The value of a player on the field in the actual game of baseball varies slightly from a that player’s value in the game of fantasy baseball. So, when you hear that Player X is one of the best fantasy second basemen this year, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s one of the actual best second basemen in the game (defense is notably absent from the consideration, for example).

But, let’s be honest, the values are relatively close. If a dude can hit or can pitch, he helps the team win, and he also helps his fantasy team win. And folks who put together fantasy projections tend to be pretty good at the predictive side of things, so, fantasy rankings are somewhat relevant to the overall baseball discussion.

With that in mind, if’s just-revealed fantasy rankings are any indication, you’re going to want to avoid the Cubs in your draft this year.

The Cubs’ top player, Starlin Castro, is the fourth-ranked shortstop, which is good, but he’s just the 42nd ranked player overall.

That’s the Cubs’ best fantasy player.

From there, you’ve got to scroll pretty far to get the Cubs’ second-ranked player, Matt Garza, who comes in all the way down at 93. And, heck, Garza might not even be on the Cubs come April (ironically, a trade to a better team would increase his fantasy value tremendously).

Carlos Marmol is next (which tells you all you need to know about fantasy value) at number 128. I’d say they’ve got him pegged:

Marmol endured a roller-coaster 2011 campaign that saw him battle with frequent bouts of wildness and blow 10 saves yet post a gaudy 12.04 K/9 rate and convert 34 save opportunities. The Cubs fireballer can look like the best closer in baseball at times, but his inconsistency holds him back. While the 29-year-old enters the ‘12 season as the club’s clear-cut stopper, the team could very well yank him from the role should he struggle out of the gate.

The real needle comes from the Cubs’ 4th ranked player: Anthony Rizzo at 205. Yes, the same Anthony Rizzo who is slated to start the year at AAA Iowa. When fantasy players would rather pick your AAA first baseman than, say, your number two starter, your team might be in trouble.

For what it’s worth, the rest of the Cubs’ top 20 looks like this:

5. Ryan Dempster

6. Travis Wood

7. Geovany Soto

8. Ian Stewart

9. Marlon Byrd

10. Alfonso Soriano

11. Darwin Barney

12. Randy Wells

13. David DeJesus

14. Bryan LaHair

15. Paul Maholm

16. Chris Volstad

17. Brett Jackson

18. Kerry Wood

19. Tony Campana

20. Jeff Baker

  • butlerdawgs

    I’m taking Jeff Baker with my No. 1 pick! Makes for a great team name “Baker’s Dozen” because I’m assuming I would place 13 in a league of 12 with him as my first pick.

    • Brett

      He qualifies everywhere!

    • MichiganGoat

      Funny thing is that in our league (24 teams) he might have value

      • Toosh

        I read that Yahoo’s leagues start on the 9th.

        • Sam

          Yea with a 24 person league Cubs players may actually have some value…

          • MichiganGoat

            Our league is going to be real interesting because we will have to dig through all the medicore players to find some gems. Not to mention since its a keep league some of these rookies will be huge to get now.

          • butlerdawgs

            “Yea with a 24 person league Cubs players may actually have some value…” That is such a sad realization.

            • MichiganGoat

              The rookies and recent draft picks could be huge in a couple of years, just like Theo and Co. and keeper league requires a deep plan.

              • JulioZuleta

                Goat, when’s the draft anyways?

                • MichiganGoat

                  Tbd, but send these comments to the message board

  • Curt

    Wow Brett that is seriously ugly I like having cub players on my fantasy teams looks like not so much this year.

  • DocWimsey

    I run a fantasy league with almost no team stats: no RBI, wins, runs-scored, etc. The closest we come are quality starts, which are influenced by fielders not on your fantasy team, and holds/saves, which also are influenced by players not on your fantasy team. Otherwise, our points are based on estimated runs-created (for offense) and FIP ERA. Our philosophy is, if George Steinbrenner would want him on the Yankees, then why shouldn’t you want him on your fantasy team? So, Garza’s value will not change much after a trade.

    That being said, most of the Cubs still are not going to get a lot of points in my league, either! Soto probably will do well among catchers because that’s an offensively challenged position AND he does manage a good OPS with his power and batting eye. Remember, somebody has to catch!

  • Cheryl

    I play in a fantasy league from time to time. Never chose Marmol and was hard-pressed to choose any other cub.

    • BetterNews

      You’re a bad, bad person!(LoL)

  • jr5

    I was in an ESPN league a few years ago. As I waited for the draft to start, I thought to myself, “I wonder who the lowest ranked Cubs player is that I could draft?” This was spring of 2009. So I scrolled down into the lower thousands of players and saw that Andrew Cashner was the lowest ranked Cubs prospect that I could take.

    “Ah, that’s interesting, I thought”, as the draft began, and my turn to pick at #8 came up. I took Miguel Cabrera.

    Except I didn’t. For some reason, it had stayed on Cashner, and not switched to Cabrera. So I ended up drafting, in a non-keeper league, the 4738th ranked player 8th overall.

    The best part is, I still won the league. It wasn’t great competition, but I was obviously severely handicapped.

    • BetterNews


  • Mick

    If we’re speaking in fantasy baseball terms, this might be the year you would actually end up with a Cub. Being originally from Cedar Rapids, almost everyone in my league are Cubs’ fans so, its always been a reach to draft a Cub. The Cubs are loaded with bounce back candidates who can be had late. I see some good value in Marmol, Soto, Stewart, Dempster, and LaHair. My deep sleeper will be Samardzija if he can crack the rotation, the guy’s got nasty stuff and I’m excited to see him get a shot.

  • JungleDrew

    Why wouldn’t I draft Cubs this year? I actually stand a chance of drafting the entire team uncontested. I play in 5 different leagues, so I’ll probably do that in my 24 team league where I might have a outside chance of making the playoffs if every single player has a career year… and the rest of baseball has career worsts…

  • Dick

    I leafed through several fantasy baseball magazines which are already on sale. Almost all had the same rankings that you showed here. One of the magazines (Sporting News??) had about two thirds of the Cubs as worth $0 in the draft. Sad!

    • BetterNews

      Your name is really dick, huh?

  • Spencer

    I doubt Garza’s rank would significantly increase if he was on another team. That said, I am surprised he is so low. Also, these pre-rankings depend a lot on which stats the league uses.

    • DocWimsey

      If wins and loses are big points in your league, then Garza’s value increases hugely if he goes to the Tigers or Rangers, and still a lot if he goes to the Blue Jays. Remember, giving up 3 ER for the Cubs is a no decision or a loss; giving up 3 ER is a victory for those teams.

    • Luke

      In any league that gives the pitcher credit for wins, Garza’s value would be significantly higher on a team that has an offense capable of putting up some runs for him. Leagues that use wins tend to value them pretty highly.

      If the league doesn’t use Wins, though, Garza wouldn’t be a bad pickup regardless of where he plays. Being in the (somewhat) weaker NL Central could actually add a tad to his value.

  • Karen P

    Ouch. Just… ouch.

  • ferrets_bueller

    I’ve got Castro in a couple keeper leagues. I stashed Rizzo at one point last year, but dropped him after he fizzled. I plan on drafting him late this season to stash, and keeping an eye on stewart on the WW…and Jackson when he gets called up. Otherwise…no thanks.

  • http://yahoo john arrowood sr

    I think the cubs new brass have pick up good players,look out you cub haters they might be surprise I pick them third in there division

    • cjdubbya

      Love your enthusiasm and sincerely hope you’re right!