The WNBA season rolls along and players continue to outperform expectations and play themselves onto the fantasy women's basketball radar. Some of those with overseas commitments have returned and are slowly retaking their spots in lineups ... but sometimes, in their absence, others have stepped up enough to perhaps shake the paradigm.
Young players are showing they've developed enough to stake a larger-than-expected claim, and in other places veterans are showing they're not ready to make way for the next generation. This all leads to a really exciting product on the court -- and a plethora of players whom you, as a fantasy hoops manager, should really be paying attention to.
Let's go through some of the more interesting names among lightly rostered players for this week.
Ezi Magbegor, C, Seattle Storm (42.6% rostered in ESPN leagues): Magbegor has settled into a role as a full-time starter for the Storm in her third season, and has become a defensive stalwart. She's been almost metronomic as a scorer and rebounder, scoring eight points three times in four games and grabbing five rebounds thrice as well (the exceptions were 11 points in her third game and 10 rebounds in her fourth). But the most exciting part of her game is on defense, where she's averaging 3.0 blocks and 1.8 steals per game to supplement her scoring and rebounding.
Isabelle Harrison, F, Dallas Wings (25.9%): Harrison was supposed to move to a backup role this season with Teaira McCowan joining the Wings, but she's had a huge start to the season that will make it difficult for anyone to supplant her from her role. With McCowan late to arrive due to overseas responsibilities and playing only a few minutes in her first couple of games to get acclimated, Harrison has exploded for 33 combined points to go with 16 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 combined blocks and steals in her past two games -- both Wings wins. Keep an eye on McCowan as she settles into the rotation, but Harrison has certainly played herself into fantasy hoops roster consideration and could be a sleeper if she holds her starting job.
Riquna Williams, G, Las Vegas Aces (25.7%): Williams started all 32 games for the Aces last season as a low double-digit scorer with a few boards, a couple of assists, a couple of treys and a steal in 26 minutes per game. She played a bench role in her season debut but scored 14 points in only 16 minutes. Williams seems likely to settle on a role similar to last season, whether she starts or plays off the bench.
Queen Egbo, C, Indiana Fever (23.7%): Five games into her rookie season, Egbo has already developed into one of the dominant defensive players in the WNBA. In her past four games, she has totaled 35 rebounds, 9 blocked shots and 7 steals. Egbo's defensive prowess makes her worthy of rostering in most fantasy leagues despite her lack of offensive contributions.
Danielle Robinson, G, Indiana Fever (13.9%): Robinson was late joining the squad, as she finished her overseas obligations, but made her season debut on Friday with 17 points, 8 boards, 2 steals and an assist. She fell back to earth in her second game on Sunday, and seems likely to settle into a role similar to last season in which she averages about 10 points, 7 to 8 combined assists and rebounds and almost 2 steals in around 30 minutes per game.