WNBA DFS: Slam Dunks and Steals for Sunday, June 2

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MAY 26: Dearica Hamby #5 of the Las Vegas Aces drives against the Los Angeles Sparks during their game at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on May 26, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Aces defeated the Sparks 83-70. 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 Ethan Miller/Getty Images )

There’s only one game on the WNBA schedule for Sunday, June 2 but it offers daily fantasy players a stacked lineup of some of the league’s best talent. Sunday’s late-afternoon contest pits two teams coming off their first losses of the season against each other.

How Does WNBA DFS work?

Fanduel WNBA daily fantasy games, which are the official fantasy games of the league, work differently when there is only one game on the league schedule for a day. Instead of requiring players to select three backcourt and four frontcourt players from those listed in the gallery of players on the teams in action on a given night, fantasy team managers will only select five players total. Available players aren’t selected as either forwards or guards but rather given one of four designations. Those are MVP, Star, Pro and Utility.

Players can select one MVP for their team, whose contributions on the real court will be worth twice the usual amount of points. There is also one slot for a Star, whose production will be worth one and a half times the usual amount. One Pro can be designated as well with a points multiplier of 1.2. To fill out the roster two Utility players can be selected, who will carry normal point values. A player’s actual position on the real court is irrelevant for these types of games.

Fantasy team managers are still given a budget to spend on their entire roster and each player is assigned a monetary value based on previous performances and expectations for the game. 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 owners who selected those players. To win the fantasy games, the team owners’ point totals after all real games have been played must be among the highest in the pool of all the owners who entered into the contest.

All players listed are expected to be in action and play significant minutes if not start for their teams on Sunday, June 2. 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 Sunday, June 2.

How to Use Multipliers

There are two prominent strategies for using multipliers. The first is to use them on the most productive players, thereby maximizing the effect of the multipliers. The simple math in that way of thinking is that 30×2 is greater than 20×2. What fantasy team owners sacrifice to maximize the effect is budget, however.

The other strategy is to use multipliers on less expensive players whose contributions are typically in the mid-range, thereby bringing their point totals up to a higher level while saving cap space. The simple math in that strategy is that five players each producing 25 points is greater than one player putting up 60 and the other four on the roster only contributing 10.

The suggestions for MVP, Star and Pro include one player to consider for each strategy, while the suggestions for Utility will include two for each strategy. They are denoted by the “Slam Dunk” or “Steal” designations.

WNBA Schedule for Sunday, June 2

The broadcast channels listed are local to the team’s areas and fans who live in those regions can watch the games there. The Internet is a splendid tool to find your NESN and MyLVTV channels. Fans out of the Connecticut and Las Vegas markets can watch via WNBA League Pass.

Connecticut Sun at Las Vegas Aces, 6 p.m. ET, NESN/MyLVTV

Two Sunday, June 2 MVP Candidates

Slam Dunk: Jonquel Jones, Connecticut Sun, $11,000 – Jones has been unreal so far on the 2019 season, averaging over 40 fantasy points per game thanks to averaging a double-double in points and rebounds while also averaging two blocked shots per game. What’s even scarier for opponents is that she has attempted only 14 3-point shots so far, meaning there is still potential for her to increase her scoring average as she is among the best shooters from distance in the game.

Steal: Dearica Hamby, Las Vegas Aces, $8,000 – Hamby went off the last time the Aces were at home, netting 47.3 fantasy points in what was arguably the best all-around performance of her career to this point. In the Aces’ first road game, she posted 19.7 fantasy points as she saw her minutes reduced by nearly half. The insertion of Cambage into the lineup had a lot to do with that. She’s somewhat of a gamble as it’s uncertain if she’ll be on the court Sunday closer to the 27 minutes she got in the season opener or the 15 minutes she got in Las Vegas’ second game. To her credit, she has been just as effective in whatever minutes she has seen.

