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In honor of the upcoming NFL season, let’s have some fun today and “draft” the skilled positions of your fantasy football roster with current 1B or 3B eligible baseball players.  Let’s call this a full PPR format and use the standard 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE roster construction for our team.  No damn Kickers in my made-up league!  Here we go!

QB1: Freddie Freeman, 1B, DodgersChampionship football teams, real and fake alike, all need a leader.  A player that leads by example and commands the respect of his teammates.  A player who can simply get it done when the going gets tough.  With that being our goal, who else but steady Freddie Freeman to build my team around?  Freddie is to baseball what Tom Brady is to football.  They may not be the fastest guy on the field or have the strongest arm, but they are simply winners.  No stage is too big, and no effort too small.  They can even move to a new team and still get it done at the highest level.  With a slash of .324/.395/.510 for his new team and amongst the MLB leaders in defensive statistics, Freddie is still getting it done.  He can lead my fantasy football team any day!

Bonus QB2 Pick: At QB2, I’d be looking for a young backup QB with upside…someone with a gunslinger makeup like a Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers-style QB.  A player who can toss the pill all over the field from any angle or body position and hit his target.  In truth, I just want to give props to the hardest throwing non-pitcher in MLB.  Yes, Oneil Cruz is a cheat code and got a lot of love earlier this season when he threw out Willson Contreras by clocking a 96.7 mph fastball across the diamond from SS.  Since he doesn’t qualify at 3B though, I am forced to look elsewhere.  My backup QB is a player who primarily plays OF or 2B but has 16 games at the hot corner, so he does qualify for my fake draft.  With throws of 102.3 and 101.9 recorded from the outfield in 2022, our gunslinger is Christopher Morel of the Chicago Cubs.  You read that right, he broke 102 on a throw earlier this season.  There’s only a handful of players in baseball who have thrown a ball over 102.  By the way, keep his name handy next baseball draft season…you’ll thank me later!

RB1: Austin Riley, 3B, Braves: As my RB1, I want a 4-down back who can bust it inside to take on Linebackers as well as take it around the Tackles and put fear in a Safety’s eyes.  Austin Riley fits the bill for me.  Riley leads MLB in defensive games played and 2nd in assists at the hot corner this season.  He also leads all 3B in HRs and 3rd in RBIs.  Dude is always on the field and can score from anywhere.  I’ll happily build my fantasy team around this workhorse!

RB2: Alex Bregman, 3B, Astros: As my RB2, I’m looking for a player who should go a little later in the draft but can provide 1st round value.  No Corner Infielder embodies that more this season than Alex Bregman.  In 2018 and 2019, Bregman was amongst the top 3B in the game but like many RB, err…3B, injuries over the past 2 seasons derailed what looked like a sure-fire Hall of Fame career trajectory.  This season is providing Bregman a chance to reestablish his creds amongst the best in the game.  He’s showing durability, trailing only our RB1 in defensive games at 3B, 2nd in putouts and top 3 in double plays turned.  If he keeps up the current pace, he’s also on track for about 25 HRs and 100 RBIs.  That’s top of the draft production.  Do you remember where he was going in drafts back in April?  For reference, I drafted him in the 7th round of my 15-team TGFBI league.  Enough said!

WR1: Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Cardinals: For WR1, I need an all-around stud, a Justin Jefferson or Davante Adams type.  I need a player who will catch 120+ balls, can blow the roof off a defense as well as grind out the big first down.  Someone who is going to not only draw double-coverage, but consistently beat it.  Who else but the triple crown threat, Paul Goldschmidt?  With 34 knocks on the season, Goldy only trails Kyle Schwarber for the NL lead.  He is also pacing the NL in RBIs and BA, with a half-dozen SB to boot.  His defensive metrics are amongst the MLB leaders as well, including putouts, assists, and double plays turned.

WR2: Nathaniel Lowe, 1B, Rangers: For WR2, I want a possession receiver like Cooper Kupp with great hands and who can score from anywhere on the field.  Nathaniel Lowe fills both requirements.  Nate leads all of MLB with over 1050 putouts at 1B.  He’s also hitting over .300 with 23 HRs and an OPS over .850.

WR3: Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, PiratesFor WR3, I’m willing to take a chance on a young player who is ready to bust out and be a top 10 producer.  My WR3 needs to get up and down the field, has soft hands, and can gain the confidence of his QB to get him into the action.  I found my guy in Ke’Bryan Hayes.  Ke’Bryan has breakaway speed, only trailing Josh Rojas amongst qualified 3B in SB.  Defensively, he leads all 3B in assists and is top 5 in putouts and double plays turned from the hot corner.  Fast?  Check!  Soft hands?  Check!  Can make the plays?  Check!

TE: Matt Olson, 1B, Braves: At TE, I want a player like Travis Kelce who packs his lunch and comes to work every day.  If the play calls for our TE to pass block the blind side, he’s there.  Need him to go one-on-one with Linebackers in the Flat or on a Comeback, he’ll do it.  Call a play to beat a Safety on a Post or Corner route, you got it.  Matt Olson is my guy.  Olson is always on the field, playing 100% of Braves games so far this season.  Here is how important he is to the Braves:  ABs (2nd), H (3rd), HR (2nd), R (3rd), RBI (2nd), 2B (1st), BB (1st), OPS (2nd).  Defensively across MLB, he’s amongst the league leaders in putouts and assists as well. Yes, Matt Olson can do it all and that’s why he’s our starting TE.

There you have it, my fantasy football team comprised of 1B and 3B eligible MLB players.  Can you beat my squad?  Submit your lineup below and let’s go toe-to-toe!  Maybe we’ll get Grey to judge our teams and pick a winner!