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Fantasy Baseball Power Rankings: Albert Pujols makes history

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Albert Pujols hit his 499th and 500th career home runs on Tuesday night against the Nationals.

Hit your 500th career homer, and chances are you were one of the 30 best players of the previous week. Belt four homers en route to No. 500, and you will almost certainly find yourself on top of the SI.com Fantasy Baseball Power Rankings.

That's exactly the scenario this week for Albert Pujols, who hit career home runs No. 499 and 500 in Washington on Tuesday. Not only is Pujols the latest member of the 500 Home Run Club, he is experiencing a major bounce-back campaign after the worst season of his career. He's hitting .274/.337/.619 with eight homers and 19 RBI in 92 plate appearances. He may not be the Pujols of old, but he appears to be the 30-homer, 100-RBI threat we've seen for the last 15 years.

FANTASY BASEBALL WEEK 4: Weekly planner | Hitting report | Pitching report | Closer rankings | Prospect watch | April 24 news

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. All stats are from games played from April 16 to April 22, unless otherwise noted.

Fantasy Baseball Power Rankings
 
1 Albert Pujols
Recent ranking: N/A
Pujols hit his 500th career home run, his fourth in the last seven days. He also had 10 RBI, a steal and a .407 OBP. That gives him the top spot in the third week of the Power Rankings.
 
2 Jose Fernandez
Recent ranking: Week 1, No. 3
Fernandez won just one of his two starts, but that was the only thing keeping him from perfection. He fanned 24 batters in 15 innings, didn't surrender an earned run, and allowed just seven baserunners, none of which came by virtue of a free pass.
 
3 Justin Morneau
Recent ranking: N/A
Morneau picked up the slack for the injured Michael Cuddyer in the last seven days, hitting three homers, driving in 12 runs, and crossing the plate six times himself. He had just one homer and three RBI before the last week.
 
4 Johnny Cueto
Recent ranking: Week 1, No. 24
Cueto tossed two complete games against the Pirates last week, allowing one run, six hits, three walks and striking out 16 batters. After suffering through an injury-riddled 2013 season, Cueto is back to being the ace of the Cincinnati staff.
 
5 Cliff Lee
Recent ranking: N/A
Lee fanned double-digit batters in each of his starts in the last week, earning himself a spot in the top five of the power rankings. He first sent down 13 batters in a complete game against the Braves in which he allowed one run on 11 hits. His next time out, he shut out the Dodgers for eight innings, surrendering four hits while whiffing 10.
 
6 Michael Brantley
Recent ranking: N/A
Brantley had three homers and three steals last week, the only player in the majors to go 3/3 in the last seven days. He also had eight RBI, five runs and a .367 OBP.
 
7 Masahiro Tanaka
Recent ranking: N/A
Tanaka had another strong week, tossing eight shutout inning with 10 strikeouts against the Cubs, then allowing just two runs -- both on solo homers -- in 7.1 innings against the Red Sox. He fanned seven batters in his indoctrination to the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, picking up his third win of the season.
 
8 Ryan Braun
Recent ranking: Week 1, No. 25
Bruan stayed hot last week, belting three homers with seven runs, six RBI and a .400 OBP. After a slow start to the season, Braun is hitting .286/.329/.584 with six homers, 16 RBI and 16 runs.
 
9 Troy Tulowitzki
Recent ranking: N/A
Tulowitzki is healthy right now, and that means he's hitting everything in sight. He had two homers, seven RBI, seven runs and a .571 OBP last week. His slash line is up to .371/.481/.661, and he has three bombs and 13 RBI.
 
10 Adam Wainwright
Recent ranking: Week 1, No. 19
Wainwright won both of his starts last week, striking out 11 and allowing six hits and three walks in 16 shutout innings against the Nationals and Mets. His outing against the Nats was particularly impressive, as he notched a complete game shutout in the nation's capital.
 
11 Julio Teheran
Recent ranking: N/A
Teheran threw a complete game shutout in his first start last week, blanking the Phillies and allowing just three hits. He took a no-decision against the Marlins, but allowed just one run on five hits and a walk in seven innings, striking out eight.
 
12 Andrew McCutchen
Recent ranking: N/A
McCutchen made sure Johnny Cueto didn't get consecutive complete game shutouts against the Pirates, hitting his third homer of the week in the ninth inning on Tuesday night. All told, he had three jacks, seven RBI, five runs and a .441 OBP.
 
13 James Shields
Recent ranking: N/A
Shields picked up a pair of victories last week. He first struck out 12 Astros in eight innings, allowing one run on four hits. He surrendered just one earned run in six innings in his next start against the Indians, striking out nine while walking just one.
 
