You wouldn’t jump on the first offer a used car salesman throws your way or see your fantasy ace undergo season-ending surgery after only one doctor’s opinion.
So why would you want to go into your fantasy football draft with just one set of rankings?
Luckily, composite rankings give you a series of lists all melted into one. The following composite ranking of the top 20 fantasy catchers follows the model of our top 50 overall composite baseball rankings, factoring in lists from ESPN, SI, mlb.com, Yahoo and CBS.
Be sure to check out the interactive chart at the bottom of the list, which gives you a great side-by-side comparison. For more detailed analysis on each player, check out my catcher rankings discussion and catcher value players.
2. Victor Martinez, DET. A consensus No. 2 among all five sets of rankings, Martinez should fare well with his new digs in Detroit. He’s my No. 1 overall catcher this year.
3. Buster Posey, SF. Our first catcher with some discrepancy between the rankings. MLB.com and ESPN have Posey behind Brian McCann. There is no doubt that he’s got real talent, but doesn’t have the major league track record of McCann just yet.
4. Brian McCann, ATL. Been a fairly consistent fantasy catcher for several years now, and I’d take that over a majorly high risk/reward option if I were to draft a catcher in the earlier rounds.
5. Carlos Santana, CLE. Like Posey, Santana is primed to become an elite fantasy catcher, but doesn’t have the track record just yet under his belt. He’s a much better value than Posey, just expect some growing pains.
6. Geovany Soto, CHC. Only SI has Soto higher than Santana in their rankings. The Cubs catcher continues to fly below the radar.
7. Miguel Montero, ARI. Injuries rattled Montero’s 2010 season. So, does he rebound to the 2009 breakout or will he continue to flounder? This ranking suggests that the major sites expect at least a slight rebound.
8. Mike Napoli, TEX. He’s my guy. You can take your Mauers and Martinez’s in the early rounds, I’ll take the quietly efficient Napoli in his new hitter-friendly digs any day of the week. Even as the eighth catcher on this list, he is a value in my opinion.
9. Matt Wieters, BAL. No one really knows what to do with Wieters. The hype train he was riding into the majors has derailed in an ugly crash, and people wonder if his talent alone will be enough to someday allow him to bounce back. I’ll leave him for someone else to tinker with.
10. Kurt Suzuki, OAK. I expected more out of Suzuki last season, and am a little on the gunshy side this year until he proves otherwise. He’s ranked as high as sixth by CBS, so some feel he could emerge as a viable top-half option at the position.
11. Jorge Posada, NYY. One of the questions surrounding Posada was his health. This season, he’s likely to see expanded time at DH, meaning he could compile a full season’s worth of stats, which could be much better than this ranking considering the home ballpark and lineup around him.
12. Chris Iannetta, COL. One of my sleeper options, Iannetta was ranked as high as 10th by MLB.com. We’ve been waiting for a breakout for quite a while from Iannetta. He has the catching job all to himself, so if he’s going to do it, this will be the year.
13. Yadier Molina, STL. Derailed at the end of the season by a balky knee, Molina hasn’t produced elite stats any of the past several seasons. He’s ranked as low as 18th by both MLB.com and Yahoo.
14 (tie). Russell Martin, NYY. Martin’s numbers have dipped steadily since his days of being one of the best fantasy catchers in the land. An improved lineup and hitter-friendly stadium could help him find some of his old glory. However, one wonders what to make of the catcher glut in New York, with Posada and rookie Jesus Montero waiting in the wings.
14 (tie). Carlos Ruiz, PHI. Love the lineup and the park. Could hit double-digit homers and for a decent average. There is some upside potential here.
16. J.P. Arencibia, TOR. A guy I’ve talked about a lot so far this offseason. He’s found in my catcher rankings discussion, my sleeper/value catchers talk and as part of my research on home run efficiency. He has Mike Piazza power potential and has the starting catcher gig to himself. A very young high upside catcher without the steep price of a Buster Posey or, to a lesser degree, Carlos Santana.
17. John Jaso, TB. Some decent numbers for Jason in 2010 suggest he could see greener pastures this season, but a 4-for-17 spring and heat from newcomer Robinson Chirinos could alter things somewhat.
18. John Buck, FLA. Buck’s 20 homers in 2010 were a nice surprise, but he was inconsistent in getting there and one wonders if he’ll regress in 2011. I’m one of the doubters at the moment.
19. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, BOS. Projected as the starting Red Sox catcher, Salty has been hyped for quite some time from his days in Texas, but never broke out as many expected. It remains to be seen if his stop in Boston will spark anything in his career numbers. He’s not ranked in the top 20 by three of five sites.
20. A.J. Pierzynski, CWS. He’s been around longer than pet rocks, provides a good average, OK power and plays in an improving offense. At this price, not a bad guy to take a flyer on.
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Just missing the cut (guys who got ranks from some sites in the top 20, but not enough to make the composite list): Miguel Olivo, Jesus Montero, Chris Snyder, Ryan Doumit, Nick Hundley