WNBA DFS Breakdown: Opening Night

WNBA DFS Breakdown: Opening Night

Rotowire DFS Tools

LINEUP OPTIMIZER

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

DAILY LINEUPS

VALUE REPORT

TEAM TRENDS

OPPONENT AVERAGES

DraftKings and FanDuel Best Values (RotoWire Optimizer)

Top 5 FanDuel

PLAYERPOSTEAMOPPSALFPTSVALMINS
DeWanna BonnerGCON@ATL780050.36.433
Sabrina IonescuGNYIND750046.46.233
Jazmine JonesGNYIND560034.26.124
Sami WhitcombGNYIND380022.35.918
Kayla McBrideGMINPHO360021.35.921

Top 5 DraftKings

PLAYERPOSTEAMOPPSALFPTSVALMINS
Jessica BrelandFIND@NY300029.69.923
Aerial PowersFMINPHO320029.59.224
Erica WheelerGLADAL320027.48.624
Jonquel JonesFCON@ATL700046.26.629
Jantel LavenderFIND@NY300018.1620

Indiana Fever vs New York Liberty

Injuries

Note: All return dates are just estimates

Indiana

NamePosInjuryStatusReturn
Lauren CoxFKneeOUT5/16/2021
Aaliyah WilsonGFootOUT5/30/2021
Florencia ChagasGPersonalOUT10/1/2021
Temi FagbenleFPersonalOUT5/1/2022
Julie AllemandGNot Injury RelatedOUT5/1/2022

New York

NamePosInjuryStatusReturn
Natasha HowardCNot Injury RelatedOUT5/16/2021
Kiah StokesCNot Injury RelatedOUT5/16/2021
Rebecca AllenFNot Injury RelatedOUT5/16/2021
Leaonna OdomFAchillesOUT5/16/2021
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

2020 Player Stats

Indiana

PlayerTeamPosGMinPTSREBASTSTLBLK3PM
Kelsey MitchellIndG2232.117.92.22.80.60.12.5
Candice DupreeIndF2230.312.55.72.50.70.40.1
Tiffany MitchellIndG1926.612.73.42.60.60.10.9
Teaira McCowanIndC2221.210.97.30.60.310
Julie AllemandIndG2232.58.54.55.81.10.42
Kennedy BurkeIndG2218.27.21.81.10.60.40.7
Natalie AchonwaIndF1820.17.85.51.70.50.60
Lauren CoxIndF1412.73.63.31.40.40.30.2
Victoria ViviansIndG614.24.82.30.50.200.3
Kathleen DoyleIndG188.61.50.81.10.400.3
Kamiah SmallsIndG714.33.91.120.10.11
Stephanie MavungaIndF511.8540.600.40
Alisia JenkinsIndF12010000

New York

PlayerTeamPosGMinPTSREBASTSTLBLK3PM
Kia NurseNYG2127.512.22.92.30.50.21.5
Layshia ClarendonNYG1926.111.52.53.90.900.8
Jazmine JonesNYG2021.410.84.12.31.40.50.8
Amanda Zahui B.NYC2125.398.51.90.91.21.6
Jocelyn WilloughbyNYG2217.45.82.40.90.70.30.7
Kiah StokesNYC2227.35.76.71.20.51.20.9
Leaonna OdomNYF2220.65.52.30.70.70.40.2
Kylee ShookNYF2014.54.12.80.60.40.50.2
Paris KeaNYG11156.921.50.60.31.2
Megan WalkerNYF1811.43.31.50.30.200.3
Joyner HolmesNYF19102.92.70.70.10.10.2
Sabrina IonescuNYG326.718.34.740.702.3

