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Welcome to Fantasy Island

In today's ever-changing climate, access to the most relevant and up to date information is crucial.  Fantasy sports are no different.  With dozens of online Sports websites at your fingertips, it is imperative that you pick a favorite news source and check it.....several times a day.  My name is Howie Thumpernill and I am that guy in your league that grabs seemingly every player just called up to the bigs or whom is the beneficiary of a season ending injury to a teammate.  Why is this you ask?  In this space, I will try to give you a few tips on some things I have learned to be successful in all that is Fantasy Sports.  The #1 rule of thumb is to be active and to pay attention to roster moves.

Am I successful because I sit on the internet all day like I've been accused of doing countless times by fellow league mates?  No.  I simply make it a point to check a few of my favorite online sports sites a couple of times a day.  It becomes a matter of quality time vs total time devoted.  If you are in a competitive baseball league, check the site first thing in the morning and just after lunch.  Most teams will make roster decisions either late at night or in the early afternoon to get their rosters set for the evening games.  Just a little effort is all that is required for you to be competitive in your league. It's not rocket-science.  It's just all about effort. Give it a try.

Another tip is to pay attention to trades that are made and what potential effect they will have on both their new team as well as their former team.  Let's take a look at some of the moves that were made and their Fantasy Ramifications.

Dan Haren goes to the Angels for Joe Saunders and minor leaguers - I think this is a good move for Haren as he moves to a slightly better Pitcher's park and to a better team. This should keep him in the mix for more W's. 

Roy Oswalt goes to Phillies for JA Happ and ultimately Brett Wallace - Oswalt goes from a bad team with no run support to a good team with a good offense (provided Howard, Victorino and Utley come back strong).  I wouldn't be surprised to see Oswalt finish with a flurry.  Happ has some upside potential, but he's not a huge difference maker on a bad Astros team.  Wallace is an intriguing prospect and he could help your team in average with some decent pop if his minor league numbers translate to the show.

Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot to the Dodgers for Blake DeWitt and minor leaguers - I actually really like this for Lilly and Theriot.  Lilly is a fly ball pitcher and he goes to a much more pitcher-friendly ballpark in Chavez-Ravine.  Theriot will now be the every-day 2b and he has nice SB potential.  You might think about trying to deal for both of these guys.

Edwin Jackson to D-Backs for Daniel Hudson - I really like Hudson's upside potential....keep an eye on him.  I'm not a huge fan of Jackson.  Despite his no-hitter earlier this season, he is too erratic for my taste.

Ryan Ludwick to Padres, Jake Westbrook to Cardinals, prospects to Indians -  Ludwick should bring some nice pop to the Padres lineup....though I see his value taking a slight dip (how can it not if you're going from batting in front of Pujols to anyone else).  Westbrook should be an above-average SP under the tutelage of Cardinals pitching guru Dave Duncan.

Miguel Tejada to Padres - Frankly, I would be shocked if Miggy has anything left in the tank.

Lance Berkman to the Yankees - Don't be surprised if Berkman winds up in a platoon.  His numbers batting from the right side have been horrific.  Not a terrible move for the Yankees and it's possible his production picks up a little down the stretch.

Keep an eye on some of the kids that are getting called up to the show.  They can make a big difference the rest of the way, depending upon what kind of playing time they might see.

Guys that fit this category are -

Kila Ka'aihue (Will the Royals give him an opportunity to play every day?)

Brett Wallace (Glenn Davis, Jeff Bagwell, Lance Berkman and...Brett Wallace?)

Ryan Kalish (The Red Sox have had what seems like a Mash unit of outfielders this year.  Kalish is the latest call-up.  But he comes with high credentials in the minors)  

Mitch Moreland (Rangers have said that Jorge Cantu will sit v RHP in lieu of Moreland....you never know!).

As we get past Baseball's Trade Deadline, Football is right around the corner and we will take a look at some of this year's boom or bust picks as well as my top 10 picks.

I look forward to our time together where you can "come with me and escape..."

Did I just quote the Pina Colada Song? 

Editor's Note: Mr. Thumpernill is a fantasy sports enthusiast who wishes to keep his true identity anonymous, as he spends far too much time at work on his fantasy sports teams. He can be contacted at howiethumpernill@gmail.com.