Hey, guys and five girls, we’re (I’re) back!  Today’s 2018 fantasy baseball rankings tackle your favorite (I’m guessing!), the top 40 outfielders for 2018 fantasy baseball.  Last year, Stephen Hawking was hitting his keyboard robotically telling us, “It’s a black hole for outfielders, we need to spontaneously combust some new ones.”  Then, between outfielder rants, Stephen would jot down a letter to Eddie Redmayne about a sequel to The Theory of Everything.  Well, no sequel on the horizon, but don’t underestimate Hawking’s ability to spontaneously combust some new outfielders, because this position is deep AF.  As always, my projections are noted for each player and where I see tiers starting and stopping.  Also, all of Rudy’s hitter projections are under that easy-to-click link.  Anyway, here’s the top 40 outfielders for 2018 fantasy baseball:

21. Lorenzo Cain – This tier started in the top 20 outfielders for 2018 fantasy baseball.  This tier goes from here until Mancini.  I called this tier, “Hopsin.”  As for Cain, yo, screw these 15/20 guys, yo.  Cain, Polanco, Yelich and Pham can all eat a D.   I hate a guy who is touching his ceiling with 15/20.  Know what happens when they hit their floor?  They put up a 12/16 season and your fantasy team is hurting for everything.  Cain is going to be 32 years old, and I’m not relying on him to come anywhere close to 25+ steals.  Sorry, I can’t endorse Cain…Sugar! between the white lines.   UPDATE:  On January 25th, a pimple-faced teenager went to check on Mr. Scott Boras because his newspapers were piling up outside of his house.  Diiiiing.  Diiiiiing.  No answer.  He then leaned over to the window to peer in to see Scott Boras trapped underneath a stack of hundred dollar bills.  Thus, the Winter Meetings started this year on January 25th. Lorenzo Cain going to the Brewers is another boost in value for an outfielder.  (Sorry, Domingo Santana.)  The tweet below is in honor of Montgomery Brewers.  2018 Projections:  91/18/79/.292/18 in 535 ABs

22. Nelson Cruz – A few years ago I stopped trying to guess when Cruz was going to stop hitting boku homers.  Now, I’m guessing weights and ages at a local carnival!  “You look like you’re 45 and 167 pounds, or 37 and pregnant.”  That’s me right before being punched.  Cruz just hit 39-plus homers for the 4th straight season.  Yes, he’s old, but maybe he found the Fountain of Youth.  Or Fountain of Yute, if Joe Pesci is reading.   UPDATE:  Diagnosed with a strained quad.  Or as Mariners fans are now exclaiming, “Whoa Nelly!”  If you already drafted Nelson Cruz on your fantasy team, then, for $35, you can get the rapper Nelly to put a Band-Aid on your fantasy team.  I’ve docked Cruz two weeks of regular season at-bats, but obviously there’s cause of concern now.   2018 Projections:  82/33/98/.282/1 in 509 ABs

23. Billy Hamilton – The tier got its name because players grew on me the further I dug into them.  Okay, that’s not telling the whole story with Hamilton.  I didn’t just dig into him, I dug into baseball, in general.  I’m pulling back curtains!  *rips back curtain*  Oh, crap!  I’m sorry, I just grabbed the first curtain I saw and didn’t realize I was in a Lane Bryant.  In the last three years, Hamilton’s steals:  57, 58, 59.  Can you fill in the next number in that string?  Yeah, me too.  “Is that your string theory?”  Okay, Stephen Hawking let me do the talking now.  Steals are garbage everywhere, and you know Hamilton.  He’s not throwing away his shot!  He’s not throwing away his shot!  He’s young, scrappy and hungry!  Okay, maybe not hungry, but speedy, fo’ sho.  2018 Projections:  92/6/40/.252/60 in 559 ABs

24. A.J. Pollock – Chase Field is implementing the humidor (last I heard) to start this year, so it will be interesting to see how much a difference it makes.  My guess is offense will stay where it is in Arizona, but baseballs will smell like an old man’s poker game.  *smelling humidor*  “Is it me or does it smell like Arnold Schwarzenegger just had sex?”  Any hoo!  I don’t think a humidor will affect Pollock terribly, I think his gams being 30 years old will do that.  If he played 155 games last year, he still would’ve had a 20/30/.270 season, so let’s hope he has one more in him.  2018 Projections:  92/18/78/.277/23 in 561 ABs

25. Ronald Acuna – Already gave you my Ronald Acuna fantasy.  It had six grammatical mistakes.  Also, I go over Acuna in the video.  2018 Projections:  74/17/77/.304/21 in 514 ABs

26. Whit Merrifield – Went over him in the top 20 2nd basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.

27. Yoenis Cespedes – I struggled with Yoenis’ ranking.  More so than a lot of other guys.  I wanted to put him down with Ryan Braun, and just say I’m done with guys on the other side of 30.  Cespedes, though, whether real or imagined or interjection, feels to me like Miggy three years ago.  He had a down year, and he seemed done, then he rebounded with a solid season in 2016.  Cespedes feels similar.  He was totally fine last year when he was on the field, then he had some hamstring issues.  If they’re behind him (literally and figuratively), I’m Hopsin’ing all over him.  2018 Projections:  82/31/93/.285/2 in 528 ABs

28. Eddie Rosario – Already gave you my Eddie Rosario sleeper.  I wrote it while deleting the file Goatse.cx off my computer.  (If you don’t know what that is, don’t Google it.  By me saying don’t Google it, it makes you want to Google it, doesn’t it?  Well, really, really don’t Google it then.)  2018 Projections:  88/30/96/.286/4 in 551 ABs

