Which 2011 busts will bounce back in '12? 

August, 11, 2011
8/11/11
4:40
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Adam Dunn is not going to hit 38 home runs this season. Heck, he probably won't even hit half that many, or bat .200, for that matter. But if you're in a deep keeper league, or already planning out your 2012 draft strategy, Dunn is a perfect sleeper candidate. His owners are so angry with him they might never forgive and forget. Perhaps you really think Dunn is "done" at age 31 -- and definitively, he might be -- but let's just say that if he's sitting there in Round 15 of a standard-league draft next March, he's worth the pick

[+] EnlargeAdam Dunn
Rob Grabowski/US PresswireAdam Dunn currently has a minus-2.58 value on the 2011 ESPN Player Rater.
I could make a list of the top 10 fantasy disappointments from this season, and Dunn would be on there. He might even lead the list. I'm not at all interested in adding or trading for Dunn for the rest of this season, because there are no signs that things will be getting better. He's hitting .163 for the season, and he's 3-for-78 against lefties. He's hitting .142 at a home ballpark that so many people figured would be a blessing for his power. But Dunn has admitted lately that his offseason workout program was lacking, and you'd better believe that will change this winter. I believe him. If he can hit .250 with 30 home runs next year, you'd draft that at some point. Five months ago we'd laugh at Dunn hitting only 30 home runs. We figured he'd be closer to 38, a number he reached every season from 2003 to 2010.

So here are some top-100 players from 2011 drafts who become automatic sleepers for 2012 based on the premise that I don't think they're officially "toast." You haven't enjoyed their statistics this season, but I like the possibility of a bounce-back, at least to some degree. I mean, how's Lance Berkman working out for us in 2011? Quite well for a 21st-round draft pick, I'd say. Josh Beckett and J.J. Hardy have been pretty nice as well. One sad season doesn't always mean the end.

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