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Marry, Kiss, Kill, Fantasy Basketball Edition

Fantasy basketball and the regular season are about to begin. Time to have a little fun figuring out which players to draft that play for the Denver Nuggets.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
There are still a few days until the NBA regular season begins, as preseason gradually transitions into the regular season. But when the calendar flips into basketball season, another season is about to begin - fantasy basketball.

Unfortunately, the Nuggets don't have too many fantasy basketball stars on their roster. I want to highlight three players on the roster that has fantasy relevance this season, and I'm going to use a party game to do so (keeping it PG for the children).

Marry - Danilo Gallinari

Current ESPN rankings have Danilo Gallinari at No. 70, behind other small forwards like Tobias Harris, Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo. That is too low, and getting Gallo in the seventh round is a steal. We've seen the playmaking, the shooting and the athleticism that he has demonstrated in the preseason, and I fully believe that he will carry that into the regular season.

You've likely heard it before but it bears repeating now. Gallinari's post-All-Star break numbers were elite. He's a threat to hit multiple 3-pointers every game, get a block and steal, and will be running offense to generate assist opportunities. As a finishing option in the offense, his turnovers won't be outlandish, and his free throws help keep his scoring consistent. What sets him apart are his percentages - Gallo is a threat to put up 50/40/85 this season. That's easily top-50 value, and you can get him two rounds late.

For this season, I predict Gallinari will have far more value than the three players I listed earlier. You can wait on small forward early, grab Gallo, and be fine this year. Don't splurge on Gordon Hayward in the third round.

Kiss - Joffrey Lauvergne

King Joffrey has been dynamite this preseason, and has possibly played himself into consideration for the starting center position while Nurkic gets back to full health. Breaking down his performance this preseason can be done elsewhere, but for fantasy basketball purposes, Lauvergne needs minutes. Lauvergne at 28 minutes a game is far more valuable than Lauvergne at 15 minutes a game.

If the French forward plays 25-plus minutes a night, he's going to have sneaky fantasy value. He's a competitive rebounder, has good feel around the basket, is athletic, and can shoot from the perimeter. There are few players that are a double-double threat that can also contribute 3-pointers, and that element gives him value. He may not produce the defensive stats a typical center does, but his offensive stats give him a boost.

Don't fall in love with Lauvergne though - once the Bosnian Bear returns, and is back to full strength, Joffrey's minutes (and fantasy value) will decrease. But it will have been fun while it lasted.

Kill -  Kenneth Faried

I won't own Faried on any of my teams. ESPN projects Faried at 16 points and 11 rebounds a game on 52 percent shooting, but that's all he's giving you. We saw Faried practicing 3-point shots in a pick-and-pop setting, and it was unsettling to see. He doesn't set up his teammates, he doesn't get steals and he doesn't block shots consistently. ESPN has him ranked above Derrick Favors, Greg Monroe and Al Horford. I would rather have each one of those players over Faried.

This isn't to say that Faried is worthless - far from it. Faried's ability to rebound and dunk makes him an above-average contributor in three categories. The problem with Faried is that selecting him early means you have to find a multi-category player later, and that usually is detrimental to your percentages (field goal or free throw). He helps with rebounding, but so does Al Horford and Derrick Favors, and they'll get you assists and blocks.

You can pair Faried with another center though. Matching Faried with a player like Marc Gasol can help fill up on boards, a category Gasol hasn't been elite at lately. There is also the potential for Michael Malone to develop Faried into a better defensive player. He has the athleticism to have more blocks and steals, but hasn't been able to match knowledge with his prodigious physical abilitities. Think Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with more rebounds - something like that would have value.

Gallinari and Lauvergne are going to be fun to watch with the Nuggets this season, and they could be fun to watch on your fantasy team as well.

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Reminder: Stiffs Night Out Season Kickoff 10/28

Please join us for the next Stiffs Night Out on Wednesday, October 28th at 6pm as the Nuggets take on the Rockets in Houston to kickoff the 2015-16 NBA season. The event will take place at Jake's Sports & Spirits at 3800 Walnut Street and Jake's will be serving happy hour drinks until 7pm and 50-cent wings all night long! We will also play Nuggets trivia for prizes, including Nuggets game tickets. See you on the 28th!

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