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Swish Appeal Fantasy: Team Leite bounces back, Team Nemchock remains undefeated

Team Nemchock didn’t have any overly impressive individual performances last week, but still won thanks to balanced contributions up and down its roster and bad injury luck for Team Zack.

Phoenix Mercury v Indiana Fever
Indiana Fever center Aliyah Boston was the highest-scoring player of the week in the Swish Appeal fantasy basketball league, leading Team Leite to victory.
Photo by Pepper Robinson/NBAE via Getty Images

We’re one month (or four weeks, as fantasy basketball players prefer to look at things) into the 2023 WNBA season, and Team Nemchock (Eric Nemchock) remains undefeated in the inaugural Swish Appeal fantasy basketball league. Team Leite (Chelsea Leite) was also victorious, with Aliyah Boston scoring the most fantasy points of any WNBA player last week. Here are the details of last week’s fantasy matchups:

Team Nemchock (Eric Nemchock) defeats Team Zack (Zack Ward) 708.2 — 542.4

Sunday’s five-game slate was good to Team Nemchock (4-0), which got 219.4 of its 708.2 fantasy points on the final day of the week to stay undefeated. For the week, most players on Eric’s roster contributed evenly, despite the team not having many truly standout fantasy performances.

Brittney Sykes led the way for Team Nemchock with 109.9 fantasy points in three games. Sykes benefited from Natasha Cloud’s brief absence, taking on more of a primary ball-handler role for Washington, and played her usual stellar defense, totaling nine steals for the week. Eric also got solid weeks from Jordin Canada (100.6 fantasy points) and Brionna Jones (86.8 fantasy points) despite Jones only playing in two games.

Chicago Sky v Washington Mystics
Brittney Sykes has been playing well for Team Nemchock, particularly in the steals department.
Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

Things might have looked different for Team Zack had Brittney Griner not gotten injured. Griner, who is averaging 42.1 fantasy points on the season (No. 6 in the WNBA), left the Mercury’s June 13 game early with a hip injury and missed the next two games entirely. As any experienced fantasy manager will tell you, it’s difficult to win matchups when your first-round pick misses extended time, so hopefully Zack can get Griner back soon.

On the bright side, Nneka Ogwumike continues to be one of the league’s most productive players. With 135.1 fantasy points in three games, Ogwumike is now averaging 47.5 per game, good for No. 4 among all WNBA players. Her reliability for a Sparks team that has dealt with a plethora of injuries thus far has been invaluable to Los Angeles and Team Zack alike.

Team Leite (Chelsea Leite) defeats Team Cat (Cat Ariail) 706.2 — 538.1

Whenever both WNBA teams score in triple figures in the same game, chances are more than a few players will yield gaudy fantasy scores. That was certainly the case for Saturday’s 109-103 barnburner between the Storm and Wings, and while the headlines were mostly about guards Jewell Loyd and Arike Ogunbowale both scoring career-highs, don’t overlook center Ezi Magbegor’s performance (four 3-pointers and four blocked shots); the young center has been a fantasy gold mine this season, and Team Leite (2-2) has benefited greatly from having her. Magbegor, who is averaging 41 fantasy points on the season, totaled 126.1 in three games last week.

Seattle Storm v Dallas Wings
Ezi Magbegor’s four 3-pointers against the Dallas Wings were big ones for Team Leite.
Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

Chelsea has another up-and-coming star center on her roster in Aliyah Boston, though the Fever rookie is categorized by ESPN as a forward. Regardless, Boston had an incredible week, leading Team Leite with 140.9 fantasy points in three games. She currently ranks No. 11 among all players, averaging 38.1 fantasy points.

Team Cat, hampered by injuries, had a bit of a down week. Kahleah Copper (28 fantasy points per game) played just one game, while Shakira Austin (29.1 fantasy points) and Tiffany Hayes (22.7 fantasy points) were limited by injuries suffered in-game. Alyssa Thomas has been Cat’s MVP this season, leading her team with 49.7 fantasy points per game, but played just two games last week, totaling 116.8 fantasy points.

Team Draves (Zachary Draves) defeats Team Josh (Josh Felton) 586.5 — 423.8

Team Draves (1-3) won its first game last week, handily defeating Team Josh (0-4) behind a host of strong performances from several Atlanta Dream players. Zachary has Allisha Gray, Rhyne Howard and Cheyenne Parker all on his roster; Gray had a particularly productive week, leading Team Draves with 120.2 fantasy points, while Howard and Parker recorded 95.6 and 97.9 fantasy points, respectively.

Also of note for Team Draves was Napheesa Collier, who continues her bounce-back 2023 season as one of the most productive players in fantasy basketball. Collier racked up 82.1 fantasy points in just two games last week, and on the season she’s averaging 42 fantasy points, good for seventh among all players. Not only is Collier averaging a career-high 20.5 points per game, but she’s also a great source of defensive stats (1.5 steals and 1.1 blocks per game), which are highly valuable given our league’s scoring system (for a refresher, revisit our league’s draft results and rules).

Los Angeles Sparks v Atlanta Dream
It was a good week to have Atlanta Dream players on one’s fantasy roster. Rhyne Howard and Cheyenne Parker both came up big for Team Draves.
Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images

Speaking of defensive stats, Breanna Stewart has been on an absolute tear to start the season for Team Josh. Stewart is averaging 1.7 steals and 2.1 blocks per game, contributing to 60.9 average fantasy points, which is by far the most of any WNBA player. Unfortunately for Team Josh, the Liberty played just two games last week; Stewart racked up 128.8 fantasy points in those two games, but it wasn’t enough to win against Team Draves.

Josh also has Jonquel Jones, who has gotten off to a slower start than anticipated (22.9 fantasy points per game), on his roster. As Jones recovers from a stress fracture in her foot, her minutes continue to be limited, though we saw a good sign from her in the Liberty’s last game with her first double-double of the season.

If Team Josh is going to get on the board soon, it will need Jones to continue to produce. It will also need Diana Taurasi to get healthy; the Mercury guard went scoreless on June 13 against Seattle, recording just 7.2 fantasy points in the game, and missed the next two games with a hamstring injury.