I know -- Fantasy Football has officially launched on CBS SportsLine and you are so excited, you are close to wetting yourself. But after you check out the new layout and read Jamey Eisenberg's Sleepers, Breakouts and Busts piece, don't forget that you still have a job to do in Fantasy Baseball ... And no, you can't trade Prince Fielder for a third-round pick in your football league -- although he would make a nice goal line back for someone.

It's always smart to be one step ahead of your competition. Whether it's buying a soon-to-be hot stock, or selling your Mark McGwire rookie card before steroid allegations hit, or even beating fellow Fantasy writer Dave Richard to the newsroom for the last of the free donuts.

Being one step ahead is always better than being one step behind.

So this month, you can be one step ahead of your Fantasy opposition by making some educated guesses on the upcoming baseball news. Pick up players on the cheap that could possibly fall into a ton of playing time due to a trade or a change in team philosophy.

Here are some of my tips to help you head your opponents off at the pass. (If you don't know what that means, watch a John Wayne western -- or a Rod Woodson highlight reel.)

Buehrle hurling: If the White Sox continue their fall out of playoff contention, Mark Buehrle could be on his way to the Mets, according to the Newark Star-Ledger. The interesting part of this paradox is that if Buehrle wants to be on a winner, he'll need to pitch poorly. The White Sox are losers of 10 of their past 13 games -- two of those three wins were with Buehrle on the hill. There is also no truth to the rumor that he's going to start spelling his last name correctly. Buehrle's move to Shea Stadium would be a huge benefit to his Fantasy status. He'd move from a hitter's park in a hitter's league with DHs to face every nine hitters to a pitcher's park in a pitcher's league with pitchers to strike out -- or in his case, induce them into a grounder. On the other end of this, if the White Sox don't get an arm back in trade, they'll need to move someone into his spot in the rotation. Nick Masset started a game back in May -- and pitched well (5 2/3 IP, 2 ER, W) -- but he's probably going to stick in the bullpen to provide much-needed back-end help. How about Gavin Floyd, currently with Triple-A Charlotte? He was recently (June 11) named International League Pitcher of the Week and has won three of his past five starts with a 2.62 ERA and 32 strikeouts in that span. Lance Broadway (5-2, 3.21 ERA, 39 Ks, 73 IP) and Charlie Haeger (3-9, 5.65 ERA, 71 Ks, 79 2/3 IP) are also possibilities.

Can we still call him "Big Tex"? The Rangers might be moving Mark Teixeira in a trade soon. (What's with guys named Mark on the trade block? And why do the Nationals have 19 guys named Ryan on their team (Ryan Church, Ryan Langerhans, Ryan Wagner and Ryan Zimmerman)? Teixeira is arbitration eligible next season and a free agent in 2009. A few teams have been mentioned as possible destinations for the Georgia Tech product, including the Yankees, maybe the Padres and Dodgers, and the Angels might even consider a deal for him, according to the L.A. Times. A move to the NL -- especially pitching parks where the Padres and Dodgers play -- could hurt his Fantasy status once he returns from his strained quadriceps injury in a couple weeks. The three prime hitting parks in the NL, Cincinnati, Colorado and Philadelphia, are not in the market for a veteran power-hitter at first base.

The Angels are playing very well and Casey Kotchman was on fire before a concussion sidelined him this past weekend. The Halos are also trying to move Shea Hillenbrand, who has been a colossal bust for them as a hitting replacement for injured Juan Rivera (leg). At this time last year, Hillenbrand had 11 HR/33 RBI compared to the 3 HR/20 RBI he has now. Moving Hilly to the Yankees could be a key piece to acquiring Teixeira, but that's still a longshot. Brad Wilkerson is currently seeing playing time at first base while Teixeira is healing, but the Rangers also have Frank Catalanotto at DH, with Jason Botts in the minors as another DH option. The Rangers will also try to get back some arms, so Jamey Wright's spot in the rotation could be in jeopardy.

Getting Miggy with it: Miguel Tejada was nearly traded to the Angels last season for Ervin Santana and Erick Aybar, but Orioles owner Peter Angelos vetoed the deal. Something tells me the O's are kicking themselves now -- or at least the fans are all trying to kick Angelos. Tejada is in the midst of a power outage (7 HR, .415 slug) and the team is spiraling downward after the firing of manager Sam Perlozzo this week. If the Angels make another run at Tejada, which is very possible, they could ask him to play third base or DH. If Tejada does end up in Anaheim, that could mean Brandon Wood is without a position until after Orlando Cabrera's contract runs out in a couple seasons.

Can we really call a 37-year-old "The Kid" still? The Reds are toiling at the bottom of a very bad division and they might be ready to send the city's beloved son, Ken Griffey Jr., to a contender for some pitching or prospects. Griffey is on pace to hit .286 with 41 homers, 98 RBI and 86 runs scored, which would arguably equal his best season since his first in the Queen City in 2000. He's a 5-and-10 player, which means he gets to reject any trade to a team he doesn't want to play for because he has been in the league 10 years and with the same team for at least five. Norris Hopper might be the immediate player to receive extra playing time if Junior leaves, but there's really not any player in the minors that would hit the ground running.

Trading -- Easier said than Dunn: The Reds are also dangling LF Adam Dunn in trade talks. Do the Yankees have enough depth in the minors to make a decent prospect package for Dunn? Could this be the Bobby Abreu trade for them in 2007? Dunn's a former first baseman, so he might fill Jason Giambi's role in the Bronx. The Angels are also prospective suitors, especially if they move Hillenbrand beforehand. Again, the Reds don't have anyone ready to move up in Dunn's place in the minors for immediate impact. Dunn's arrival would likely cost Reggie Willits and Garret Anderson some at-bats.

Another cheaper option for an AL team looking for help at first base is Washington's Dmitri Young. Da Meat Hook is batting over .390 since May 1, and he has proven to be a solid cleanup hitter on a team with little power. He also does a darn good Warren Sapp impression. The Nationals have Nick Johnson (broken leg) taking batting practice and he's on target for a mid-July return. Young won't go back to Detroit, despite their need for him, and again, the Yankees could go with him as a last resort, after trades for Teixeira, Adam Dunn and maybe Todd Helton fall through.

Interestingly, a Helton/Yankees marriage is getting some talk in the Denver Post. Initially, it was thought that Helton would reject a trade to the Bronx, which is his right to do as a 5-and-10 player. But he has recently raised some eyebrows by saying, "I have never said publicly that I wouldn't go to any team." When asked if that included the Yankees, he responded, "They'd have to want me first."

Helton's exit from Colorado would open up a slot for prospect Joe Koshansky. The 25-year-old lefty is hitting .324 with seven homers and 48 RBI at Triple-A Colorado Springs currently. Jeff Baker might initially get the first crack at the spot, however. Another option there is moving Garrett Atkins to first base, and calling up super prospect Ian Stewart to play third base. Stewart is the best hitting prospect of all involved.

Next week: I took a broad look at the hitters this week, so I'll break down some of the possible pitching moves about to go down in next week's column. Hopefully, these tips can help you get a leg up on your competition.

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