Last year's two biggest fantasy sleepers have been this year's biggest fantasy duds. Mike Dunleavy and Monta Ellis entered the season injured, and fantasy owners who basked in their glory last season couldn't be more disappointed.
Now in 2009, these once-fantasy heroes might be the key to another fantasy title run. So dry your eye, check your waiver wire and start getting those trades ready.
Mike Dunleavy, SG, Indiana Pacers
Due to a befuddling knee tendonitis that sparked up early and training camp Dunleavy has missed all of the Pacers games this season. Coming off a career year under Coach Jim O'Brien, Dunleavy should initially take over the sixth man responsibilities and eventually take his starting role back from Marquis Daniels.
Dunleavy will play somewhere in the ballpark of 40 games this season, and although he will need some time to knock the rust off, he will be welcomed with open arms by his teammates.
Dunleavy is the guy you'd love to have on your pick-up team. He knocks down open Js, rebound, and passes.
In Indiana's offense Dunleavy has the green light to shoot threes—last season he shot 4.7 per game, making 42.4 percent of them.
When Dunleavy is at full strength you can expect him to score at least 15 points per game while grabbing five boards and dishing out three assists per game. The 6'9" wing is also good for a steal.
First I would check your waiver wire, due to the uncertainty of his injury Dunleavy was dropped in many leagues. Unless you are absolutely stacked, he will be better than the last few guys on your roster.
If someone has been stashing Dunleavy you can try to offer an overachiever for him straight up, or throw him into a multi-player deal.
Dunleavy considers himself ready to play and he should see playing time within seven to 10 days.
Monta Ellis, G, Golden State Warriors
Monta Ellis took a serious risk when he decided to get on a moped this summer and has paid the price. The Warriors were not happy with Ellis’ injured ankle, and suspended him without pay for a majority of his time-off. Now Ellis is back on the books, and he is almost ready to start earning his checks.
Ellis won't be returning to the same Warriors that he played for last season. Many faces have changed, but luckily for Ellis-owners, Don Nelson's style of play has not.
When Ellis returns in the next couple of weeks, he will take over the primary ball-handling responsibilities from Jamal Crawford and Stephen Jackson.
A healthy Ellis has a great opportunity to exceed the 3.9 assists per game that he posted last season, potentially posting six-to-eight per game.
He will still score close to 20 points per game with good field-goal percentage and steal numbers. If Ellis' explosion is back, he will also board-up.
If you see Ellis on the waiver wire, I advise you pick him up ASAP, even if he is a few weeks out.
With any injured player, there is potential for re-injury, but going after Ellis in a trade could really help your club. A straight up deal may expose how bad you want him, but if you package him in a deal he could be the difference in the long run.
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