Oh my gosh, Becky. Look at this position. It is so ... bad.

I don't know what happened. Just a couple years ago, I was marveling at how deep third base was, even pointing out that you could conceivably draft an entire lineup of third base-eligible players, thanks to multi-eligibility, and likely crush everyone with it.

Early Rankings: Catcher | First base | Second base | Third base | Shortstop | Outfield | Starting pitcher | Relief pitcher

It just seems like the position has been hit unusually hard, whether by injuries, unexpected declines or even the new baseball. What doesn't help is that so many of the players we had grown accustomed to using there are losing eligibility for 2022, including Max Muncy, Jonathan India, Wander Franco, Tommy Edman, Ty France, Chris Taylor, Jean Segura and Miguel Sano.

With the emphasis on versatility in today's game, other useful bats are sure to pick up eligibility at third base as the season plays out, but if there's one position to elevate for scarcity reasons on Draft Day, it's this one. Even in a 12-team league, not everyone is going to like what they get..

Note that these rankings are intended for 5x5 scoring (such as Rotisserie leagues), but I point out distinctions for points leagues where applicable. 

Top 20 third basemen for 2022
Jose Ramirez Cleveland Indians 3B
There's no argument for anyone else to fill the top spot given that Ramirez is arguably the best home run threat and the only one in that conversation who also steals bases. And while his fly-ball tendencies keep his batting average on the lower side, he actually makes a ton of contact, too, widening the gap in points leagues.
Rafael Devers Boston Red Sox 3B
At 25, you could see him growing into more batting average, especially since he already had that one year when he hit an unlikely .311. But right now, Devers is more of a three-category standout, which would make him something of a reach in the second round if not for position scarcity.
Manny Machado San Diego Padres 3B
I'm not sure I actually prefer Rafael Devers to Machado, especially since the latter is the likelier of the two to deliver double-digit steals. It's the chalk pick given that Devers outhomered him by 10 this year, but Machado is still in his prime and has certainly matched Devers' home run output in the past.
Austin Riley Atlanta Braves 3B
He went above and beyond the breakout so many touted for him coming into the year, outperforming the numbers Statcast pegged him for, and so a half step back would be the reasonable expectation. But 80-90 percent of his 2021 production would likely still justify this ranking.
Nolan Arenado St. Louis Cardinals 3B
It's tempting to downgrade him even further given that our worst fears about him leaving Colorado more or less came true, his middling exit velocities and extreme fly-ball tendencies serving to tank his batting average in a more BABIP-neutral environment. He's a low-OBP power bat now, but one who nonetheless offers more assurances than the rest of the position.
Alex Bregman Houston Astros 3B
The former MVP runner-up's stock continued to decline in 2021, and given his trajectory, it's reasonable to wonder if he's a casualty of the new ball. He gets some benefit of the doubt since his season was sidetracked by injury, but he's never hitting 40 homers again and may be hard-pressed to hit 30.
Adalberto Mondesi Kansas City Royals 3B
He's 3B-only now after spending most of his time there once he got good and healthy, so if you're tired of overvaluing him for his outlier steals potential, now you can do so for position scarcity reasons. The Royals have hinted at giving him regular time off to keep him healthy next year, but he's still likely to out-steal everyone else. Bump him down four spots in points leagues.
Kris Bryant San Francisco Giants 3B
His 2021 was ... fine, certainly enough to quell concerns about a premature collapse, but given the way his first two months went, the final stat line was kind of disappointing. It had little to do with his midseason move to San Francisco, where his numbers held fairly steady, but given that he's a fly-ball hitter with middling exit velocities, it could make a difference where he goes in free agency.
Anthony Rendon Los Angeles Angels 3B
Rendon is another player whose emergence as a power hitter mostly coincides with the juiced ball era, which makes his drop in production this year, with the introduction of new baseballs, a little suspicious. He was playing with a hip impingement, though, that ultimately required season-ending surgery, so it would be unreasonable to write him off at age 31.
Justin Turner Los Angeles Dodgers 3B
The 36-year-old got his most consistent playing time in years with the Dodgers' depth being tested, but the loss of those maintenance days may have had an adverse effect on his production given that he hit .241 in the second half and finished with his lowest batting average in five years. He may be slowing down, but we're running out of difference-makers here.
Josh Donaldson Minnesota Twins 3B
He's nearly as old as Justin Turner but has a more extensive injury history, managing to avoid the knockout blow this year but still missing time with calf and especially hamstring issues. He can still hit the ball out of the park while reaching base at a reasonable clip, but you'll be on pins and needles with him as your starter.
Matt Chapman Oakland Athletics 3B
The 28-year-old certainly took a turn for the disastrous this year, but he was coming off surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip. That's a big one, so I'm OK giving him the benefit of the doubt, especially since the strikeouts were so out of character. Such rationalizations are necessary for every third base pick from this point forward.
Yoan Moncada Chicago White Sox 3B
It's hard to make sense of what's going on with Moncada, a special talent who seemed to be coming into his own two years ago. He just hasn't hit the ball with the same authority since then, but on the other hand, his plate discipline has greatly improved. Slot him ahead of Matt Chapman in points leagues and hope for the best.
DJ LeMahieu New York Yankees 2B
I have him ranked 17th at second base and 22nd at first (for 5x5 scoring, anyway), which gives you a sense of how desperate things have become at third base. You could justify taking him as high as 12th here, if only for the multi-eligibility, but unlike Matt Chapman and Yoan Moncada, I believe LeMahieu to be a pretty obvious casualty of the deadened ball.
Kyle Seager Seattle Mariners 3B
What a weird season the 33-year-old just put together, hitting 35 homers, by far a career high, but also striking out at an unfamiliar rate. What isn't weird is that he performed much better on the road, batting .261 with an .861 OPS, which has been true throughout his 11-year career. It gives me hope with him entering free agency for the first time.
Eduardo Escobar Milwaukee Brewers 3B
He's a one-dimensional hitter, and at age 33 next year, that one dimension is more likely to yield 25 homers than the 35 he hit in 2019, the height of the juiced ball era. And since he's a free agent, it's possible he signs somewhere to play more of a part-time utility role, in which case I'll be moving him down.
Ryan McMahon Colorado Rockies 3B
His 2021 was simultaneously encouraging and discouraging. He cut down on his strikeout rate and improved his launch angle, which seemed like exactly what he needed to do to break through finally, but his final stat line was almost identical to 2019. So maybe that's just who he is -- i.e., usable but pretty fringy.
Eugenio Suarez Cincinnati Reds 3B
This is much higher than I thought I'd be ranking him given how little benefit of the doubt remains with him batting .199 since the start of 2020. But he ended things on the highest possible note, batting .370 with a 1.268 OPS in September, and was a 49-homer guy just two years ago. You need something to hope for at this point in the rankings.
Luis Urias Milwaukee Brewers SS
Want another example of how bad things are going here? My 19th-ranked third baseman is my 26th-ranked second baseman. Urias finally made himself relevant in Fantasy after falling well short of expectations upon his arrival, but he's still just a moderate power hitter with decent on-base skills and no assurances of a full-time role. Don't get too excited.
Patrick Wisdom Chicago Cubs 3B
With a strikeout rate over 40 percent, Wisdom could quickly flame out, which would be hardly unexpected for a 30-year-old sophomore, and it stands to reason you'd prefer others like Jeimer Candelario, Ke'Bryan Hayes and Alec Bohm over him in a points league. But when Wisdom does make contact, he crushes the ball, making a huge home run total also possible.