WNBA DFS Breakdown: Friday

WNBA DFS Breakdown: Friday

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TEAM TRENDS

OPPONENT AVERAGES

DraftKings and FanDuel Top Values (RotoWire Optimizer)

Top 5 FanDuel

PLAYERPOSTEAMSALFPTSVAL
Tianna HawkinsFATL440026.316
Riquna WilliamsGLVA3900235.9
Erica WheelerGLA490028.275.8
Skylar Diggins-SmithGPHO610034.595.7
Kelsey MitchellGIND590033.385.7

Top 5 DraftKings

PLAYERPOSTEAMSALFPTSVAL
Kristi ToliverGLA640031.084.9
Erica WheelerGLA610029.14.8
Tiffany HayesGATL600026.634.4
DeWanna BonnerGCON1030043.964.3
Brittney GrinerFPHO940039.854.2

Atlanta Dream at Indiana Fever

Injuries

Note: All return dates are just estimates

Atlanta

NamePosInjuryStatusReturn
Shekinna StricklenFKneeGTD5/21/2021
Cheyenne ParkerFNot Injury RelatedOUT5/25/2021
Raquel CarreraCNot Injury RelatedOUT5/29/2021
Maite CazorlaGPersonalOUT5/1/2022

Indiana

NamePosInjuryStatusReturn
Lauren CoxFKneeOUT5/23/2021
Aaliyah WilsonGFootOUT5/30/2021
Florencia ChagasGPersonalOUT10/1/2021
Temi FagbenleFPersonalOUT5/1/2022
Julie AllemandGNot Injury RelatedOUT5/1/2022

2021 Player Stats

Atlanta

PlayerPTSREBASTSTLBLKFG%3PA3P%FGAFTA
Courtney Williams19632.5145.53.557.116.53.5
Chennedy Carter15.52.541044.41013.53.5
Odyssey Sims8.53.51.51.5037.522583
Crystal Bradford7.54.51.52.50.555.62504.52
Tianna Hawkins6.51.5220.535.3408.50.5
Elizabeth Williams6.55021600053
Monique Billings5.56.50.51.53.522.2004.55
Tiffany Hayes5023110250102
Aari McDonald0.511.51001.503.51
Shekinna Stricklen0000003030

Indiana

PlayerPTSREBASTSTLBLKFG%3PA3P%FGAFTA
Kelsey Mitchell1631.310.344.4526.7151.7
Teaira McCowan1210.710.7247.10011.33.7
Danielle Robinson10.3243041.91.74010.31
Tiffany Mitchell9.73.31.30.3029.61.7094.7
Jantel Lavender6.7920042.90.75070.7
Victoria Vivians53.30.30.3021.14.37.76.32
Jessica Breland43.71.30.31.329.4005.70.7
Lindsay Allen3.7110036.41.703.71
Kysre Gondrezick3.30.71.71022.2322.260
Chelsey Perry0.50.500.5000011

The Skinny

This contest features two of five teams still searching for their first wins of the season in the Dream (0-2) and the Fever (0-3). Atlanta did have a reasonably tough start to the schedule against the Sun and the Sky and managed to keep them within shouting distance. Indiana lost a couple of close ones to the Liberty to open the season before falling by 21 to the Sun on Wednesday. For the Dream, Chennedy Carter rediscovered her 2020 form Wednesday after a lackluster opener, posting 21 points, six assists and four boards against the Sky. Courtney Williams has also absorbed the heaviest workload through the first two games, playing 37 minutes in each contest as the only player to top 30 in both. Tiffany Hayes also made her season debut Wednesday after missing the opener, logging 26 minutes in the contest to complete the primary backcourt, which came at the expense of Odyssey Sims and some Tianna Hawkins. Monique Billings saw the largest minutes gain (aside from Hayes) from the opener to Game 2, logging 26 minutes compared to 20 against the Sun. Billings, Hawkins and Elizabeth Williams should continue to see expanded frontcourt minutes until Cheyenne Parker (Health and Safety Protocols) is cleared.

