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Branyan's move gives LaPorta a chance

Seemingly right after I got finished writing about Russell Branyan's streaky power stroke, the Cleveland Indians dealt him back to the place he's had his greatest fantasy success.

Sunday's trade to Seattle is a return to the team Branyan had 31 home runs and 76 RBIs for a year ago. Branyan had a six-game hitting streak with the Tribe before being traded and is worth a chance on in mixed leagues, just to see how he adapts to the familiar surroundings in Seattle.

Back in Cleveland, Branyan's loss is Matt LaPorta's gain. The one-time hot prospect has every chance to win the starting first base job in Cleveland. LaPorta, who was the centerpiece of the CC Sabathia deal for the Indians, hit .362 with five home runs and 16 RBIs since being sent to Triple-A Columbus on June 7.

Like Branyan, he's a worthy pick-up to see if he can keep those numbers going.

---Jay Skurski

Former Bisons having a fantasy impact

You could field a pretty good fantasy team with former Bisons. So which one would you most like to have? Vote in our poll below:

---Jay Skurski

Bills' Nelson a tight end sleeper

At least that's the thought of Mike Harmon from He's got Nelson pegged seventh on a list of the top 10 fantasy tight end sleepers.

Here's Harmon's take on why: "Nelson has the size and physicality to become a big-play option for the Buffalo offense. There’s depth at tailback, but the receiving corps is still devoid of options behind Lee Evans. Nelson sustained myriad injuries last season, so his development was slowed as a rookie. I’m obviously not putting a whole lot of stock with the Buffalo passing game (quarterback to be determined).

However, Nelson may have an opportunity to serve a role as a waiver-wire spot starter if he can stay healthy."

I tend to agree with Harmon on this one. You could do much worse for a backup tight end. What's your take?

---Jay Skurski

Local product Williams getting love

Riverside product Mike Williams, taken in the fourth round of April's NFL Draft, appears on a list of 10 possible sleeper candidates at wide receiver. The complete list, produced by Mike Harmon of, can be accessed by clicking here.

Here's Harmon's take: "Williams, the former Syracuse star, has shone during the Buccaneers’ offseason workouts. He stands 6-foot-2 and has a chance to immediately crack the starting lineup to aid the development of Josh Freeman.

Reports from Tampa Bay have him outperforming Arrelious Benn during early activities, although most expect the rookie from Illinois to start opposite Sammie Stroughter. The winner of this summer battle has the opportunity to claim the targets vacated by Antonio Bryant."

I tend to agree with Harmon on this one. Tampa Bay has a big need at receiver, and Williams comes into the league with an NFL-ready body. He might be worth a late-round pick on draft day.

---Jay Skurski

Dice-K latest concern for Red Sox

Daisuke Matsuzaka didn't give the Boston Red Sox much advance notice of the strained right forearm that landed him on the 15-day disabled list Saturday just 15 minutes prior to his scheduled start against the Phillies.

It's the latest setback for the Japanese pitcher in what has become a trend for him since participating in the World Baseball Classic prior to the 2009 season. Dice-K had picked up wins in his last two starts and appeared to be turning the corner, but for now fantasy owners will have to stash him on the bench, since it doesn't sound like a long-term injury.

Matsuzaka joins Red Sox Jacoby Ellsbury and fellow pitcher Josh Beckett on the DL. Ellsbury will be out "several" more weeks with broken ribs, and is a candidate to be dropped. Beckett, however, began throwing Saturday, the first step in trying to get him back into the rotation by the end of this month.

---Jay Skurski