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Top fantasy players by team: April edition

A look at the best fantasy baseball option by team. How many Cubs are better than the best of the Giants?

Paul Goldschmidt leds the way for the best fantasy baseball team of April, the Arizona Diamondbacks!
Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to the 2017 edition of “Top Fantasy Players by Team”. To new readers, thanks for joining us this season. April was a ton of fun for fantasy baseball. It’s kind of like those March Madness brackets where you spend tons of research to predict how things will turn out just to have it blow up in your face! Isn’t fantasy baseball fun! Well let’s look at the best of the best by team.

Here’s how it goes:
I have listed the top performer by team and their overall rank this year. The * next to the players are additional players on that team who ranked higher than the worst 'best' player.

Here are the results (rankings are through April 30th):

Angels - Mike Trout (4)**
Astros - Dallas Keuchel (7)****
Athletics - Khris Davis (22)**
Mariners - James Paxton (18)*****
Rangers - Joey Gallo (43)****

Indians - Jose Ramirez (19)*****
Royals - Jason Vargas (52)*
Tigers - Justin Upton (59)*
Twins - Ervin Santana (11)****
White Sox - Avisail Garcia (30)***

Blue Jays - Kevin Pillar (87)*
Orioles - Dylan Bundy (57)*****
Rays - Steven Souza Jr. (67)***
Red Sox - Chris Sale (15)***
Yankees - Aaron Judge (9)*******

Diamondbacks - Paul Goldschmidt (6)*********
Dodgers - Clayton Kershaw (14)****
Giants - Matt Cain (134)
Padres - Wil Myers (12)****
Rockies - Charlie Blackmon (23)****

Brewers - Eric Thames (5)***
Cardinals - Mike Leake (51)***
Cubs - Anthony Rizzo (31)***
Pirates - Ivan Nova (33)**
Reds - Joey Votto (39)*****

Braves - Freddie Freeman (3)***
Marlins - Christian Yelich (32)**
Mets - Jay Bruce (61)***
Nationals - Ryan Zimmerman (1)********
Phillies - Cesar Hernandez (36)*

Interesting Findings

  • The San Francisco Giants take the spot for worst fantasy baseball team of April. Their best player in April was Matt Cain. Cain earns the title of Worst ‘Best’ Player. Wear it with pride! He finished April as the #134 overall player. Next closest was Kevin Pillar at #87. I was honestly surprised with this news. I knew the Giants would be low in this research but a total of 133 players show up before we find Cain.
  • Every team outside of the Giants had 2 or more players performing better than the worst ‘best’ player. Only 4 teams had just 2 players better than Cain. Those were the Blue Jays (Pillar/Marcus Stroman), Phillies (Cesar Hernandez/Jeremy Hellickson), Royals (Jason Vargas/Mike Moustakas), and Tigers (Justin Upton/Michael Fulmer).
  • The Arizona Diamondbacks (crazy, right?) take the title for best fantasy baseball team through April. They had a total of 10 players better than Cain. They edged out the Nationals who had 9.
  • Those 10 players for Arizona were: Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, Chris Owings, Jake Lamb, Yasmany Tomas, David Peralta, Zack Greinke, Taijuan Walker, Patrick Corbin, and Robbie Ray.
  • None of the 5 teams with 2 or fewer top fantasy options posted a winning record in April. The Tigers were 12-12 and the only team with at least a .500 record. Even if we expand to teams with 3 top fantasy options, only the Angels posted a winning record. That means 8 of the 9 teams with 3 or fewer top 134 fantasy players were .500 or worse in April. Maybe fantasy does correlate with real life baseball after all?
  • The National League (69) edged out the American League (65) for most players inside the top 134.

That’s all I’ve got! Leave a comment below letting me know what you found most eye opening about this information. Thanks for the read and see you next month!