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

The first season of season-long WNBA Fantasy on ESPN is winding down, and there are plenty of trends to track as fantasy playoffs continue. This weekly column is intended to analyze trends impacting production in season-long leagues. The discussion section is available for league-specific questions, such as waiver advice and start/sit questions.

Stock Watch

Risers

Kayla Thornton, F, Wings: Thornton displayed some signs of inconsistency between late June and early July but has been a much more reliable fantasy contributor over the last several weeks. The forward has played at least 27 minutes in the last six games while scoring in double figures in four of those appearances. Across that span, she's averaged 11.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 31.7 minutes per game. Thornton has been a strong source of points and rebounds and is still available in plenty of fantasy leagues.

Destanni Henderson, G, Fever: Although Tiffany Mitchell took on a starting role Sunday after Kelsey Mitchell was ruled out for the season, Henderson played a season-high 31 minutes during Sunday's loss to the Aces and scored in double figures for a second consecutive game. Before her uptick in scoring production, Henderson had been limited to just two points over her last three appearances. Although the 23-year-old's productive games came during a pair of blowout losses to Las Vegas, she should see more involvement over the final two weeks of the season since the Fever will be shorthanded in the backcourt.

Azura Stevens, F, Sky: Stevens saw a massive uptick in production over the last two games since Candace Parker was sidelined, but fantasy managers shouldn't expect that level of involvement now that Parker has been cleared to return. However, Stevens was a strong contributor over her appearances leading up to Parker's absence. Stevens displayed some inconsistency in mid-July but played at least 20 minutes in each of her three appearances from July 20 to July 23 and averaged 9.0 points and 3.3 rebounds in 21.0 minutes per game during that time. Even if her usage decreases slightly now that she'll be retreating to the bench, the 26-year-old is still capable of providing fantasy value down the stretch.

Chiney Ogwumike, F, Sparks: Ogwumike averaged 11.8 points and 10.0 rebounds in 29.0 minutes per game over her first four starts in mid-July, but she's had a slight decrease in production over her two appearances following a one-game absence due to an illness. Although she's averaged just 5.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in 24.5 minutes per game over her last two appearances, she's maintained her starting role and should continue to start over the final two weeks of the season now that Liz Cambage is no longer with the team.

Kiah Stokes, C, Aces: Stokes hasn't been the strongest scorer for the Aces this season, averaging just 1.9 points per game over 25 appearances. However, she's had consistent success on the boards recently, averaging 5.9 rebounds in 14.4 minutes per game over her last seven appearances. She's hauled in at least five rebounds in six of those outings. While Stokes' increased usage tends to come in games when the Aces have a considerable lead, Las Vegas has returned to its winning ways in recent weeks, which has allowed the center to provide some streaming fantasy value in deeper leagues.

Fallers

Ezi Magbegor, F, Storm: Magbegor started her first 23 appearances of the season but has retreated to the bench over the last five games since Tina Charles has taken on a starting role. Magbegor was productive in her starting role, averaging 11.3 points and 6.5 rebounds in 28.3 minutes per game. However, since taking on her bench role, she's averaged just 5.6 points and 3.2 rebounds in 17.4 minutes per game. While Magbegor is still a strong defensive presence and is one of the better sixth players in the league, her fantasy value has decreased over the last five games.

Marine Johannes, G, Liberty: Johannes had relatively sustained success over a month-long stretch of starts from mid-June to mid-July, but she's returned to a bench role over her last five appearances and has had a drop in production. She's scored in double figures in just two of the last five matchups and has averaged 7.4 points and 2.2 assists in 21.8 minutes per game during that time. Johannes has still shown some glimpses of production off the bench but has been a much less consistent fantasy option.

Julie Allemand, G, Sky: While Allemand was expected to have a decrease in production once Courtney Vandersloot was back to full health, Allemand has had minimal involvement for the Sky off the bench. Allemand showed some signs of fantasy production before taking on a starting role due to her bursts of success in scoring and assists, but she hasn't displayed that kind of upside over the last two games, totaling just five points, four rebounds and an assist in 20 minutes over those two appearances. While the guard offered some fantasy value earlier in the year, it doesn't appear she'll be a reliable option over the final two weeks of the regular season.

Michaela Onyenwere, F, Liberty: Onyenwere had modest fantasy success over the first half of July, averaging 6.4 points and 4.2 rebounds in 19.4 minutes per game. However, she missed two games with a knee injury in mid-July and has had decreased production over her three appearances since then, averaging just 4.0 points and 1.7 rebounds in 10.7 minutes per game. While the 22-year-old had some value in deeper leagues early in July, she's been much less involved as the Liberty prepare for a final playoff push.

