A star-studded night
Tonight’s four-game slate should be great, as we have the top seven teams in the league in action. As well, with more games, roles are beginning to stabilize, so we can have more confidence in who will have the highest usage on a certain team, among other things. Let’s get into it!
Seattle Storm @ Washington Mystics
Seattle rides high into this game, after a clutch win over the Fever. They get a matchup with the Mystics, who have been a very low tempo team, at only 78 possessions per game. As well, the Mystics have been great on defense, allowing the lowest rate of free throws in the league. This does not bode well for Natasha Howard (11.6k DK, 6.3k FD), who could struggle to gain fantasy points if she is not able to get to the free throw line.
My favorite play from the Storm is Mercedes Russell (5.5k, 4.9k) as she has been seeing high-twenties minutes, and has been very productive in those minutes since stepping into the starting lineup. Her price is a bargain on FanDuel, and can be used to get high salary players in other spots in your lineup.
As for Washington, it has been a difficult start to the year fantasy-wise. It seems as though every game, one of Natasha Cloud (9.2k, 6.9k), Kristi Toliver (8.4k, 6k), or Ariel Atkins (6.8k, 5.5k) has an incredible game. As well, Elena Delle Donne (10.5k, 7.6k) has shown flashes of fantasy dominance, but has not paid off her high price tag recently. With that said, Toliver may be the best option, as the Storm (like the Mystics) limit free throws, but have been getting gouged on three pointers so far.
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A value play from the Mystics that has seen more minutes with Meesseman’s departure is Aerial Powers (4.5k, 4.5k). Though she may only see ~17 minutes, she certainly has a shot at 20 fantasy points in those minutes, and has been first off the bench recently as she recovers from an injury.
Connecticut Sun @ Minnesota Lynx
Connecticut is a fairly easy team to figure out. Jonquel Jones (11.4k, 8.4k) is probably going to hit over 40 fantasy points almost no matter what. Her rebounding is astounding, and her post moves are a sight to behold.
While Jones has been incredible, this is a fairly bad matchup for her and the rest of her team. Minnesota plays a very slow, grind it out type of basketball, something that we do not want to see as fantasy basketball players. As well, Minnesota’s length on defense has bothered a lot of teams, leading the Lynx to be above average in every defensive category. There is not a whole lot to like here for the Sun.
As for the Lynx, Sylvia Fowles (11.2k, 8.1k) finally showcased her elite fantasy talent, putting up 16 points and 11 rebounds in her last game. While this was a great game, I cannot recommend Fowles, as her usage has dropped 2% from last season, and her rebounding rates have gone down, likely due to the addition of forwards Damiris Dantas (6.7k, 5.9k) and Napheesa Collier (7.5k, 6.4k). Like the Lynx, Connecticut boasts an elite defense, and it seems to me that almost all of the Lynx are overpriced as a result. There are better options elsewhere.
Los Angeles Sparks @ Phoenix Mercury
The Sparks have pretty much nailed down their rotation without Candace Parker and Alana Beard. Chiney Ogwumike (8.2k, 7.1k) has stepped in once Vadeeva went overseas, and is playing great. I believe Chiney’s price should be much closer to 10k on DraftKings, and much closer to 8k on FanDuel, making her a great option. She has played ~30 minutes since being inserted into the starting lineup, and has been productive in those minutes, averaging just over 1 fantasy point per minute. Chiney will be in a lot of my lineups.
Parsing out the rest of the rotation is a little bit trickier. Tierra Ruffin-Pratt (5.4k, 5.3k) played 35 minutes last game, after a season high of 22 minutes previous to her last game. Certainly, if she plays in the 30’s she is a great option at a low price.
The other guard slot is also up in the air. Riquna Williams (4.6k, 4.9k) took it over last game, playing 24 minutes, but we have also seen Marina Mabrey (3.8k, 4.2k) as well as Sydney Wiese (3.5k, 3.6k) get a great deal of minutes. I would probably keep an eye on this starting lineup, as I think it is only a matter of time before Wiese gets moved to the bench.
For the Mercury, the decision is pretty simple. DeWanna Bonner (12k, 8.5k) has been the best DFS player so far this year, producing over 1.4 fantasy points per minute, while also playing ~35 minutes per game. The matchup is great, with the Sparks being one of the fastest paced teams in the WNBA under Derek Fisher. The price tag is steep, but Bonner should shoot the ball close to 20 times, and also fill up the rebound and assist categories.
New York Liberty @ Las Vegas Aces
The team playing the Aces is always in a great spot. The Aces run, run, and run, creating more possessions and opportunities for the team they are playing. The front-runner to take advantage of this is Tina Charles (11k, 8.2k) and her insane 30+ usage rate, however, I like a lot of the value options on this team.
Kia Nurse (7.1k, 4.7k) exploded last game, and also played all 40 minutes. With no true backup point guard, Nurse could be in line for more ballhandling duties going forward. The same can be said for Asia Durr (6.1k, 5k) who also exploded last game, scoring 20 points. Both Durr and Nurse should see a minutes and usage increase with the loss of Bria Hartley to EuroBasket, something that has not been reflected in the prices of these players.
As for the Aces, it all starts with Liz Cambage (10.6k, 7.8k). Cambage played 25 minutes in her last game, and I’d expect closer to thirty in this one. Her usage rate has not dropped off at all, and she has seamlessly integrated into this Aces’ squad. On the other hand, her frontcourt partner, A’ja Wilson (9.6k, 7.7k) has seen a hit production-wise. Her usage is down 6%, and Cambage is such a great rebounder that Wilson’s rebounds have also dropped.
Aside from Cambage, I do not mind Kayla McBride (9.5k, 6.6k) or Tamera Young (5.6k, 4.7k), especially on FanDuel where their prices are a tad bit lower. New York actually plays at a blistering pace themselves, and this game should be extremely high scoring, so getting as much exposure to this game should be a great strategy. Good luck today folks!
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