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WNBA Fantasy Sleepers For 2024

Diana Taurasi WNBA dfs lineup picks daily fantasy basketball

The WNBA season is just a couple of weeks away. ESPN is offering season-long fantasy leagues again this year, so it's a good time to sign up and try your hand at WNBA fantasy. And if you're new to the sport, well... hi! I'm Justin Carter, RotoBaller's WNBA expert, and I'm here to talk about some fantasy sleepers who can help your roster.

There's more attention on the league this season than there's been in a while because Iowa star Caitlin Clark is on her way to the W. I actually considered putting her in this article because her ranking on ESPN is 14th, making her the eighth guard in their rankings. She could definitely outperform that, but then I looked at her ADP and saw everyone was drafting her really, really high, so in terms of where people are actually taking her, she's become a little overrated.

Below are four players who could return more value than expected in 2024 based on ESPN's current WNBA fantasy rankings.

 

Teaira McCowan - Dallas Wings

Rank: 39th / C5

Last season, Dallas Wings center Teaira McCowan was a popular breakout candidate. And while she did post a career-high 11.9 points per game while also adding 9.1 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per contest, she ultimately didn't really end up making the kind of major statistical leap that people expected.

A big part of that was Satou Sabally emerging as one of the WNBA's best players, which took usage away from McCowan. Well, Sabally had shoulder surgery in the offseason and is set to miss at least the first 25 games of the year, as the team's president has said she won't return until the Olympic break.

That should lead to higher usage for McCowan. Last season, McCowan played 26.1 minutes per game, but part of why she didn't post monster numbers was that she had the second-lowest usage rate of her WNBA career. With Sabally sidelined, expect the team to work the ball inside to McCowan more.

Another thing that makes McCowan so dangerous is her rebounding skill. She's actually the WNBA's career leader in offensive rebound percentage at 16.3%. That dropped a bit in 2023 because of her 14.9 offensive rebound percentage. Part of that is because Sabally hits the offensive glass well, ranking sixth in total offensive boards last season. With her gone, McCowan should be an offensive rebound magnet.

 

Dana Evans - Chicago Sky

Rank: 54th / G26

The Sky look like one of the league's worst teams this year. One big part of that is that the team's guard rotation is really iffy. Kahleah Copper and Courtney Williams are gone, so the team's rotation is pretty wide open after Marina Mabrey.

Dana Evans and Lindsay Allen should compete for the point guard role, though it's possible Chennedy Carter will surprise everyone and win out. Still, Evans feels like the most likely starting point guard, especially with the team needing the offense that she brings. There simply isn't anyone else on this roster—aside from Carter, but she's never lived up to her potential—who can create shots like Evans can. Mabrey's a great shooter, but Evans has the ability to really take on a big scoring role out on the wing.

Evans has struggled to find consistency in the WNBA, but there have been times when she's lit it up. Last season, she averaged a career-high 9.0 points per game in 21.5 minutes of action. One interesting split stat is that in the three games she played 30-plus minutes, Evans averaged 17.0 points per game, and in the 21 games that she averaged 20-29 minutes, her scoring average was 10.3. In extended minutes, she's going to get buckets.

 

Myisha Hines-Allen - Washington Mystics

Rank: 79th / F33

If you've followed the WNBA for a while, you'll remember when Myisha Hines-Allen broke out in 2020, averaging 17.0 points and 8.9 rebounds per game for the Mystics during the Wubble season. In the three subsequent seasons, she's failed to live up to that year. In 2023, she posted her worst numbers since 2019, averaging 5.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game.

Still, I think there's upside with Hines-Allen in the later rounds of fantasy drafts. Elena Delle Donne is sitting out the 2024 season, which likely means that Hines-Allen will start at the four for the team, with rookie Aaliyah Edwards backing her up. If Edwards can acclimate quickly to the W, she can definitely pass MHA up in the rotation.

But Edwards is ranked 51st overall and is the No. 19 forward. The fantasy rankings are already baking in her beating out Hines-Allen, which simply hasn't happened yet. Until it does, I see Hines-Allen as a potential eight-point, five-rebound player in the early days of the season. Not great, but there's enough value for her to be a streaming option in your lineup.

 

Natasha Mack - Phoenix Mercury

Rank: Unranked

Natasha Mack isn't in the top 100 in ESPN's rankings. She also might not even make the Phoenix Mercury's final roster. But the team has a huge hole at the power forward spot and while they'll likely play a lot of small ball, the lack of frontcourt depth could lead to a lot of minutes for Mack if she makes the roster.

Mack has played just four WNBA games, so it's hard to really talk about her in professional terms. However, in college she was a monster on the inside for Oklahoma State. In her final season, she averaged 19.8 points per game on 52.9% shooting and pulled down 12.4 rebounds per game. She also blocked 4.0 shots per contest, the best mark in Division I.

Over the last few years, the Mercury have played a defense-first big in Brianna Turner. In an offense with Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi, and Kahleah Copper, there aren't a ton of shots to go around, so pairing Griner with a hard-nosed defender makes sense. Mack isn't a Turner-level defender, but she has all the tools and I could see her getting strong minutes for the Mercury.

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