Denver Nuggets Fantasy Basketball Season Preview


Something crazy happened in the Pepsi Center last year, The Nuggets finally found themselves. After years of turmoil following the departures of names like Carmelo Anthony, George Karl, and Masai Ujiri, the franchise finally seems to have a concept of what their future looks like. With new victory minded coach Michael Malone, strong young core centered around Emmanuel Mudiay and Nikola Jokic, and a close, strong, bench lead by 6th man of the year candidate Will Barton, The Nugs look to make the 2016-17 season one to remember.

Are the Nuggets going to win the title? No. Are they going to get 50 wins? Probably not. However, the young talent and deep bench should excite the average Fantasy sports player with their young, talent heavy, roster and a fresh winning culture. This team is full of great fantasy picks and sleepers.

Player Movement

Notable Ins Notable Outs
Jamal Murray NBA Draft
Juan Hernangomez NBA Draft
Malik Beasley NBA Draft
Wilson Chandler Injured
D.J. Augustin Orlando Magic
Joffrey Lauvergne Oklahoma City Thunder

Denver Nuggets Depth Chart

Point Guard Shooting Guard Small Forward Power Forward Center
Emmanuel Mudiay
Jameer Nelson
Gary Harris
Will Barton
Jamal Murray
Axel Toupane
Malik Beasley
Mike Miller
Danilo Gallinari
Wilson Chandler
JaKarr Sampson
Kenneth Faried
Darrell Arthur
Juan Hernangomez
Nikola Jokic
Jusuf Nurkic

Rotation Player Projections

POS PLAYER USG MPG PTS REB AST STL BLK 3PM FG% FT% TO
SF Danilo Gallinari 22.8 32 18 4.9 2.3 0.7 0.4 1.5 41 86.8 1.4
PG Emmanuel Mudiay 25.7 32 13.5 3.6 5.8 1.1 0.5 1.2 36.4 67 3.4
C Nikola Jokic 20 30 13.8 9.7 3.4 1.4 0.8 0.4 51.2 81.1 1.8
SG Gary Harris 16.6 28 10.7 2.5 1.7 1.1 0.2 1.2 46.9 82 1.1
PF Kenneth Faried 19 24 10.7 7.8 1 0.5 0.8 0 55.8 61.3 1.2
SG Will Barton 20 22 9.6 4.4 1.6 0.7 0.4 0.9 43.2 80.6 1.1
SG Jamal Murray 18 20 10.4 3.7 1.8 0.7 0.2 1.5 42 77 1.1
SF Wilson Chandler 19 18 7.5 3.5 0.9 0.4 0.2 1 42.9 77.5 0.8
C Jusuf Nurkic 20 18 6.4 5.8 1 0.8 1.5 0 41.7 61.6 1.3
PG Jameer Nelson 16.5 16 4.6 1.7 2.9 0.4 0.1 0.7 36.8 85.7 1

Position Battles

Back Up Wing: Wilson Chandler, Will Barton
There are many reasons for the Nuggets to be excited about this coming season, one of those huge reasons is the return of Wilson Chandler. It's been reported that Chandler is healthy once again and ready to get back onto the court. Wilson possess the sharpshooting skills and efficient rebounding a team would look for in a big wingman. Barton, on the other hand, struggled statistically after his embarrassment in the dunk contest last year. Regardless of a weak finish, Barton is committed to returning strong and actually winning the 6th man of the year next season. It will be interesting to see which one bounces back from their predicament better.

Rise in Value

Emmanuel Mudiay

Mudiay did not start off well last year. However, his broken jump shot and lurking turnover problem were somewhat shadowed by his court vision and ball movement skills. Leading all rookies in assists last year and showing promise in being an effective rebounder, Mudiay looks to make a leap next year and become a more pure PG. He lead the Nuggets in assists the whole year and lead the team in scoring after the Gallinari injury, he's going to continue to be the at the core of the franchise for the coming years.

Nikola Jokic

Coming of of a fantastic silver medal performance in the Rio olympics last summer, Nikola Jokic has started turning heads left and right in the basketball world. A 6'11” Serbian who made fools of the USA mens team when they played in their game before the tournament started. Putting up 25 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists, Nikola Jokic nearly brought his country to a win over the Goliath that is the USA men's basketball team. It was the perfect stage to showcase his large shooting and ball handling skill sets. In the NBA's new age of skill and speed, Jokic fits the profile to become a serious threat under the rim for years to come. As long as he can average more than 21.7 minutes per game this year, Jokic should continue to have a surprisingly efficient young career.

Decrease in Value

Will Barton

Despite being a respected candidate for 6th man of the year, between March 31st and the season finale on April 13th, Barton went 15/59 shooting and 3/27 behind the 3 point line. After The Thrill's embarrassing display at last years NBA dunk contest his poor shot taking increased as his emotions got the best of him on the court. Barton brings life to the Nuggets secondaries on the court, but might not break out statistically like he had last year.

Kenneth Faried

As a fan favorite and a specially energized soul, Faried has been a delight for Nuggets fans to watch but has been a headache for fantasy owners at times. Faried's inconsistency lies with him being an outdated piece from George Karl's old Nugs. His minutes per game have been gradually declining for the last 4 years and he has never been able to develop a decent jump shot. With Mike Malone's constant development of the young core it is hard to make out a clear answer where Faried fits in other than pick and roll dunks and defensive rebounding. I love Faried but I believe a trade may be necessary for him to get the most out of his explosive talent from a big man deprived roster.

Injury Risks

Danilo Gallinari

Gallo went down with yet another injury last year, tearing two ligaments in his ankle. This is nothing new to him as he has seen a multitude of injuries in the past years including an ACL tear late in the 2012-13 season. In the past 2 years, Gallo has only played in 112 of 164 possible games. Moreover, Gallo has shown true scoring skills when healthy being the closest Nugget to average 20ppg after the Carmelo Anthony trade. Gallo is a huge asset to a fantasy team when he is healthy, but him playing an entire season seems unlikely.

Player Summaries

Nikola JokicBreakout

Denver knows what kind of special player they have. A big man that can shoot the 3 and make crazy behind the back assists all over the court. After his games against the US in the Olympics, the Nuggets are hyped to coach his up and coming 2nd year in the NBA.

Will Barton Overrated

I completely bought into the Barton hype last year, he's one of my favorite players on my favorite team. Picking him off of the waiver wire last year was one of the best decisions I made on my team last year, but I can't in good faith take him in the early rounds of the draft. Too much inconsistency so far.

Emmanuel Mudiay

Mudiay was without a doubt the most “pure point guard” of the draft last year. His numbers last year started awful, but gradually increased over the course of the year. He should be a steal for your assists category and has the skill set to lock in a TD or two this year.

Kenneth Faried

Nuggets fans have been talking about the possibility of a Faried trade for years now. Atlanta, Boston, and Toronto have all been in, at the very least, talks with Denver for a trade. With Faried's fading efficiency in Denver, he seems prime for another role on another team. If the Nuggets trade Faried, look for the 26 year old to have a great next chapter of his career.

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