San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr.

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When it comes to the infield, there isn't a position with more talent than shortstop.

Some of the best young talent in baseball is at shortstop, making it a very tough exercise to rank who is the best at the position. Myself, Matt Hanson, and Tyler Austin did our best to try and rank the best fantasy baseball options at shortstop, as we make our way around the diamond to fully prepare you for your fantasy baseball draft this year.


Cream of the crop

1) Fernando Tatis Jr. - San Diego Padres

The son of the former major leaguer hasn't even played 150 regular season games, yet the 22-year-old is already considered the best shortstop in the game. Last year Tatis finished fourth in NL MVP voting, as he was the driving force that helped the Padres earn their first playoff appearance since 2006. In just 59 games in 2020, Tatis hammered 17 home runs and drove in 45 runs.

Just how good is Tatis? The Padres already locked up the talented shortstop for the next 14 years, making him one of the highest paid players in baseball. It's obvious that Tatis moves the needle, not only with his teammates, but with fans as well. If you have one of the first few picks in your fantasy baseball draft, Tatis should definitely be on your radar. The shortstop would be a great building block in trying to assemble a championship fantasy team.

2) Francisco Lindor - New York Mets

If you are new to baseball, it might be a little surprising to see Francisco Lindor ranked this high among baseball shortstops. Last year was a down year for Lindor, as it became obvious that Lindor wasn't part of Cleveland's future plans, and the team was going to move him when they felt they were getting fair market value. The uncertainty with Lindor's future led to the shortstop hitting just .258 with eight homers in 60 games.

Expect Lindor to regain the form we saw from him in the four years prior, when he was one of the most exciting players in the game. Lindor hit 30 homers in at three straight years, and almost led Cleveland to a World Series title. With the Mets positioning themselves to be a factor in the NL East, Lindor should see a bump in his production, especially with Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, and others surrounding him in the lineup.

3) Trevor Story - Colorado Rockies

With Nolan Arenado being traded to St. Louis, Trevor Story is now the big dog in Denver. How long Story will be with the Rockies remains to be seen, but until he is traded expect the shortstop to continue racking up the bases. Over the last three years, Story is averaging over two total bases per game.

It remains to be seen if Story is going to see his numbers dip a little since he has very little protection around him the lineup. At least Story will still get to utilize the thin air in Denver to help boost some of his production when he makes contact. A realistic goal for Story this year will be 70 extra base hits. Anything above that would be a bonus, and would have you in good position in your league if he is able to get more than that.

4) Trea Turner - Washington Nationals

Turner might not have the power numbers of the first few shortstops on this list, but he more than makes up for it when it comes to stolen bases and runs. Turner swiped at least 30 bases in each of the first years prior to last year's shortened season. Even though Turner doesn't have as much power as some of the other top shortstops, he still led baseball in hits last year, recording 78 hits in 59 games.

As long as Turner can stay healthy, he'll be in line for a big season. While Turner did play all 162 games in 2018, and nearly every game last year, he was out for extended periods of time in 2017 and 2019. If Turner can stay healthy, he'll help you get a leg up in other categories early on while others might be focusing on those with bigger power numbers.

New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber TorresJim McIssac - Getty Images

5) Gleyber Torres - New York Yankees

If someone told you after the 2018 and 2019 seasons that Gleyber Torres was only the fifth-ranked shortstop in baseball, you would think they were crazy. In his first two years in the big leagues, Torres smashed 62 homers and drove in 167 runs. Last year saw Torres lose his stroke, smashing just three taters and only driving in 16 runs.

If there was ever a season for Torres to schedule, last year might have been the perfect year to do so since it was a shortened season. It's hard to imagine a talent like Torres continuing to struggle. As long as Torres and the rest of the Yankees stay healthy, the shortstop is going to be a crucial part of a New York lineup that can put up runs in a hurry at hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium.

