Mother lode or fool's gold?
Paul has been out since late January with a torn meniscus in his left knee that required surgery. Much to the delight of his owners, he is finally set to return within the next game or two. Paul has been a colossal fantasy disappointment this year considering that he was the number one overall pick in many drafts. Can CP3 bring some joy to his loyal owners with a strong showing in the fantasy playoffs?
Paul hasn't played in six weeks, so you would have to expect that he will need three or four games to get back his rhythm and stamina. Unfortunately, fantasy owners don't have the luxury of a subpar week from Paul since he is coming back right in the middle of the fantasy playoffs. Another problem is that Paul comes back to a team that is virtually out of the playoff hunt and has also discovered the talents of two rookie guards,
Look for Paul to average about 32 minutes per game for the rest of the season. The reduced minutes and the inevitable rust from a six-week layoff will undoubtedly affect Paul's numbers across the board (his percentages won't suffer but his shot attempts will which make his percentages less influential). I am a huge CP3 fan but I can't look at him as anything but Fool's Gold over the last three weeks of the fantasy season.
Stuckey was humming along, having a career year, until he suddenly collapsed in a game against Cleveland on March 5. Stuckey has had numerous tests done since the collapse, mainly concerning his heart, and it has been determined that he is healthy and ready to return to the court. What can you expect from Stuckey after a two-week layoff?
Stuckey is expected back Friday, which is a good thing for fantasy owners in weekly leagues because they will not be affected while Stuckey takes a few games to shake off the rust from a two-week layoff. Daily leagues are a different story, so I would hold off from starting him the rest of this week if you have the ability to get another guard in your lineup. Once Week 22 hits I don't see any reason why Stuckey won't be the same player he was before the collapse. He was only out for two weeks, not two months, so he should have no problem getting his rhythm back. In addition, he only plays 35 minutes a night, so I don't foresee the Pistons cutting back on his minutes.
Another big factor with Stuckey is that he is only owned in 71 percent of Yahoo! leagues. If he is available in your league, pick him up because he will give your team a huge boost in points, assists, rebounds, steals and free-throw percentage. Given the fact that he should return to normal production levels and that he is actually available in a handful of leagues Stuckey gets a Mother Lode from me.
Noah has been battling plantar fasciitis in his left foot for almost two months. He has been limited to nine games since the injury first occurred on Jan. 23. He has started practicing on a limited basis and is tentatively scheduled to return March 24. Will Noah be able to help your team win a championship or is he destined to not to be a fantasy factor for the rest of the season?
As a point of comparison,
The Bulls are currently down in the playoff race, but not out. Given the passion that Jaokim plays with, he is going to do everything in his power to drag himself and his team into the post season. Even if he doesn't succeed, how many 11+ rebound big men are you going to find out there on waivers at this time of year? Noah is worth the risk, and gets a Mother Lode from me.
* All stats up to date as of 3/17/10