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:
In a standout performance against the Minnesota Lynx, Allisha Gray made history for the Dream, recording 25 points and 10 rebounds, a feat not seen since Courtney Williams in 2021. Gray's minutes have been consistent, playing over 30 minutes in each of the team's two games. Keep an eye on Aari McDonald as a potential streaming option. Although her fantasy production has been modest with 11 and 16 points in the first two games, she's been given significant playing time. Surprisingly, McDonald is only rostered in 50.9% of ESPN leagues. Don't overlook her potential impact on your fantasy women's basketball team.
Isabelle Harrison underwent surgery last Friday to address a torn left meniscus and her return to the court remains uncertain, the team announced on Tuesday. The absence of such a talented player undoubtedly leaves a void to be filled. However, Elizabeth Williams, a valuable addition to the team during the offseason, has stepped up nicely, delivering impressive performances with back-to-back games of 25 or more fantasy points. As a result, her roster percentage has surged to 70.9%. ESPN's M.A. Voepel reported that there is currently no set timetable for Harrison's comeback, adding to the uncertainty surrounding her return.
Contrary to what many fans expected, the Sun seemed determined to defy the notion of a rebuilding year. Alyssa Thomas, in particular, has been an absolute force, lighting up the court with three consecutive games of 41 or more fantasy points. Not only that, she has secured double doubles in each of those games, establishing herself as the current leader in this impressive category across the entire WNBA. Thomas's remarkable streak now stands as the second-longest in the history of the Sun franchise, falling just short of Tina Charles' record of five consecutive games during the memorable 2013 season.
Arike Ogunbowale has proven herself as a consistently dominant scorer throughout her impressive four-year WNBA career, even seizing the league's scoring title in her second season. As the focal point of the Wings' formidable offense, all eyes were on her to maintain her exceptional performance in 2023, and she delivered just that in a showdown against the Dream last Saturday. Ogunbowale showcased her skills, tallying an impressive stat line of 27 points, four rebounds, one assist and three steals. This outstanding performance marked her 68th career game with 20 or more points, solidifying her position as the league's leader since her debut in 2019, with the closest contender being A'ja Wilson with 56 such games
The start of the rebuild season for the Fever hasn't gone as planned. They suffered a loss to the Liberty on Sunday afternoon, extending their losing streak to 20 consecutive games, which ties the WNBA record set by the now-defunct Tulsa Shock in 2011. Despite the team's struggles, there is a shining star in rookie Aliyah Boston. She has impressively scored 27 or more fantasy points in back-to-back games, proving why she was the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft.
Las Vegas Aces
The Aces became the first team since the Sparks in 2020 to have six players with 10 or more points in a season opener. Alysha Clark was the only reserve to reach double figures against the Storm last Saturday and is only rostered in 18.7% of leagues. Last season, the Aces were an offensive juggernaut. Don't overlook Clark if you're looking for a forward.
Los Angeles Sparks
The Sparks offer a plethora of players for fantasy managers to consider. Chiney Ogwumike scored 26 fantasy points in 25 minutes against the Mercury last Friday and is rostered in 49.4% of ESPN leagues. Dearica Hamby, currently on a minutes restriction, is rostered in just 30.9% of leagues. She is expected to play a vital role in the Sparks' rotation, averaging 9.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game last season. Additionally, rookie Zia Cooke racked up 22 fantasy points in only 15 minutes and is rostered in 13.6% of leagues.
Napheesa Collier is proving to be a key player for the Lynx this season, posting consecutive games with 35 or more fantasy points. Against the Dream on Tuesday, she notched her seventh career game with 20 points, five rebounds and five assists, ranking third in Lynx history behind Moore and Whalen. Rookie Diamond Miller has also impressed, scoring 18 or more fantasy points in back-to-back games. Miller's ESPN roster percentage has surged to 69.7%.
New York Liberty
Breanna Stewart etched her name in history during an unforgettable game against the Fever on Sunday. She had a career-high and franchise-record 45 points, accompanied by an impressive 12 rebounds. This remarkable performance marked the fifth 45-point double-double in WNBA history, with the previous one achieved by Liz Cambage in 2018. In addition, Stewart became the first player ever to score 40 points in her home debut with a franchise. Fantasy managers who drafted her in Round 1 are thrilled with her outstanding performance so far this season.
Brittney Griner's performance this season is turning heads, as she became only the second player in WNBA history to average at least 20 points and four blocks per game in her first two games of a season. Elena Delle Donne achieved this feat in 2015, winning the MVP award that season. Meanwhile, Shey Peddy, recovering from an Achilles injury, is progressing towards a comeback. Currently rostered in just 3.8% of ESPN leagues, she averaged 9.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game in 2022 before her injury. Keep Peddy on your watch list.
Last Saturday against the Aces, Jewell Loyd shined for fantasy managers with Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird no longer with the Storm. She finished with 39 fantasy points thanks to a well-rounded stat line. It was Loyd's 72nd game with 20 or more points, third most in team history behind Lauren Jackson (139) and Breanna Stewart (100). We projected Loyd to lead the Storm in fantasy points prior to the start of the season.
Delle Donne is off to an impressive start to the season with 38 or more fantasy points in two of three games. She's been an elite scorer since entering the league, and now has 61 games with 25 or more points, the second-most since joining the league in 2013, trailing only Tina Charles' remarkable 70 games. Delle Donne was limited to 25 games last season, but she has assured fans that there are no plans to sit out games for rest this season. It's something fantasy managers should keep an eye on.