First base is a bit of an odd position in dynasty leagues. There are very few true first base prospects, and most of the studs at the position are in their 30's. Normally I would shy away from guys that are getting that old, but first base is the position where old players go before they retire so there is no reason to think E5 or Cabrera can't keep chugging away for the next 3 or 4 years. It is a win now position in a lot of ways and my ranks reflect that to a degree. It's also extremely deep with both win now guys like Adam Laroche, and young lottery ticket guys like C.J. Cron available outside of the top 15.
1. Paul Goldschmidt (27) - Goldy is the number 3 overall player for me in dynasty. He is pretty much the only player at the position that could hit 35-40 homers with a .300 average and even chip in double digit steals. The steals might only be there for the next year or two, but the power and average will remain elite for years to come.
2. Jose Abreu (28) - Obviously Abreu doesn't have much of a track record with just one season in the majors at 28. The question with him is what does the drop in power in the second half mean? He hit only 7 homers in the second half, but his average and OBP went through the roof. If I had to guess I would say that pitchers adjusted and tried to pitch around him to avoid the homers, and his response was to hit .350 with a .435 OBP after the all-star break. I think Abreu is a monster and could be #1 on this list next year.
3. Anthony Rizzo (25) - Rizzo finally had his breakout in 2014, with 32 homers and a .286 average on a shall we say not so great Cubs team. His walk rate and K rate were almost identical to his 2013 numbers, and his average jumped from .233 to .286. It's pretty easy to attribute the jump in average to BABIP which also jumped over 50 points to .311. I am betting that 2013 is the outlier and Rizzo is a .275 hitter with 30-35 homer potential, which makes him one of the top first basemen at only 25.
4. Edwin Encarnacion (32) - E5 just keeps doing it every year. Its scary to draft a 32 year old this high in a dynasty league, but few players produce like he does. He was on a 40 homer pace last year, but lost a decent chunk of the season due to injury. I'd say that the only concern with him is injuries, and he's going to put up MVP numbers for the next 3-4 years if he stays healthy.
5. Miguel Cabrera (32) - I'm not going to own Cabrera in any dynasty leagues I play in. I am aware that he is a monster, but he has started to show weaknesses in his 30's and I am worried that his best days are behind him (see Pujols, Albert). In 2014 his walk rate was at a 6 year low, and his strikeout rate was at a 6 year high. He still put up 25 homers with a .313 average but the chinks in the armor are starting to show. It's possible that his drop in power was entirely attributable to his 14% HR/FB rate. That 14% rate represents the lowest number in his career, and I will admit he should bounce back in the homer category if healthy. But he is already hurt this preseason and its possible his body is starting to betray him.
6. Freddie Freeman (25) - In case you haven't heard yet the Braves are going to suck in 2015, and it is going to hurt Freddie Freeman in the counting stats. However if you are in a first year dynasty draft I think it might be a great time to get him because he will be at a discount and he is a 25 year old who has consistently hit around .300 with 20-25 homers in all of his major league seasons. His upside isn't as high as say Anthony Rizzo, but he's one of the best young first baseman out there and he still has the potential to get a lot better as he gets closer to 30.
7. Joey Votto (31) - Votto is a big time bounce back candidate for me in dynasty leagues. He had a career worst season in 2014, with a .255 average and 6 home runs in just 62 games. He has also been frustrating fantasy owners since 2010, when he put up 37 homers and hit .324, then never hit more than 29 again. I think we now know he's not a 30 homer guy, but he's an OBP monster who should bounce back in the batting average department. If he is healthy, and that's a big if, I see a .300 average with 25 home runs and you can get him at a huge discount compared to last year.
8.Prince Fielder (31) - Fielder went from being the ultimate ironman at 1st playing in 162 games for 3 straight years, to missing over half of 2014. Neck injuries are pretty scary, so picking Fielder is totally a bet on his health. If he is healthy then getting him as the #8 1st baseman off the board could be a bargain, but I'm pretty scared by this injury.
9. Brandon Belt (27) - It almost happened for Brandon Belt in 2014, he hit 12 home runs in 235 plate appearances which is roughly a 30 homer pace. The bad news is he got hurt (again) and also had the highest strikeout rate of his young career. Even with the injury and batting average concerns I might be ready to buy in. If he had avoided injury last year and hit 30 home runs he would be valued much higher, so this could be a make or break year for him and I am going to bet on the breakout finally coming.
10.Albert Pujols (35) - For me Pujols is the poster boy of staying away from guys in their 30's in dynasty. Back in 2011 he was coming off 11 straight years of hitting 30+ home runs and was without a doubt one of the top 2 or 3 players in all of baseball. Just to reiterate, he hit 30+ homers FOR 11 STRAIGHT SEASONS, and also hit over 40 six times! Then he went to the Angles and things slowly deteriorated. He still puts up numbers, but it is a reminder to me that no one can keep hitting like that forever.
11. Adrian Gonzalez (33)
12. Victor Martinez (36)
13. Chris Carter (32)
14. Eric Hosmer (25)
15. Matt Adams (26)
16. Jon Singleton (23)
17. Chris Davis (29)
18. Adam LaRoche (35)
19. Lucas Duda (29)
20. Joe Mauer (32)
21. Justin Morneau (33)
22. Kennys Vargas (24)
23. CJ Cron (25)
24. Kendys Morales (31)
25. Ryan Howard (35)