Who is trending up in fantasy women's basketball? Which rotations are changing? What's the latest with the notable injuries around the WNBA?
Here's a look around the league at the most fantasy relevant news and notes for all 12 teams:
Rhyne Howard has made significant strides in this, her second WNBA season, putting up an impressive 33 fantasy points per game. She plays a crucial role for the Dream, averaging 32.6 minutes per game. Over the last seven games, Howard's Plus/Minus is the seventh highest in the league, showcasing her impact on her team's performance. Howard's remarkable +12.7 Plus/Minus means her team outscored opponents by 12.7 points while she was on the court.
Since James Wade's departure for an NBA assistant coaching position with the Toronto Raptors, the Sky's record stands at 1-4. Chicago's initially solid 5-3 start has seen a decline, with a 3-9 record in their last 12 games. Interim coach Emre Vatansever plans to implement new schemes in the second half of the season. He also mentioned that players returning from the All-Star break will have opportunities in his rotation if they perform well. The Sky's rotation should be closely monitored by fantasy managers in the near future.
The Sun have lost three of their last six games. In the first 15 games of the season, Connecticut only lost three games. The Sun has some positives. Alyssa Thomas (998) passed Jasmine Thomas (995) for the most assists in franchise history. Thomas also has seven straight games with at least 10 points, five rebounds and five assists, which is tied for the second-longest streak in league history. Sabrina Ionescu had 11 such games in 2022.
On Wednesday, Arike Ogunbowale delivered another extraordinary performance, scoring 25+ points for the 33rd time in her career. This achievement places her ahead of the legendary Cynthia Cooper for the eighth most such games by a player in their first five seasons in the WNBA. Ogunbowale's averaging a stunning 36.0 fantasy points per game, the seventh highest per game average in the league. With the Wings trusting their starters with substantial minutes, her rest-of-season outlook looks very promising.
The Fever's road game prowess is eye-opening. Out of their six wins this season, a whopping five have been secured on the road. Quite the contrast to their 2021-22 record, where they managed only four road wins. Meanwhile, NaLyssa Smith is still out due to a stress fracture in her left foot. Erica Wheeler remains the top streamer from the Fever. She is only rostered in 43.7% of ESPN leagues and has scored 19+ fantasy points and played 25+ minutes in five consecutive games.
The Aces boast an outstanding 19-2 record, trying to join an elite group as one of the only five teams in league history with a winning percentage of .850 or higher. Las Vegas stands out as one of the most well-rounded teams in league history, with A'ja Wilson (19.9 PPG), Kelsey Plum (19.1), Jackie Young (19.0) and Chelsea Gray (14.8) all delivering impressive scoring performances. Can the Aces make history? No team in the league has ever had three players average 20+ PPG in a season, nor has any team achieved four players averaging 15+ PPG. Candace Parker remains in recovery from an ankle injury. Having missed the last three games, she's not expected to play on Thursday against the Storm. Alysha Clark, who is rostered in 21.5% of ESPN leagues, is on the streaming radar while Parker is out. Clark has scored 23+ fantasy in two of her last three games.
Chiney Ogwumike's MRI results revealed unfortunate news. She'll be sidelined for the next four to six weeks due to a foot injury. In her absence, consider Karlie Samuelson as a strong streaming option. She has scored 19+ fantasy points in the last four games in which she's played 29+ minutes. Samuelson is only rostered in 15.9% of ESPN leagues.
Jessica Shepard has already been ruled out for Thursday's game against the Sparks. This will be the 13th game she has missed due to a non-COVID illness. Shepard's prolonged absence may come as a surprise, but Dorka Juhasz remains a dependable streamer for fantasy managers. Juhasz is still only rostered in just 25.5% of ESPN leagues. In just 26.0 minutes per game, she's showcasing her versatility with 6.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.0 steal per game.
Breanna Stewart and Ionescu both rank in the top 12 in fantasy points per game. On Wednesday, Stewart (38) and Ionescu (41) both delivered superb fantasy performances against the Wings. Injuries and suspensions have altered the Liberty's rotation, giving Jonquel Jones a chance to shine. With Stefanie Dolson out due to an ankle injury and Han Xu temporarily suspended, Jones has stepped up with increased playing time. Over the last eight games, she's performed very well, averaging 10.0 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.0 steal and 1.5 blocks in just 26.0 minutes per game.
Diana Taurasi suffered a left quad contusion against the Sun on Tuesday and was ruled out for Thursday's game. Your best streaming option is Sug Sutton, who is rostered in 26.8% of ESPN leagues. Sutton averages 17.8 fantasy points when she plays at least 27 minutes. From a fantasy perspective, this gives us an idea of Sutton's ceiling.
Jordan Horston put on an impressive performance against the Dream on July 12, replacing Jewell Loyd (foot) in the starting lineup. Following Lauren Jackson and Breanna Stewart, she became the third rookie in Storm history to record a 20-point double-double. Loyd played in the All-Star Game and shined, but Horston is a solid fantasy option when given minutes. If you're looking for a streamer, don't overlook Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu, who now has an active role in the Storm's frontcourt rotation. During the past three games, she's scored 19 or more fantasy points in three straight games. Fankam Mendjiadeu is only rostered in 9.5% of ESPN leagues.
Elena Delle Donne reinjured her left ankle July 9 against the Sun and will be reevaluated after two weeks to determine her return-to-play timeline. Delle Donne's robust injury history should concern fantasy managers. Next week, we should know more. Don't overlook Tianna Hawkins, rostered in 33.8% of ESPN leagues, if you're desperate for a streamer. She's averaged 27.2 fantasy points in 33.2 minutes per game over the last five games.