DFS WNBA Playbook & Optimal Lineups: July 20
Steve Pimental provides the best DFS plays and optimal lineups for Friday's three-game WNBA slate.
We have three games on the WNBA schedule Friday, and it is remarkable how different they are. In the early game, the Connecticut Sun host the Seattle Storm in a matchup of potential playoff teams. Seattle enters this game with the best record in the league, while Connecticut is just 1.5 games ahead of Las Vegas for the final playoff spot. The Sun, however, are 6-3 at home and have won two of their last three games. This should be a fun game.
Under normal circumstances, Dallas vs. Chicago would probably be less fun. Only Indiana has fewer wins than the Sky this season, while Dallas is 14-9 and a league-best 8-2 over their last 10 games. They also have an MVP candidate at the absolute peak of her powers. Liz Cambage has scored a WNBA-record 88 points over her last two games, and she has thrown in 27 rebounds for good measure. Of course, 33 of those points and 17 of those rebounds came Thursday night in Dallas, which is where this gets interesting. Dallas goes to Chicago for the second of a back-to-back, and four Wings starters, including Cambage, played 34+ minutes Wednesday. For as bad as the Sky have been, they are 5-7 at WinTrust Arena, and I think at the very least this game will be competitive.
It is far more difficult to argue the third game of the night will be competitive. Indiana has lost both of its games against Los Angeles this season by at least 17 points, and Candace Parker didn’t even play in the game at Indiana. The Sparks are expected to be without reigning Defensive Player of the Year Alana Beard, but even so, there is no reason to believe Indiana will pick up its third win of the season. If they are to have any chance, they probably need rookies Victoria Vivians and Kelsey Mitchell to both get hot from beyond the arc. They are certainly capable, but that’s asking an awful lot against one of the best defensive teams in the league.
|Player||FanDuel Price||DraftKings Price||Comments|
|Alyssa Thomas, F, CON||$ 7,600||$ 11,700||Thomas has a double-double in three of her last four games, and I'm willing to give her a pass for struggling against Minnesota.|
|Skylar Diggins-Smith, G, DAL||$ 8,400||$ 11,000||Skylar Diggins-Smith is 2-14 over her last two games after taking at least 13 shots and shooting at least 46.7 percent in each of her four games before that span. Liz Cambage has to slow down sooner or later, and Skylar Diggins-Smith will almost certainly pick up the scoring slack when that happens.|
|Nneka Ogwumike, F, LA||$ 7,900||$ 10,200||Nneka Ogwumike has been a solid cash play all season, and she is averaging 18.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists against Indiana this season.|
|Courtney Vandersloot, G, CHI||$ 7,700||$ 9,800||Vandersloot is coming off a slightly disappointing game against Seattle, but she is still averaging 12.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 1.0 steals over her last four games.|
|Natasha Howard, F, SEA||$ 7,500||$ 9,200||Howard is averaging 19.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in two games against Connecticut this season.|
|Courtney Williams, G, CON||$ 6,700||$ 8,900||Williams has been much better at home this season, averaging 16.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists at Mohegan Sun Arena.|
|Diamond DeShields, G, CHI||$ 6,500||$ 8,100||DeShields had 20 points, four rebounds, two assists and three steals in her only game against Dallas this season. She has scored at least 10 points in nine of her last 10 games.|
|Stefanie Dolson, F, CHI||$ 5,900||$ 7,800||Dolson has been maddeningly inconsistent this season, but if she can stay out of foul trouble, she could be in a pretty good spot at home against a tired Dallas team. Dolson is averaging 13.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.3 blocks and 1.3 steals over her last three games.|
|Jasmine Thomas, G, CON||$ 6,200||$ 7,700||Thomas has been far more consistent with Alyssa Thomas back in the fold. Jasmine Thomas has at least 10 field goal attempts in each of her last five games, and she is averaging 11.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.8 steals over that span.|
|Glory Johnson, F, DAL||$ 6,900||$ 7,400||Dallas appears to have put the concerns about Glory Johnson and Liz Cambage playing together behind them. Cambage is coming off the best two-game stretch in WNBA history, and Glory Johnson played at least 33 minutes in each of those games. She has now played at least 28 minutes in five of her last six games. Playing back-to-back after playing 35 minutes worries me a bit, but Chicago's defense has struggled all season.|
|Alysha Clark, F, SEA||$ 5,600||$ 6,500||Clark has scored at least 22 fantasy points on DraftKings in each of her last five games, playing at least 28 minutes in each of them. Her ceiling isn't particularly high, but her floor is.|
|Azura Stevens, F, DAL||$ 6,300||$ 5,900||Stevens has seen her playing time fall off of late, which is probably why she costs so little on DraftKings. Kayla Thornton was the only one of Dallas's starters to play fewer than 34:37 last night, and I think there is an excellent chance the younger, fresher Stevens plays an increased role Friday.|
|Victoria Vivians, G, IND||$ 4,700||$ 5,700||Vivans is shooting 39.4 percent from the field this season but she is shooting 20 percent over her last five games. She is still averaging 28.2 minutes per game during her slump; she just needs to knock down a few shots.|
|Essence Carson, G, LA||$ 4,500||$ 5,600||Essence Carson is averaging 12.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals over her last three games. Alana Beard is doubtful for this game, so Carson should be pretty safe.|
|Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis||$ 3,500||$ 3,800||Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had scored at least 12.0 fantasy points in four consecutive games before suffering a concussion 10 days ago. She wasn't nearly that good in her first game back against Chicago, but she still played 12 minutes. Her price is down, and if she knocks down a couple of shots, she will be a worthwhile punt play.|