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Fantasy baseball Power Rankings: Justin Upton finally heating up

Photo: Matt Slocum/AP

After getting only one hit in his first four games, Justin Upton has finally come to life at the plate.

After being relatively quiet the first week-plus of the season, Justin Upton finally began to connect with the ball. He got at least two hits and an RBI in Atlanta's series against the Nationals last weekend, certainly giving his fantasy owners a boost (and possibly leading squads to victory). He's cooled off a bit against the Phillies this week, but he's still slashing a stellar .327/.417/.596 for the season.

FANTASY BASEBALL WEEK 3: Weekly planner | Hitting report | Pitching report | Prospect watch | Closer rankings | April 17 news | Tips for daily games

We briefly discussed this last week, but we'll emphasize again that these rankings highlight the 30 best players in fantasy baseball from the previous week, not going forward. This might shine a light on a few players owners may not know about who are on a hot streak, potentially worth picking up to slot into the utility spot for a week or so, or help owners make decisions regarding a trade. That's why only three players also made the rankings last week. All stats are from games played from April 9 to April 15, unless otherwise noted.

Fantasy Baseball Power Rankings
 
1 Justin Upton
Last Week: N/R
Upton was a monster over the last week, though he narrowly earned the top spot in the weekly power rankings. He hit four homers, drove in eight runs, and scored six of his own, but it was his .593 OBP that gave him the crown for Week 2.
 
2 Adrian Gonzalez
Last Week: N/R
Gonzalez could be considered the 1a to Justin Upton's 1 here. He smashed four homers, scored six runs and picked up 11 RBI. He missed out on the perch, though, because of his "inferior" .458 OBP.
 
3 Freddie Freeman
Last Week: N/R
Freeman continues to rake for the Braves, belting two homers and driving in eight runs over the last week. He also crossed the plate eight times and put up a .464 OBP. It becomes clearer by the day that he was underrated during draft season.
 
4 Josh Donaldson
Last Week: N/R
Donaldson owners nervous about his slow start can breathe a little easier after what he has done in the last seven days. The Oakland third baseman has looked like his 2013 self, racking up three homers and eight RBI along with a .364 OBP.
 
5 Ervin Santana
Last Week: N/R
We're just five spots into the weekly power rankings, and we've already seen our third member of the Braves. Santana pitched eight shutout innings against the Mets on April 9, allowing just three hits and striking out six in his first start last, then followed that up with a six-inning, one-run, 11-strikeout performance against the Phillies.
 
6 Andrew Cashner
Last Week: N/R
Cashner made the best of the young season on April 11. He tossed a one-hit shutout against the mighty Tigers, striking out 11 and walking two. He followed that up with seven 1/3 innings against the Rockies, giving up two runs and striking out five on April 16. He's developing into a legitimate top-of-the-rotation starter right before our eyes.
 
7 Devin Mesoraco
Last Week: N/R
Mesoraco was a trendy deep sleeper pick last year, but he appears to be realizing that potential this season. He had three homers and nine RBI in the last week, posting a .524 OBP, to boot.
 
8 Carlos Beltran
Last Week: N/R
Beltran has taken well to being back in the American League, the first time he's played there since leaving the Royals, his original organization. He banged out three homers and drove in five runs last week, putting up a .526 OBP in the process. His home run total could get a boost this year thanks to the environs of Yankee Stadium.
 
9 Eric Young
Last Week: N/R
Young wreaked havoc on the basepaths last week, swiping five bases and scoring 11 runs. He was able to do so much damage thanks in large part to a .424 OBP. If he can get on base with consistency, he can be a regular starter in fantasy leagues.
 
10 Mike Trout
Last Week: N/R
It’s usually not a question of if Trout will be in the weekly power rankings, but just where he will slot. He’s 10th this week after hitting three homers with five RBI, six runs scored and a steal.
 
11 Joey Votto
Last Week: N/R
After a slow start, Votto rebounded with three homers, six RBI and six runs in the last week. He also had a .519 OBP and is already on his way to leading the league in OBP for the fifth-straight season. He's a true middle-of-the-order hitter, but he could probably make himself the league's best leadoff man if he needed to.
 
12 Neil Walker
Last Week: N/R
No player in the majors hit more homers than Walker's four last week. He's down this low, however, because he managed just a .321 OBP in that time.
 
13 Alexei Ramirez
Last Week: N/R
Ramirez filled up the stat sheet in the last seven days to earn his way into the rankings. He had two homers, six RBI, six runs and a steal. He got some style points, too, as one of his jacks was of the walkoff variety.
 
