WNBA Fantasy Primer: Stock Watch, Injuries and Trends

WNBA Fantasy Primer: Stock Watch, Injuries and Trends

This article is part of our WNBA Fantasy Primer series.

WNBA Fantasy Basketball Update

Teams around the WNBA are entering the playoff push, as are fantasy managers in standard ESPN leagues, as the final week of the regular season has arrived. Significant absences around the league continue to linger and impact fantasy lineups, but there have been several players who have posted encouraging stat lines recently. Subscribers can use the Discussion section to ask league-specific questions.

Stock Watch

Risers

Lindsay Allen, G, Lynx: Allen has served as a starter for the Lynx over the past month, but she's had mixed results. However, the 28-year-old has excelled over her last three appearances, averaging 13.7 points and 6.3 assists in 32.0 minutes per game. It's possible her role decreases slightly once Rachel Banham is cleared to return, but Allen's starting role will likely be secure, especially given her recent hot stretch. Even if she has some inconsistent performances over the final month of the regular season, she could still help fantasy managers in their playoff pursuits.

Tianna Hawkins, F, Mystics: Hawkins has been a solid fantasy contributor since joining the Mystics' starting lineup in late June and has been especially productive recently, posting at least 17 points in three consecutive games. While her recent stretch of games makes her a riser, it's also worth noting that some of the Mystics' injured players appear to be trending toward a return, as they're traveling with the team for their current road trip. There are no specific return dates, but it's possible Hawkins' minutes take a hit once some of her teammates are back in action.

Gabby Williams, F, Storm: Williams came off the bench in her first two appearances after making her season debut in mid-July, but she took on a starting role following the All-Star break and has started seven consecutive games. Her results remained somewhat limited early in her starting role, but she's now scored in double figures in three of her last four appearances and has averaged 13.0 points, 4.8 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 steals in 33.8 minutes per game during that time. It wouldn't be surprising to see her role remain elevated over the final month of the regular season.

Nia Coffey, F, Dream: Although Coffey has served exclusively as a starter for the Dream this season, her results have been inconsistent, especially when considering her real-life impact. That's continued to be the case in recent matchups, but she's had enough defensive production to bolster her fantasy output. Over the last four contests, she's averaged 10.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.8 combined steals/blocks in 23.0 minutes per game. While Coffey may still have some inconsistent performances down the stretch, she's at least worth considering as a streaming candidate.

Tyasha Harris, G, Sun: Harris played single-digit minutes in three of her final four appearances in July, but she's seen increased playing time over the last two matchups despite maintaining a bench role. The 25-year-old has averaged 13.0 points and 2.5 assists in 25.5 minutes per game over her last two appearances, and while those numbers don't jump off the page, she could at least be worth streaming consideration for fantasy managers in deeper leagues.

Fallers

Victoria Vivians, G, Fever: Vivians drew six consecutive starts to close out the month of July, but she missed last Tuesday's game against the Mercury due to a non-COVID illness and has come off the bench in her two matchups since returning to action. She's averaged just 3.5 points and 3.0 rebounds in 17.5 minutes per game during her last two appearances, and while it's possible the Fever are simply easing her back into action, she won't have much fantasy relevance if her recent role continues.

Diamond Miller, G, Lynx: Miller has planted herself in the Rookie of the Year conversation due to her recent surge in production while Aliyah Boston's results have declined. However, Miller cooled off over the past week, averaging 9.0 points and 3.3 assists in 28.7 minutes per game over her last three appearances. While the 22-year-old certainly isn't a drop candidate amid her cold spell, fantasy managers in shallower leagues could consider leaving her on the bench until her results improve.

Aari McDonald, G, Dream: McDonald missed significant time due to a shoulder injury earlier this season and produced solid fantasy results upon her return despite coming off the bench. However, her results have decreased since the start of August, as she's averaged 2.3 points and 3.0 assists in 18.3 minutes per game over three appearances this month, and her lackluster production continued even as she took on a starting role Sunday. It's unclear whether she'll continue to start as she did earlier this season, but her recent results certainly haven't been encouraging.