Indiana has seemingly allowed Teaira McCowan to make that next step with her workload, averaging 27.7 minutes per game over the first three contests. After dominating the opener to the tune of 22 points and 16 boards, she's managed just a combined 14 points and 16 boards over the last two games. That could turn around Friday considering the Dream sport just a 40.7 rebound percentage on the season. Kelsey Mitchell should be good for 30-plus minutes again after taking a bit of rest due to the blowout nature of the game against the Sun. Danielle Robinson, who had the same sort of rest Wednesday as the Fever went deeper into the bench. Along with McCowan, Jantel Lavender has gotten off to a hot start in the paint, recording 25 rebounds in the first two games to go along with 17 points. She's another player who could benefit from facing an undersized Dream squad.

New York Liberty at Washington Mystics

Injuries

Note: All return dates are just estimates

New York

NamePosInjuryStatusReturn
Leaonna OdomFAchillesGTD5/21/2021
Natasha HowardCNot Injury RelatedOUT5/23/2021
Nayo Raincock-EkunweFNot Injury RelatedOUT5/1/2022
Asia DurrGIllnessOUT5/1/2022
Han XuCNot Injury RelatedOUT5/1/2022
Marine JohannesGNot Injury RelatedOUT5/1/2022
Jocelyn WilloughbyFAchillesOUT5/1/2022

Washington

NamePosInjuryStatusReturn
Elena Delle DonneFBackOUT5/23/2021
Myisha Hines-AllenFSuspensionOUT5/23/2021
Klara LundquistGSuspensionOUT5/1/2022
Alysha ClarkFFootOUT5/1/2022

2021 Player Stats

New York

PlayerPTSREBASTSTLBLKFG%3PA3P%FGAFTA
Betnijah Laney23.333.70.3053.24.757.115.75
Sabrina Ionescu21790.30.339.56.352.614.37
Michaela Onyenwere1240.70.70.343.3441.7102
Sami Whitcomb86.321.70.739.1633.37.70
Kylee Shook7.35.32.30.70.3501.3506.70
Jazmine Jones41.710.7141.71.35040
Rebecca Allen4.5420.50.516.73.514.362.5
Reshanda Gray3.52.500.5060002.51
DiDi Richards21.701060001.70
Joyner Holmes0010000000
Layshia Clarendon0000000000
Kiah Stokes0600000010

Washington

PlayerPTSREBASTSTLBLKFG%3PA3P%FGAFTA
Tina Charles1891.50.5033.33.514.3187.5
Natasha Cloud1342.52.5040.9520113
Ariel Atkins8.55.51.511255.527.3121
Erica McCall8.56.5110.5500.5063
Theresa Plaisance5.56.511223.85.59.110.50
Sydney Wiese40.50.50.5033.31.533.31.52.5
Kiara Leslie3100.50200.502.52
Stella Johnson3110120333.350
Shavonte Zellous1200.5000.5031
Leilani Mitchell01.55200505.50
Jillian Alleyne0200.5000010

The Skinny

The Liberty have surprised early in the season with a 3-0 start, which includes a win for a Minnesota Lynx squad on Tuesday who some have as a darkhorse contender to win it all this season. Unsurprisingly, Sabrina Ionescu's salary has skyrocketed to the top of the board on DraftKings and to second behind A'ja Wilson on FanDuel coming off of her first career triple-double. Those are a very rare find at the WNBA level, with just nine total in the league's history during the regular season. Given her ability to churn out double-doubles and threaten for triple-doubles on a level at is essentially unmatched at this point. She could have a field day against a Mystics team allowing opponents to rack up 21.5 assists and to connect on 42.2 percent of three-point shots early in the season. Betnijah Laney and her 2.7 three-point make per game is another player who could put on another scoring clinic. She comes into the night averaging 23.3 points per game and there's no reason to believe she won't continue that trend Friday, though her 57.1 conversion rate from deep should regress at some point. Michaela Onyenwere and Kylee Shook have also carved out roles early with Natasha Howard overseas, though it seems likely Kiah Stokes will begin to eat into the minutes for one or both of them after playing a limited 11 minutes in her season debut Tuesday.

