WNBA DFS Breakdown: Opening Night

WNBA DFS Breakdown: Opening Night

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DAILY MATCHUPS  (Vegas Odds, Team Efficiency, Pace, Opposing Stats)

DAILY LINEUPS

VALUE REPORT

TEAM TRENDS

OPPONENT AVERAGES

DraftKings and FanDuel Top Values (RotoWire Optimizer)

Top 5 FanDuel

PLAYERPOSTEAMOPPSALFPTSVAL
Rachel BanhamGMIN@SEA310018.325.9
Ruthy HebardFCHILA340018.685.5
Queen EgboFIND@WAS360019.455.4
Dana EvansGCHILA320016.975.3
Ezi MagbegorFSEAMIN470023.985.1

Top 5 DraftKings

PLAYERPOSTEAMOPPSALFPTSVAL
NaLyssa SmithFIND@WAS380021.995.8
Dana EvansGCHILA330018.325.6
Ruthy HebardFCHILA340017.95.3
Destanni HendersonGIND@WAS350015.624.5
Rachel BanhamGMIN@SEA510019.353.8

Indiana Fever at Washington Mystics (-9)

Injuries

Note: All return dates are just estimates

Indiana

NamePosInjuryStatusReturn
Alaina CoatesCSuspensionSUSP5/8/2022
Bria HartleyGSuspensionSUSP5/8/2022
Danielle RobinsonGSuspensionSUSP5/8/2022
Bernadett HatarCKneeOFS2/1/2023
Chelsey PerryFPersonalOFS2/1/2023
Florencia ChagasGPersonalOFS5/1/2023

Washington

NamePosInjuryStatusReturn
Alysha ClarkFFootOUT5/8/2022
Elizabeth WilliamsFNot Injury RelatedSUSP5/13/2022
Klara LundquistGIllnessOFS5/1/2023

2021 Player Stats

Indiana

PlayerPosGMinPTSREBASTSTLBLK3PM
Kelsey MitchellG3233.117.82.62.51.10.22.2
Teaira McCowanC3226.511.39.61.10.61.60
Tiffany MitchellG2827.3122.920.600.4
Danielle RobinsonG2427.59.93.53.71.60.10.2
Victoria ViviansG3121.36.83.11.31.10.11
Jantel LavenderC27206.43.91.500.10.1
Lindsay AllenG3217.85.41.530.50.10.4
Jessica BrelandF2620.95.86.320.61.50.2
Emma CannonF1218.36.94.510.40.20.3
Kysre GondrezickG199.11.910.90.400.4
Bernadett HatarC715.14.92.60.30.40.40
Aaliyah WilsonG148.51.10.90.60.20.10.1
Lauren CoxF118.61.420.30.40.30.1
Chelsey PerryF66.72.210.30.500.3

Washington

PlayerPosGMinPTSREBASTSTLBLK3PM
Tina CharlesC2733.323.49.62.10.90.91.9
Ariel AtkinsG3030.616.22.82.61.60.52.2
Natasha CloudG2731.68.73.66.41.40.11
Myisha Hines-AllenF1825.712.972.51.30.60.7
Theresa PlaisanceF31186.44.41.40.80.71.1
Leilani MitchellG3123.46.422.50.50.11.6
Shavonte ZellousG2815.84.32.41.60.40.20.4
Sydney WieseG2721.44.41.31.60.400.9
Shatori Walker-KimbroughG1621.67.41.410.80.30.5
Erica McCallF2315.54.14.30.60.30.40
Megan GustafsonF119.943.600.20.10
Elena Delle DonneF317.313.74.30.700.31
Kiara LeslieG99.62.82.20.20.400.2
Stella JohnsonG65.220.50.300.20.3
Jillian AlleyneF240200.500

The Skinny

The Mystics are expected to handle this game comfortably, sitting as nine-point favorites over the Fever. This tracks with what's expected from both teams, as the WNBA Championship odds are 18-to-1 for Washington and 70-to-1 for Indiana. Both teams are dealing with various injuries and suspensions – as is the case early in the season while players fill their overseas obligations. However, neither team is missing anyone that could be considered a star player, so the spread likely isn't dramatically affected by the absences.

