couple of rounds.

Just behind these four are Elvis Andrus (last season’s top shortstop according to the ESPN Player Rater), Alex Bregman, Xander Bogaerts and Jean Segura. That is a solid top 8.

Fantasy owners benefited from the injury to Astros’ shortstop Carlos Correa, which enabled Bregman to retain dual 3B/SS-eligibility in 2018.

The Blue Jays’ new acquisition, Yangervis Solarte is one of a handful of SS-eligible players who qualify at other positions. Solarte, Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera all have 2B/3B/SS-eligibility.

Diamondbacks’ Chris Owings will start the season with 2B and OF to go with his SS-eligibility. Cardinals’ Paul DeJong and Nats’ Wilmer Difo are SS and 2B-eligible.

Tim Beckham provided unexpected value from the second base and shortstop positions, after his move to the Orioles when he hit .395 with six home runs and 1.062 OPS in August. The 27-year-old will only have SS-eligibility on the main platforms but retains 2B on Yahoo.

BALTIMORE, MD – JUNE 06: Manny Machado

Shortstops: players losing eligibility and Yahoo anomalies

Shortstop is such a weak position, so even mid-ranked players losing SS-eligibility has impact in the shallowest mixed leagues.

With Manny Machado failing to make a single appearance at shortstop, the position loses one of its best producers. The Orioles’ superstar will start the season as 3B-eligible only, regardless of whether or not he is traded away from Baltimore.

Chris Taylor was one of the best SS-eligible players last season but he with only 14 appearances at shortstop, he will lose eligibility in ESPN/CBS leagues, where he will qualify at 2B and OF.

Another player losing SS-eligibility in most leagues is Eduardo Nunez. You can slot him in at 2B or 3B in ESPN/CBS leagues, but he will retain SS/OF-eligibility on Yahoo.

With 50 home runs over the last two seasons, the Cardinals’ Jedd Gyorko was a useful source of middle-infield power but loses SS-eligibility for 2018. He has 3B-eligibility on ESPN/CBS but is 1B/2B/3B-eligible in Yahoo leagues.

Rays’ Brad Miller hit 30 home runs in 2016 but failed to reach double-digits last season. He will only qualify at 2B this season, having lost 1B and SS-eligibility. He will need to hit over .201 if he is to regain any fantasy value.

If Miguel Sano is suspended at the start of the season, expect Eduardo Escobar to get the majority of at-bats at the hot corner. Escobar lost SS-eligibility, so will start the season with 3B-only. Unless you play in Yahoo leagues where he has three-position 2B/3B/SS-eligibility.

Braves’ rookie Ozzie Albies made an impressive but low key debut last year. In 217 at-bats, he hit six home runs with eight stolen bases and .286 AVG. Albies posted 112 OPS+ (that’s 12% better than a league-average player), and he was only 20-years-old. After failing to make an appearance at shortstop, he has lost SS-eligibility and will enter the 2018 season only qualifying at second base.

PITTSBURGH, PA – JUNE 14: Ian Desmond

Multi-position-eligible outfielders

In ESPN/CBS leagues, the number of multi-position eligible players is lower this year than in previous seasons. A player with dual-position eligibility should be more valuable.

Perhaps 1B/OF-eligibility will boost the value of Rockies’ Ian Desmond. The ability to be able to slot him at first base or in the outfield could make him a more appealing draft day pick than 1B-only eligible Wil Myers or Justin Smoak. All three players are expected to be taken in the same part of the draft.

Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins and Rookie of the Year winner Cody Bellinger are the two highest-profile hitters with both 1B and OF-eligibility. Although not exciting the fantasy world to the same extent, Eric Thames and Trey Mancini also have dual 1B/OF-eligibility and should be drafted in all leagues.

Cardinals’ Jose Martinez and Pirates’ Jose Osuna are 1B/OF hitters that only have value in deep leagues.

Owning Marwin Gonzalez will give you the opportunity of slotting him in your outfield or playing him at 1B, 2B or SS. If you play on Yahoo, then add 3B to the list.

Although he will probably struggle for at-bats, Dodgers’ Enrique Hernandez has dual SS/OF. His teammate Chris Taylor, and the Cubs’ duo of Ian Hap and Ben Zobrist have 2B/OF-eligibility. Taylor also has SS-eligibility on Yahoo.

Nicholas Castellanos of the Tigers and the Brewers Herman Perez both have 3B/OF-eligibility. Perez also qualifies at 2B and SS on Yahoo.

