Please see our player page for Willi Castro to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

Last year is officially behind us!

Months after the Dodgers defeated the Rays in the World Series to cap the most unique season Major League Baseball has ever seen, followed by countless offseason moves and meaningless exhibition games, the baseball season has thankfully begun.

Of course, it is impossible to completely put the past behind us. For the Mets and Nationals, they must think that they are still stuck in 2020 as their season-opening series was wiped out due to the COVID virus affecting a host of Washington players. But for everyone else, every hit, home run and strikeout now count. That means we are all checking how our fantasy teams five or six time a not to see how our players are doing on the field.

Gone are the endless updates of our preseason rankings as we prepared for drafts. Now the fun part starts – tracking the players and their performance as the season unfolds. Will the top players perform as expected, or will one of them pull a Christian Yelich or Jose Altuve on us and stink it up all season. With only a handful of games in the books, the Top 25 Shortstop Rankings are basically the same as they were a month ago, but there has been some player movement.

So without further adieu, lets get to the rankings.

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Over the last few weeks, we have walked through the Top 100 Hitters for the 2021 Fantasy Baseball season.  In the early rounds, it is much easier to make a pick that might cost you the season than a pick that will win the season.  The middle rounds are often about rounding out your roster and making sure you have some category balance.  But when the late rounds come around and it is time thin the herd.  This is the time that we conjure our inner Billy Beane searching for the late round values that might be a little rough around the edges, but might just win the league.

In today’s article we will walk through a number of players I have been watching closely in Spring Training and I believe can jump into the top 100 during the season.  Each of these players has a dark side, but it is the upside that we will chase.

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With your NCAA tournament bracket now busted due to the rash of upsets this weekend, you can turn your attention back to baseball. In fact, why was your attention even turned away from baseball? With less than two weeks until the start of the regular season, spring training starts to take on a little bit of importance. OK, who am I kidding? We don’t need spring training to know who the top shortstops are, especially in 12-team mixed leagues.

However, there are plenty of 16-, 18- and 20-team leagues and thus a much larger player pool you need to dip into. Additionally, many deep leagues still require a middle infielder in addition to needing a starting shortstop. Depth is critical in deep leagues, and finding that gem late in the draft can be the difference between winning and losing a league.

With players locked into battles for a starting job, the spring training stats we overlook could help determine if Nico Hoerner earns the starting job with the Chicago Cubs or starts the season in the minor leagues. Or maybe a player you are tracking as a sleeper is having a horrible spring and doesn’t deserve to be on your watch list right now.
However, there are plenty of 16-, 18- and 20-team leagues. The player pool you need to dip into is greatly expanded when you have that many teams. Additionally, many deep leagues like these still require a middle infielder in addition to needing a starting shortstop. Depth is critical in deep leagues, and finding that gem late in the draft can be the difference between winning and losing a league. 

With players locked into battles for a starting job, the spring training stats we overlook could help determine if Nico Hoerner earns the starting job with the Chicago Cubs or starts the season in the minor leagues. Or maybe a player you are tracking as a sleeper is having a horrible spring and doesn’t deserve to be on your watch list right now.

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While the 2nd basemen to target is a necessary evil like changing your underwear. This post, well, have you seen the top 20 shortstops for 2021 fantasy baseball? Dude, why did you not draft one of the glorious top top TOP guys? Did you show up late to your draft because you were delayed by the underwear necessary evil? Bzzt! Wrongo, Bucko! Unlike previous years, I’m hopeful that everyone owns at least one shortstop prior to getting to the sleepers in this post, and likely two. Top shortstops are the bee’s knees, and bees have knees; I’m a scientist. This is a (legal-in-all-countries-except-Lichtenstein) supplement to the top 20 shortstops for 2021 fantasy baseball.  The players listed have a draft rank after 200 on other sites.  Click on the player’s name where applicable to read more and see their 2021 projections. Anyway, here’s some shortstops to target for 2021 fantasy baseball:

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March is here, and that means one thing: filling out a bracket or two for March Madness. Oh, wait, wrong sport.

In the world that really matters, it is fantasy baseball drafting season. For many, that means after hours and months of going over every player and compiling your own rankings and checking them twice, it is time to match wits against others and quickly learn that the perfect mock draft you created for yourself needs to be thrown out of the window after the second round.

