32-year-old Van Avermaet took his maiden WorldTour crown with 3582 points over Froome's 3452 in second and Giro d'Italia winner Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) with 2545 in third place.
Van Avermaet recorded his best ever season this year, dominating much of the Classics period through March and April, winning the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, E3 Harelbeke, Ghent-Wevelgem, and Paris-Roubaix.
Even when not winning he proved remarkably consistent, taking second in races like Strade Bianche and the Tour of Flanders, despite crashing towards the end of the latter.
While the WorldTour wins dried up as the year went on to take three top-10 finishes in Tour de France stages and fourth overall in the BinckBank Tour. Van Avermaet grabbed more points in the later one-day race of the year, taking top-10s in the Clásica San Sebastian, Bretagne Classic - Ouest France, GP Montréal and second in the GP Québec.
Meanwhile, Team Sky were crowned winners in the team ranking, in no small part thanks to victory in two Grand Tours with Chris Froome as well as Michal Kwiatkowski's big one-day victories in Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo and the Clásica San Sebastian as well as second at Amstel Gold Race.
Watch: Tour de France route 2018
Quick-Step Floors, who took a huge number of wins throughout the season, settle for second while Van Avermaet's BMC Racing take third place.
The UCI Women's WorldTour was decided in September after the final race the Madrid Challenge, with Anna van der Breggen victorious at the top of the standings.
UCI WorldTour 2017 individual ranking
1. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team, 3582
2. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky, 3452
3. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb, 2545
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe, 2544
5. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain Merida, 2196
6. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky, 2171
7. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar, 2105
8. Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors, 2050
9. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb, 2049
10. Alberto Contador (Esp) Trek-Swegafredo, 1987
1. Team Sky (GBr), 12689
2. Quick-Step Floors (Bel), 12233
3. BMC Racing Team (USA), 10539
4. Team Sunweb (Ger), 7991
5. Trek-Segafredo (USA), 7635
6. Movistar Team (Esp), 7349
7. Orica-Scott (Aus), 7110
8. Bora-Hansgrohe (Ger), 6480
9. Ag2r La Mondiale (Fra), 6316
10. Cannondale-Drapac (USA) 5715
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