Who’s trending in women’s fantasy basketball? Which rotations change? What’s the latest with notable injuries around the WNBA?
Here’s a league overview of the most relevant news and ratings for the 12 teams:
Rhyne Howard made an impressive regular season debut against the Dallas Wings with a fantastic 39 points. With a 21% usage rate, she led the Dream in points, assists, blocks and steals. However, Atlanta’s Cheyenne Parker led the team with 29.3% usage. She recorded her 11th career double-double against the Wings. Before running out of time last season due to pregnancy, the forward started 11 of 13 games and averaged 10.2 points and 4.5 rebounds in 20.8 minutes. Parker will continue to be a key member of Atlanta’s rotation.
Some fantasy managers might have had concerns about the health and age of Candace Parker (35) at the start of the season. However, she remains dominant on the pitch. Against the Los Angeles Sparks in the season opener, Parker had 44 fantasy points with a 28.4% usage rate. Dana Evans (27%) was second in usage and had 39 fantasy points. With availability in 75% of ESPN leagues, she will continue to be a relevant player until Allie Quigley and Kahleah Copper return.
Jonquel Jones led the Sun with a 30.3% burn rate and had a fantastic 34 points in the season opener. However, Alyssa Thomas led Connecticut with 42 fantasy points while having a 27% utilization rate. The Sun continues to be led by Jones and Thomas, as well as Courtney Williams, who is suspended for two games. Last season, she averaged 16.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.1 steals in 34.4 minutes per game for the Dream.
Arike Ogunbowale struggled to find his rhythm and finished with just a fantastic 15 points in the Wings’ season opener. That’s nothing to worry about, though, as she averaged 18.7 points per game last season. But Kayla Thornton should be kept on your radar. She scored 20 fantasy points in 35 minutes against Dream and is available in 89.4% of leagues.
Kelsey Mitchell played his 35th career 20-point game in Tuesday’s win over Minnesota. This ranks third in the history of Fever. Mitchell is averaging 30.6 fantasy points per game in three games this season, and she’s leading the fever with a 24.5% usage rate. First round rookie Queen Egbo was also impressive. Available in 91% of leagues, it averages 6.3 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.7 SPG, and 1.7 BPG. Finally, don’t forget rookie Destanni Henderson, who is averaging 19.3 fantasy points per game this season and remains available in 85% of leagues.
Ace of Las Vegas
Jackie Young is becoming a breakout candidate. She has averaged 19.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 3.7 APG and 1.3 SPG while averaging 35 MPG so far this season. Young has very little competition at small forward and should continue to receive consistent minutes. She is on course to smash her previous highs in virtually every stat category.
Los Angeles Sparks
The Sparks lead the league at two-game pace with an average of 85.4 possessions per 40 minutes. Los Angeles ranked 10th in this metric last season, so it might be a trend to watch early this season. The Sparks also average 92.5 PPG. One of the reasons for this transformation is Los Angeles’ new point guard, Jordin Canada, who averages 28 FPPG.
Sylvia Fowles and Jessica Shepard were two of the only bright spots for the Lynx early on. Recently, Fowles became the 13th player in WNBA history to reach 6,000 career points. Shepard thrives in the Lynx’s thin frontcourt with Napheesa Collier expecting her first child, Damiris Dantas still recovering from a foot injury and Natalie Achonwa with a hamstring injury. It averages 11.7 PPG, 11.3 RPG and 6.0 APG in 35 MPG. Shepard is a staple right now and available in 29% of leagues.
New York Liberty
Sabrina Ionescu scored a fantastic 42 points in the season opener and had a 29.7% usage rate while scoring or assisting on 41 points against the Sun. Stefanie Dolson is someone fantasy managers should also keep an eye on. Dolson averaged 7.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG and 1.3 APG with the Sky last season while shooting an impressive 40.4% from beyond the arc. It is available in 83.5% of leagues.
Brianna Turner and Diamond DeShields are scheduled to return to the Mercury on Wednesday after completing their overseas engagements. And while Skylar Diggins-Smith, Tina Charles, and Diana Taurasi remain great fantasy options, don’t discount Shey Peddy for deeper formats. She had a fantastic 27 points in the season opener playing 29 minutes.
Breanna Stewart is living up to her high average draft position by putting up a fantastic 37 points per game so far. Jewell Loyd and Sue Bird remain essential. Ezi Magbegor, who averages 21.5 FPPG, is also a viable fantasy option. It is available in 66% of leagues. Gabby Williams (available in 72% of leagues) is also someone to watch. She is coming off a successful Euro League season and in 2020 Williams averaged a career high 7.7 PPG and 25 MPG with the Sky. She averaged 19.5 MPG this season.
Elena Delle Donne’s playing time and travel schedule will be managed throughout the season, so it’s something to watch before every Mystics game. Natasha Cloud may see an increase in usage as a result. She averaged 18 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 6.0 APG, 1.0 SPG and 0.5 BPG in 2022 but has been placed in COVID-19 protocols at this time. As a result, Rui Machida is expected to see more minutes and she is available in 84.6% of leagues. His performance in the Olympics was exceptional: 7.2 PPG, 12.5 APG and 2.3 RPG in six games.