The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

Bronze Points Ownership and Claims Report: Top 100 Teams vs. The Field

It is hard to believe we are already on the verge of entering Period 5 in the Fantrax Bronze Points Salary Cap Challenge game. And yet, barely 10% of all games have been played. That’s partly because there have been roughly a thousand postponements thus far, but it does remind us that it is still very early in the 2018 baseball season. Having said that, I think we do have enough data to look not only at the most popular players, but the most popular players among Top 100 teams. Having an idea of who the teams higher up in the standings are rostering may help you analyze your own roster decisions. Here I highlight all players who are owned by at least 40 percent of all teams and top-100 teams to see where the “haves” have separated themselves from the “have-nots.” Are those teams currently ahead because of a couple of hot starts? Or is there a glaring omission on your team that is holding you back?


Player Salary Pct Own Top 100
Gary Sanchez 2020 84 90
Willson Contreras 1610 69 89

Most players are sticking with the same two catchers. Contreras is the only one whose ownership percentage is starkly higher among top-100 teams. This is interesting because he hasn’t exactly set the world on fire just yet, but most owners are wisely exercising patience behind the plate.


Player Salary Pct Own Top 100
Yadier Molina 1580 10 5
J.T. Realmuto 1690 3 2
Francisco Cervelli 1190 3 1
Yasmani Grandal 1520 2 0

Players like Yadier Molina, Yasmani Grandal, and even Francisco Cervelli loom, but wasting a New Player Claim on a third catcher is generally not a good strategy. Realmuto is interesting, but I would wait until he gets a few more games under his belt before giving him serious consideration.


Player Salary Pct Own Top 100
Joey Gallo 1710 57 80
Clay Bellinger 2490 47 35
Freddie Freeman 2820 46 70
Matt Olson 1650 34 43

Here we start to see some separation among the top-100. In general, most teams have either Freeman or Bellinger as their anchor at first base. But it is the Freeman owners who are undoubtedly leading the race to this point. Freeman has outscored Bellinger by a near 3:2 margin so far.

Editor’s note: Freeman left Wednesday’s game after being hit by a pitch on his left wrist — the same wrist he injured in 2017. The severity of the injury was unknown at press time. 


Player Salary Pct Own Top 100
Justin Smoak 1830 18 18
Jose Martinez 1150 14 19
Josh Bell 1730 9 7
Hanley Ramirez 1750 5 7

Despite my drum banging on this quartet, they are still relatively sparsely owned. Everyone on this list has outproduced Olson to this point, and only Bell trails Bellinger by the slightest of margins in points per game. Oh yeah, and they are all significantly cheaper than Bellinger. I’m not saying that Bellinger is a clear drop, but it’s going to get harder and harder to justify rostering him when cheaper options are easily available. Yuri Gurriel (1520, one percent owned) is another interesting name to keep an eye on, though, like Realmuto, I would prefer to make sure he is 100 percent before considering him.


Player Salary Pct Own Top 100
Ozzie Albies 1210 74 95
Jose Altuve 3100 60 66

Surely most teams are benefiting from Ozzie Albies’ hot start, but his ownership among top-100 teams verifies that he is close to a must-own. Altuve has underperformed so far, and owners are becoming a bit impatient considering his hefty tag.


Player Salary Pct Own Top 100
Scott Kingery 1100 18 19
D.J. LeMahieu 1960 9 8
Javier Baez 1620 7 6
Jed Lowrie 1650 1 0

For all of the praise heaped upon Albies (and rightfully so), Kingery has also been a top-10 producer at second base and is even cheaper than Albies is. I dismissed Lemahieu’s fast start earlier, but perhaps it’s time to pay attention. He has already tied a career-high with five road home runs. He still hits a ton of ground balls, so we still might be in “small sample size” territory. Baez is the poster child for how fast things can change this early in the season. Baez was on my personal drop list, then promptly scored 47 points in his next six games. I probably wouldn’t buy, but I’m riding the hot streak while it lasts. Lowrie is an underrated and underappreciated fantasy player. I do not expect him to remain a top-three second baseman for too much longer, but he can remain a steady hand for the foreseeable future.


