With only a handful of games left in the regular 2021 WNBA season, we get a clearer picture of what the post-season will look like, at least about who’s in and who’s out. There is still a lot of seed to decide, with the lower part of the mark list still quite volatile.
The Dallas Wings, Washington Mystics, New York Liberty and Los Angeles Sparks are all teams that could possibly finish with the final two playoffs. With that in mind, it’s important for fantasy basketball fans to judge each team carefully. Do they do everything they can to do the post-season? What is their strategy? Will they rely more on certain players than earlier in the season?
Players like the Mystics’ Natasha Cloud and the Wings’ Allisha Gray were especially reliable for their respective teams late in the end, which made them a fantastic asset – something that should continue, given the teams’ places on the play-off bubble. Let’s take a closer look at Cloud, Gray and a host of other names, regarding the WNBA fantasy basketball game coming into September.
Allisha Gray (Dallas Wings)
Gray recorded her second consecutive double double against Atlanta on Sunday, with 10 points and 14 rebounds. It was also Gray’s fifth consecutive game played for at least 30 minutes; she averaged 12.6 points and eight rebounds per game during the team, along with one steal and 1.4 blocked shots.
Prospects: Gray remains as steady as it gets, and it’s nice to be able to rely on at least one or two Wings players to produce consistently. The hard minutes are the most encouraging of all, especially after Dallas head coach Vicki Johnson was open. expressed her frustration with Gray’s game. Since this was apparently in the past, expect Gray to be a constant fantasy contributor for the rest of the season.
Natasha Cloud (Washington Mystics)
Cloud put together a healthy, 12-point, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals points in the Mystics’ recent loss to Minnesota. She is currently second in the WNBA in assists per game (6.6) and has recorded five double-digit assists during the season.
Prospects: Cloud’s shooting may be inconsistent, but she’s sharpened her floor game this season, and her steadfastness toward defense and leadership means that Mystics head coach Mike Thibault will find it difficult in most circumstances to get her off the floor. As a result, she remains a trusted play in all fantasy formats.
Elizabeth Williams (Atlanta Dream)
Williams blocked four shots against Dallas on Sunday – the third time in the last four games that she has done so. Williams has averaged 5.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, two assists and 2.6 blocked shots over her last five games.
Prospects: It’s been a disappointing season for Williams (for most of the dream, really), as her score has fallen off a cliff, and it could be that the Wings just do not have the size to go against her. However, both Tianna Hawkins and Crystal Bradford remain injured, and Candice Dupree at mid-season does not take Atlanta’s short- or long-term plans into account. the season.
Crystal Dangerfield (Minnesota Lynx)
Dangerfield played just 17 minutes as the Lynx’s starting point guard last Saturday and missed all four of her shots from the field, scoring only two assists. Although Minnesota put his opponent away Dangerfield has also not been particularly productive early in recent games, averaging 5.6 points and 1.6 assists over her past five.
Prospects: This is a problem that surfaced early in the 2021 season, and unless Dangerfield grows a few inches, she runs the risk of being played by bigger guards off the floor. The recent injury of Layshia Clarendon has not given Dangerfield a big chance to return to 2020, and Minnesota head coach Cheryl Reeve’s sudden confidence in Rachel Banham (13 points and eight assists on Saturday) does not look like Dangerfield a very viable fantasy option at the moment.
Theresa Plaisance (Washington Mystics)
Plaisance saw just seven minutes of play time for the second consecutive game in Washington’s blowout loss to Minnesota, scoring two points, taking two rebounds and scoring two steals. Those were the least minutes a healthy Mystics big man named Tina Charles did not play: Erica McCall starts and plays 19 minutes while Megan Gustafson plays 12 minutes off the bench.
Prospects: Plaisance is rarely drafting big statlines, but she can hit three points and record defensive stats, so it’s disappointing that she did not get any more burns in the absence of Elena Delle Donne and Myisha Hines-Allen. Her minutes have varied a lot by late — she played at least 20 minutes in three consecutive games after playing just seven on Aug. 22 — so it’s a bit of a risk to play her into fantasy.
Betnijah Laney (New York Liberty)
Laney had, perhaps her worst outing of the season last Thursday, against Seattle, shooting just 1-out-of-4 from the field and turning the ball over nine times. This continued a worrying trend for Laney, whose score and percentage in the field dropped every month since her terrifying start to the season.
Prospects: The most improved player of 2020 has had a lot of trouble lately, but to be honest, she is far from the only Liberty player who has not synced. Laney is still a pretty high stakes player who can make her presence felt in different ways, so do not turn off this game. However, keep in mind that she has a sense of turnover, which caused some frustrating rules.