Of the six teams on Thursday’s WNBA DFS slate for DraftKings and FanDuel, two have clinched playoff spots and two have been eliminated from contention. The Aces are looking to hold onto the top spot in the league, break their two-game losing streak, and get revenge for Monday’s 78-62 loss at Washington. A third-straight Mystics win would put them a game clear of Atlanta and Minnesota for the fifth seed. In the late game, the Sparks need to win at home to stay ahead of the Sky for the eighth and final playoff spot. Los Angeles has been better at home this season but Seattle has been better on the road. They split a home-and-home series back in June, with both home teams coming out on top.

In the game that is mostly meaningless for the standings, Connecticut hosts Phoenix with Diana Taurasi listed as questionable. Phoenix has been eliminated from the playoffs and Taurasi couldn’t finish Tuesday’s game due to her toe injury, but there is a good chance she tries to play through it in her last game in Connecticut. Connecticut is locked into the three-seed, so they might start giving their core players some rest. Alyssa Thomas played 38 minutes Sunday, which was actually her fewest in nearly two weeks. DeWanna Bonner, on the other hand, played just 26 minutes. The heavy minutes she played in July and parts of August may be a thing of the past.


WNBA DFS Picks August 31

Ariel AtkinsWASLV710023.18570022.89
Atkins still isn't up to her pre-injury playing time but she played 23 minutes Tuesday, her most since before the All-Star break. She has scored at least 19.9 fantasy points in four straight games.
Jordan HorstonSEALA750018.83520019.30
I still expect Horston to turn into a pumpkin any day now. She has played at least 28 minutes and taken at least eight shots in four straight games, but is shooting a ghastly 21.1 percent in that span. She has great upside if she could just knock down a few shots, but she could just as easily go back to only playing 15 minutes, even with Seattle out of the playoff race.
Natasha CloudWASLV870028.34670027.70
Cloud was one of just two Mystics to play more than 23 minutes Tuesday despite entering the game questionable with an illness. She shot just 15.4 percent from the field but got to the line eight times. Cloud is probably the last reliable guard on the slate and after her, things get much more risky.
Sug SuttonPHOCON640017.66480016.69
Sutton started the second half Tuesday and led the Mercury in minutes played. I would be shocked if Diana Taurasi plays Thursday after she couldn't get through an entire game with her toe injury. Sutton's price increased $400 on FanDuel thanks to her shooting 85.7 percent from the field, and that isn't likely to repeat. But this is still a reasonable price for someone who is likely going to play 30+ minutes.
Jasmine ThomasLASEA45006.8539006.63
Thomas got the start for Layshia Clarendon Tuesday and finished with a modest 11.6 fantasy points in 23 minutes. I'm not expecting a whole lot more than that but if Clarendon remains out, Thomas looks like a value play.
Tyasha HarrisCONPHO480010.1645009.94
Harris has gotten most of DiJonai Carrington's minutes, averaged 26 minutes over her last two games. That hasn't translated to huge fantasy points yet, but its enough to make her a nice value on DraftKings.
Jewell LoydSEALA1070038.17820036.58
I don't hate the other top-tier guards if you need to save money, especially on DraftKings, but Loyd is averaging 49.3 fantasy points in two games against the Sparks and 42.0 fantasy points in her last four games. Her efficiency will never be great but she makes up for it with high minutes and usage.
Rebecca AllenCONPHO760015.9560016.96
I still want Olivia Nelson-Ododa to take more of Allen's minutes, but it doesn't look like that is ever going to happen. Phoenix is 11th in fantasy points allowed to forwards and Allen has averaged 25.4 fantasy points in two games against the Mercury. Allen has at least 23 fatnasy points in three of her last four games.
Mercedes RussellSEALA570012.38470012.36
Like most of her teammates, Russell's playing time comes and goes, but she has played at least 16 minutes in four of her last five games. That's all we are looking for at this price and with a pretty good matchup.
A'ja WilsonLVWAS1150042.78930044.73
I might pivot to Alyssa Thomas on FanDuel, but I like Wilson's matchup slightly better. Wilson has averaged 48.6 fantasy points in two games against Washington, with at least 33.75 fantasy points in six straight games.
Azura StevensLASEA880022.84660023.21
I think Layshia Clarendon's absence should keep Stevens's minutes safe. Stevens has played at least 27 minutes in six straight games, averaging 27.7 fantasy points.
Alysha ClarkLVWAS500013.81430013.56
Washington is ninth in fantasy points allowed to forwards. Clark is cheaper than Kiah Stokes on FanDuel despite being better lately and better against Washington. Mercedes Russell is probably a bit safer but Clark is cheaper with a better matchup.

WNBA DFS Core Plays

DraftKings Core Plays
Top TierJewell Loyd$10,700
A'ja Wilson$11,500
Mid TierAriel Atkins$7,100
Azura Stevens$8,800
Value TierTyasha Harris$4,800
Mercedes Russell$5,700
FanDuel Core Plays
Top TierNatasha Cloud$6,700
A'ja Wilson$9,300
Mid TierJordan Horston$5,200
Rebecca Allen$5,600
Value TierSug Sutton$4,800
Alysha Clark$4,300

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