A return to normalcy?
After a frustrating day with two massive blowouts, alongside a game that did not even scrape over 120 total points, we move on to Friday. Hopefully today will be a little less extreme. A quick glance at the games does not inspire confidence, however, as the turtle-paced Dallas plays Indiana. As well, Washington plays New York in a game which certainly could become a blowout, like the Mystics’ last game. Let’s take a deeper look!
Dallas Wings @ Indiana Fever
The Dallas Wings have been an impossible team to figure out this season. They have only played two games, and have lost both, but only by a combined 7 points. Azura Stevens (8.8k, 6.2k) returned in the Wings’ second game, and played 26 minutes. She should be asked to shoulder a big load without Liz Cambage on the roster. Her price is especially great on FanDuel, where 30 fantasy points should be easily attainable.
The other trouble with the Wings is that they are not playing anyone significant minutes. Zero players have hit 30 minutes this year, which makes it tricky to pick and choose players. It seems as though, however, Glory Johnson (7.8k, 6.6k) and Kayla Thornton (6.2k, 5.7k) are starting to gain the trust of new coach Bryan Agler. They have seen minutes in the high twenties, and hopefully will play that again today. Arike Ogunbowale (6.8k, 5.4k) is also in consideration, as her usage rate is sky-high, at 31%.
Indiana has had a nice start to the year, but come up against the slow Dallas Wings. Though Dallas has only played twice, it is clear that Brian Agler has installed his opposite of pace and space philosophy, instead choosing to grind games away. This does not bode well for the fantasy prospects of the Fever players.
Erica Wheeler (7.2k, 7.6k) is still underpriced on DraftKings, despite putting up a couple of huge games begin the year. She should play over 30 minutes, and is easily a slam dunk option. Natalie Achonwa (8k, 4.6k) is a very low price on FanDuel, and using her allows you to pay up for studs like Elena Delle Donne. Achonwa does not seem to be losing minutes to Teiara McCowan (8.3k, 4.7k), despite McCowan playing very well to start the year.
There are some other second options, like Tiffany Mitchell (7.5k, 5.8k), Betnijah Laney (5.3k, 5.6k), and Kelsey Mitchell (6.7k, 5.7k). The slow pace of Dallas and the improved defense limits their upside, however.
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Washington Mystics @ New York Liberty
The Mystics come off a 103-85 drubbing of the Chicago Sky, a scoreline that does not do justice to the domination of Washington. This team is firing on all cylinders with Elena Delle Donne (10.8k, 7.9k) back, and Delle Donne should be one of the safest options on the slate, going up against a suspect Liberty defense. Her ability to draw free throws should be on full display, as New York has given up the highest number of free throws per possession.
Ariel Atkins (6.6k, 5.5k) has been an impactful sophomore so far, and her price does not reflect her production. She should play right around 30 minutes, assuming the Mystics are not in another blowout. Natasha Cloud (8.1k, 5.7k) is also underpriced on FanDuel, as she has been consistently around 30 minutes, regardless of game script. Cloud should contribute in all areas, and has 17 assists through the Mystics’ first three games.
The Liberty have started the season as expected. They have been disappointing, but have shown signs as their young talent begins to learn the league. Of course, it all starts with a veteran, Tina Charles (11.3k, 8.1k). It seems as though Tina may just take every single shot for the Liberty all year, ending the first three games with a 40% usage rate. A double double is definitely in play for Tina.
The rest of the team is extremely cheap on FanDuel, allowing you to afford Charles’ high price tag. Kia Nurse (6.5k, 4.9k) played over 30 minutes in the last game, and should be close to that again tonight. Amanda Zahui B. (6.4k, 5.2k) is again a great option, and should probably be changing her name to Amanda Zahui Blocks after her 6 block night in the Liberty’s last game. Her price is still too low on FanDuel, as she too is playing close to 30 minutes.
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