Washington has a distinct four-woman core – Elena Delle Donne, Myisha Hines-Allen, Ariel Atkins and Natasha Cloud. Looking for fantasy value outside of that crew is a risk. If you're seeking high-floor options, rostering one or more from that group in this advantageous matchup seems viable.

Indiana's value will probably be a little more spread out, and it's possible lesser-known players get some run if the game turns into a blowout. Those looking to take some risks could gamble on one or two of the Fever's center options – Queen Egbo and Alanna Smith. Both are in low-priced flier territory and could see minutes in the upper-20s if things break right. Those just looking to rack up safe points can turn more toward the likes of Tiffany Mitchell, Kelsey Mitchell, NaLyssa Smith and Victoria Vivians.

Los Angeles Sparks at Chicago Sky (-3.5)

Injuries

Note: All return dates are just estimates

Los Angeles

NamePosInjuryStatusReturn
Kristi ToliverGSuspensionSUSP5/8/2022
Katie Lou SamuelsonFSuspensionSUSP5/11/2022
Olivia Nelson-OdodaFHipOUT5/14/2022
Amanda Zahui B.CUndisclosedOFS10/1/2022

Chicago

NamePosInjuryStatusReturn
Allie QuigleyGKneeOUT5/11/2022
Kahleah CopperGNot Injury RelatedOUT5/11/2022
Rebekah GardnerGSuspensionSUSP5/11/2022
Julie AllemandGSuspensionSUSP5/14/2022
Li YueruCNot Injury RelatedOUT6/3/2022
Astou Ndour-FallCRestOFS5/1/2023
Leonie FiebichFPersonalOFS5/1/2023

2021 Player Stats

Los Angeles

PlayerPosGMinPTSREBASTSTLBLK3PM
Erica WheelerG3230.213.63.14.81.30.31
Brittney SykesG3229.39.44.62.21.80.50.3
Te'a CooperG31229.11.71.40.90.20.8
Amanda Zahui B.C3023.89.25.110.61.21
Nia CoffeyF3225.28.33.80.90.81.21.6
Nneka OgwumikeF1831.714.56.52.71.40.30.6
Kristi ToliverG1927.69.41.52.80.701.5
Bria HolmesG1718.44.92.81.20.90.40.5
Arella GuirantesG2511.63.21.30.60.30.20.2
Lauren CoxF15143.53.70.60.70.90.1
Chiney OgwumikeF719.174.11.30.90.40.4
Karlie SamuelsonG1115.83.82.30.80.601
Kristine AnigweF715.13.93.90.70.60.10
Jasmine WalkerF21000.5110.50

Chicago

PlayerPosGMinPTSREBASTSTLBLK3PM
Kahleah CopperG3230.814.44.21.80.80.30.8
Diamond DeShieldsG3226.911.33.52.31.20.40.8
Allie QuigleyG2624.413.22.72.30.50.32.1
Courtney VanderslootG3230.510.53.48.61.70.41.1
Candace ParkerF2326.713.38.440.81.21
Azura StevensF3019.77.44.60.80.80.70.5
Stefanie DolsonC24207.53.51.30.30.80.8
Ruthy HebardF3016.85.84.40.80.70.70
Astou Ndour-FallC2017.16.64.80.40.40.80.4
Dana EvansG238.63.90.51.20.200.7
Lexie BrownG179.51.60.71.10.400.5
Stephanie WattsG6142.53.70.50.50.30.2
Shyla HealG47.820.80.8000
Natasha MackF35.321.30000
Brittany Boyd-JonesG211212100.5

The Skinny

The Sky are favored by 3.5 points over the Sparks, so the oddsmakers view this matchup as relatively even given that it's a home game for Chicago. However, that's mainly due to the Sky being down players, as the Championship odds are +450 for Chicago and +3000 for LA.

The biggest absences for the Sky are Allie Quigley, Julie Allemand and Kahleah Copper. Copper and Quigley combined for 27.6 PPG last season with Chicago, and Allemand averaged 8.5 points and 5.8 assists in 32.5 minutes as a rookie for the Fever last season. Courtney Vandersloot and Candace Parker are the safest options and should do most of the playmaking, though starting center Emma Meesseman is a great passer for the position.

