This is it, the final week of the fantasy women's basketball season. It sure went by fast, even with the extended WNBA schedule, didn't it?!
So what were the big takeaways and lessons learned from this, the second season of fantasy women's basketball at ESPN?
Our experts André Snellings, Eric Moody and Liz Loza explain what stood out to them.
Consider all the factors when evaluating players
I learned again how important it is to dive deep into team and player situations when preparing to draft as opposed to just looking solely at previous production. Why did a player's numbers look like they did? How might they change if the situation were different? For example, I drafted Alyssa Thomas in every league that I was in this season, and I typically got her around pick 10 or after. But, I knew that she had more game than she'd been able to show with Jonquel Jones as the star of the Sun, and looked to her numbers in 2020 when Jones didn't play to get a better feel for her upside.
Another example was Satou Sabally, who I got in the mid-rounds of my best performing league, knowing she was a former No. 2 overall pick that's often called a unicorn but had struggled with injury through her first couple of seasons. What might she be if she were healthy an entire season? We found out this year.
That is my biggest takeaway from this fantasy hoops season, and pretty much every season I ever play: do your research, know when there is more under the surface than the numbers we've seen before. If you do? It just might lead you to another fantasy hoops championship. -- Snellings
Key contributions can happen from lesser-known players
I learned that deep benches win championships... in fantasy and in real life. I had been a fan of the league before this season, but my work in fantasy has given me a profound appreciation for the dedication of these athletes.
Watching players like Marine Johannes light up for a few starts only to see her minutes reduced when superstar Sabria Ionescu comes back is both thrilling and a bit heart-breaking. Sug Sutton's journey over the course of this season took me on a similar journey, both as a fantasy player and a human with emotions.
The league is growing. And that's a wonderful thing. I hope that fantasy continues to introduce fans to lesser-known names who are in possession of an excess of talent. -- Loza
Don't be afraid to load up on players from one team
The number of games played in the WNBA on a weekly basis makes stockpiling three to four players from the same team a viable strategy. Imagine Breanna Stewart or Sabrina Ionescu paired with Jonquel Jones and Courtney Vandersloot.
The strategy could be applied to any team, not just the super teams like the Liberty or Las Vegas Aces. Although it's an unorthodox strategy, so many WNBA teams play their starters heavy minutes due to their being so few back to backs. -- Moody