WNBA DFS: Slam Dunks and Steals for Saturday, May 25

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 24: Sylvia Fowles #34 of the Minnesota Lynx drives on Nneka Ogwumike #30 of the Los Angeles Sparks during the fourth quarter of Game One of the WNBA finals at Williams Arena on September 24, 2017 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.(Photo by Andy King/Getty Images)

The 23rd WNBA regular season got rolling on Friday, May 24 with four teams in action. Saturday’s slate of late games offers daily fantasy players new options and features one of the league’s title favorites.

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 Saturday, May 25

All players are expected to be in action and play significant minutes if not start for their teams on Saturday, May 25. Saturday’s early game between the Phoenix Mercury and the Seattle Storm in Washington is excluded on all FanDuel contests.

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 Saturday, May 25.

Courtney Williams, Connecticut Sun, $7,100 – Williams had a stellar preseason and in her team’s home opener against the Washington Mystics on Saturday she will be one of Connecticut’s primary scoring options. She averaged nearly 25 fantasy points per game in 2018 thanks to being one of the best rebounding guards in the league, averaging almost six boards per game. She is the second-most expensive guard in the gallery but the question should be can team managers afford not to roster her?

Diamond DeShields, Chicago Sky, $6,900 – When Chicago begins its season in Minnesota Saturday night it will be the beginning of a sophomore campaign for DeShields that many expect to contain her first All-Star appearance. DeShields averaged over 25 fantasy points per game as a rookie in 2018 and won’t have to contend with the defense of former Lynx guard Maya Moore on Saturday. Moore opted not to play in the WNBA this season for personal reasons. DeShields could be the first beneficiary of that decision on Saturday night.

Kristi Tolliver, Washington Mystics, $6,700 – Fantasy team managers looking for a good contrarian play should ponder Tolliver. She averaged almost 25 fantasy points per game in 2018 and is among the league’s best sharpshooters, as four times in her 10-year career she has shot over 42 percent from 3-point range. With Washington forward Elena Delle Donne out with a knee injury, the Mystics will look to replace that offense from anywhere they can. Tolliver could play a big part in that and she is $400 cheaper than Williams.

Odyssey Sims, Minnesota Lynx, $5,300 – If Sims’ final preseason game with her new team was any indication of what can be expected from her Saturday night in her first regular-season home game as a member of the Lynx, she may be the steal of the night. Moore’s absence creates an offensive vacuum for Minnesota which Sims seems primed to fill. She averaged 15.7 fantasy points per game in 2018 with the Los Angeles Sparks. Her expanded role with the Lynx this season could increase that significantly.

Five Forwards to Consider for Saturday, May 25

Sylvia Fowles, Minnesota Lynx, $8,600 – Fowles is the most expensive player in the gallery Saturday night for two reasons. She averaged an astounding 40.22 fantasy points per game in 2018 and she is the obvious top scoring option for Minnesota with Moore away. She is going to draw extra defensive attention from Chicago because of that but that’s something Fowles has dealt with throughout her 11-year career in which she nearly averages a double-double (16.1 points, 9.9 rebounds).

Jonquel Jones, Connecticut Sun, $7,700 – Fantasy team managers who paid any attention to Connecticut’s preseason should be convinced by now that this is Jones’ team and the offense goes through her. She averaged almost 17 points per game during the preseason. A trendy pick for MVP this season, Jones is one of the more underrated perimeter shooters at her position in the league, shooting almost 47 percent from 3-point range in 2018.

Cheyenne Parker, Chicago Sky, $5,700 – For fantasy team owners looking for forwards who are trending up in the fantasy department, there is no further reason to search. Parker averaged over 21 fantasy points per game in 2018 and she has been among Chicago’s leading scorers in preseason action, getting some starts at power forward. Given the dip in production by her teammate Stefanie Dolson, it seems the time to opt for Parker has come.

Emma Meesseman, Washington Mystics, $5,000 – Meesseman took 2018 to play for her native Belgium in international competition but is back for this season and with Delle Donne out figures to be a key cog in Washington’s offense. With the Mystics in 2017, she averaged over 14 points, five rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot per game while shooting almost 49 percent from the field. At this price, she’s a great value.

Damiris Dantas, Minnesota Lynx, $4,800 – It seems Dantas has fully recovered from the ankle injury that hampered her in 2018 and the result could be a cheap pick with a lot of upside for fantasy team managers. Back with the team which drafted her after spending at least parts of the last three seasons in Atlanta, Dantas has shown flashes of her potential during the preseason and at this price, that’s all fantasy team managers are looking for is potential.

Will the Washington Mystics live up to their billing as title contenders in 2019? That question will begin to be answered on Saturday.