14 Alcides Escobar
Recent ranking: N/A
Escobar is widely available in fantasy leagues, despite what he has done in the last seven days. He hit a homer, swiped two bags, scored eight runs, drove in five and compiled a .556 OPB. It likely won't last, but Escobar is hitting .317/.368/.460 this season.
 
15 Charlie Blackmon
Recent ranking: N/A
One of the surprise stars of the early going, Blackmon hit three homers and stole another base last year. He's now hitting .411/.450/.671 with four homers, 13 RBI, 15 runs and five steals. Hopefully Walt Weiss will feel comfortable playing him against lefties soon.
 
16 Ian Kinsler
Recent ranking: N/A
Kinsler got off to a slow start in his first season of Detroit, but turned it on over the last seven days. He had a homer, steal, nine RBI, six runs and a .394 OBP. He's now slashing .319/.359/.486 with two homers and 13 RBI this year.
 
17 Howie Kendrick
Recent ranking: N/A
Kendrick has been swinging the bat well, and the extra-base hits finally started coming in the last seven days. He hit a pair of homers, drove in six runs, stole a base, and racked up a .464 OBP. He's hitting .306 with a .782 OPS for the season.
 
18 Nelson Cruz
Recent ranking: N/A
Cruz has proven one of the best off-season acquisitions this year, and he kept that rolling last week. He posted a .407 OBP, hitting two homers and driving in nine runs. His slash line is up to .290/.372/.522 with four homers and 16 RBI.
 
19 Billy Hamilton
Recent ranking: N/A
The speedster Hamilton solved his on-base woes a bit last week, posting a .357 OBP. Unsurprisingly, he swiped six bags in six games, or one for 1.5 times he reached base. His OBP is just .257, but he still has eight steals this year.
 
20 Collin McHugh
Recent ranking: N/A
Collin McWHO? Thank you, thank you. Anyway, don't expect McHugh, a 26-year-old with 10 career starts under his belt, to appear in this space too often. He deserves it this week after striking out 12 Mariners in 6.2 shutout innings. He had 40 strikeouts in 54 career innings heading into the start.
 
21 Leonys Martin
Recent ranking: N/A
Martin did it all for the Rangers last week, stealing three bases and hitting a homer while accumulating a .440 OBP. The hot week got his batting average back above .300, as he's now hitting .303/.370/.424 on the season.
 
22 David Price
Recent ranking: N/A
Abreu drilled two more homers last week, giving the rookie six for the season. He's tied for third in the majors with 19 RBI, and has been at the center of the White Sox offensive resurgence.
 
23 Martin Perez
Recent ranking: N/A
Perez threw a complete game shutout against the White Sox last week, striking out eight while allowing just four baserunners. He now has a 1.86 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 20 strikeouts in 29 innings this year.
 
24 Brian Dozier
Recent ranking: Week 2, No. 26
Dozier hit two homers and stole two bases last week. Unfortunately for his owners, both of his round-trippers were of the solo variety, though he did manage to score six runs.
 
25 Henderson Alvarez
Recent ranking: N/A
Alvarez is the second Miami starter in this week's power rankings, though the only one who isn't a threat to be here every single week. He threw a complete game shutout against the Mariners, strikeout out four and allowing just two hits. The CGSO was the third of Alvarez's career.
 
26 Tyson Ross
Recent ranking: N/A
Ross dominated the Giants in his only start last week, throwing eight scoreless innings and striking out nine to earn his second win of the year. After struggling in his first two starts this year, he has a 16/2 K/BB ratio in 15 innings over his last two outings.
 
27 Ryan Howard
Recent ranking: N/A
Howard can still be a solid power threat for those of you in deeper leagues, as he showed over the last seven days. He hit two homers, drove in six runs and posted a .370 OBP. He's slashing a solid .270/.353/.527 this year.
 
28 Franklin Morales
Recent ranking: N/A
Morales picked up a pair of victories last week, striking out 12 and allowing two runs in 13 innings against the Padres and Giants. The wins were his first two of the season, as he lowered his ERA to 3.86.
 
29 Chris Colabello
Recent ranking: Week 1, No. 16
Colabello continues to rake for the Twins, putting up a .480 OBP with a homer and seven RBI last week. He's now hitting .347/.390/.556 with two homers and an AL-leading 22 RBI this season. He's a strong bet to be the AL Rookie of the Month for April, though Masahiro Tanaka and Jose Abreu are in the discussion, as well.
 
30 James Loney
Recent ranking: N/A
Loney didn't leave the yard or steal a base last week, but his .565 OBP was the third-highest among regulars. He also had seven RBI and five runs scored. Still, his lack of power makes him an option only in AL-only and very deep mixed leagues
 

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