Isabelle Harrison, F, Wings: Harrison has had an inconsistent role for the Wings for most of the season and has headed to the bench over the last six games. She scored in double figures in two of her first three appearances after retreating to the bench in mid-July, but she's been much less involved over the last three matchups and was limited to a season-low four minutes during Saturday's win over Atlanta. The 28-year-old has proven that she's capable of contributing for Dallas but has been limited to just 4.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 11.3 minutes per game over her last three appearances.

Injury/Absence Implications

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

Atlanta Dream: Tiffany Hayes left Saturday's game with an ankle injury, and her status for Wednesday's game against the Wings isn't yet clear. Nia Coffey and Monique Billings have remained out over the last week, and the team hasn't yet announced a return timetable for either player.

Chicago Sky: Candace Parker missed two games last week due to a non-COVID illness but will be back in action Tuesday against Dallas. Azura Stevens should reclaim a bench role with Parker back in action.

Connecticut Sun: Bria Hartley sustained a torn ACL in late July and will miss the remainder of the season. Nia Clouden has had a slight uptick in playing time in Hartley's absence.

Dallas Wings: Satou Sabally will miss a seventh consecutive game Tuesday, and it's not yet clear when she'll be back on the court. Arike Ogunbowale is dealing with an ankle injury before Tuesday's game against Chicago but will likely be able to play through the issue. Awak Kuier missed two games with an ankle injury over the last week but returned to the court Saturday. Isabelle Harrison saw decreased playing time upon Kuier's return.

Indiana Fever: Kelsey Mitchell has been ruled out for the remainder of the season due to a partial plantar fascia tear in her left foot. Tiffany Mitchell took on a starting role Sunday, while Destanni Henderson saw plenty of playing time.

Los Angeles Sparks: Lexie Brown has been dealing with an ankle injury that has forced her to miss two of the last three games, while Kristi Toliver aggravated a calf injury Sunday and won't be available Tuesday. Jordin Canada, Brittney Sykes and Chennedy Carter are in line for increased run while Brown and Toliver are sidelined.

Minnesota Lynx: Sylvia Fowles missed a game due to a knee injury in late July but has been back on the court for the last two games. Jessica Shepard has been dealing with a nose issue that hasn't forced her to miss any time.

Phoenix Mercury: Diamond DeShields has been dealing with a hip injury recently and will miss a fifth consecutive game Tuesday. Brianna Turner, Sophie Cunningham and Jennie Simms have seen additional action in DeShields' absence.

Washington Mystics: Elena Delle Donne rested Thursday but has returned to action over the last two games, which were matchups against the Storm on back-to-back days.

Lineup Trends

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

Chicago Sky: Candace Parker will return to action Tuesday against the Wings, while Azura Stevens should retreat to the bench.

Connecticut Sun: Jonquel Jones has returned to the starting lineup over the last two games but has been limited to just 25 minutes in each matchup. Brionna Jones has taken on a bench role over those two games.

Indiana Fever: Tiffany Mitchell took on a starting role Sunday against the Aces after Kelsey Mitchell was ruled out for the season.

Los Angeles Sparks: Kristi Toliver reclaimed her starting role over the last two games, but Jordin Canada will likely return to the starting lineup Tuesday against New York since Toliver has been ruled out.

Minnesota Lynx: Sylvia Fowles has been back in the lineup over the last two games, sending Nikolina Milic to the bench.

Washington Mystics: Elena Delle Donne has started the last two games after resting Thursday, while Myisha Hines-Allen has reclaimed a bench role.

RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only WNBA Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire WNBA fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason Shebilske
Jason joined RotoWire in 2019 as his first position covering fantasy sports. In addition to RotoWire, he writes for Sports Broadcast Journal.
WNBA DFS Picks and Lineup Tips for Sunday, August 14
WNBA DFS Picks and Lineup Tips for Sunday, August 14
WNBA DFS Picks and Lineup Tips for Friday, August 12
WNBA DFS Picks and Lineup Tips for Friday, August 12
WNBA DFS Picks and Lineup Tips for Tuesday, August 9
WNBA DFS Picks and Lineup Tips for Tuesday, August 9
WNBA Fantasy Primer: Stock Watch, Injuries and Trends
WNBA Fantasy Primer: Stock Watch, Injuries and Trends
WNBA DFS Picks and Lineup Tips for Sunday, August 7
WNBA DFS Picks and Lineup Tips for Sunday, August 7
WNBA DFS Picks and Lineup Tips for Wednesday, August 3
WNBA DFS Picks and Lineup Tips for Wednesday, August 3