Pepe who is currently the second top scorer in the French top-flight behind PSG's Kylian Mbappe will battle two-time nominee Wahbi Khazri and previously selected candidates Max Gradel, Francois Kamano and Bertrand Traore for the top prize.
Cameroon's Karl Toko Ekambi won last year's accolade before his switch to Villarreal and his successor will be announced on May 13.
Full list of nominees
Youcef Atal (Nice/Algeria)
Stephane Bahoken (Angers/Cameroon)
Denis Bouanga (Nimes/Gabon)
Max Gradel (Toulouse/Cote d'Ivoire)
Francois Kamano (Bordeaux/Guinea)
Nicolas Pepe (Lille/Cote d'Ivoire)
Bertrand Traore (Lyon/Burkina Faso)
Ismaila Sarr (Rennes/Senegal)