The Denver Nuggets have been decimated by injuries the past two seasons, but have still managed to stay afloat as a playoff team in the Western Conference. The main reason why it has been possible is because of the emergence of Nikola Jokic.
Jokic has quickly become the best player in the NBA. There’s nothing the Nuggets center can’t do on the basketball court. In that sense, it’s no surprise that Denver has stayed competitive despite missing out on key players like Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. for most of the past two seasons.
Jokic has also dominated in the realm of fantasy basketball and has been the most productive player in the NBA for fantasy owners the past two years. Heading into the 2022-23 season, it seems reasonable to expect more greatness from Jokic this coming season, so let’s take a look at his fantasy outlook for next season and see what’s in store for the star center.
Nikola Jokic Fantasy Basketball Outlook 2022-23
Last season, using ESPN’s standard fantasy basketball point scoring system, Jokic scored 4,542 points for his fantasy owners, which was easily the most by any player in the league. The next closest player behind Jokic was Giannis Antetokounmpo. How many points did he have? 3,761. Jokic nearly scored 1,000 more points than the next closest player in fantasy basketball last season.
Everyone uses different scoring systems in fantasy leagues, but the overall message is simple; Jokic was the best player in fantasy basketball last season, and he wasn’t particularly close. Jokic’s ability to do a little of everything on the floor has helped solidify him as the de facto No. 1 overall pick in next season’s drafts.
Let’s start with Jokic’s score. Jokic averaged 27.1 points per game for Denver last season, which was the highest average of his career. Jokic did it by improving his efficiency from the field (58.3 percent from the field) even though his 3-point shooting dropped more than five percentage points last season (38.8 percent to 33, 7 percent).
Overall, Jokic is an extremely efficient all-court scorer, and there aren’t many players who can slow him down in the NBA. He’s also the best passing big man in the NBA, regularly pulling in double-digit assists for Denver. Jokic had 7.9 assists per game last season, and that number will likely be higher with Murray and Porter back on the floor this season.
Defensively, Nikola Jokic put together the best season of his career last year. His rebounding numbers skyrocketed last season, as he averaged a career-high 13.8 boards per game, which was much higher than his previous high of 10.8. Jokic also averaged his career highs in steals and blocks per game, adding more fantasy point sources for a player who didn’t really need them to begin with.
Right now, there isn’t really a weakness in Jokic’s game. He can do everything at a high rate, and while it would be nice to see his 3-point shooting pick up after a down year, that’s the only real complaint you can have for him right now.
Looking ahead to the upcoming season, it’s reasonable to expect more of the same from Jokic this season. He has been doing all of this despite being the main source of attention for opposing defenses, and his life will be much easier now that Murray and Porter are back in the lineup.
The main concern regarding Jokic’s status is whether or not Murray and Porter will take some of Jokic’s production. Jokic has exploded the past two seasons because the Nuggets desperately needed him to step up. Will he shoulder the same burden for Denver if he doesn’t necessarily have to?
Jokic will most likely see a small decrease in his scoring and an increase in assists this season. It will be interesting to see if his defensive stats hold up compared to last season, but there’s really no reason to doubt Jokic at this point. He is at the peak of his powers and no one has been able to stop him in the last two seasons.
For fantasy owners looking to get their hands on Jokic, they had better hope they end up with the first overall pick in the draft, otherwise they won’t stand a chance of getting Jokic. Jokic is the clear No. 1 pick in all of this year’s drafts, and unless you play in a joke league or one with specific draft rules, there’s really no reason for him to go past the first overall pick. Nikola Jokic is the best overall player in fantasy basketball, and if you finish him off, your team will benefit greatly.