Two Sunday, June 2 Star Candidates

Slam Dunk: Alyssa Thomas, Connecticut Sun, $10,000 – In Connecticut’s lone road game of the season so far Thomas saw a significant reduction in minutes from the 32.5 she averaged in the two home games to start 2019 to just 23. As could be expected, her fantasy production dropped off to just 10.8 points, a far cry from the 37.8 she put up in the season opener. Expect Thomas to see time on the court and produce more equal to the high end than the low on Sunday in Las Vegas. The Aces will be focused on containing Jones and the Sun know that if they stand any shot to pull off the road win they will need 37-point Thomas, not 10-point Thomas.

Steal: Kelsey Plum, Las Vegas Aces, $7,500 – With Plum you can go ahead and write down 20 fantasy points every time out, regardless of the opponent or venue. The Aces’ point saw her assists halved in Las Vegas’ road loss to Phoenix but she doubled her steals and cut her turnovers down by 2/3 to replace that production. Some fantasy players may devalue her because of what could be perceived as a low ceiling but there is a lot of value in consistency as well and putting the Star designation on her transforms her into a 30-point player at a great price.

Two Sunday, June 2 Pro Candidates

Slam Dunk: Kayla McBride, Las Vegas Aces, $9,500 – In the early goings of 2019 McBride is on pace to complete the best season of her career so far offensively. Her averages of 17.5 points on 56 percent shooting show that Las Vegas’ attack is successful this season in putting her in the best position and McBride is cashing in. Her fantasy points average of 28 through two games is reflective of that. Expect the other half of the Aces’ starting guard tandem opposite Plum to continue scoring on Sunday.

Steal: Jackie Young, Las Vegas Aces, $6,500 – Young looked far more comfortable in Las Vegas’ second game of the season as compared to her WNBA debut and the stat sheet for the top overall selection in this year’s draft showed it. She matched her eight points from the season opener but added seven rebounds, three assists and a blocked shot to increase her fantasy production by over 10 points. What’s more, she did that in two fewer minutes. The Aces’ backcourt is just as loaded as its frontcourt and Young is a reason why.

Four Sunday, June 2 Utility Candidates

Steal: Courtney Williams, Connecticut Sun, $9,000 – Williams is one of the reasons why budgeting the cap space is a good idea. She’s averaging 11 points with almost five rebounds and nearly four assists per game and her fantasy point total was actually higher in Connecticut’s road loss than it was in the Sun’s home opener. Her average of 24.9 fantasy points is good enough to stand on its own.

Steal: Jasmine Thomas, Connecticut Sun, $8,500 – Coming into Sunday averaging 14 points, five assists and three rebounds, she may not be related to Alyssa Thomas but she’s just as productive. Like Williams, she didn’t see a drop-off when Connecticut hit the road, actually upping her fantasy total by almost four points as compared to the Sun’s second home game. Fantasy players who prioritized balance should fill out their rosters with Thomas.

Slam Dunk: Carolyn Swords, Las Vegas Aces, $4500 – For fantasy players who splurged on their multipliers and need low-cost options with high upside to fill out their rosters, swinging Las Vegas’ Swords isn’t a bad idea. Many feared that the introduction of Cambage into Las Vegas’ lineup would mean a drastic reduction in Swords’ minutes but her time on the court actually increased when Cambage saw her first action for the Aces. In the Aces’ home opener she posted 10.8 fantasy points in just 13 minutes, and if she can replicate that on Sunday, Swords is well worth this price.

Slam Dunk: Sydney Colson, Las Vegas Aces, $4,500 – Colson may be the most undervalued fantasy player on the young 2019 season. She has 15.5 minutes through Las Vegas’ two games, compiling averages of five points, three assists and 2.5 steals. In the Aces’ last game she also drastically cut down on her turnovers as well. Getting a player who averages 16.1 fantasy points at this price is a deal that’s almost too good to pass up.

Both of these teams struggled in their first road games of the season as compared to their home games so Sunday will be an opportunity for Las Vegas to see if it can replicate its home opener. If the Sun can pull off this road win, it would go a long way toward establishing themselves as a title contender. Either way, fantasy team owners should win.