The fantasy baseball world saw the return of Ronald Acuna Jr. and then the loss of Mike Trout. This has already been a wild month, and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon. Trout was hit in the elbow by a pitch, but it appears he will return to the lineup April 26.

The day-to-day injuries that occurred to Acuna and Trout are the most difficult, as fantasy owners can’t add another player to their roster. Roster depth continues to be the key to winning a championship.

Three Up:

1. San Diego Padres Shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. — After struggling to start the season and then ending up on the injured list due to a shoulder injury, Tatis has found his groove. The shortstop hit five home runs during the past week along with nine runs scored, seven RBIs and four stolen bases. The talent was on full display, and it’s why he was being drafted as the first player in many drafts back in March. I still worry about the left shoulder, as Tatis has had to make mechanical changes to his swing to prevent another dislocation. Fantasy owners can be cautiously optimistic that Tatis will continue to manage the injury while being a huge producer.

2. Philadelphia Phillies Outfielder Bryce Harper — Despite hitting three home runs, Harper only had three RBIs which is frustrating. However, the slugger did score eight runs and add a stolen base in a week that saw him collect 10 hits. Harper is batting .338 this season and has an on-base percentage of .471. The outfielder is in store for a big season for fantasy owners.

3. San Francisco Giants Starting Pitcher Kevin Gausman — The former first-round pick has always shown flashes of dominance but has never been able to put together a consistent season. That may change in 2021, as Gausman has allowed one earned run or less in four of his five starts. Gausman has always struck out at least five in every start and finished with 11 on April 24. This is another pitcher that was drafted in the first few rounds in March who is paying big dividends for fantasy owners.

Three Down:

1. San Diego Padres Third Baseman Manny Machado — Tatis was sizzling this past week, but his teammate was not. Machado struggled, collecting only four hits while striking out six times. This led to only scoring one run and driving in two, but he did chip in with a stolen base. After the bad week, Machado is hitting .253 with three home runs and 10 RBIs.

2. Washington Nationals Shortstop Trea Turner — Turner left the Nationals’ game April 25 after being hit in the arm, so fantasy owners need to monitor his status, but it was a difficult week for the infielder. Turner finished with four hits and struck out seven times while not scoring a run. Turner did steal two bases to try to save his fantasy week. The shortstop is batting .274 with five stolen bases this season.

3. Boston Red Sox Starting Pitcher Nathan Eovaldi — It was going to be difficult for Eovaldi to continue his hot start, but after not allowing more than two earned runs in any of his first three starts, the right-hander has allowed four in each of his last two. Eovaldi has at least continued to strike out hitters as he finished with 13 in those two starts. Eovaldi still has a respectable 3.77 ERA, but it was 2.08 prior to the bad two starts.

Phil Backert

See all posts by Phil Backert. Follow Phil Backert on Twitter at @PhilBackert