As has been the case in years past, shortstop is loaded with a couple major stars at the top of the rankings in 2018, but things get dicey for fantasy baseball owners quickly after. It's not that guys in the 10-20 range (and beyond) can't be legit sleepers and key contributors to a winning fantasy team; rather, it's that often these players have obvious holes in their games, leading many to label them as "busts" on their cheat sheets and overdraft the players in the top SS tier(s).
Reaching for a top shortstop is fine. In fact, it's not even really reaching. With Manny Machado set to move back to SS this year, there are four legitimate first- and early-second-round picks among this group. The next three or four guys should also be drafted within the first five rounds or so. After that, category math rules the day, as it does for all positions. However, whereas shortstop used to be a spot where you found lighter-hitting speedsters late, now you can find power hitters, steals sleepers, and/or balanced players who provide a little of everything.
MORE FANTASY BASEBALL: 2018 draft cheat sheet
Shortstop also has some top prospects (Gleyber Torres, Franklin Berrato), as well as post-hype guys who disappointed last year (Dansby Swanson, Amed Rosario, even Addison Russell to some extent). Park shifts are in play for a couple key players , with Zack Cozart likely taking a hit after leaving Great American Ballpark and Tim Beckham likely getting a bump by playing in Camden Yards full time.
Perhaps the toughest player to handicap is Elvis Andrus, who came out of nowhere to hit 20 HRs last year. His offense has undoubtedly improved the past two seasons, but his BB-rate is still mediocre and his previous career high of eight homers is tough to ignore. If he goes 20-25 again, he could be the top SS for a second straight year; if he goes 12-25 and scores 10 fewer runs with 20 fewer RBIs, his owners will wish they had just waited 12 rounds and taken Orlando Arcia. Fortunately, there are enough decent options that you can actually have depth at this notoriously thin position.
2018 FANTASY BASEBALL RANKINGS: Rankings based on average/runs/HRs/RBIs/SBs. Eligibility based on Yahoo's default settings.
Catcher | First | Second | Third | Outfield | Starter | Reliever
Rankings based on average/runs/HRs/RBIs/SBs. Eligibility based on Yahoo's default settings.7 Xander Bogaerts Red Sox
2018 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Shortstop
Rankings based on average/runs/HRs/RBIs/SBs. Eligibility based on Yahoo's default settings.
7 Xander Bogaerts Red Sox
|7||Xander Bogaerts||Red Sox|
|17||Eduardo Nunez||Red Sox||2B/3B/OF|
|20||Tim Anderson||White Sox|
|31||Yangervis Solarte||Blue Jays||2B/3B|
|40||Troy Tulowitzki||Blue Jays|
* Not eligible at this position on draft day but expected to play there during the season