DFS WNBA Playbook & Optimal Lineups: June 8
Steve Pimental provides the best DFS plays and optimal lineups for Friday's three-game WNBA slate.
Friday’s three-game WNBA slate is a tricky one, for a few reasons. First of all, FanDuel is not offering a full three-game contest. They are opting to offer a two-game contest for the just the two night games. DraftKings, however, is including the afternoon game in their main contest. For that reason, we will include players from the Atlanta Dream and Las Vegas Aces in our Playbook. If you play on FanDuel, you can always include those players in a single game Showdown entry.
Another complicating factor, as it often is for the WNBA, is injuries. While Thursday’s DK Cash lineup performed well, the other lineups suffered in part due to Elena Delle Donne’s return from an illness Thursday. I might not have played Tianna Hawkins or Ariel Atkins had I known EDD was set to return. We could have a similar situation Friday with Stefanie Dolson and Allie Quigley both being listed as questionable for the Chicago Sky. To make matters even worse, the Sky play in the late game Friday. While I could have taken Tianna Hawkins and Ariel Atkins out of my lineups had I been paying attention instead of attending the Cubs game at Wrigley Field, you probably won’t have that option (especially on FanDuel) since the starting lineups likely won’t be announced until well after the second game has started.
The last wrinkle in Friday’s slate is Glory Johnson and Aerial Powers’s return to the Wings. Johnson was mostly an afterthought offensively in the first game of the season before she got hurt, and it remains to be seen how she fits next to Liz Cambage. Ideally, Johnson would play all of the center minutes while Cambage is out so that she could operate at least a little bit without anybody clogging the paint. I don’t think Johnson is usable for DFS until we see her have success next to Cambage or until her price goes down. Unfortunately, Johnson’s return probably renders Kayla Thornton unplayable as well. Thornton played just nine minutes in the first game of the season, and even if she starts Friday, we can expect her minutes to plummet as most of them go to Glory Johnson.
|Brittney Griner, F, PHO||$ 8,300||$ 12,600||The only Sky player who can hope to slow down Brittney Griner is Stefanie Dolson, but I'm probably playing Griner even if Dolson returns for this game. Brittney Griner has scored at least 17 points in each of her last seven games, and you have to think her second double-double of the season is going to come any day now.|
|Skylar Diggins-Smith, G, DAL||$ 7,900||$ 12,300||Among the players in this slate, only Liz Cambage is averaging more fantasy points. If you can afford her, she is an easy call against the team that has allowed the second most points in the WNBA this season.|
|A'Ja Wilson, F, LV||$ 11,700||The Dream have allowed three more rebounds per game to opponents than any other team in the league. A'Ja Wilson has a nice shot at her third double-double of the season, which is why she is a GPP play on DraftKings.|
|Courtney Vandersloot, G, CHI||$ 6,800||$ 11,400||Vandersloot is averaging 15.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 8.0 assists since returning from Europe, but her eight turnovers in her first game back really hurt her fantasy production. She is the one Sky player who might really benefit from Allie Quigley and Stefanie Dolson returning.|
|Kelsey Mitchell, G, IND||$ 5,700||$ 8,700||Kelsey Mitchell has played at least 31 minutes in four consecutive games, and she is third in the WNBA in usage behind Tina Charles and A'ja Wilson. Mitchell doesn’t provide a ton outside of scoring, but her minutes and usage make her exceptionally safe for cash lineups.|
|Cheyenne Parker, F, CHI||$ 5,500||$ 7,900||Cheyenne Parker has averaged 16.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in 25.0 minutes in the two games Stefanie Dolson has missed. Alaina Coates has virtually disappeared from Chicago's rotation, and Parker should be safe for as long as Dolson is out.|
|Elizabeth Williams, F, ATL||$ 6,600||This is as cheap as Williams has been all season, probably because she has shot 2-8 from the field in each of her last two games. She isn't going to shoot that poorly for long, and I am encouraged by the fact she keeps getting the ball even when the shots aren't falling.|
|Sancho Lyttle, F, PHO||$ 4,500||$ 6,400||Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi and DeWanna Bonner have scored 77 percent of the Mercury's points over their last three games. Someone else is going to score at some point, and Sancho Lyttle already has a 20-point game this season.|
|Gabby Williams, G, CHI||$ 4,600||$ 126||Williams has played at least 30 minutes in each of her last two games, but she is cheap enough that I think she will be okay even if Stefanie Dolson returns.|
|Tiffany Mitchell, G, IND||$ 5,100||$ 6,000||With Candice Dupree out, much of Indiana's playmaking will likely depend on Tiffany Mitchell. She has played at least 28 minutes and attempted at least nine shots in three of her last four games.|
|Natalie Achonwa, F, IND||$ 3,900||$ 5,900||I might have liked Natalie Achonwa even if Candice Dupree was healthy. For as good as Liz Cambage has been offensively, the Wings have been a good matchup for opposing bigs this season. That might change somewhat with Glory Johnson and Aerial Powers back, but Achonwa still has a chance to rack up points and rebounds Friday.|
|Tamera Young, G, LV||$ 5,800||Tamera Young is shooting 7-26 over her last three games, but we know she will start knocking down shots at some point. At the very least, we know she is assured of playing time and shot attempts.|
|Kahleah Copper, G, CHI||$ 3,300||$ 4,800||Copper is 4-14 over her last two games, but I expect her to shoot better in this game. She is a better play on DraftKings, where we can possibly replace her if Allie Quigley is in the starting lineup.|
|Victoria Vivians, G, IND||$ 3,700||$ 3,900||Victoria Vivians has played at least 26 minutes and taken at least eight shots in each of her last two games. She made one shot in her last game and five in the game before that. Indiana has no reason to cut by on Vivians's minutes or shots, and I think it's worth a shot that she won't shoot 12.5 percent from the floor again.|
|Kayla Alexander, F, IND||$ 3,200||$ 3,600||The hope here is Kayla Alexander starts in place of Candice Dupree, but even if she doesn't, she has a chance to play heavy minutes off the bench. Alexander is averaging a respectable 13.7 points and 10.5 rebounds per 40 minutes, and she has a chance to be much better than that playing with the first unit.|
|Liz Cambage, F, DAL||$ 8,300||$ 13,100||The fewest fantasy points Liz Cambage has scored in a game this season is 38.75 in the first game of the season. No one else in this slate is even averaging that many fantasy points.|