14 Giancarlo Stanton
Last Week: 9
I'm on the record in multiple places on SI.com as believing that this is the year Stanton will cross the 40-homer mark. He made significant progress in the last week, drilling three shots and driving in nine runs. His OBP left something to be desired, but his owners probably aren't complaining so long as he's leaving the yard with regularity.
 
15 Dee Gordon
Last Week: 17
Everyone was all over Billy Hamilton for their speed needs this draft season, but Gordon has proven himself an extremely affordable fallback option. He has likely been owned in your league for some time now, and you almost certainly can't grab him after he swiped seven bags in the last week.
 
16 Colby Rasmus
Last Week: N/R
If you're thinking about adding Rasmus now, you're too late. We've all seen what he does when he gets hot, but you'll likely be buying in at the end of the streak. For those of you who rode the wave of the last week, congratulations on your three homers, five RBI and five runs scored.
 
17 Chase Utley
Last Week: 27
Utley continues to enjoy a resurgence in his mid-30s. The veteran had a .565 OBP last week with one homer, six runs and four RBI. He's still one of the best second basemen in the league when healthy.
 
18 Bryce Harpe
Last Week: N/R
Harper got untracked in the last week, getting on base in nearly 60 percent of his plate appearances and hitting one homer with five RBI. Now is it too much to ask Matt Williams to just hit him third?
 
19 Jesse Chavez
Last Week: N/R
We'll take a look later this week at how the 31-year-old journeyman Chavez has been one of the best pitchers in the first month of the 2014 season. For now, he'll have to content himself with making his debut in the weekly power rankings. He didn't get a win last week, but allowed just two runs on 10 hits while striking out 18 and walking none in 14 innings.
 
20 Yu Darvish
Last Week: N/R
Darvish was dominant in his one start last week, pitching eight shutout innings and striking out nine while allowing exactly one hit and one walk. He'll likely be a fixture in this space.
 
21 Mike Leake
Last Week: N/R
Unlike Darvish, Leake probably won't make many appearances in the weekly power rankings. He deserves it this week, though, after winning two games and giving up three runs on nine hits in 14.2 innings. He also posted an 11/2 K/BB ratio.
 
22 David Price
Last Week: N/R
Price shut down the Reds in his only start last week, allowing one run on four hits and striking out 10 in 8.1 innings. He had a shutout through eight, but allowed a solo homer to Joey Votto in the ninth. He has 22 strikeouts against two walks in 21.2 innings this season.
 
23 Aramis Ramirez
Last Week: N/R
The Brewers have been among the biggest surprises in the league this year, but the fact that Ramirez continues to hit cannot be considered the same. He had two homers, six RBI and a .379 OBP last week, and he even stole a base. He’s still a reliable fantasy third baseman.
 
24 Juan Uribe
Last Week: N/R
Uribe has carried his surprising 2013 season right into 2014, hitting .379/.379/.621 thus far. Last week, he had two homers and four RBI. While he can be a useful fantasy player, he's not going to keep this up while posting an indefinable (14/0) K/BB ratio.
 
25 Hyun-Jin Ryu
Last Week: N/R
Ryu picked up his second win of the season in his only start last week. He pitched seven shutout innings in Arizona, allowing just two runs and a walk while striking out eight. Ryu kept the Diamondbacks completely in check, retiring 18 of the final 19 batters he faced.
 
26 Brian Dozier
Last Week: N/R
Dozier had a big week for the Twins, hitting three homers, scoring seven runs, and driving in five. He's still widely available in fantasy leagues, and given the production he can put up from the second base position, he might be worth a look.
 
27 Lance Lynn
Last Week: N/R
Lynn helped to end the Brewers' nine-game win streak by shutting them out across seven innings, allowing three hits and striking out 11. He did walk three batters, but he had issued just one free pass in his previous two starts. Lynn is consistently overlooked in St. Louis, but he has been a reliable producer since becoming a regular in the rotation.
 
28 Adam Eaton
Last Week: N/R
The White Sox appear to have found their leadoff man of the future in Eaton. He put up a .519 OBP last week, scoring seven runs and hitting a home run. He should be universally owned at this point.
 
29 Jason Heyward
Last Week: N/R
Heyward is the fourth and final Brave in the power rankings this week. He had a .414 OBP with a homer, three steals, five runs and three RBI. He got off to a terrible start this year after a 2013 season that was marred by injury, but this could be the start of a breakout.
 
30 Carlos Gomez
Last Week: N/R
Gomez continues to hit everything in sight, belting a pair of homers last week. He's slashing .333/.391/.632 with four roundtrippers on the season.
 

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