The Sparks aren't as affected by absences but will still be down Kristi Toliver and Katie Lou Samuelson – both significant rotation players. Liz Cambage and Chennedy Carter are the most meaningful additions to the team. Both should start, though it remains to be seen how much usage they'll take away from, notably, Nneka Ogwumike and Brittney Sykes. Cambage can put up huge numbers when given the minutes, though her workload has declined two seasons in a row.

Las Vegas Aces (-5) at Phoenix Mercury

Injuries

Note: All return dates are just estimates

Las Vegas

NamePosInjuryStatusReturn
Riquna WilliamsGFootGTD5/6/2022
Kiah StokesCNot Injury RelatedOUT5/8/2022

Phoenix

NamePosInjuryStatusReturn
Sophie CunninghamFQuadricepsGTD5/6/2022
Diamond DeShieldsFNot Injury RelatedSUSP5/11/2022
Brianna TurnerFNot Injury RelatedSUSP5/11/2022
Brittney GrinerCNot Injury RelatedOUT5/21/2022
Kia NurseGKneeOUT7/2/2022

2021 Player Stats

Las Vegas

PlayerPosGMinPTSREBASTSTLBLK3PM
A'ja WilsonF3231.918.39.33.10.91.30
Jackie YoungG3231.812.24.13.21.10.30.2
Kelsey PlumG2625.614.82.53.6101.7
Liz CambageC2523.814.28.21.30.91.60.2
Chelsea GrayG3228.911.12.95.91.20.30.8
Riquna WilliamsG322610.52.61.60.80.32
Dearica HambyF2924.511.66.71.71.10.10.3
Ji-Su ParkF258.921.80.80.10.60
Destiny SlocumG216.310.90.60.100.2
Kiah StokesC1520.51.56.110.40.70
Joyner HolmesF45.83.310.500.30.8
Emma CannonF35.721.70.300.30
Bria HolmesG23010000
Angel McCoughtryF10000000

Phoenix

PlayerPosGMinPTSREBASTSTLBLK3PM
Brittney GrinerC3032.820.59.52.70.41.90.1
Skylar Diggins-SmithG3232.517.73.25.31.10.81.6
Kia NurseG3226.19.53.51.80.50.11.8
Brianna TurnerF3231.17.89.41.80.81.30
Diana TaurasiG1628.415.24.44.90.20.62.6
Shey PeddyG3217.55.42.32.50.90.10.8
Sophie CunninghamG3017.55.621.10.50.21.1
Megan WalkerF2914.74.51.30.90.20.30.7
Kia VaughnC2815.84.62.71.30.20.20
Bria HartleyG68.53.70.70.80.200.7
Alanna SmithF186.51.21.30.60.40.30.2
Cierra BurdickF44.811.80.80.30.30
Haley GoreckiG3200.70000

The Skinny

The only road favorite on the slate, the Aces' offseason was an eventful one. Most notably, Liz Cambage has moved on via free agency, leaving the team's frontcourt thinner than it has been in recent campaigns. A'ja Wilson will likely play more of the five this year as a result and will likely be counted on for heavy minutes Friday with Kiah Stokes not yet with the team. Theresa Plaisance is the only other player on the team taller than 6-foot-3, so she will likely slot in behind Wilson for the time being. Riquna Williams is also a question mark for the contest, so it's good to keep an eye on her status leading up to the game. I would expect Jackie Young, Chelsea Gray and Kelsey Plum to all see sizeable workloads as well.

The offseason wasn't any less eventful for the Mercury. The biggest news here is obviously that Brittney Griner remains unlawfully detained in Russia. Along with Griner being unavailable, Brianna Turner and Diamond DeShields remain overseas finishing up seasons as the season kicks off. That leaves the Mercury frontcourt pretty barren, so I'd expect Tina Charles to log as many minutes as she can give, with Kristine Anigwe, Megan Gustafson and Sophie Cunningham – if she's available – all factoring in. If Cunningham also sits, we could see what the Mercury have in rookie Sam Thomas and Jennie Simms, who hasn't played in the league since 2017. Emma Cannon also has a history and averaged 18.3 minutes per game in her time with the Fever last season. The backcourt is fairly stable. Skylar Diggins-Smith and Diana Taurasi head the group, though Shey Peddy could also be a factor there.