The Skinny

This matchup features the two worst teams in the league last season by net rating, with the Liberty checking in last and the Fever coming in 11th. The two teams don't figure to be a ton better this season, though the Liberty are in markedly worse shape to open the campaign due to the laundry list of absences noted above. Because of that, there appears to be plenty of value potentially available on the Liberty side if you're playing on FanDuel tonight. Sabrina Ionescu, Jazmine Jones and Sami Whitcomb all appear on the list because of the volume of minutes they should play. On the opposing side, we find that Jessica Breland may have been overlooked in the pricing considering she joins an underwhelming Indiana squad after starting every game she played in from 2017-19 (she sat out 2020). Breland may not quite hit the same minutes count she had in the three prior seasons and may not start the opener, but she should still be heavily involved in the rotation and the Fever are down some frontcourt depth with Lauren Cox out. Not included on the list but also worth mentioning is that Kylee Shook, who should be allotted all of the minutes she can handle with goth Natasha Howard and Kiah Stokes out.

Connecticut Sun vs Atlanta Dream

Injuries

Note: All return dates are just estimates

Connecticut

NamePosInjuryStatusReturn
Jasmine ThomasGNot Injury RelatedOUT5/16/2021
Alyssa ThomasFAchillesOUT9/7/2021

Atlanta

NamePosInjuryStatusReturn
Tiffany HayesGNot Injury RelatedOUT5/19/2021
Cheyenne ParkerFNot Injury RelatedOUT5/19/2021
Raquel CarreraCNot Injury RelatedOUT5/29/2021
Maite CazorlaGPersonalOUT5/1/2022

2020 Player Stats

Connecticut

PlayerTeamPosGMinPTSREBASTSTLBLK3PM
DeWanna BonnerConG2233.319.77.831.70.51.2
Alyssa ThomasConF2132.815.594.820.30
Brionna JonesConC2126.111.25.611.70.70
Jasmine ThomasConG1925.510.21.741.30.31.1
Natisha HiedemanConG2218.56.11.91.90.401
Kaila CharlesConG2117.95.42.60.90.80.30.5
Bria HolmesConG1816.24.91.81.10.70.30.6
Briann JanuaryConG1323.351.23.40.60.20.8
Kaleena Mosqueda-LewisConF1610.33.41.30.30.20.10.8
Beatrice MompremierConF218.92.33.30.10.20.60
Essence CarsonConG1111.23.21.50.60.40.10.5
Theresa PlaisanceConF136.92.510.10.40.20.4
Jacki GemelosConG64.81.80.30.20.300.5

Atlanta

PlayerTeamPosGMinPTSREBASTSTLBLK3PM
Betnijah LaneyAtlG2233.517.24.941.60.11.4
Courtney WilliamsAtlG2030.814.67.23.20.70.10.4
Chennedy CarterAtlG1625.417.42.33.40.90.30.8
Elizabeth WilliamsAtlF2229.410.15.71.40.81.40
Monique BillingsAtlF2227.18.58.51.21.10.80
Shekinna StricklenAtlG2221.96.11.90.60.301.5
Blake DietrickAtlG22215.91.63.40.80.11.2
Glory JohnsonAtlF1815.44.73.70.60.80.40.6
Kalani BrownAtlC106.131.200.10.10
Alexis JonesAtlG68.8400.80.501.2
Jaylyn AgnewAtlF125.91.30.40.3000.3
Brittany BrewerAtlF56.60.8100.60.80
Kaela DavisAtlG21000000
Erica McCallAtlF15020100

The Skinny

The Sun have escaped most of the overseas absentees, but they will still be down a couple of key players. Jasmine Thomas' absence should open minutes for Natisha Hiedeman to run the point for Connecticut on Friday, which should shoot her value up for the night considerably. Alyssa Thomas also suffered an injury before the season that will leave the Sun down an expected big-time contributor for most, if not all of the 2021 campaign. DeWanna Bonner also shows up as arguably the best value of the night on FanDuel for the Friday slate, and she shouldn't be too difficult to fit in the lineup given the numerous value options available in multiple games. Atlanta, a three-point underdog to the Sun, isn't projected to claim huge value plays on the night, but Chennedy Carter should remain under consideration on both sets and Tianna Hawkins and Courtney Williams could be worth a look on FanDuel if you're looking for players who may not be utilized quite as much as the obvious plays. Carter and Williams may be leaned on a bit more heavily than usual with Tiffany Hayes out and Hawkins likely benefits from Cheyenne Parker's unavailability.

