Commentary

The TMR Top 250

Updated: March 20, 2012, 4:22 PM ET
By Matthew Berry | ESPN.com

So, here are my updated ranks, as of March 20th, 2012 at 2 p.m. ET. Previous ranking from the March 1 edition is indicated in parentheses.

The Talented Mr. Roto

Before you dive in, please read this as it will help you use them as intended.

First, please note the date published above. I will update this occasionally throughout spring training based on news, what I see in mock drafts, players' health and roles coming more into focus, etc. When we publish an update, the date above will change, so be sure to look at it to know how up to date (or not!) this is.

I based these ranks on the ESPN standard league (10 team, mixed, standard 5x5 roto scoring). In those league, you roster 25 players per team -- 22 starters and a three-man bench -- so I went 250 players deep. See how that works out? Magic.

I ranked according to the strategy and theories laid out in this year's Draft Day Manifesto . Which means, more often than not, I am higher on proven players coming off one bad year (Carl Crawford, Kevin Youkilis) than I am trendy guys with small sample sizes (Desmond Jennings, Brett Lawrie).

Position scarcity (and my tiers that are listed in the Manifesto) played into this, so I might have gone a little higher on a shortstop, outfielder or first baseman (where I feel there is some scarcity) then you'll see in many drafts and waited a bit longer on second base, third and catcher (ESPN standard leagues play only one catcher) and almost all pitching, where I feel there is solid depth.

This update is based on a number of factors: Injuries (or a lack thereof) play a part of course, as guys like Chase Utley and Chris Carpenter have moved down and the reported health of guys like Josh Johnson and Kendrys Morales have moved them up. I've also been paying attention to trends in drafts, so some players that I actually like have been moved down, because you will still be able to get that player a round or two later. Spring performance has played a part (Damn, Francisco Liriano looks good. Sigh) as has my own actions. There have been times where I have been in a draft and wanted to draft someone I ranked lower than another player. I like Howard Kendrick and Freddie Freeman even more than I initially thought.

You won't get the closer you want by using these rankings, as I devalue most closers in leagues that are this shallow. You can find good closers late, you can find even more on the waiver wire during the season and it's the least stable position. If I'm paying a premium, I want as much of a guarantee as possible. You generally won't find that in relief. Don't pay for saves, kids. Learn it, love it, name your third child after it.

In places where I grouped guys at the same position next to each other, it's my way of saying I feel they are very close and it comes down to (even more than normal) personal preference.

I want at least one stud starting pitcher early to anchor the staff and then I feel you can wait for the rest of your staff, and these rankings reflect that. These rankings also have my personal biases and fantasy kryptonite built in; Lord help me, I can't quit Rickie Weeks. Understand that, too. Or just read Love/Hate, which is coming soon.

Last, my philosophy tends to be safe early and upside later. So I've ranked guys such as Ryan Howard, Johan Santana and Adam Dunn much higher than my fellow ESPN colleagues. My feeling? Take a late flier and either they have it and you've got a steal, or they don't and you can cut them and grab someone else off the wire. In a 10-team mixed league like this, the talent pool is deep. So instead of grabbing a guy like Edwin Jackson or Chipper Jones, who are what they are, I'd rather take a gamble. There will be tons of guys just like Chipper or Edwin out there if the need arises.

Finally, as I mentioned in the Manifesto, please use these rankings as loose guideline. It's not gospel. You're going for 80 points. Many ways to get there, young padawan.

Every draft is different, as is every team's construction during a draft. You end up with Jose Reyes in the second round and feel a little power light, don't sweat grabbing Michael Morse over Elvis Andrus, even though I have Morse ranked over a round later. The rankings at the end of the year won't look anything like this set or any other set of rankings you are going to read, so when in doubt, get the guy you want.

Finally, the actual No. 250 was Mat Gamel, but in a nod to my fantasy kryptonite, I put an old favorite there just for fun. He could be all right this year. Of course, I say that every year.

I will continue to try to answer as many questions about the rankings on my Facebook page and on Twitter, though I suspect many of them will be answered once you read Love/Hate. Until then … happy drafting.