The rest of the top-10

6) Tim Anderson - Chicago White Sox

7) Bo Bichette - Toronto Blue Jays

8) Corey Seager - Los Angeles Dodgers

9) Xander Bogaerts - Boston Red Sox

10) Adalberto Mondesi - Kansas City Royals

The rest of the top-10 fantasy baseball shortstops are still ridiculously strong, and it's hard to go wrong with drafting any of them. Tim Anderson has one of the smoothest swings in the game. The White Sox shortstop has hit over ,320 in each of the last two seasons. Basically you can think of Anderson as Trea Turner with a better average but not quite as much speed.

Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo BichetteTodd Kirkland - Getty Images

Bo Bichette may be known because of his father, but the Blue Jay has held his own so far in the majors. Even though Bichette has played in just 75 games in his major league career, the shortstop is a key part of a Toronto lineup that is loaded with young talent. Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. are going to be a dangerous duo for years to come.

Aside from the 2018 season, where injuries limited Seager to just 26 games, Seager has been living up to the hype since winning Rookie of the Year in the National League in 2016. Last year might have been Seager's best season, as he blasted 15 home runs in just 52 games. With the Dodgers winning the World Series last year, expect even more from Seager and the rest of the boys in blue.

The Red Sox might be rebuilding, but one of their cornerstones now, and for the foreseeable future, is Xander Bogaerts. The shortstop hit 33 homers and 52 doubles in 2019. Even though the Boston lineup isn't quite what it used to be, Bogaerts should again approach those numbers if he avoid injury, which he has done a great job of so far in his career.

Kansas City Royals shortstop Aldalberto MondesiDaniel Shirey - Getty Images

Rounding out the top-10 is Adalberto Mondesi, who has speed for days. Every time Mondesi gets on base, he is a threat to steal. While a lot of the top-10 shortstops are guys with big power nujmbers, Mondesi could give your team a big edge in steals, which are becoming harder to find since stealing bases are becoming more of a lost art.

Ranking the next 10 shortstops

11) Javier Baez - Chicago Cubs

12) Carlos Correa - Houston Astros

13) Dansby Swanson - Atlanta Braves

14) Didi Gregorius - Philadelphia Phillies

15) Andres Gimenez - Cleveland Indians

16) Nick Ahmed - Arizona Diamondbacks

17) Willi Castro - Detroit Tigers

18) Andrelton Simmons - Minnesota Twins

19) Miguel Rojas - Miami Marlins

20) Paul DeJong - St. Louis Cardinals

The Lakers looked lost in the Valley

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The Phoenix Suns are just a win away from sending LeBron James home in the first round of the playoffs for the first time in the King's illustrious career.

After stating that "These shoulders were built for a reason," James referring to facing the challenge of taking on added responsibilities after Anthony Davis was ruled out for Game 5, the Lakers and LeBron disappointed in a big way Tuesday night. L.A. started off hot jumping out to a 10-5 lead behind a couple shots from James and a three from Davis' replacement Markieff Morris. But it didn't take long for the wheels to completely fall off for the defending champion Lakers as they spent most of the first half trying to remember how basketball works.

LeBron James LeBron looking on during Game 5Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Two numbers stick out in the Game 5 loss for the Lakers and those are 34.5 and 12. Los Angeles shot 34.5% from the field on Tuesday night and were minus 12 in turnover ratio. No matter who's on your team, if you can't shoot and you can't protect the ball, the outcome is already determined.

The Suns weren't simply beneficiaries of a poor performance however as the Suns put it on the Lakers early and often and they never let their foot off the pedal for 48 minutes. Phoenix ended with 15 more assists, had seven more combined steals and blocks, and outscored L.A. in the paint by 12 points. Devin Booker and Cameron Payne were spectacular and they seemed to hit big shots every time the Lakers appeared to threaten a comeback. Mikal Bridges was effective on both sides of the ball adding three steals and two blocks to help electrify his team with the defensive effort.


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Julio Jones is trying to force his way out of Atlanta

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The NFL's all-time leader in receiving yardage per game is looking for a new home.

Five time all-pro, Julio Jones, stated on FS1's Undisputed earlier this week that he was "out" of Atlanta and that his only focus on where he wants to play next year includes winning. This corroborates with reports back in April as Ian Rapoport indicated the Falcons were receiving calls for their star receiver prior to the NFL Draft.

