DFS WNBA Playbook & Optimal Lineups: May 23
Steve Pimental provides the best DFS plays and optimal lineups for Wednesday's three-game WNBA slate.
One of the things I love about the WNBA is that every slate is different. After we had all 12 teams in action Sunday, we have a unique three-game slate Wednesday. The Sky host the Atlanta Dream at 12:00 PM ET, while in the evening we have Dallas at Minnesota and Seattle at Phoenix. Since we don’t have a traditional three-game slate, we aren’t going to have a traditional WNBA Playbook and Optimal Lineups. Instead, we will take a look at the matchups and players of note for each game before offering GPP lineups for the two night games.
Wednesday’s first game features two teams who missed the playoffs in 2017 but have looked markedly different in 2018. For the Dream, the biggest difference has been the additions of Angel McCoughtry and Jessica Breland, who led the Dream in field goal attempts Sunday against the Wings. McCoughtry was relatively quiet with 13 points on 13 shots, but she averaged 19.5 ppg in 2016, and I expect more scoring from her going forward.
Breland, meanwhile, is facing her former team for the first time. She should have the size advantage over Gabby Williams, and she had 11 points on 5-14 shooting in her first game with her new team.
On the other end, this is likely the Sky’s last game without Courtney Vandersloot, who just finished up her season in Turkey. Diamond DeShields and Jamierra Faulkner have basically been sharing point guard duties with Vandersloot out, and both have found ways to contribute in multiple categories even when they aren’t shooting well.
Allie Quigley has led the Sky in scoring in both of their games this season, though there is always a chance she has a poor shooting night at some point. Stefanie Dolson struggled against the Liberty Sunday, but there is no shame in having a rough game against Tina Charles. It is probably fair to expect a bounce-back game from Dolson.
In the first night game, we get what should be an epic matchup between centers Liz Cambage and Sylvia Fowles. Cambage is averaging 19.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 3.0 blocks in two games, including one against Brittney Griner. A matchup against Fowles is usually one to avoid, but Cambage is still relatively cheap.
Of course, both of these teams have another star that is capable of stealing the spotlight on any given night. Maya Moore struggled a bit against the Sparks Sunday, but I’m not sure Dallas has anyone who can guard her. On the other end, I’m certain Minnesota doesn’t have anyone to guard Skylar Diggins-Smith. The way to attack the Lynx is to run the floor and make Lindsay Wahlen defend, and that should play right into Skylar Diggins-Smith’s hands.
With Glory Johnson out, the Wings don’t have a reliable third playmaker, but they have several players who can fill that role in any given game. Kayla Thornton got the start in place of Johnson on Sunday and assuming she starts again Wednesday, she is way too cheap on FanDuel.
Speaking of players who are way too cheap on FanDuel, Briann January has started both games for the Mercury, playing 28 minutes in each. She is averaging 12.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists on the season. Even if the scoring comes down a bit, the other stats should be there.
Beyond that, this game could be a tough nut to crack because Phoenix and Seattle just played each other three nights ago. Diana Taurasi and Jewell Loyd are probably safe bets to shoot better than a combined 6-19 from the field, which is what they did Sunday. At the same time, we probably can’t expect 29 and 10 from Brittney Griner or 22 and 15 from Breanna Stewart again, either.
The one thing you know you can expect is the WNBA Playbook and Optimal Lineups every day with three or more games. Our next Playbook will be Sunday, May 27. If you have questions for smaller slates or anything that isn’t addressed in this Playbook, hit me up on Twitter or in the comments below.