Phoenix Mercury vs Minnesota Lynx

Injuries

Note: All return dates are just estimates

Phoenix

NamePosInjuryStatusReturn
Kia VaughnCNot Injury RelatedOUT5/16/2021
Bria HartleyGKneeOUT6/1/2021

Minnesota

NamePosInjuryStatusReturn
Kayla McBrideGNot Injury RelatedGTD5/14/2021
Napheesa CollierFNot Injury RelatedOUT5/18/2021
Rennia DavisGFootOUT5/18/2021
Maya MooreFPersonalOUT3/1/2022

2020 Player Stats

Phoenix

PlayerTeamPosGMinPTSREBASTSTLBLK3PM
Skylar Diggins-SmithPhoG2230.717.73.34.20.90.52.1
Diana TaurasiPhoG1928.118.74.24.510.43.2
Brittney GrinerPhoC1231.817.77.530.31.80
Bria HartleyPhoG1324.814.62.94.51.201.9
Brianna TurnerPhoF2227.97.291.81.120
Shatori Walker-KimbroughPhoG21197.31.61.51.10.41
Kia VaughnPhoC2218.96.13.61.50.50.30
Alanna SmithPhoF1915.66.13.61.20.30.80.5
Sophie CunninghamPhoG2118.9510.80.50.10.6
Nia CoffeyPhoF1515.32.72.50.80.30.30.5
Shey PeddyPhoG817.6432.41.50.10.3
Alisia JenkinsPhoF211.541.50000

Minnesota

PlayerTeamPosGMinPTSREBASTSTLBLK3PM
Napheesa CollierMinF2234.216.193.31.81.30.9
Crystal DangerfieldMinG213016.223.60.901.6
Damiris DantasMinC2226.612.96.12.61.10.21.8
Bridget CarletonMinG2225.86.63.52.50.701
Rachel BanhamMinG20176.91.32.40.50.11.3
Odyssey SimsMinG1318.59.423.50.50.10.6
Lexie BrownMinG17226.41.92.41.800.8
Sylvia FowlesMinC72414.69.70.90.91.10
Shenise JohnsonMinG1712.55.11.91.20.90.10.4
Mikiah Herbert HarriganMinF2111.13.82.30.30.40.40.7
Erica McCallMinF199.42.72.50.20.30.40.1
Kayla AlexanderMinC165.62.30.90.20.10.20
Karima Christmas-KellyMinG212.54.530.51.50.50
Megan HuffMinF31.7010.3000

The Skinny

Phoenix is another team that hasn't been bit very hard by the overseas bug, missing only Kia Vaughn for the opener for that reason. It should be the usual cast of characters for the most part for Phoenix, which likely means fewer value plays for a squad that checks in s a one-point underdog in a contest with the second-lowest (163) total on the slate. Kia Nurse, Brianna Turner and Alanna Smith are considered the best options if you're interested, while Phoenix's big salary players are pushed pretty far down the list. Minnesota is in a similar boat with plenty of frontcourt depth to cover its primary absentee in MVP candidate Napheesa Collier. Looks for the combination of Sylvia Fowles, Damiris Dantas, Jessica Shepard and Aerial Powers should absorb the majority of those minutes, though Bridget Carleton could also join the fray. Kayla McBride's status is also one worth monitoring leading up to tip-off. If she is absent, Carleton and Rachel Banham may be the primary beneficiaries there.