29. Joey Gallo – Went over him in the top 20 1st basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.

30. Trey Mancini – Went over him in the top 20 1st basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.

31. Tommy Pham – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until Desmond.  I call this tier, “Back support.”  By this tier name I mean, you’re at 7-11, you start filling a 64 ounce Big Gulp, and about five minutes in, you start thinking, “Am I really going to drink all of this?”  Then, five minutes later, as the drink starts to finish, you ask the lovely Punjabi man behind the counter, if he could help you carry the drink to the counter, and he says, “Back support in aisle three.”  All of these guys are going to feel super fun when you draft them, but I hope by May you don’t throw your back out trying to carry them on your team.  Yes, it’s early to be feeling less than confident in outfielders, but here we are.  Don’t worry, outfielders get crazy/sexy/cool again later on, so don’t go chasing waterfalls.  As for Pham, to be blunt, it feels like an effin’ joke how high Pham is going this year.  I get it, he helped win people leagues last year.  He helped me win leagues last year!  But he’s going in the top 70 overall, and the top 20 outfielders.  Have you seen his fly ball rate?  He hits about as many fly balls as Joe Mauer and Yelich.  Yeah, those guys are power hitters (if you move the fences in 60 feet).  Have you seen Pham?  Does he appear to be a guy who is an easy 20-homer hitter?  He has a 51% ground ball rate.  Dude’s a bad BABIP away from hitting .185 in April and being benched.  Last year, he went 20/20, but this year his eyesight won’t even be 20/20.  2018 Projections:  83/16/63/.275/19 in 484 ABs

32. Andrew McCutchen – The Giants traded for McCutchen this offseason, after I started the rankings, so didn’t have a chance to go over him yet in his new environs.  By the way, don’t ever say the word ‘environs’ in person to someone, they will have every right to punch you.  McClutchin’ his knee defied my expectations last year by having a respectable season, but you’re crumby with crackers if you think now I’m going back in on him.  Not to sound like a Fox announcer, but he seems like a professional hitter that can hit no matter what, but at some point his steals will disappear and he’s more of a 23-homer hitter than a 28-homer one.  PNC is not exactly a hitters’ park, but AT&T makes it hard to go long distance too (without roaming charges).  On a side note, you know what this Pirates’ sell-off means, right?  The Mets will trade for David Freese!  2018 Projections:  82/23/90/.273/9 in 563 ABs

33. Gregory Polanco – Member what I was saying about 33 words ago (totally counted!) about what happens when a 15/20 guy fails to live up to expectations?  Yeah, last year Polanco went 11/8.  He could bounce back, but he picked up some bad swing tendencies last year, and he might be in a platoon by May if he doesn’t figure shizz out quickly.  Though, the way the Pirates are selling off, I’m not sure who he’d platoon with.  What’s Andy Van Slyke up to?  2018 Projections:  71/16/79/.254/15 in 509 ABs

34. Ryan Braun – Of course, Braun is in a tier called back support.  Braun should enter the batter’s box with an IV and a nurse standing behind him.  I blame Braun for my health insurance premiums!  A case could be made that Braun can rebound like Yoenis, but I’m not here making that case.  *Law & Order ominous chung CHUNG*    2018 Projections:  70/22/74/.265/10 in 487 ABs

35. Carlos Santana – Went over him in the top 20 1st basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.

36. Matt Olson – Went over him in the top 20 1st basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.

37. Ian Desmond – Went over him in the top 20 1st basemen for 2018 fantasy baseball.

38. Nomar Mazara – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until top 60 outfielders for 2018 fantasy baseball.  I call this tier, “Too bad there’s no outfielders to draft.  PSYCH, SNITCHES.”  I was struggling a lot with the outfielders from about Yelich until here, but now we’re back in on guys that are juicy AF, and I want to draft about eight outfielders in a five outfielder league.  As for Nomar, already gave you a Nomar Mazara sleeper.  I wrote it, then turned around in my chair dressed like Blake Shelton.  2018 Projections:  81/27/93/.278/3 in 571 ABs

39. Ender Inciarte – What is the difference between Ender and those 15/20 guys above?  First, Ender’s a lot cheaper in drafts.  Second, that first point has a lot to do with it.  Third, there’s no third.  Fourth, he hits for a solid average too, but it’s really about that first point.  Fifth, seriously, that first point is so money.  Sixth, should I just repeat the first point?  Seventh, oh c’mon, it was in the first point!  Eighth, I give up.  Ninth, seriously, stop!  Tenth, UGH!  FIRST POINT!  2018 Projections:  96/14/52/.300/20 in 634 ABs

40. Domingo Santana – Something I noticed that I will tell you about after this awkward sentence intro, not a ton of steals last year, but some of the guys who did steal a solid number of bags, don’t even have blazing speed.  The off-the-top-of-my-head guys I’ve mentioned in this post alone, Bregman, Benintendi and Santana.  It worries me that Sunday Santana could return to being a five-steal guy, after stealing 15 last year, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, which is my favorite charity.  “Headed to a Benefit of the Doubt, there’s some women honoring Dustin Hoffman with the benefit of the doubt.”  UPDATE:  Well, I’m glad I didn’t write a Domingo Santana sleeper post.  The Brewers went last-minute outfielder shopping at Marline’s Basement, and grabbed Yelich, then they said, “What the hey” and grabbed Cain…Sugar!  Now I have no idea where Domingo is playing.  If there’s yet another trade, Domingo will move again.  For now, I’ll leave him here, but if the Brewers don’t move him or another outfielder, Sunday Santana’s going to plummet in my rankings.  2018 Projections:  77/28/93/.261/12 in 531 ABs