Matthew Berry's Top 250

1. Miguel Cabrera, Det, 1B (1)
2. Albert Pujols, LAA, 1B (2)
3. Jose Bautista, Tor, 3B, OF (3)
4. Ryan Braun, Mil, OF (4)
5. Matt Kemp, LAD, OF (5)
6. Troy Tulowitzki, Col, SS (6)
7. Justin Upton, Ari, OF (7)
8. Carlos Gonzalez, Col, OF (8)
9. Adrian Gonzalez, Bos, 1B (9)
10. Joey Votto, Cin, 1B (10)
11. Jacoby Ellsbury, Bos, OF (12)
12. Robinson Cano, NYY, 2B (11)
13. Jose Reyes, Mia, SS (13)
14. Hanley Ramirez, Mia, SS (16)
15. Evan Longoria, TB, 3B (14)
16. Roy Halladay, Phi, SP (15)
17. Adrian Beltre, Tex, 3B (17)
18. Dustin Pedroia, Bos, 2B (19)
19. Prince Fielder, Det, 1B (18)
20. Clayton Kershaw, LAD, SP (20)
21. Ian Kinsler, Tex, 2B (21)
22. Curtis Granderson, NYY, OF (30)
23. Justin Verlander, Det, SP (23)
24. Giancarlo Stanton, Mia, OF (22)
25. Cliff Lee, Phi, SP (24)
26. Michael Bourn, Atl, OF (26)
27. Josh Hamilton, Tex, OF (29)
28. Felix Hernandez, Sea, SP (27)
29. Tim Lincecum, SF, SP (28)
30. Andrew McCutchen, Pit, OF (31)
31. Jay Bruce, Cin, OF (33)
32. Mark Teixeira, NYY, 1B (32)
33. Paul Konerko, CWS, 1B (34)
34. Matt Holliday, StL, OF (36)
35. Cole Hamels, Phi, SP (35)
36. Jered Weaver, LAA, SP (37)
37. Nelson Cruz, Tex, OF (39)
38. Eric Hosmer, KC, 1B (58)
39. David Wright, NYM, 3B (25)
40. Zack Greinke, Mil, SP (40)
41. Carl Crawford, Bos, OF (41)
42. Elvis Andrus, Tex, SS (42)
43. Pablo Sandoval, SF, 3B (38)
44. Ben Zobrist, TB, 2B, OF (43)
45. Starlin Castro, ChC, SS (44)
46. Brandon Phillips, Cin, 2B (45)
47. Dan Uggla, Atl, 2B (46)
48. Shane Victorino, Phi, OF (47)
49. Hunter Pence, Phi, OF (48)
50. Ryan Zimmerman, Was, 3B (49)
51. Dan Haren, LAA, SP (50)
52. CC Sabathia, NYY, SP (51)
53. Jimmy Rollins, Phi, SS (52)
54. Michael Morse, Was, 1B, OF (54)
55. Jayson Werth, Was, OF (55)
56. Alex Gordon, KC, OF (61)
57. Kevin Youkilis, Bos, 3B (57)
58. Mike Napoli, Tex, C, 1B (56)
59. David Price, TB, SP (53)
60. Lance Berkman, StL, 1B, OF (63)
61. Asdrubal Cabrera, Cle, SS (67)
62. Corey Hart, Mil, OF (62)
63. Jon Lester, Bos, SP (64)
64. Matt Cain, SF, SP (65)
65. Yovani Gallardo, Mil, SP (69)
66. Shin-Soo Choo, Cle, OF (72)
67. David Ortiz, Bos, DH (76)
68. Madison Bumgarner, SF, SP (74)
69. Stephen Strasburg, Was, SP (66)
70. Adam Wainwright, StL, SP (80)
71. C.J. Wilson, LAA, SP (75)
72. James Shields, TB, SP (81)
73. Brian McCann, Atl, C (59)
74. Rickie Weeks, Mil, 2B (68)
75. Brett Lawrie, Tor, 3B (84)
76. Carlos Santana, Cle, C, 1B (60)
77. Alex Rodriguez, NYY, 3B (82)
78. Aramis Ramirez, Mil, 3B (71)
79. Ian Kennedy, Ari, SP (70)
80. Craig Kimbrel, Atl, RP (73)
81. Adam Jones, Bal, OF (79)
82. Ichiro Suzuki, Sea, OF (78)
83. Howard Kendrick, LAA, 2B, OF (85)
84. Michael Young, Tex, 1B, 3B (96)
85. B.J. Upton, TB, OF (83)
86. Alexei Ramirez, CWS, SS (86)
87. Matt Wieters, Bal, C (87)
