April 12, 2024

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Fantasy Women’s Basketball: Impact of Big Names on New Teams

5 min read
Fantasy Women's Basketball: Impact of Big Names on New Teams

This year’s offseason saw a lot of movement and a number of key players leaving teams they had spent their entire careers with.

Some of the top players from the previous season are either on a different roster right now or are still unsigned in 2023.

That includes:

  • 5 of the top 20 PPG leaders from the previous year.
  • 7 of the top 20 APG leaders from the previous year.
  • 7 of the last season’s top 20 RPG leads.

Famous athletes who have switched teams include Breanna Stewart, Candace Parker, Jonquel Jones, and Courtney Vandersloot. But how might their performance this season be impacted by the fact that so many well-known fantasy athletes are changing teams?

New York is Loaded

Stewart, the league’s top scorer from last year, Vandersloot, the second-leading assist provider from last season, and Jones, a top-five rebounder from 2022, have all been added to the Liberty. In addition to all of this, Sabrina Ionescu led New York in both scoring and assists.

Breanna Stewart, F (39.1 projected fantasy PPG)

Stewart shouldn’t see much, if any, of an impact on her numbers from joining a team with other super stars. In each of her six professional seasons, when the Storm averaged more than 18 PPG, she was the team’s top scorer. She is adaptable and can play with almost anyone.

Adding Tina Charles, the leading scorer in 2021, to the Storm’s roster in the middle of last season is a prime example. Stewart’s output was hardly affected. Even with Charles (22.0 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 3.3 APG, 2.0 3-pt FG per game), she still managed to average 21.6 PPG, 7.5 APG, 2.5 APG, and 1.9 3-pt FG per game.

Stewart will still rank among the top fantasy players in the league if you are looking for someone to draft with your first pick, so don’t be concerned about her stats changing.

Courtney Vandersloot, G (26.6 projected fantasy PPG)

For the first time in her career, the four-time All-Star Vandersloot is joining a team with a brand-new roster and an All-Star point guard in Ionescu.

Ionescu performed admirably as a catch-and-shoot player last season, which is good news for Vandersloot. Synergy estimates that Ionescu averaged 1.09 points per play on catch-and-shoot plays as opposed to just 0.86 off the dribble.

Because of this, the Vandersloot can play point guard and concentrate on facilitating, which is similar to how she operated when she was a member of the Sky. Ionescu could still compete at a high level in fantasy basketball by concentrating more on scoring and rebounding than serving as the team’s primary facilitator.

Jonquel Jones, F (31.3 projected fantasy PPG)

The 2021 MVP’s statistics dropped last season, and a large part of that was because she was a member of a team with a lot of talented players. Given that the Sun had to employ a more evenly distributed scoring attack due to her presence on a team with four other career All-Stars, Jones’ output was diminished. Her productivity might be comparable to last season’s due to the talented Liberty team that is fielding this year.

Other Notables in New Places

Candace Parker, F, Las Vegas Aces (32.0 projected fantasy PPG)

The starting lineup for the Aces will likely see the two-time MVP replace Dearica Hamby. Parker is a better 3-point shooter than Hamby, which will force the defense to open up and give A’ja Wilson more one-on-one opportunities in the post and from mid-range. Additionally, Parker is a better connector, which might aid in getting Wilson more touches where she belongs. Wilson will likely have a fantastic year again.

Three players on the Aces roster from the previous year averaged 15+ points per game in addition to three players who averaged 3+ assists per game. Parker’s statistics might suffer because this team’s starting lineup has a lot of depth in terms of scoring and assisting. Since so many of the Aces’ stars are already familiar with their roles from the previous season, it might take her some time to understand what her role entails.

Natasha Howard, F, Dallas Wings (31.9 projected fantasy PPG)

Last year, Howard was the Liberty’s second-leading scorer, and he was traded to the Wings this offseason. Teaira McCowan, a true center, and Arike Ogunbowale, one of the league’s top shooting guards, are on her new team’s roster. It might have a negative effect on her score. However, since four of the top six rebounders from the previous season are no longer on the Wings’ roster, she might be able to make up for that with her rebounding. Her fantasy stats with this team should slightly decline, in my opinion.

Marina Mabrey, G, Chicago Sky (29.3 projected fantasy PPG)

The Sky may have made one of their best moves when they acquired Mabrey in the offseason. A great 3-point shooter like Mabrey might also find it to be the ideal role. Chicago required a 3-point threat because they lost 71% of their 3-point output from the previous year. Mabrey will probably have a career year this year and rank among the league’s 3-point shooting leaders.

Allisha Gray, G, Atlanta Dream (27.6 projected fantasy PPG)

Gray brings some experience to this roster as she joins a young Atlanta team. As their team’s second-leading scorer from last year, Tiffany Hayes, she will assist in her replacement. In 2022, The Dream’s offense struggled, averaging 78.5 PPG (11th in the league), and Gray’s experience and offensive skill could be used much more on this roster.

Tiffany Hayes, G, Connecticut Sun (26.6 projected fantasy PPG)

With no player scoring more than 15 PPG for the Sun last season, Hayes could be a great addition. Courtney Williams, a guard who played for Connecticut, left in free agency as well, but Hayes, an outstanding scorer, could fill that void. She is also a threat from beyond the arc, something the Sun needed given that they averaged just 6.4 threes per game in 2022 (11th in the league). With this Connecticut team, she might have a breakthrough season.

Courtney Williams, G, Chicago Sky (24.2 projected fantasy PPG)

In the offseason, Williams joined a Sky team that was severely depleted. Chicago needs offense given that four of their top five scorers from the previous season won’t be back in 2023. Since the Sun were a loaded team last year, Williams may have a great chance to be the team’s primary scorer this time around.

Dearica Hamby, F, Los Angeles Sparks

Hamby, who was dealt by the Aces to the Sparks this offseason after giving birth to her son in March, will rejoin the team. Despite the lack of a schedule, Hamby is anticipated to play again this year. She might end up being a great role player for you to have if you decide to add her to your roster later in the season. A talented forward named Nneka Ogwumike will be playing next to her. Since Hamby has played with A’ja Wilson for the last five seasons, during which time she has averaged 10.2 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 1.7 APG, and 1.1 SPG, she is accustomed to playing with great forwards.

Reference: www.espn.com

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