DFS WNBA Playbook & FanDuel Optimal Lineups: June 23
Steve Pimental provides the best DFS plays and optimal lineups for Friday's five-game WNBA slate.
The Minnesota Lynx finally took their first loss of the season Saturday against Connecticut, but they have still been a statistical juggernaut in the WNBA this season. The Lynx have allowed the fewest points and rebounds in the WNBA this season, and have also forced the most turnovers. Only the Seattle Storm have allowed more free throws than the Lynx, and Minnesota leads the league in steals as well.
Alyssa Thomas and Jonquel Jones combined for 36 points and 16 rebounds Sunday, but prior to that game, Minnesota had been especially stingy to opposing forwards. Jones’s two worst games of the season came against Minnesota. The Lynx held Breanna Stewart to 14 points and six rebounds in their first meeting. Glory Johnson has just 16 points and 15 rebounds combined in two games against the Lynx this season.
If Elena Delle Donne has a big game against Minnesota I may have to rethink this strategy, but for now, I’m avoiding most players against Minnesota, especially forwards. Perhaps equally important, there is value to be had in players like Jones and Breanna Stewart whose season averages are a bit deflated because they struggled against the Lynx and also because they started the season slowly.
The other major storyline Friday is players returning from Eurobasket. Epiphanny Prince and Alex Bentley are expected to play, and it will be interesting to see how they are incorporated back into their teams. Prince had her best game of the season before leaving for Eurobasket, but Shavonte Zellous has exploded since then. Until we see Prince and Zellous share minutes, and the ball, I don’t think I’m playing either one.
The same goes for Alex Bentley and Courtney Williams. Williams has played great with Bentley out, and she probably deserves to stay in the starting lineup even with Bentley back. Bentley would be a great GPP target because she will probably shoot the ball better than she was before she left, but it seems extremely unlikely she gets anywhere near the same number of minutes with Williams playing so well. We will get more players returning from Eurobasket over the next week or so, and in most of those cases, I will want to see how they are used at least once before I invest in them for DFS.
|Sylvia Fowles, F, MIN||$ 9,000||I think you pretty much have to choose between Sylvia Fowles and Brittney Griner in Friday's slate, and I'm choosing Fowles. Both players are coming off disappointing games, but I feel like I can trust Fowles more. She hasn't had fewer than seven rebounds in any game this season, while Griner has failed to reach that mark on four occasions. Fowles has failed to reach 30 fantasy points just twice this season, while Griner has come up short three times.|
|Jonquel Jones, F, CON||$ 7,900||Jones has scored fewer than 29.3 fantasy points twice this season, and both of those games were against Minnesota. She has averaged 39.35 fantasy points in her other eight games this season.|
|Breanna Stewart, F, SEA||$ 7,700||I thought Breanna Stewart was underpriced before her 22 point, 15 rebound, five block line Sunday. Stewart has scored at least 31.2 fantasy points in seven of her last eight games.|
|Glory Johnson, F, DAL||$ 6,600||Johnson has played at least 32 minutes in eight consecutive games, averaging 32.3 fantasy points over those games. Tina Charles and Elena Delle Donne are averaging 34.9 fppg and cost $1,400 more than Johnson.|
|Stefanie Dolson, F, CHI||$ 5,900||Dolson scored 42.1 fantasy points the last time she faced Atlanta, and she is averaging 31.7 fppg against the Dream this season. Dolson's minutes and production have been remarkably inconsistent, but I take it as a good sign Dolson and Jessica Breland both played 30+ minutes Sunday. I am hopeful that continues Friday, in which case Dolson could be a very nice value.|
|Jessica Breland, F, CHI||$ 4,900||To be clear, I'm probably only playing one Sky forward in any given lineup, two at the most. That being said, Breland has averaged 22.9 fantasy points against the Dream this season and she has scored at least 29 fantasy points in each of her last two games.|
|Imani Boyette, F, CHI||$ 3,700||Boyette has played 20+ minutes in three of her last five games, averaging 25.0 fppg in those games. She played 23 minutes total in the other two, scoring 13.4 fantasy points. I probably trust her the least out of the Chicago forwards listed here, but I don't think anybody else in her price range has her kind of upside.|
|Isabelle Harrison, F, SA||$ 4,600||Harrison has reached 39 fantasy points twice this season and has failed to reach 25 fantasy points in any other contest. Like Imani Boyette, Harrison has a huge ceiling for her price, but she may be even riskier than Boyette.|
|Layshia Clarendon, G, ATL||$ 5,500||Clarendon's two best games came in a home-and-home with the Sky in May. She had 18 points, six rebounds and seven assists on the road and 17 points, five rebounds and nine assists at home. Clarendon has taken at least 10 shots in eight of her 10 games despite shooting 36.9 percent from the field and 15.4 percent on threes. Clarendon is shooting 56.5 percent against Chicago this season, and if she comes close to that in this game she will put up some nice numbers.|
|Alysha Clark, F, SEA||$ 4,000||Clark struggled in her season opener and in two games against the Liberty, but she has scored at least 14.7 fantasy points in each of her other eight games. Clark is pretty safe for being so cheap.|
|Danielle Robinson, G, PHO||$ 4,200||Like Alysha Clark, Danielle Robinson has struggled in two games against New York, though in Robinson's case, I have no idea why the Liberty are such a bad matchup. In any event, Robinson has scored at least 17.7 fantasy points in seven games against|
|Moriah Jefferson, G, SA||$ 5,100||Moriah Jefferson has played 30+ minutes in three of her last five games, and she has scored at least 31.1 fantasy points in each of those three games. There doesn't appear to be any rhyme or reason to how Stars head coach Vickie Johnson uses Jefferson and Kelsey Plum, but Plum is too slow to keep up with Skylar Diggins-Smith, which probably bodes well for Jefferson's playing time.|
|Maya Moore, F, MIN||$ 6,800||It is interesting Moore's price remains low in the midst of her best stretch of the season. She has scored at least 34.6 fantasy points in three consecutive games, and she will be a nice value if she makes it four in a row.|
|Allisha Gray, G, DAL||$ 5,200||Gray had scored at least 22 fantasy points in four consecutive games before scoring a paltry 12.1 against the Stars Wednesday. I like her chances of bouncing back Friday, but only for cash games. Her price is pretty high for someone who hasn't topped 33.3 fantasy points in a game this season.|
|Jewell Loyd, G, SEA||$ 6,500||Loyd is coming off her worst statistical game of the season, but she scored 40.5 fantasy points in the game before that. Loyd's ceiling is as high as any guard's on Friday's slate, but I like her odds of reaching that ceiling better than any of the others.|
|POS||FanDuel Cash||$||FanDuel GPP||$|
|G||Allisha Gray||$5,200||Layshia Clarendon||$5,500|
|G||Danielle Robinson||$4,200||Moriah Jefferson||$5,100|
|G||Moriah Jefferson||$5,100||Jewell Loyd||$6,500|
|F||Alysha Clark||$4,000||Stefanie Dolson||$5,900|
|F||Glory Johnson||$6,600||Isabelle Harrison||$4,600|
|F||Maya Moore||$6,800||Alysha Clark||$4,000|
|F||Jonquel Jones||$7,900||Jonquel Jones||$7,900|