Player Salary Pct Own Top 100
Rafael Devers 1480 53 62
Alex Bregman 1910 52 72
Nolan Arenado 3090 51 56

Third base has been a tough nut to crack so far. None of the high owned options is among the top-10 third basemen in total points, yet all three have a higher ownership among the top-100 teams.


Player Salary Pct Own Top 100
Miguel Sano 1680 18 38
Matt Chapman 1220 11 7
Mike Moustakas 1770 5 2
Matt Davidson 1360 5 1

This is the same group that was in this space a week ago, and all four are still averaging at least four points per game. Yet only Sano has a higher ownership among top-100 teams. Owners are starting to buy into Chapman. His 31 claims last week were tied for fourth among all players. People are a little more hesitant with Moustakas and Davidson, though Moustakas has a more proven track record.


Player Salary Pct Own Top 100
Carlos Correa 2460 71 85
Trea Turner 2440 65 83

As is the case at third base, the most popular options are even more so among higher teams despite not performing up to their salaries quite yet. Most owners expect these dynamic young shortstops to turn things around sooner rather than later. I’m admittedly being a bit harsh on Correa considering he has scored the second-most total fantasy points among shortstops.


Player Salary Pct Own Top 100
Didi Gregorius 1980 25 22
Tim Anderson 1590 3 1

One of these days I might take my own advice and claim Gregorius. My wife laughed at me when I bemoaned Didi’s second dinger of the night on Monday considering I am a huge Yankees fan. I started the year with Marcus Semien as my third shortstop, and he has been fine. But he hasn’t been Gregorius. Then again, nobody has. Anderson’s average has predictably dipped this past week, but he still ranks third among shortstops in fantasy points per game behind … Dansby Swanson? Affirmative. The same Swanson who couldn’t hit his way out of a wet paper bag last year is among the league leaders in batting average at a near minimum salary (1270). However, I’m not buying it. Swanson has walked less, struck out more, and has a lower hard-hit percentage this season than he did last year. I’m going to go out on a limb and say his .432 BABIP is unsustainable.


Player Salary Pct Own Top 100
Rhys Hoskins 1740 84 96
Mike Trout 3280 75 90
Bryce Harper 2850 64 76
Giancarlo Stanton 2930 59 77
Andrew Benintendi 2120 53 61
Ian Happ 1290 50 52
Byron Buxton 1620 46 33
J.D. Martinez 2630 37 60
Aaron Judge 2840 37 53
Ronald Acuna 1200 37 52
Mookie Betts 2890 34 44

It doesn’t feel like Trout has really gotten off to a hot start, and yet he’s second in points among outfielders. That just speaks to his greatness. Count me among those who chose Stanton over Harper to start the year. It is hard to do a 180 at this point, but I can’t blame those who do, especially with players like Mookie Betts also off to fast starts. People are jumping off the Happ and Buxton bandwagons en masse, especially in light of the latter’s DL stint. I wanted to at least give Happ the Coors weekend, but he is probably not very long for my roster at this point. It will be interesting to see if people are beginning to lose patience with Ronald Acuna. Most of us believed the young phenom would be called up on April 13, but that did not happen and there is no definitive word on when Acuna will be called up.


Player Salary Pct Own Top 100
Tommy Pham 1950 34 31
Mitch Haniger 1410 16 32
Gregory Polanco 1920 10 8
David Peralta 1760 1 1

Pham is relatively low percentage considering his breakout 2017 campaign. He compares favorably to Andrew Benintendi, yet Benintendi is owned at a considerably higher rate. Some people are finally buying into Haniger, though it’s hard to say whether that’s really an endorsement of Haniger himself or an indictment of the Happs and Buxtons of the world. Polanco has been featured here before, and he is still averaging four points per game despite his brutal week. Peralta is likely to cool off, but he has thrived thus far as Arizona’s everyday leadoff man.


