The WNBA is a hard league to crack even for the top picks of the draft, which means we must be selective when drafting rookies to our fantasy squads.
Since the draft lottery was implemented (2002), lottery picks have averaged around 18.8 fantasy points per game in their rookie season. Based on our 2023 projected fantasy points for the 2023 season, a player averaging 18.8 points per game would rank 60th.
No. 1 overall picks historically have had good rookie seasons. Since the WNBA began, No. 1 picks have averaged 26.0 fantasy points per game in their rookie seasons (which would rank 35th in our 2023 projections).
The top overall pick in the 2023 draft Aliyah Boston is projected to have 26.4 fantasy points per game (34th in the league). That is on par with what historic number one picks average.
In recent years, however, the top overall pick has been hit or miss. Last season, Rhyne Howard was a great addition to anyone's roster as she averaged 16.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.6 steals and 2.5 3-pointers per game. But the previous year, Charli Collier struggled in her rookie season on her way to 3.4 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.
Since 2017, every other year the top pick has either been really productive in their first year or struggled.
Given that Boston is on the Indiana Fever, a team that needs scoring and a dominant post presence, she should get a lot of opportunities to make an impact on both sides of the ball.
I recommend drafting Boston to your team in the later rounds as a role player and someone to sub in for your main forwards/centers when they are not playing or injured.
As for the rest of the lottery picks, Diamond Miller, Maddy Siegrist and Stephanie Soares, I would recommend staying away from drafting them and going with players who have already proven themselves to be productive role players.