Fantasy baseball is an online game that many sports fans enjoy. Being in control of your own roster, drafting your own team, making trades, having the inside information or just intuition on a big free agent pickup is exhilarating. Many fantasy leagues have payouts for the winners, adding to the competition. While you can decide what to play in terms of head-to-head or rotisserie, the game is all about having better stats than your opponents.
According to Yahoo’s Top 250, the St. Louis Cardinals are well represented. While fantasy baseball hardly tells the story of the real life baseball season, the stats comparison is fun for any baseball junkie. As Holliday ages and Wainwright is coming off his injury, the Cardinals lack a top-echelon player in terms of fantasy baseball.
- Adam Wainwright comes in first for the Cardinals at 43 on the list. Wainwright was certainly to have been ranked higher if he did not have offseason surgery. Wainwright had a stellar season and out of the four writers to contribute to the rankings he was as high as 31. Wainwright is ranked 11 for starting pitching.
- Matt Holliday is listed 64 and the writers are in agreement he deserves to be in this spot for the fantasy season. Holliday has been an inconsistent mess the past two season for fantasy owners, but he has produced excellent post all-star numbers.
- Jason Heyward 81 – There are not many leagues that defense is rewarded, making Heyward less valuable for fantasy. In 2012, he was one of the best options and many thought he would continue to be an offensive force. While Heyward has the offensive potential, it would be tough to bet on his success.
- Kolton Wong comes in at 102. Wong was even more streaky than Holliday, but that was his rookie season. While Wong seems like he could be on the cusp of being the best second basemen in the MLB. Wong ranks 10 in second base rankings, but should become a more consistent hitter in 2015.
- Trevor Rosenthal – Rosenthal is at 109 and the 8th best option for a closer. Rosenthal should get plenty of opportunities for saves as the Cardinals are the favorites to win the NL Central.
- Mat Adams ranks at 111 on the Yahoo list but comes in at a disappointing 20 for first baseman. Adams’ big downfall is the inability to hit against left-handed pitching. But his performance in the post-season might be the confidence boost needed to perform better.
- Matt Carpenter is 116 and 13th in a stacked 3rd base list. Carpenter’s fantasy abilities do not reflect his real abilities. Yet, Carpenter’s stock could rise depending on where he bats in the lineup.
- Yadier Molina has fallen off the charts on the fantasy rankings at 119. Molina is a prime example of how fantasy sports and real sports do not indicate a true value. Molina is the best defensive catcher in the game, but because defense is rarely counted in fantasy sports, the numbers focus on his offense. Molina’s offense declined in 2014, some of which can be contributed to injury. Other players perform better offensively but Molina blows them away defensively. Alas, Molina is only ranked as the 7th best fantasy catcher.
- Lance Lynn comes in the list at 152 and could be ranked higher as he finished 101 last season. Lynn should continue to improve and I believe is the most underrated Cardinal in terms of fantasy stats. Lynn is ranked as the 40th best starting pitcher for fantasy.
- Michael Wacha appears at 163, which is mistake across all areas. Wacha is ranked this low because of the injury that sidelined him for much of last year. While he has much to prove he should be taken much earlier than the 16th round. Don’t be afraid to come up to get him, it may be a stretch but he will be worth it. If you can get him in the late rounds, consider it a steal.
- Jhonny Peralta comes in at 192 and the 10th best shortstop. Peralta managed to hit 21 home runs and knock in 75 RBIs for a Cardinal offense that was less than impressive. His rank was 150 overall, which hurt because a lack of runs and average, but 21 home runs at the SS position cannot be overlooked.
- John Lackey makes this list at 219. Lackey has been a consistent force when it comes to fantasy numbers of the past two seasons. He often goes undrafted and his ERA should decline pitching a full season in the NL Central. While he was not as solid after his trade, he should continue to be a good pitcher after a settling in.
The Cardinals have 11 players in the top 200 and 12 in the top 250. Being loyal to your favorite team can often be tough in fantasy sports. If you’re a Cards fan that plays fantasy baseball this list could help you determine where to draft some of your favorite players. Remember when drafting that defense isn’t a category rewarded, so while it might be appealing to take Molina earlier, it is something you want to stay away from. Potential is always a gamble in terms of fantasy numbers. Jason Heyward is always ranked in the top 100 preseason, but almost always finished out of the top 100.
Interested in more fantasy rankings? Check out all of the rankings here.