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Top of the Key: Opportunity Knocks

Originally Published: January 5, 2005
By Vincent Hui | ESPN Games Fantasy Edge
While players like Amare Stoudemire and Dwyane Wade took their games to the next level at the start of the season, plenty of guys have been stuck in neutral. Be it team philosophy, ballhogging veterans or both, the struggle continued for many players just itching to get on the court.

Thanks to roster shakeups, injuries and trades, those who have been buried alive are getting a chance to find their groove and be productive. A couple are retreads - Tim Thomas, anyone? - and some newbies are getting their shot at making it onto a fantasy squad. Increased playing time means increased production and it doesn't discriminate.

  • Shane Battier, Mem - Making yet another attempt at fantasy relevance, Battier has seen his playing time increase with spot starts at power forward and the benching of James Posey. The fourth year player from Duke is known for a little bit of everything so if you're looking for over a steal and a block without enduring the backlash a player like Theo Ratliff would bring to your other categories you could do worse. In fact he's been putting up numbers similar to Posey's last season since late December: 11.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.3 blocks and 1.3 threes.

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