FLB: 2006 Top 50

Updated: January 5, 2006, 5:10 PM ET
By Tristan H. Cockcroft | ESPN Fantasy Games
Fellow fantasy baseball fans: Happy New Year! With a new year comes a new baseball season, and I'll tell you, I'm pretty excited about it. Sure, we still have the NFL playoffs, NBA and NHL to attract our attention, but once the calendar hits January, the countdown to pitchers and catchers begins -- it's 43 days, incidentally -- and it's officially time to turn our heads toward the coming baseball season.

What better way to kick off 2006 than with another look at the top 50 players overall? I put together one of these back in October, but a lot has changed since then. The Top 50 is a constantly changing list, so here's a quick look at how things stand today:

Swap at the top: Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols, the two best players in fantasy baseball, switch spots in this edition, which really isn't that big a deal other than it's fun to debate -- in any topic -- who's No. 1. I'm a proponent of the strategy that when all else is equal, go with your gut, and mine says A-Rod is the better pick because he'll steal a handful of bases and has two pretty stable players ahead of him in the lineup in Johnny Damon and Derek Jeter. Sure, A-Rod had plenty of men on base to drive home last year, and his failures in clutch situations -- think Game 5 of the 2005 American League Division Series -- are a concern, but Damon's addition could give A-Rod a chance at the first 150-RBI season of his career. Damon and Jeter combined for a .378 on-base percentage; that's tough to beat.