Washington's problems early have come due to a combination of tough competition and the absence of both Elena Delle Donne and Myisha Hines-Allen. Unfortunately, they don't seem set to regain the services of either player Friday, so it could be another tough night ahead. The Mystics still check in as 3.5-point favorites in the contest, likely considering the fact that the Liberty squeaked by an expected cellar dweller in Indiana in two of their first two games. Washington's rotation hasn't exactly settled in yet due to the blowout nature of their first two games and the fact that they are still missing key pieces, so there could be some value to be found here. Tina Charles should be a lock for 30-plus minutes yet again along with Natasha loud, while Ariel Atkins saw a big jump last game to 30 minutes from 21 in the opener and contributed 12 points and five rebounds in response. Charles, in particular, could be a good piece to target going up against an experienced Liberty frontcourt. She's coming off of a solid 22-point, 12-rebound effort versus Phoenix last time out and will be key for the Mystics to pull out the victory. Sydney Wiese saw her minutes increase the most among any player and could be in line for decent minutes again Friday considering her first contest came just a day after joining the team following a pre-cut trade from the Sparks.

Connecticut Sun at Phoenix Mercury

Injuries

Note: All return dates are just estimates

Connecticut

NamePosInjuryStatusReturn
Briann JanuaryGAnkleOUT5/23/2021
Alyssa ThomasFAchillesOUT9/7/2021

Phoenix

NamePosInjuryStatusReturn
Kia VaughnCNot Injury RelatedOUT5/26/2021
Bria HartleyGKneeOUT6/1/2021

2021 Player Stats

Connecticut

PlayerMinPTSREBASTSTLBLKFG%3PA3P%FGAFTA
DeWanna Bonner3220.36.3411.346.2560136.3
Jonquel Jones29.31910.731161.13.360123.3
Natisha Hiedeman32.3154.33.32.70.348.56.342.1113.3
Brionna Jones28115.72.31046.90.3010.71.7
Briann January2871.74.70.3031.6333.36.32.3
Beatrice Mompremier11.742.301075002.70.7
Stephanie Jones14.54300044.40.504.50
Jasmine Thomas20803006025051
DiJonai Carrington8.71.31.710.30200.301.70.7
Kaila Charles12.713.31.70.30.712.5133.32.70
Aleah Goodman30010000000
Alyssa Thomas20000000000

Phoenix

PlayerPTSREBASTSTLBLKFG%FT%3PA3P%FGAFTA
Diana Taurasi16.74.33.70141.282.4738.111.35.7
Brittney Griner15.78.7202.747.478.60012.74.7
Skylar Diggins-Smith15.334.70.70.342.9754.728.611.75.3
Brianna Turner10.310.72.70.72.37075006.71.3
Kia Nurse9.33.71.31.3034.550526.79.72.7
Megan Walker6.51.510.5033.37542562
Sophie Cunningham6210.505010022541.5
Shey Peddy333.71037.501.7602.70
Alanna Smith230.70.7018.250216.73.70.7
Cierra Burdick1.310.70.3066.700010

The Skinny

The Sun have had a pretty formulaic approach to the beginning of the season that has included massive minutes from the starting five. In fact, these two teams met once already this season in a name that featured all five starters for the Sun playing 33-plus minutes. The club will be without Briann January this time around, however. January is dealing with an ankle injury presumably suffered in Wednesday's game against the Fever and will sit out the contest to rest it. Jasmine Thomas, who hadn't cleared the league protocol yet. Thomas played 20 minutes in her first contests of the season and figures to see an increase in that workload Friday with January out. Kaila Charles is the other backcourt body who could see a considerable minutes increase with January out.

Much like the Sun, the Mercury have owned a relatively clean bill of health and availability early in the season, resulting in a pretty heavy workload for their five starters as well. Aside from the blowout win over the Mystics on Tuesday, which allowed  Brittney Griner, Brianna Turner and Skylar Diggins-Smith to rest a bit more, the trio played at least 34 minutes in the first two games and figures to handle a similar workload again Friday. Diana Taurasi isn't too far behind but could be capped in the low 30s, while Kia Nurse figures to handle the fifth starting spot and Shey Peddy and Megan Walker are likely the first two options off of the bench. Assuming the game stays close, don't look for the Mercury to go much deeper than that, which should men big fantasy outputs from the starters again.