88. Matt Garza, ChC, SP (88)
89. Michael Cuddyer, Col, 1B, OF (99)
90. Freddie Freeman, Atl, 1B (95)
91. Daniel Hudson, Ari, SP (90)
92. Ricky Romero, Tor, SP (91)
93. Josh Johnson, Mia, SP (103)
94. Drew Stubbs, Cin, OF (92)
95. Drew Storen, Was, RP (93)
96. Mariano Rivera, NYY, RP (94)
97. Billy Butler, KC, DH (111)
98. Carlos Beltran, StL, OF (97)
99. Mat Latos, Cin, SP (98)
100. Josh Beckett, Bos, SP (100)
101. Brandon Beachy, Atl, SP (102)
102. Tommy Hanson, Atl, SP (101)
103. Matt Moore, TB, SP (104)
104. Chris Young, Ari, OF (108)
105. Brett Gardner, NYY, OF (109)
106. Buster Posey, SF, C (120)
107. Chris Carpenter, StL, SP (89)
108. Jonathan Papelbon, Phi, RP (105)
109. John Axford, Mil, RP (106)
110. Emilio Bonifacio, Mia, SS, 3B, OF (136)
111. Dee Gordon, LAD, SS (132)
112. Erick Aybar, LAA, SS (130)
113. J.J. Hardy, Bal, SS (107)
114. Coco Crisp, Oak, OF (110)
115. Cameron Maybin, SD, OF (122)
116. Desmond Jennings, TB, OF (112)
117. Jhonny Peralta, Det, SS (113)
118. Jason Heyward, Atl, OF (123)
119. Shaun Marcum, Mil, SP (114)
120. Alex Avila, Det, C (115)
121. Miguel Montero, Ari, C (119)
122. Cory Luebke, SD, SP, RP (116)
123. Jordan Zimmermann, Was, SP (118)
124. Logan Morrison, Mia, OF (124)
125. Max Scherzer, Det, SP (126)
126. Gio Gonzalez, Was, SP (127)
127. Anibal Sanchez, Mia, SP (128)
128. Nick Swisher, NYY, OF (121)
129. Mark Reynolds, Bal, 3B, 1B (129)
130. Adam Lind, Tor, 1B (134)
131. Chase Utley, Phi, 2B (77)
132. Derek Jeter, NYY, SS (135)
133. Neftali Feliz, Tex, RP (131)
134. Yu Darvish, Tex, SP (147)
135. Brandon McCarthy, Oak, SP (141)
136. Wandy Rodriguez, Hou, SP (144)
137. Ervin Santana, LAA, SP (143)
138. Hiroki Kuroda, NYY, SP (142)
139. Johnny Cueto, Cin, SP (145)
140. Jaime Garcia, StL, SP (146)
141. Ryan Roberts, Ari, 2B, 3B (137)
142. Jeff Francoeur, KC, OF (138)
143. Carlos Lee, Hou, 1B, OF (139)
144. Melky Cabrera, SF, OF (140)
145. J.J. Putz, Ari, RP (148)
146. Brandon League, Sea, RP (149)
147. Martin Prado, Atl, 3B, OF (150)
148. Andrew Bailey, Bos, RP (151)
149. Brian Wilson, SF, RP (169)
150. Tim Hudson, Atl, SP (152)
151. Kendrys Morales, LAA, 1B (206)
152. Gaby Sanchez, Mia, 1B (156)
153. Stephen Drew, Ari, SS (157)
154. Andre Ethier, LAD, OF (158)
155. Torii Hunter, LAA, OF (159)
156. Lucas Duda, NYM, 1B, OF (161)
157. Alex Rios, CWS, OF (160)
158. Joe Mauer, Min, C (176)
159. Jemile Weeks, Oak, 2B (162)
160. Jason Motte, StL, RP (163)
161. Joel Hanrahan, Pit, RP (164)
162. Jose Valverde, Det, RP (165)
163. Huston Street, SD, RP (166)
164. Ryan Madson, Cin, RP (167)
165. Jordan Walden, LAA, RP (171)
166. Neil Walker, Pit, 2B (178)
167. Marco Scutaro, Col, SS (216)
168. Heath Bell, Mia, RP (172)
169. Carlos Marmol, ChC, RP (173)
170. Peter Bourjos, LAA, OF (194)