Dallas Wings vs Los Angeles Sparks

Injuries

Note: All return dates are just estimates

Dallas

NamePosInjuryStatusReturn
Marina MabreyGUndisclosedGTD5/14/2021
Awak KuierCNot Injury RelatedOUT5/22/2021
Satou SaballyFNot Injury RelatedOUT5/29/2021
Imani McGee-StaffordCPersonalSUSP5/1/2022

Los Angeles

NamePosInjuryStatusReturn
Amanda Zahui BCBackOUT5/21/2021
Maria VadeevaCSuspensionOUT8/1/2021
Ivana RacaFNot Injury RelatedOUT5/1/2022
Aina AyusoGNot Injury RelatedOUT5/1/2022
Gabby WilliamsFSuspensionOUT5/1/2022

2020 Player Stats

Dallas

PlayerTeamPosGMinPTSREBASTSTLBLK3PM
Arike OgunbowaleDalG223422.82.83.41.502.2
Allisha GrayDalG2026.213.14.21.31.10.31.3
Satou SaballyDalF1628.213.97.82.50.80.90.8
Marina MabreyDalG1822.410.63.32.41.40.12.1
Kayla ThorntonDalF2225.37.35.10.80.90.21.1
Tyasha HarrisDalG2119.66.81.22.80.90.10.9
Katie Lou SamuelsonDalG222052.41.40.70.40.9
Isabelle HarrisonDalC1319.86.44.61.40.70.40
Bella AlarieDalF22142.72.90.50.60.90
Astou NdourDalC1311.63.52.90.50.20.50.5
Moriah JeffersonDalG916.753.12.10.80.20.2
Megan GustafsonDalF95.21.61.20.100.10

Los Angeles

PlayerTeamPosGMinPTSREBASTSTLBLK3PM
Candace ParkerLAF2230.214.79.74.61.21.20.9
Chelsea GrayLAG2230.9143.75.31.50.10.8
Nneka OgwumikeLAF1826.413.34.81.71.10.20.5
Riquna WilliamsLAG2121.110.51.81.51.10.32
Brittney SykesLAG2124.610.12.62.11.50.30.8
Te'a CooperLAG2017.37120.700.6
Sydney WieseLAG1919.16.81.71.20.60.11.3
Seimone AugustusLAG2115.85.91.81.20.60.10.6
Kristine AnigweLAF1711.64.62.60.20.60.40
Tierra Ruffin-PrattLAG1714.82.92.10.90.60.20.4
Marie GulichLAC129.92.41.50.60.30.30
Reshanda GrayLAF106.21.42.80.30.10.40

The Skinny

Dallas will be down its No. 2 overall picks from this year and last year for this one, as Sabally is still playing overseas and rookie Awak Kuier is waiting for her visa issues to get resolved. Given the team's rather thin backcourt at the moment, that should mean extra minutes for Isabelle Harrison and rookie Charli Collier to help handle the size of the Sparks' frontcourt. Harrison could be a strong candidate coming in at a rather low salary, though you'll have to pick your spots using value plays because there are so many Friday. Erica Wheeler, Brittney Sykes and Chiney Ogwumike are all listed as expected starters for the Sparks on Friday and the trio all come in with reasonable salaries, so they could be worth a look if you're looking for some middle-of-the-road players to fill in the cracks of a lineup on FanDuel. Wheeler, however, is a particularly strong value option on DraftKings at just $3,200 and could be used as a low-salary value option. The Sparks sport the highest expected score on the slate, but this also has the most blowout potential, so that should be factored in to a minor extent.

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.
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
Chris Benzine
Chris is a sports editor for various sports on the site and also a consistent contributor in the college sports arena.
WNBA DFS Breakdown: Thursday
WNBA DFS Breakdown: Thursday
WNBA DFS Breakdown: Tuesday
WNBA DFS Breakdown: Tuesday
WNBA DFS Breakdown: Sunday
WNBA DFS Breakdown: Sunday
WNBA DFS Breakdown: Thursday
WNBA DFS Breakdown: Thursday
WNBA DFS Breakdown: Tuesday
WNBA DFS Breakdown: Tuesday
WNBA DFS Breakdown: Sunday
WNBA DFS Breakdown: Sunday