Editor’s Note: This is a guess post from Justin Becker of FantasyBasketballMoneyLeagues.com. You can him on twitter @NBAandNFLInfo or on theFantasy Basketball Money Leagues Google+ Page, and for moreNBA basketball news visit Fantasy Basketball Money Leagues – afantasy basketball blog
The Denver Nuggets finished the 2013-2014 season a bit disappointed. They had a good run in the 2013 Playoffs, but failed to make the playoffs this year. They finished the season 36-46 and only 5-11 in their division. It marked Denver’s first losing season since their 2002-03 campaign. They failed to play even close to well on the road, posting a 14-27 record when traveling. Although they scored at a high rate, their defense failed to stop opposing teams, who averaged 106.5 points per game.
The Denver Nuggets were dealt with a lot of injuries to key parts of their roster this season. They are hoping for a lot of big returns next season and expect to play at a high level and get back to the playoffs. With the Free Agency and offseason approaching, it’s tough to say who will stay and who will leave. As of right now, I have put together some tips for next year’s fantasy basketball campaign. When choosing your team next year, keep in mind these players to pick or leave alone.
First, let’s take a look at who you should pick for your fantasy team. These are players that are set to perform well and bring big contributions to your fantasy team.
You Should Pick…
Ty Lawson has been one of the most consistent point guards in the league ever since he was drafted in 2009. He has played five years in the league now and has never played less than 60 games in a season. In the past three years, he has averaged more than 34 minutes per game and has started almost every game he has played in, with the exception of three games over the last three years. He posted career bests in almost every category this season. He averaged 17.6 points per game, 8.8 assists per game, 3.5 rebounds per game, 1.6 steals per game and 0.2 blocks per game this season. You can expect to see more of the same from him next season, with the capability of going 20 and 10 in his 2014-2015 season.
Kenneth Faried has been a steal for the Nuggets, who drafted him with the 22nd pick in the 2011 draft. In his first year, he started 39 games out of the 46 he played. Since then, he has started almost every game of the season. He just finished his third year in the league, and in his last two seasons he has only missed four games. In addition, he has started all but seven games in the last two years. He is very durable, a great rebounder and is improving as a scorer. This season, he averaged 13.7 points per game, 8.6 rebounds per game, 1.2 assists per game, 0.9 blocks per game and 0.9 steals per game. Expect him to average around 16 points and 10 rebounds per game, while bringing you a steal and block every game next season.
Gallinari has had a tough time with the injuries over the past few years. He missed all of last season and the end of the season before that. He almost missed about half of the 2011-2012 season. Despite that, he is still young and still has tremendous talent as a basketball player. He is set to make his return next season and be healthy again. He has tremendous size at the small forward position and can shoot the ball very well. He last played in the 2012-2013 season, where he averaged 16.2 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game, 2.5 assists per game, 0.9 steals per game and 0.5 blocks per game. Expect him to get around 18 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists next season, if he is as healthy as expected.
Stay Away From…
I would think twice before picking Chandler up. If you are going to pick him up, make sure it is late in the draft and avoid picking him as one of your top forwards. He has his shining moments, but is very inconsistent and poses as a danger to your fantasy team if relied on game-to-game. He has the ability to average 20 points per game, but because of his inconsistency he is limited to around 14 points per game. Last season, he averaged 13.6 points per game, 4.7 rebounds per game, 1.8 assists per game, 0.7 steals per game and 0.5 blocks per game. Although you might be inclined to pick him as a starter for your team, he is probably best as a backup on the bench.
Nate Robinson was injured last season, so he didn’t get to contribute too much. However, the Nuggets have a lot of trust in him by signing him to a multi-year contract a year ago. He is very explosive and can be a great backup guard to put in when your starter has a day off. He played 44 games last season, averaging 10.4 points per game, 1.8 rebounds per game, 2.5 assists per game and 0.8 steals per game. If the Nuggets get him enough minutes and he is healthy next season, he has the ability to get 14 or 15 points per game and also bring your team some steals, which is always a plus. He also brings one or two three-pointers per game. If opportunity knocks late in the draft, don’t hesitate to pick up Nate Robinson.
J.J. Hickson is very underrated as a center. Although he lacks a lot of size down low, he is a fantastic rebounder. He is still young and still learning, so he is always improving his game. This year, he averaged 11.8 points per game, 9.2 rebounds per game, 1.4 assists per game, 0.7 blocks per game and 0.7 steals per game. He is very skilled on the defensive end, but if you need rebounding for your team then pick him up. Even if you have him coming off the bench, he is a great second option. He gets enough minutes to bring you 15 points per game and 10+ rebounds per game next season. I wouldn’t hesitate to make him your second center or even a flex option.