It's no surprise that Jones wants out considering the Falcons have only made the playoffs once since their Super Bowl appearance in 2016. Jones is 32 now and coming off a season where nagging injuries kept him off the field for all but nine games in 2020. In those games Jones caught 51 balls for 771 yards while adding three touchdowns. Having only reached double-digit touchdowns once in his career in 2012, the volume and yardage have always been Julio's strengths. A lack of availability would certainly hurt his chances to be a major contributor for any title-contender.

According to SportsLine, the teams with the best odds to land Jones are as follows as of May 28, 2021.

  • Patriots +200
  • 49ers +300
  • Titans +400
  • Raiders +600
  • Ravens +700
  • Chargers +900
  • Colts +1000
  • Packers +1200
  • Dolphins +1400
  • Jaguars +1500
  • Cowboys +2000

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The Nets big 3 are set for a finals run.

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The play-ins have been a short, but wild rollercoaster and the playoffs are getting ready to set off.

The seeds are finally set, and the first-round matchups are 76ers(1) vs Wizards(8), Nets(2) vs Celtics(7), Bucks(3) vs Heat(6), and Knicks(4) vs Hawks(5).



76ers vs Wizards:

The Russell Westbrook-Joel Embiid rivalry will continue during this year's playoffs and fans cannot wait. The Wizards finished the season with a 16-6 record, and after a lackluster start this season, they have made themselves a dangerous 8th seed. While the 76ers didn't finish the season hot, I'm sure with a team-full of veterans, rest was more of a priority. The 76ers beat the Wizards three times during the season, but two of those games were very close and came early in the season.

The Wizards can definitely make this series a challenging one for the 76ers. The Wizards have shooters all around with Bradley Beal, Davis Bertans. But the 76ers have a much deeper team with guys like Danny Green, Seth Curry, and Dwight Howard providing good veteran leadership. The Wizards are riding on the health of Bradley Beal, who has dealt with hamstring tightness in the past two weeks.



Nets vs Celtics:

The Nets finally seem to be healthy just in time for the playoffs, which is dangerous for Boston. Although the Nets big three only played eight games together, the Nets still finished with a 48-24. The Nets also have a great mix of reliable veterans like Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Jeff Green, and Joe Harris. These two teams meet three times during the regular season with Brooklyn taking all three games.

The Celtics have not lived up to expectations this year. After making a conference finals last year, it was expected to carry through the regular season, but they never found their stride. Jaylen Brown will continue to be sidelined with a broken wrist, so most of the load will be carried by Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker. I see this series being an easy one for the Nets.



Bucks vs Heat:

A rematch of the heated second-round matchup last year, where the Heat upset Milwaukee, who had Giannis dealing with injuries. Interestingly enough, both of these come to the playoffs on the right side with an 8-2 record in their last 10 regular-season games. Giannis is back with more weapons on his sides like Jrue Holiday, PJ Tucker, and Jeff Teague, while also keeping their core from last year. Giannis had had another MVP-type season averaging 28 points and 11 rebounds.

The Miami Heat started the season off slow, probably because of the NBA finals hangover, but got hot after the all-star break. Miami also acquired many new weapons like Trevor Ariza and Dewayne Dedmon. The Jimmy Butler-Giannis Antetokounmpo matchup will be the most important aspect of this series.

Knicks vs Hawks

After what seems like a lifetime drought, the Knicks are finally back in the playoffs! We can all agree that when the Knicks are good, the league is in better spirits. Tom Thibodeau has turned this team around, and you can't forget about how Julius Randle has been playing this season. Possibly the most improved player, Julius Randle has proved all his doubters wrong and has taken the keys to this Knicks franchise. The Knicks have great veteran leadership with guys like Derrick Rose, and Taj Gibson who are familiar with Thibodeau. They also have great young talent with guys like RJ Barret, and Obi Toppin.

The Hawks on the other hand have turned it around since firing Lloyd Pierce and having Nate McMillan made this team do a complete 180. Trae Young and John Collins are one of the best duos in the league. With guys like Lou Williams, Danilo Gallinari, and Bogdan Bogdanovic who can get hot at any point of the game. This series can definitely go to 7 games, with last-second shots determining the outcome.