WNBA DFS: Opening Night Steals and Slam Dunks

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 8: Tiffany Hayes #15 of the Atlanta Dream shoots agasint Rebekkah Brunson #32 and Seimone Augustus #33 of the Minnesota Lynx during the second quarter of Game Two of the 2013 WNBA Finals on October 8, 2013 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

The 23rd WNBA regular season is upon us, with two games tipping off on Friday, May 24. While the Opening Night schedule may not include many of the title favorites as the season begins, there are several potential fantasy stars among the four teams that will be in action.

How Does WNBA DFS work?

Fanduel WNBA daily fantasy games, which are the official fantasy games of the league, require players to select three backcourt and four frontcourt players, listed in the gallery of players on the teams in action on a given night as either forwards or guards. Fantasy team managers are given a budget to spend on their entire roster and each player is assigned a monetary value. Based on last seasons’ performances, preseason performances and expectations for the night’s games. The more productive a player should be, the more expensive she is to own. When the real players collect statistics in the actual games, points are earned for fantasy team managers who selected those players. To win the fantasy games, the team managers’ point totals after all real games have been played must be among the highest in the pool of all the managers who entered into the contest.

Four Guards to Consider for Opening Night

All players are expected to be in action and play significant minutes if not start for their teams on Friday, May 24. Fantasy team managers need to check lineups before the fantasy contests lock to make sure they don’t have a player on their roster who is injured or is not going to play for some other reason. The monetary figures after the players’ names are their cost for owning on FanDuel on Friday, May 24.

Tiffany Hayes, Atlanta Dream, $6,600 – Hayes is the most expensive guard tonight but that’s to be expected. She’s the most consistent scorer out of tonight’s available options, averaging over 12 points per game in Atlanta’s three preseason contests. Scoring is the one statistic that nets team managers the most points and the budget allows for team managers to splurge somewhere. Hayes is among the safest plays against a Dallas Wings team that was among the worst defensive teams in the league in 2018 and allowed 82 points in the first preseason game of this year for the Dream.

Brittany Boyd, New York Liberty, $5,800 – While Hayes isn’t dependable to produce in distribution, Boyd is an assist machine. In tonight’s game against the Indiana Fever, expect her to pad that statistic plenty. She averaged 5.3 per game in 2018 and started all four preseason contests for New York. With Tina Charles and rookie center Han Xu to set up on offensive possessions Friday night, it’s possible Boyd could approach double-figures in assists along with match her season average of 6.4 points of her own.

Asia Durr, New York Liberty, $5,100 – Durr may not start for the Liberty on Friday but even if Kia Nurse gets the starting nod instead, the rookie out of Louisville will see a lot of time on the court. The Rookie of the Year pick showed potential in the Liberty’s last preseason game, scoring 16 points while grabbing four rebounds and making two assists. At the price in her WNBA debut on New York’s home court against the Fever, she’s a good play.

Alex Bentley, Atlanta Dream, $5,000 – A potential candidate for the Sixth Woman of the Year award, Bentley had a successful preseason following up a 2018 season in which she averaged almost 10 points per game coming off the bench for Atlanta. She may do the same tonight, and that’s the reason for her price tag, but like with Durr even if she isn’t in the starting lineup she is going to have plenty of opportunities to make an impact. At home against Dallas, expect her to do just that.

Five Forwards to Consider for Opening Night

Tina Charles, New York Liberty, $8,100 – Charles has been among the most consistent scorers in the league over the past five seasons, averaging almost 20 points per game in 2018. She may see a bit of a decrease in that figure this season, as the talent around her has improved but that should lead to better quality scoring chances for her as well. Like with Hayes, if fantasy team managers want to spend somewhere and if they have already rostered Boyd, it makes sense to double-dip and get Charles too.

Candice Dupree, Indiana Fever, $7,100 – Dupree led Indiana in most relevant statistical categories in 2018 and there’s no reason she should be expected to do any different in 2019. She will get a lot of attention from New York’s defense, but that’s something she is quite accustomed to while remaining productive anyway.

Glory Johnson, Dallas Wings, $6,300 – A return to being healthy should mean a return to a high-level of productivity for Johnson in 2019. With Liz Cambage now in Las Vegas, there are going to be plenty of opportunities for Johnson to regain her form that she showed in her first five seasons in the league when she was a double-double machine. At the price, she may prove to be the steal of the night.

Nia Coffey, Atlanta Dream, $3,700 – Coffey has had an impressive preseason following her trade to Atlanta from New York and while she may not start Friday night, she will see significant minutes especially given her production during the Dream’s three preseason contests. Among the frontcourt value picks, Coffey stands out the most.

Han Xu, New York Liberty, $3,200 – One of the best players to enter the WNBA from China in years, Xu was a force in the WCBA. There’s going to be some adjustment she’ll have to make to be as productive in the WNBA but at this price tag, there’s a lot of upside for fantasy team managers who need to fill their final frontcourt spot on a dime.

There’s no more wait for the WNBA season for fans and fantasy players as the road to the 2019 championship and fantasy winnings start tonight.

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