171. Danny Espinosa, Was, 2B (180)
172. Kelly Johnson, Tor, 2B (234)
173. Dustin Ackley, Sea, 2B (179)
174. Nick Markakis, Bal, OF (181)
175. Angel Pagan, SF, OF (175)
176. Jason Kubel, Ari, OF (201)
177. Ubaldo Jimenez, Cle, SP (125)
178. Michael Pineda, NYY, SP (117)
179. Ted Lilly, LAD, SP (154)
180. Justin Masterson, Cle, SP (155)
181. Kyle Farnsworth, TB, RP (170)
182. Rafael Betancourt, Col, RP (174)
183. Brandon Morrow, Tor, SP (177)
184. Edwin Encarnacion, Tor, 3B, 1B (188)
185. Jeremy Hellickson, TB, SP (184)
186. Jesus Montero, Sea, DH (186)
187. Jhoulys Chacin, Col, SP (183)
188. Chris Sale, CWS, RP (211)
189. Doug Fister, Det, SP (213)
190. Mike Minor, Atl, SP (214)
191. Adam Dunn, CWS, 1B (190)
192. Mark Trumbo, LAA, 1B (191)
193. Jason Kipnis, Cle, 2B (192)
194. David Freese, StL, 3B (187)
195. Paul Goldschmidt, Ari, 1B (205)
196. Colby Rasmus, Tor, OF (195)
197. Johan Santana, NYM, SP (204)
198. Jonathon Niese, NYM, SP (210)
199. John Danks, CWS, SP (203)
200. Gavin Floyd, CWS, SP (241)
201. Ryan Howard, Phi, 1B (133)
202. Carlos Pena, TB, 1B (212)
203. Ike Davis, NYM, 1B (189)
204. Yunel Escobar, Tor, SS (193)
205. Daniel Murphy, NYM, 2B, 3B, 1B (196)
206. Tim Stauffer, SD, SP (198)
207. Colby Lewis, Tex, SP (200)
208. Aaron Hill, Ari, 2B (220)
209. Brennan Boesch, Det, OF (246)
210. Dexter Fowler, Col, OF (NR)
211. Delmon Young, Det, OF (NR)
212. Wilson Ramos, Was, C (208)
213. Denard Span, Min, OF (219)
214. Matt Joyce, TB, OF (218)
215. Josh Willingham, Min, OF (185)
216. Bartolo Colon, Oak, SP (199)
217. Sergio Santos, Tor, RP (223)
218. Javy Guerra, LAD, RP (225)
219. Kenley Jansen, LAD, RP (226)
220. Brett Myers, Hou, SP (228)
221. Chris Perez, Cle, RP (224)
222. Grant Balfour, Oak, RP (227)
223. Jim Johnson, Bal, RP (243)
224. Joe Nathan, Tex, RP (229)
225. Frank Francisco, NYM, RP (231)
226. Matt Capps, Min, RP (230)
227. Mike Moustakas, KC, 3B (235)
228. Joakim Soria, KC, RP (168)
229. Francisco Liriano, Min, SP (238)
230. Bud Norris, Hou, SP (215)
231. Jake Peavy, CWS, SP (222)
232. Nyjer Morgan, Mil, OF (232)
233. Lonnie Chisenhall, Cle, 3B (233)
234. Justin Morneau, Min, 1B (NR)
235. Vance Worley, Phi, SP (NR)
236. Ryan Vogelsong, SF, SP (207)
237. Ryan Dempster, ChC, SP (217)
238. Alexi Ogando, Tex, SP (202)
239. Derek Holland, Tex, SP (NR)
240. Geovany Soto, ChC, C (236)
241. Matt Thornton, CWS, RP (244)
242. Addison Reed, CWS, RP (245)
243. Yoenis Cespedes, Oak, OF (249)
244. J.D. Martinez, Hou, OF (NR)
245. Alfonso Soriano, ChC, OF (NR)
246. Jose Tabata, Pit, OF (NR)
247. Scott Baker, Min, SP (182)
248. Sean Rodriguez, TB, SS, 2B, 3B (209)
249. Ian Desmond, Was, SS (239)
250. Erik Bedard, Pit, SP (NR)

• Senior Fantasy analyst for ESPN
• Member, FSWA and FSTA Halls of Fame
• Best-selling author of "Fantasy Life"