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A few observations from the opening month of the 2014 baseball season.
Fantasy Player Of The Month: Jose Abreu.
Who would have thought we'd highlight the fantasy feats of two different South Side-by-way-of-Cuba players in the first few weeks of the season? First, it was Alexei Ramirez, the sneaky mid-round value who went on run of over-achievement to start the season. Now, it's sleeper-turned-fantasy starter Abreu, who broke the rookie records for HRs (10) and RBI (32) in the month of April despite going through two mini-slumps where he was collectively 2-for-40. Abreu is drawing comparisons to Miguel Cabrera, and already looks like the fantasy steal of the year.
Fantasy Flop Of The Month: Miguel Cabrera.
Maybe Abreu looks a little like Miggy, but Miggy isn't looking very much like himself. His pedestrian line of 2 HRs, 15 RBI, .259 BA would look decent for anyone else, but for Cabrera it's a disaster. He will come around eventually, of course.
Biggest Fantasy Boo-Boo: Bryce Harper.
The list of stars injured right now is a pretty long, but Harper's fantasy value may have taken the biggest hit. Harper already had some aches and pains before hurting his thumb diving head first into third base; now he's out until July after surgery and is starting to acquire an injury-prone tag.
Biggest Surprises: Charlie Blackmon, Francisco Rodriguez.
Blackmon looked like Ted Williams for the first two weeks of the season, which we all knew wouldn't last, but he still is delivering in multiple categories, and after hitting .309 last year in 82 games, with a third of his hits going for extra bases, maybe we shouldn't be too surprised. K-Rod, with 12 saves and no earned runs through 15 innings, looks like the 2008 version of himself. The biggest surprise is that no one knew until Opening Day he would close for the Brewers; it was widely assumed he would merely set-up for Jim Henderson.
Most Likely False Start: Jason Hammel.
At 4-1, he is responsible for exactly half of his team's wins. He's decent pitcher who has been around a long time, and there's a reason for that, but he has never finished better than 10-9 (twice) and his luck getting the starting nod in games when the Cubs actually score is bound to change soon.
* Bleacher Report has your fantasy waiver wire pick-ups for Week 5.
* SI.com eyes Colin McHugh and Hammel, among others.
* The Sporting News wonders if slow starts by Robinson Cano and Prince Fielder make them trade bait. I wouldn't count on it.
Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.