Los Angeles Sparks at Las Vegas Aces

Injuries

Note: All return dates are just estimates

Los Angeles

NamePosInjuryStatusReturn
Amanda Zahui BCBackOUT5/28/2021
Maria VadeevaCSuspensionOUT8/1/2021
Ivana RacaFNot Injury RelatedOUT5/1/2022
Aina AyusoGNot Injury RelatedOUT5/1/2022
Gabby WilliamsFSuspensionOUT5/1/2022

Las Vegas

NamePosInjuryStatusReturn
Angel McCoughtryFKneeOUT5/1/2022
Iliana RupertCNot Injury RelatedOUT5/1/2022

2021 Player Stats

Los Angeles

PlayerTeamPTSREBASTSTLBLKFG%3PA3P%FGAFTA
Nneka OgwumikeLA18800057.100142
Chiney OgwumikeLA12621045.5366.7110
Kristi ToliverLA11021066.745062
Nia CoffeyLA1041125045082
Brittney SykesLA6232128.64074
Te'a CooperLA4212010333.3102
Arella GuirantesLA40010402050
Erica WheelerLA42200253080
Bria HolmesLA2022001052
Jasmine WalkerLA0122003040

Las Vegas

PlayerPTSREBASTSTLBLK3PMFG%3PA3P%FGAFTA
A'ja Wilson2184.5020.5500.5100165
Liz Cambage176.50.50.52068.20.50113
Jackie Young16.56.531.50.50.540.722513.55
Kelsey Plum10.51.53.5101.542.1437.59.51
Chelsea Gray91.5510.515025080
Dearica Hamby7.57.5210043.81081
Riquna Williams62.53.50.50.5138.53.528.66.50
Ji-Su Park220.5000500020
Destiny Slocum00000000000
Emma Cannon00100000000

The Skinny

The Sparks enter the night with just one game under their belt thus far, which was an unimpressive showing in a blowout loss to the Wings. The blowout status of the game likely resulted in starters like Kristi Toliver and Erica Wheeler receiving fewer minutes than expected. The pair both saw significant dips in their salaries on DraftKings for Friday as a result, which could make them worthwhile inclusions in lineups even with a tough matchup on deck in the Aces. The Sparks are the biggest underdog on the night at 7.5 points but still sport an expected score of 81.25, which ranks fourth out of the eight teams set to lace up the sneakers. Nia Coffey's productive 20 minutes against Dallas could earn her some bonus playing time as well Friday, though it's worth mentioning she doesn't have a history of being nearly that efficient with her playing time and she likely received a salary boost thanks to the initial showing. The Ogwumike sisters should lock down the frontcourt for most of the night but could have a tough time going against the likes of A'ja Wilson and Liz Camabage, so the team may be forced to rely more on outside shooting to get the job done. For that reason, the Sparks backcourt may be the way to go if looking to use players from their side of the contest.

On the flip side, the Aces have numerous capable rebounders, with Dearica Hamby, A'ja Wilson, Liz Cambage and Jackie Young all notching 6.5 or more on average through the first two contests. That could be particularly valuable against a Sparks team that was dominated on the boards in the opener, posting just a 35.7 percent rebound rate. The Wings found plenty of driving lanes to the hoop in the opener, which could work in the favor of Young as well, who doesn't rely a ton on outside scoring for her contributions. This seems like an especially plausible outcome given her 13.5 per game shot volume for the first two contests. This could bode well for a big outing from Young on Friday. The frontcourt for the Wings didn't have a ton of trouble either, so all four of the big contributors should be in the mix for fantasy purposes on Friday for an Aces club with an expected score of 88.75 to pace the remaining field by more than six points. The Sparks also struggled to defend the three-point line in the opener, allowing the Wings to connect on 47.1 percent of their shots from deep. However, that conversion rate came on just 17 attempts, the lowest average on the slate.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Chris Benzine plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Crispy272001, DraftKings: Crispy27.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Benzine
Chris is a sports editor for various sports on the site and also a consistent contributor in the college sports arena.
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