Who is trending up in fantasy women's basketball? Which rotations are changing? What's the latest with the notable injuries around the WNBA?
Here's a look around the league at the most fantasy relevant news and notes for all 12 teams:
Rhyne Howard has lived up to the hype and her lofty average draft position this season. The reigning WNBA Rookie of the Year has scored at least 20 points in three out of four games this season. On the other hand, Aari McDonald has seen consistent playing time with four consecutive games of 28 or more minutes, but her performance hasn't translated into fantasy points. She's averaging a modest 13.5 fantasy points per game. Meanwhile, Nia Coffey's game has been on an upward trajectory. In Monday's matchup against the Sky, she showcased her best performance of the season, achieving season highs in points, rebounds and assists. Surprisingly, Coffey is still flying under the radar and is rostered in only 7.9% of ESPN leagues.
Alanna Smith has been making the most of her opportunity in the absence of Isabelle Harrison and Morgan Bertsch. Rostered in just 41.2% of ESPN leagues, Smith has firmly placed herself on the streaming radar. She has become a valuable option for fantasy basketball managers looking to boost their teams while Harrison and Bertsch heal. Watch Smith, as she continues to make a positive impact with her increased playing time. Dana Evans has scored 17 or more fantasy points in four consecutive games with Rebekah Gardner out due to a foot injury, and Evans is rostered in only 11.8% of ESPN leagues.
Alyssa Thomas has averaged 36 fantasy points per game so far this season and has been a consistent source of well-rounded stat lines for fantasy managers. On Tuesday night, she posted her 26th career game with at least 10 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, placing her second in WNBA history. Only Candace Parker, with 61 such games, surpasses Thomas in this feat. It's an impressive accomplishment that solidifies Thomas' impact and establishes her as a force to be reckoned with.
Arike Ogunbowale is off to a very strong start, scoring 20-plus points in each of the first four games this season. She is the first player since Betnijah Laney in 2021 to accomplish this feat. Ogunbowale's all-around game is impressive too, as she has averaged 4.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.8 steals. However, the fifth-year guard should be aiming for greater efficiency (currently shooting 37.4% from the field). Ogunbowale was named the WNBA's Western Conference Player of the Week and she'll continue to have a high usage rate.
Aliyah Boston has had an explosive start to her career, scoring 63 points on an impressive 67% shooting in her first four games. Among the other 35 players with 60-plus points in the first four games of their career, she boasts the highest field-goal percentage. Also, she has scored at least 23 fantasy points in every game this season, showcasing her ability to contribute in numerous statistical areas.
The Aces are making a strong case for a repeat WNBA championship with their undefeated record and dominant performances in the opening weeks of the season. Their +99 point differential in four games is the largest in league history, and three out of the top four teams went on to win the championship. Fantasy managers should pay attention to Kiah Stokes, who serves as Candace Parker's dependable backup. Stokes has been consistently productive, averaging 20.4 minutes and 15.5 fantasy points during the first four games. While not a high scorer, she actively contributes in rebounds, steals and blocks. Surprisingly, she is only rostered in 10.3% of ESPN leagues, making her a valuable option for fantasy managers in deeper formats.
It has been a challenging start to the season for the Sparks, with an illness sweeping the locker room. Players' timelines have been difficult to predict and replacements difficult to find because of this unfortunate situation. Karlie Samuelson, who is rostered in only 19.2% of ESPN leagues, has benefited from the chaos. In two of her three games, she played 26 minutes or more and scored 19 or more fantasy points.
In a notable offseason move, Tiffany Mitchell signed with the Lynx, and she has recently proven her value in the starting lineup. Over the past three games, Mitchell has showcased her skills, playing over 31 minutes and scoring 20 or more fantasy points. Surprisingly, she is still available in 23.6% of ESPN leagues, making her a hidden gem for fantasy managers looking for a guard.
Fantasy managers should be concerned about Jonquel Jones' playing time and fantasy production since joining the super team alongside Breanna Stewart and Sabrina Ionescu. In the first three games of the season, Jones has only averaged 17.7 minutes and 17.5 fantasy points. Considering her average draft position, this isn't ideal, but it's not surprising. The Liberty possess an abundance of talent, and their top players have historically commanded high usage rates. So, it's no surprise that Jones' numbers have been impacted.
Against the Lynx last week, Diana Taurasi showcased her immense skills once again. She recorded her ninth career game with at least 20 points and 10 assists. If you're looking for a guard, don't overlook Sug Sutton, who's only rostered in 12.9% of ESPN leagues. She has been consistently logging substantial playing time, with three consecutive games of 26 minutes or more. What's more, Sutton has been delivering impressive performances, scoring 19 or more fantasy points in each of those games.
Jewell Loyd is lighting up the scoreboard with an impressive 78 points in just three games this season. Her scoring prowess is historic, matching her own record from 2017 as the Storm player with the most points through three games in team history. For fantasy managers seeking a F/C, Mercedes Russell should not be overlooked. She's rostered in just 14.4% of ESPN leagues but has been making an impact on the court. Russell has already recorded two games with 18 fantasy points out of three played.
Shakira Austin continues to shine in the WNBA, as she notched her sixth double-double since joining the league last season. Her impressive feat ties her for the third-most double-doubles by a Mystics player in their first two seasons. Clearly, Austin is making a sophomore leap for Washington, displaying remarkable growth and impact on the court. In the fantasy realm, she has been a standout, accumulating 29 or more fantasy points in three consecutive games.