It is likely that more players will pick up OF-eligibility in-season than any other position.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – AUGUST 15: Carlos Santana

Outfielders: players losing eligibility and Yahoo anomalies

The position is weakened in 2018, by five of the top-50 hitters (Kris Bryant, Jose Ramirez, Trea Turner, Miguel Sano and Nelson Cruz) all losing OF-eligibility. Although, Bryant and Cruz will retain OF-eligibility in Yahoo leagues.

Arguably, outfield is the easiest position to play, so there are more hitters qualifying courtesy of Yahoo’s eligibility rules of 10 appearances or five starts.

Matt Olson, Brandon Belt, Matt Adams and Brandon Moss have lost OF-eligibility to be first base only players on ESPN/CBS this season, but all four keep OF-eligibility on Yahoo.

Another first baseman who will only benefit in Yahoo leagues from the addition of OF-eligibility is the Phillies’ new signing Carlos Santana. You know what you get with the switch-hitter, he has averaged 25 home runs, 100 walks and .363 OBP in each of the last four seasons.

Second basemen Scooter Gennett, Jason Kipnis and Whit Merrifield lose their OF-eligibility on ESPN/CBS but can be played in the outfield in Yahoo leagues. Based on last season’s production, all three will be intriguing picks in 2018. Can Gennett and Merrifield repeat their breakout seasons? Can Kipnis recover back to his All-Star level?

Rangers’ Joey Gallo is 1B/3B-eligible on other platforms but benefits from the addition of OF-eligibility in Yahoo leagues.

With a slash line of .259/.297/.324, Reds’ Jose Peraza offered little value last season except for the 23 stolen bases. Although he has lost OF-eligibility, he retains the more useful qualification at second base and shortstop.

Brandon Drury is another young hitter coming off a disappointing season. He has also lost OF-eligibility but will be more valuable at second base.

Outfielders benefiting from the lower threshold of Yahoo include Howie Kendrick (OF/2B), Steve Pearce (OF/1B) and Jay Bruce (OF/1B).

ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 29: Nelson Cruz

Multi-position-eligible impact on designated hitters

There are dilemmas involved with drafting a DH-only player. He will tie up that roster spot, giving you no flexibility when injuries hit, and prevent you from playing the hot-hand picked up off waivers.

There is a significant difference between Yahoo and the other platforms in the designated hitter position, with five veteran sluggers only having DH-eligibility on ESPN/CBS but qualifying at other positions on Yahoo.

The highest ranked DH-only player is Mariners’ Nelson Cruz. The 37-year-old has averaged over 40 home runs in each of the last four seasons and shows no sign of slowing down. He was 10th in MVP voting and led the AL with a career-high 119 RBI.

Red Sox’ Hanley Ramirez made 18 appearances at first base in 2017, so will only be DH-eligible in ESPN/CBS. If you are tying up your utility slot, you will be hoping for a better return than last season when he hit 23 home runs with 62 RBI and .242 AVG. Expect Ramirez to sit against tough lefties unless he can improve on the .179 AVG.

There are two other veteran sluggers who are DH-only on ESPN/CBS but have 1B-eligibility on Yahoo. Albert Pujols and Kendrys Morales both made below-average contributions last season and will be hoping for a bounce-back year.

Injuries have affected Pujols in years past and age looks to have caught up with him. Although, the Angels look revitalized with their acquisitions of Shohei Ohtani, Zack Cozart and Ian Kinsler, so if Pujols can get healthy, maybe he has one more fantasy-valuable season to give in this new, exciting lineup.

Like Pujols, Kendrys Morales was a disappointment, especially given his 139 ADP. Although he hit 28 home runs, the switch-hitter finished with a below-average 97 wRC+. He did, however, destroy lefties, by hitting .362 with 1.000 OPS.

Tigers’ designated hitter Victor Martinez is DH-only across all platforms. He has disappointed fantasy owners in two of his last three seasons and will be a tough player to draft this year.

Mark Trumbo appeared at designated hitter 111 times but retains OF-eligibility thanks to 31 appearances in the outfield. There was no repeat is magnificent 2016 season (47 home runs and 108 RBI) as he finished 2017 with 23 home runs with 65 RBI.

In deep leagues, Kennys Vargas has potential if he can secure playing time. He was the Twins’ designated hitter on 40 occasions but played first base 30 times to retain 1B-eligibility.

Indians’ designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion made 23 appearances at first base to narrowly cling to 1B-eligibility in 2018.

LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 01: Marwin Gonzalez

Multi-position-eligibility is a championship winning asset

It is often only considered when your star third baseman gets injured, and your bench is full of OF or 1B-only replacements. Drafting a player like Marwin Gonzalez with four or five positions could offer unquantifiable value over the course of the season.

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