Michaela Onyenwere, F, Mercury: Onyenwere had some solid performances for the Mercury in late July, but she's seen a significant decrease in playing time over the past week now that Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi are back in action. Onyenwere's role has been somewhat inconsistent this season, but she had her worst performance of the year Saturday against Seattle while playing a season-low four minutes. Despite her production earlier this year, she's an unreliable option as the fantasy playoffs approach.

Jordan Horston, G, Storm: Horston has put together some encouraging stat lines during her rookie season, but she's also displayed some growing pains at times, including over the last two games. Over her two appearances this month, she's averaged 2.0 points in 10.0 minutes per game after scoring in double figures in four of her previous five outings. While fantasy managers could consider holding Horston for another game or two in case she bounces back, there may be some players with more upside available on waivers.

Injury/Absence Implications

Note: Updated injury and absence information throughout the week can be found on RotoWire's WNBA Injury Report page.

Chicago Sky: Sika Kone will likely be available for Chicago's game against Minnesota on Tuesday, but her presence shouldn't impact the rotation much.

Dallas Wings: Coach Latricia Trammell said Friday that Awak Kuier would be out for at least a week, so the Wings signed Ashley Joens to a seven-day contract Sunday.

Indiana Fever: NaLyssa Smith has missed nearly a month due to a stress fracture in her foot, but she's questionable for Tuesday's game against the Sparks. Victoria Vivians also missed a game last week due to a non-COVID illness but has been available for the last two matchups.

Las Vegas Aces: The Aces signed Alaina Coates to a seven-day contract Wednesday, and she played seven minutes during Sunday's blowout loss to the Liberty. It's unclear whether she'll remain with the club while Candace Parker is sidelined.

Minnesota Lynx: Dorka Juhasz missed Friday's game against New York due to a hamstring injury and is questionable for Tuesday's matchup against the Sky. However, Rachel Banham will likely be able to return from a lengthy absence due to a thumb injury. If Juhasz remains out Tuesday, Jessica Shepard should continue to start and see increased playing time.

New York Liberty: Stefanie Dolson hasn't suited up since late June due to a right ankle injury, but she recently resumed on-court activities and appears to be trending toward a return.

Phoenix Mercury: Brittney Griner recently missed three games to focus on her mental health, but she returned to action Saturday against Seattle and didn't appear to face significant limitations. Megan Gustafson started in Griner's absence but returned to the bench Saturday. The Mercury released Liz Dixon upon Griner's return but are now dealing with another absence after Shey Peddy sustained a concussion Saturday. Phoenix signed Destanni Henderson to a seven-day contract to help fill the void.

Washington Mystics: The Mystics continue to deal with significant absences, as Elena Delle Donne, Ariel Atkins, Shakira Austin and Kristi Toliver have all missed time recently. All four players are traveling with the Mystics during their current road trip, but Delle Donne is doubtful for Tuesday's game against Phoenix, while the other three players have been ruled out.

Lineup Trends

Note: Projected lineups and up-to-the-minute lineup confirmations can be found on RotoWire's WNBA Daily Lineups page.

Atlanta Dream: Aari McDonald replaced Danielle Robinson in the Dream's starting lineup Sunday against Indiana.

Indiana Fever: Emma Cannon replaced Victoria Vivians in the starting lineup during Vivians' one-game absence last week, and Cannon has also started the last two games.

Los Angeles Sparks: Karlie Samuelson has replaced Zia Cooke in the starting lineup over the last three games.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason
Jason joined RotoWire in 2019. In 2023, he was named the FSWA Player Notes Writer of the Year. In addition to RotoWire, Jason writes for the Sports Broadcast Journal. In 2024, he was dubbed "The Polish Parlay" for his WNBA hot betting streak.
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