Phoenix Suns Fantasy Basketball Season Preview

We preview the Phoenix Suns and the impact their players will have on the 2016-2017 fantasy basketball season.

The Suns have a self-inflicted identity crisis. They overachieved in 2013-2014 by finishing 9th and tried hard to make the playoffs the following season, only to fail by finishing 10th. We’re going to ignore the debacle that was last season and go into this one hoping they’re going to finally give the keys of the team to their young core of Booker and Len.

Player Movement

Notable Ins Notable Outs
Dragan Bender NBA Draft
Jared Dudley Washington Wizards
Leandro Barbosa Golden State Warriors
Marquese Chriss NBA Draft
Jon Leuer Detroit Pistons
Ronnie Price Oklahoma City Thunder
Mirza Teletovic Milwaukee Bucks

Phoenix Suns Depth Chart

Point Guard Shooting Guard Small Forward Power Forward Center
Eric Bledsoe
Leandro Barbosa
Devin Booker
Brandon Knight
Archie Goodwin
John Jenkins
T.J. Warren
P.J. Tucker
Jared Dudley
Marquese Chriss
Dragan Bender
Alex Len
Tyson Chandler
Alan Williams

Rotation Player Projections

PG Eric Bledsoe 27.2 32 19.1 3.7 5.7 1.9 0.6 1.4 45.3 80.2 3.3
PG Brandon Knight 26 31 16.7 3.4 4.3 1 0.3 2 41.5 85.2 2.9
SG Devin Booker 25 30 16.2 2.7 2.9 0.6 0.3 1.5 42.7 84 2.3
C Alex Len 20.5 26 10.1 8.5 1.3 0.6 0.9 0 42.3 72.8 2.1
SF P.J. Tucker 12.7 24 6.2 4.8 1.7 1 0.2 0.6 41.1 74.6 1.1
C Tyson Chandler 12.6 24 7.1 8.5 1 0.5 0.7 0 58.3 62 1.4
PF Jared Dudley 14 24 8.1 3.4 2.1 0.9 0.2 1.2 47.8 73.5 1
SF T.J. Warren 20 20 9.6 2.7 0.8 0.7 0.3 0.5 50.1 70.3 0.6
PF Marquese Chriss 18 15 7.7 3.1 0.2 0.4 0.8 0.3 46 67 0.8
PF Dragan Bender 16 14 7.1 4.1 1.9 0.2 0.5 0.3 44 72 0.7

Position Battles

Starting Shooting Guard

Do Phoenix still go with their two point guard line-up now that Jeff Hornacek is gone? Or do they go with their 19-year-old, future face of the franchise who averaged 19.2 PTS, 1.5 3PM and 4.1 AST in the 28 games that followed the All-Star break? Both Knight and Booker stand to play a lot of minutes, regardless of who starts, but if I were to take a guess, it wouldn’t be long until Booker is starting at shooting Guard.

Starting Small Forward

Neither P.J. Tucker or T.J. Warren stand to be drafted in most standard leagues (unless mediocrity is a counting stat in your league), but they remain the two likely candidates to for the starting small forward position. I’d personally like to see Booker get some minutes at small forward to get him some extra minutes while they work out their starting shooting guard situation.

Starting Center

At this point, I’m pretty sure even Tyson Chandler is surprised he’s still starting over Alex Len. Unless the Suns start the season on a winning streak, you’d think it’s only a matter of time until they make the shift towards youth and start their young guys, making Len a nice deep league stash candidate.

Rise in Value

Devin Booker

Booker’s post All-Star numbers weren’t a fluke, and his numbers over the 51 games he started last season proved that (17.4 PTS, 1.5 3PM, 3.5 AST with 85% from the FT line). Impressive for a starter, let alone a rookie. Both Knight and Bledsoe frequently get injured (we’ll touch on this later), opening up the possibility of minutes and a usage rate similar to 2015/2016.

Alex Len

Len put up impressive per 36-minute numbers last season, and has decreased his foul rate every year since his rookie season in 2013-2014. With another year under his belt and another year in Tyson Chandler’s legs, it makes sense that Len’s value increases. He’s a player to keep your eye on for the second half of the season.

Injury Risks

Eric Bledsoe

There’s a pattern in Bledsoe’s game log, that’s either a coincidence, or a sign (you can choose how to interpret it). Since the 2010-2011 season, he has finished the season playing in 81, 40, 75, 43, 81 and 31 games. If the pattern continues, he’s set to play in 70+ games. Patterns aside, he’s an injury risk that you can’t ignore on draft day.

Brandon Knight

Knight has also been shown to be injury prone, but to a lesser extent to Bledsoe, having played in 52 and 63 games over his past two seasons. There’s also the risk of Knight losing playing time, and possibly his starting SG job to Booker, and is likely to be mentioned in trade rumors throughout the season.

Other Player Summaries

Jared Dudley Deep League

Jared is penciled in to be the starting power forward on opening night, but that’s only enough to make him deep league relevant, and not for long with two freshly drafted rookies (Bender at pick 4 and Chriss at pick 8) being drafted in his position. It’s hard to see Dudley finishing the season as a starter, so it’s a matter of who he’s going to be handing the job to and how long he's going to be keeping it for.

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