Detroit Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey suffered a fractured thumb during the preseason, but he only missed the season opener and hit the ground running in his season debut Nov. 1 against the Memphis Grizzlies with 19 points, two assists, one steal and one rebound in just over 23 minutes of action. Stuckey has continued to come off the bench for the Pistons since that point, but improved production over the last six games (15.0 points, 3.6 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game) has coincided with an increase in playing time (30 or more minutes in three straight games) as Chauncey Billups (knee) and Will Bynum (groin, hamstring) have both been sidelined.
With his thumb injury in the rearview mirror, can fantasy basketball owners consider adding Stuckey?
Since his best season in 2009-2010 (16.6 points per game), Stuckey’s point production has slowly eroded each year (11.5 points per game last season) along with his playing time and shot attempts. His prospects for this season under new coach Maurice Cheeks did not look good with Detroit spending a lottery pick on Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, but Caldwell-Pope has yet to find his footing (7.9 points and 19.5 minutes per game) during the early part of his rookie season.
Whenever Billups and Bynum return to action, the Pistons’ backcourt will again become deep with options and become a source of potential frustration for fantasy owners that play daily contests. But Billlups’ age (37) means he is likely to have his minutes limited even when he’s able to play, and Bynum is currently considered day-to-day without an exact timetable for his return.
I don’t necessarily think Stuckey will become a top fantasy option, but he has an opportunity to keep getting plenty of playing time and it may only be a matter of time before he is starting most of the time at shooting guard for the Pistons. Stuckey’s ownership percentage may continue to rise if he can continue to produce close to the level he has over the last few games, but right now he is still available in over half of Yahoo! leagues.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.