Minnesota Lynx at Seattle Storm (-8)

Injuries

Note: All return dates are just estimates

Minnesota

NamePosInjuryStatusReturn
Angel McCoughtryFKneeOUT5/8/2022
Kayla McBrideGNot Injury RelatedSUSP5/8/2022
Damiris DantasCFootOUT5/17/2022
Napheesa CollierFPersonalOUT7/1/2022

Seattle

NamePosInjuryStatusReturn
Mercedes RussellFUndisclosedOUT5/29/2022

2021 Player Stats

Minnesota

PlayerPosGMinPTSREBASTSTLBLK3PM
Sylvia FowlesC3130.11610.11.41.81.80
Napheesa CollierF2934.616.26.63.21.31.30.7
Kayla McBrideG3231.613.73.62.30.80.21.9
Crystal DangerfieldG3120.17.722.80.70.10.9
Layshia ClarendonG2125.710.43.15.70.600.2
Aerial PowersF1422.113.43.62.10.40.40.8
Damiris DantasC2423.87.742.30.40.31.4
Bridget CarletonG3219.34.82.31.50.80.20.8
Rachel BanhamG2712.651.21.60.30.11
Natalie AchonwaF21123.72.11.20.60.20
Jessica ShepardF2210.523.21.70.10.20
Cierra BurdickF33.320.30000
Linnae HarperG15010000
Natasha MackF12000000

Seattle

PlayerPosGMinPTSREBASTSTLBLK3PM
Breanna StewartF2833.420.39.62.71.21.71.7
Jewell LoydG313117.943.81.50.22.1
Sue BirdG3027.7102.65.30.90.12.2
Mercedes RussellC3024.77.36.11.60.90.40
Ezi MagbegorC3015.26.73.90.80.610.2
Katie Lou SamuelsonG272173.51.70.70.31
Stephanie TalbotG3017.95.72.91.60.50.40.9
Jordin CanadaG2918.75.82.330.70.10.1
Epiphanny PrinceG2914.35.81.61.70.70.20.9
Candice DupreeF1616.35.92.50.70.40.20.1
Kennedy BurkeG237.72.90.80.30.30.10.3
Karlie SamuelsonG310.730.30.7000.3
Kiana WilliamsG103.50.40.40.20.100.1
Cierra BurdickF750.41.70.40.30.30
Mikiah Herbert HarriganF11000000

The Skinny

The Lynx, like many teams, are down a number of pieces in the rotation to open the season. The most notable piece is perennial MVP candidate Napheesa Collier, who is due to give birth in May and is expected to miss the majority of the 2022 regular season. Also absent to open the season are Anel McCoughtry and Damiris Dantas due to injury and Kayla McBride, who is still finishing up overseas. All players in that group are typically regulars in Minnesota's rotation, so there should be some minutes to be had early on. Sylvia Fowles opens her final WNBA season likely set for a huge role and should have Aerial Powers in the mix again all season. Look for Natalie Achonwa, Jessica Shepard and Bridget Carleton to all log healthy minutes early in the season with the shortened roster, while recent signee Odyssey Sims should play hefty minutes in the backcourt. Joining her there is Rachel Banham, who should also play sizable minutes Friday, and Yvonne Turner, who coULD see some as well after signing as an emergency hardship addition.

The team least affected by late arrivals is Seattle, which has no players still overseas. Still, the Storm aren't immune to absences. Mercedes Russell is set to miss the first 3-to-5 weeks while recovering from a non-basketball injury, leaving the frontcourt down some of its depth. Ezi Magbegor figures to be the primary beneficiary in terms of minutes while Russell is sidelined. The rest of the cast remains largely the same, aside from the major offseason addition of Gabby Williams, who joins the Storm after sitting out all of the 2021 season. Williams played a major bench role for the Sky back in 2020, racking up 7.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 steals over 24.8 minutes per game. She seems a likely candidate to open the season in a starting role and should play big minutes this season.

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. Alex Barutha plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel Username: unclestosh99, DraftKings Username: Roto_Alex. Chris Benzine plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Crispy272001, DraftKings: Crispy27.
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ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Alex Barutha
Alex is RotoWire's NBA Assistant Editor. He writes articles about daily fantasy, year-long fantasy and sports betting. You can hear him on the RotoWire NBA Podcast, Sirius XM, DraftKings Live and other platforms. Vince Carter and Alex both first dunked during their respective sophomore years of high school.
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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