The Indiana Fever’s season turned from bad to worse when the team announced that leading scorer Kelsey Mitchell would miss the remainder of its games with a torn plantar fascia. Mitchell was averaging 18.4 points per game — seventh in the WNBA — for Indiana, which currently sits at the bottom of the league standings at 5-27.
With just four games remaining, the postseason out of reach and their best player on the mend, the Fever may not seem like an intriguing team to follow for the rest of the regular season. Their situation, however, is still worth watching for fantasy basketball managers, especially in the wake of Mitchell’s injury. It’s a perfect example of what fantasy basketball enthusiasts like to call “silly season,” and we’ll discuss one Fever player who should be on everyone’s radars here on “Three Up, Three Down.”
Destanni Henderson (Indiana Fever)
Henderson came off the bench for the Fever but played 31 minutes in a blowout loss to Las Vegas, shooting 6-for-14 from the field and scoring 16 points. Although Henderson missed all four of her 3-point attempts and turned the ball over four times, she also recorded four assists and knocked down 4-of-5 free throws.
Outlook: The Fever are probably going to spend the rest of the season evaluating the young players on their roster, which, coupled with a lack of healthy ball handlers, means Henderson will get free rein as the team’s primary point guard. Even if she continues to come off the bench for Danielle Robinson, she should get more than enough minutes to make a decent impact in fantasy, whether or not the games she plays in are that competitive.
Azurá Stevens (Chicago Sky)
Stevens has started in place of Candace Parker (illness) for the past two games, totaling 24 points, 14 rebounds, four 3-pointers and seven defensive stats (three steals and four blocks) in 70 minutes of play. Her 12-point, 10-rebound double-double against Connecticut was her first of the 2022 season.
Outlook: The Sky have played a three-player frontcourt rotation for most of the season, and while Chicago head coach James Wade has sprinkled some of Parker’s minutes between Ruthy Hebard and Li Yueru in her absence, Stevens and Emma Meesseman have been the main beneficiaries. We don’t know how long Parker will be out, but as long as she is, Stevens is a must-play thanks to her defensive playmaking and 3-point shooting.
Rebecca Allen (New York Liberty)
Allen’s two-way versatility has been on full display lately. The 6’2 wing recorded three steals and two blocks in a loss to Chicago, then followed that up by scoring 17 points (4-of-5 3-pointers) in a win over Phoenix.
Outlook: Allen has had an up-and-down season and perhaps hasn’t been as productive as expected when it was announced that Betnijah Laney (knee) would be out long-term, but her performance this weekend proved why she’s still worth a gamble in most fantasy formats. Liberty head coach Sandy Brondello has all but removed DiDi Richards and Jocelyn Willoughby from the team’s rotation, so Allen should get a little more opportunity moving forward as New York battles for a playoff appearance.
Tyasha Harris (Dallas Wings)
Harris has played very sparingly as of late, averaging just 6.5 minutes played in the Wings’ last three games. During that span, she is averaging 1.7 points, 0.7 assists and 0.7 turnovers per game.
Outlook: It seems like the Wings are on a permanent minutes watch with at least one player always getting the short end of the stick, and lately that player has been Harris. By comparison, rookie point guard Veronica Burton averaged 14.8 minutes played per game in the Wings’ last three games; neither Burton nor Harris are currently worth playing due to the volatile nature of Dallas’ rotations.
Briann January (Seattle Storm)
January went scoreless for the seventh time this season in the Storm’s recent win over Washington, shooting the ball just twice in 13 minutes played. The 17.5 minutes per game January is averaging in 2022 are by far a career-low, and the usually-reliable shooter is making only 27.9 percent of her 3-point attempts.
Outlook: This has been apparent for a while now, but January’s role on the Storm simply isn’t fantasy-friendly enough to play her, even in the deepest formats. She was brought to Seattle to shore up the team’s perimeter defense, but with her splitting time off the bench with Epiphanny Prince, she doesn’t have the ball in her hands often enough to contribute in other areas of the box score.
Elizabeth Williams (Washington Mystics)
Williams wasn’t much of a factor in the Mystics’ two games against Seattle this past weekend, totaling two points, three rebounds and no defensive stats in 14 minutes played. It’s the first time this season that Williams has played single-digit minutes in back-to-back games.
Outlook: This likely has something to do with Elena Delle Donne playing in both games, which will naturally lead to fewer minutes for the rest of Washington’s bigs, and perhaps Washington head coach Mike Thibault didn’t like how Williams matched up against the Storm frontcourt. Regardless, Williams has plenty of competition on her own team in Shakira Austin and Myisha Hines-Allen, both of whom have a higher offensive ceiling. She’s a risky play when Delle Donne is in the lineup.