WNBA Daily Fantasy preview – June 4, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 04: Tina Charles #31 of the New York Liberty handles the ball against Nneka Ogwumike #30 and Chelsea Gray #12 of the Los Angeles Sparks during a WNBA basketball game at Staples Center on August 4, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/NBAE/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 04: Tina Charles #31 of the New York Liberty handles the ball against Nneka Ogwumike #30 and Chelsea Gray #12 of the Los Angeles Sparks during a WNBA basketball game at Staples Center on August 4, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Leon Bennett/NBAE/Getty Images) /

WNBA gameday, day and night

This WNBA Daily Fantasy slate is going to be very interesting. Not often do two games on the same slate start 12 hours apart. New York is hosting a school day, which is why it is such an early start. The early start has interesting implications on FanDuel, where all lineups normally lock once the first game starts. With so long between games, FanDuel has elected to allow late swap, so we will be able to change Lynx and Storm players up until that game starts. DraftKings allows “late swap” for all of it’s WNBA contests. With that said, let’s hop into it!

Los Angeles Sparks @ New York Liberty

The Los Angeles Sparks will again be missing Candace Parker, Alana Beard and Maria Vadeeva. This has caused a real squeeze on their rotation, but impressively, they took down Connecticut in their last game with this tighter rotation.

Nneka Ogwumike (9.9k DK, 7.8k FD) has carried the load early in the year without Parker. Her usage rate has gone from 22% in 2018 to 32% in 2019. Though 32% may not be sustainable, Ogwumike’s role as the number one scoring option seems to be set in stone. At sub-10k and sub 8k, she is a great option, providing elite production at a lower-than-elite price. Nneka’s sister, Chiney Ogwumike (8.3k, 6.4k), moved into the starting lineup last game and did not disappoint. She scored 20 points, and grabbed 7 rebounds, easily paying off her low price tag, and playing over 30 minutes. A similar minutes projection, as well as going up against a below average defense, should lead her over 30 fantasy points, a steal, especially on FanDuel.

The injury to Alana Beard thrust Sydney Wiese (3.3k, 3.6k) into the starting lineup, where she played 30 minutes. She only accumulated 3 points and 4 rebounds, but the high number of minutes are very intriguing at such a bargain price.

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The New York Liberty have started off the year very poorly. A buzzer beater loss to Indiana, and then a destruction by the same Fever leaves them at 0-2 on the year. Tina Charles (11.1k, 7.9k) has an absolutely asinine 42% usage rate through the first two games. Despite this, I do not think this is a great spot for Charles. The Sparks are a very good defensive team, and should look to take away Charles and challenge someone else on the Liberty to beat them.

Amanda Zahui B. (6k, 4.4k) could step up, but has had a rough start scoring-wise to the start of the year. Even with just an average shooting night (morning?) Zahui B. should easily be able to score ~20 fantasy points, which would be a great amount at her low FanDuel price. Rookie Asia Durr (5.8k, 5k) stepped into the starting lineup on Saturday and played 27 minutes, taking 12 shots. She is an interesting play, obviously carrying a lot of risk, but also a lot of reward with how often she shoots the ball.

Another cheap option may be Reshanda Gray (4.6k, 5.4k) as she played 21 minutes last game, but most of them were due to the Liberty being blown out. It’s fairly safe to assume that she will not see over 20 in this game.

Minnesota Lynx @ Seattle Storm

The Lynx have been one of the more surprising teams to begin the year. A mostly new group has won three straight games, and in each game a different player has stepped up to lead. For the Lynx, it all starts with Sylvia Fowles (12k, 8k) who has put up double digit rebounds in all three games thus far. Of course, she is always a great option, and even played 36 minutes in the last game. Karima Christmas-Kelly (7.8k, 5.2k) appears to be healthy, and was available to play last game, but did not get on the floor. Her price is far too high on DraftKings, but I would not blame anyone for playing her on FanDuel, and trying to be ahead of the curve. The downside is that she easily could just not see any minutes, however.

The difficulty in projecting this team is deciding which second option will show up. Sims (7.6k, 5.9k), Collier (6.7k, 5.6k), Dantas (6.2k, 6.2k), and Robinson (6.4k, 6k) are all priced fairly similarly, If I had to choose one, I would say Sims pulls ahead just slightly. She has seen a 5% usage increase since coming over from Los Angeles, and is a great price, especially on FanDuel.

The Seattle Storm have begun the year exceeding expectations, but find themselves 2-2. Natasha Howard (11.7k, 8.3k) has finally begun to be priced like the elite fantasy option she is. She has put up an insane 1.4 fantasy points per minute this season so far. Despite this, the matchup could prove difficult for Howard. The Lynx have been an elite defense so far, and the trouble for Howard is that they just do not foul. The Lynx are giving up just 0.13 free throws per possession, compared to a league average of 0.17 FTs per possession. This does not bode well for Howard, who shoots normally 5 or 6 free throws per game.

Jewell Loyd (10.2k, 7.2k) is a solid option, but hasn’t yet shown that elite ceiling. Alysha Clark (4.8k, 5.5k) is probable for this game, after missing the last due to rest. In her singular game she has played this season, she was in for 27 minutes. 27 minutes should get her somewhere close to 20 fantasy points, which would be great production on DraftKings where her price is only 4800.

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