Player Salary Pct Own Top 100
Noah Syndergaard 1910 88 98
Luis Severino 2460 66 71
Corey Kluber 3180 58 69
Aaron Nola 1990 54 47
Max Scherzer 3270 53 76
Luke Weaver 1240 50 68
Clayton Kershaw 3240 48 46
Chris Sale 3250 47 67
Luis Castillo 1200 46 43
Lance McCullers 1580 34 64
Justin Verlander 2740 33 41
Zack Godley 1530 27 49
Mike Clevinger 1460 22 52
Charlie Morton 1690 12 40

There is a ton of diversity among the teams in front, and this paints a pretty clear picture as to which starters have benefitted their owners the most so far. McCullers had an absolute gem on Tuesday and is a much safer bet in Points than in Roto. The same could be said for Godley, Clevinger, and Morton as well. I have to admit I’m souring a little on Luis Castillo and Aaron Nola. Castillo had his best start of the season in his last outing, but wins are going to be extremely difficult for him to come by on a bad Cincinnati Reds team. Nola hasn’t been bad, but he also hasn’t really been good either. Nola is averaging a pedestrian 5.55 K/9 through four starts. Even worse, he is averaging just 3.75 strikeouts per start, as he has often found himself at the mercy of manager Gabe Kapler’s quick hooks. Nola does not rank in the top-70 among starting pitchers in punchouts, and his 6.4 percent swinging strike rate is sixth-worst among 90 qualified starters. Nola may be considered droppable in this format provided you have a suitable replacement and …


Sure, McCullers, Godley, Clevinger, and Morton are cheaper, but they cannot hold a candle to Gerrit Cole. I’m not sure what else Cole must do to prove that he should be widely owned and started. He has been the most dominant pitcher in baseball in the season’s early going. Through three starts (this piece is being submitted just prior to Wednesday’s start in Seattle), Cole has posted an ungodly 15.43 K/9, 17.5 percent swinging strike rate, and 46.8 strikeout rate. Yes, you read those numbers correctly. I would have recommended him last week, but I really like to limit my New Player Claims to pitchers who are making two starts in the upcoming period. It’s worth noting that Cole draws two of baseball’s hottest offenses this week in the Angels and Athletics, but I’m not letting that scare me. Somehow, Cole is owned by just six of the Top 100 teams. I expect that number to be closer to 60 come Monday evening.


Player Salary Pct Own Top 100
Gerrit Cole 2420 14 6


Player Salary Pct Own Top 100
Sean Doolittle 1870 66 77
Felipe Vazquez 2070 44 62
Brad Hand 2010 36 56
Brad Boxberger 1760 30 52

This group started out slow but seems to have figured it out.


Player Salary Pct Own Top 100
Edwin Diaz 2370 18 22
Jeurys Familia 2050 18 19

I thought the volume of teams (67 to be exact) who claimed Jeurys Familia this past weekend was a little curious. Then I promptly watched my Kenley Jansen (who is 910 more expensive) blow a two-run lead against the juggernaut that is the San Diego Padres, so I guess I’m the idiot. Jansen is a mess right now. He has given up three home runs, issued three weeks, and blown two saves in 2018. Last season, he did not walk his third batter or surrender his third homer until after the All-Star Break. Oh, and he only blew one save the whole year. You’re welcome, fellow Jansen owners. You have to imagine he figures it out, but it is hard to keep trotting him out there when he is pitching this poorly.

Familia has received a ton of early opportunities on an improved Mets team. Also, the 320 in cap savings versus Edwin Diaz may come in handy. However, I still prefer Diaz. His insane 53.3 percent strikeout rate plays in any format, and saves are usually a crapshoot anyway.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.