When it comes to fantasy baseball, there are seeming a gazillion types of leagues you can join, from the stats that are going to be used, whether it a head-to-head or points league to the number of teams in the league. Also, is the league a redraft league or are you starting a new dynasty league. That is an important factor, because if it is a dynasty league, how you build your team is very different from a redraft league – or at least it should be.

We all want to win right away, but in dynasty leagues the goal is to win not just this season, but for multiple seasons. If you draft a team that is reliant on older players, you may do well this year, even next. But you don’t want to win just now. You want to win every year. So with the goal of building a team that wins today, tomorrow and three years from now, below is my list of Top 25 Shortstops for dynasty leagues.

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As I’m writing this, I’m realizing that, gloriously, it’s not all that early any more (hence my last-minute title change).  Players have not only reported to camp, spring training games are being played and Opening Day will suddenly be here within a month.  Those of us who are already drafting are no longer in the bubble of being able to avoid “best shape of his life” comments from players and remarks from managers about bullpen or starting position battles where a few words may lead to a huge ADP rise or fall for certain players.  After looking at second base last week, we’ll begin March by shifting over one spot on the diamond and concentrating on shortstops outside the top 150 players being drafted according to current NFBC ADP.  Since the position is stacked once again this season, I suspect most of us, even in very deep leagues, will have splurged on an expensive or early round stud and will have short covered by the time we get this late in a draft or auction.  But it’s always nice to know what our fallback/back-up/bench depth/lottery ticket options might be, which leads us to the following list of names.

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When doing bi-monthly rankings, I asked myself while freezing in the dark with no electricity because I live in a state that can’t handle the cold, “Jakkers, how do I do bi-monthly rankings when there are no games going on, not even fake games? Heck, spring training just started!” Now, because I was right there in the room when I asked this question, I immediately responded to this outstanding query. I told myself, “Well, let’s take a closer look at some of the players ranked two weeks ago.” I have to say, that is a brilliant answer. How do I know it’s brilliant? Because I asked it and I answered it, and I am brilliant. OK, in my world I am brilliant. Those around me probably have some other adjectives they’d likely use to describe me. Brilliant may not be one of them.

However, before we delve more into a few players, let me get my bias out in the open. Shocking, I know, but my rankings have a bias. I run two dynasty fantasy leagues. The leagues in which I participate but don’t run are, for the most part, dynasty leagues. Because of my preference for dynasty leagues, I prefer younger players with upside over players who have plateaued or are on the downside of their careers. Did this bias affect the rankings first posted two weeks ago? Yes. I ranked Willi Castro higher than Chris Taylor or Marcus Semien. I rank Bo Bichette fifth because he is only 23 as of Opening Day and has huge amounts of upside and he has three years on Corey Seager.

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I mean, who doesn’t like an ole tried and true Clinton callback? Age me! I mean seriously, I must be getting too old, the whole devil-worshiping crisis actors controlled by the deep state while getting free pizza from Soros while getting shot in schools eating way too many of Michelle’s veggie’s stuff is just too hard to follow for me, so it’s always nice to think of the simpler times. And boy do we need those simpler times right about now as the newest and hopefully less-COVID filled 2021 season aims to begin, along with all the festivities, both real and fantasy, that come with it. So staying in spirit of what my little content corner provided in 2020, I’d like to start covering value players that can either be targeted in your drafts now, or even maybe some fringe value depending on the size of your leagues. With this first post, we’ll be taking a look at the middle infield position. In describing the meta of what the MI is right now, I’d say there’s quite the juxtaposition going on, and if you didn’t like the deployment of all these 5+ multisyllabic words, I guess what I’m trying to say is, you could make solid arguments that the middle infield is empty, or that there is plenty of talent to aim for. Or maybe I’m the only one and confused at what or who I want? Why not all three? One thing is for certain though, if you’re looking for a Willi, just like your mom, we want it slick! (This took me about 23 minutes to think of, so I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry.)

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The top 20 3rd basemen for 2021 fantasy baseball burn hot and flame out super fast, then find themselves a little flicker to help them read while wearing their stocking cap, then that extinguishes with a cold wind blowing through that smells of garbage. This will hopefully make some sense after you read the next 4,000 words. I should put Easter eggs in these rankings posts to see who is actually reading the whole thing. There will be a quiz at the end, and a sample question is, “Who uses a Lady Bic razor?” Don’t you dare do a “Find.” Here’s Steamer’s 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2021 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers.  All projections included here are mine, and where I see tiers starting and stopping are included. Anyway, here’s the top 20 3rd basemen for 2021 fantasy baseball:

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