Six weeks into the Swish Appeal fantasy basketball season, Team Nemchock (Eric Nemchock) is still undefeated. Eric’s team survived a close call against Team Draves (Zachary Draves), which enjoyed a career performance from Rhyne Howard and Napheesa Collier’s continued brilliance.
Team Nemchock (Eric Nemchock) defeats Team Draves (Zachary Draves) 845.3 - 776.9
Team Nemchock lost a big part of its success when Sun center Brionna Jones ruptured her Achilles. Jones, whose 37.8 fantasy points per game ranked No. 4 among centers, was playing at an All-Star level for Connecticut, and in Swish Appeal’s fantasy league, each team must have at least one center on its roster, so her injury was a big one for Eric.
Nevertheless, Team Nemchock remained undefeated, thanks in large part to A’ja Wilson. The reigning MVP racked up 147.3 fantasy points in three games last week, upping her season average to 48.1, which ranks No. 2 among all WNBA players. In an unexpected development, ESPN has also recently decided to re-classify Wilson as both a forward and a center; prior to this, she was only listed as a forward, but her new dual-position eligibility will be of great benefit to Team Nemchock and any other fantasy owner.
Minnesota’s Napheesa Collier, who Team Draves drafted at No. 4 overall, continues to play stellar basketball. 165.3 fantasy points in three games made Collier the highest-scoring player in our league last week, and it’s hard not to see her being this productive for the rest of the season for the rebuilding Lynx, who have made her their go-to player.
Team Draves also has to be happy with the performance it got from Rhyne Howard last week — specifically, during the Dream’s last game, when the reigning Rookie of the Year dropped a career-high 43 points. Howard is now averaging 35.6 fantasy points per game for Team Draves, which is No. 5 among guards.
Team Cat (Cat Ariail) defeats Team Josh (Josh Felton) 644.8 - 476.3
As any experienced fantasy manager will tell you, a major key to a successful season is drafting players who outperform their average draft position (ADP).
Team Cat has perhaps the biggest draft steal of the season in Wings forward Satou Sabally, who once again put together a big week in fantasy despite the Wings playing only two games. Sabally, who is in the midst of a breakout season, was drafted by Cat in round No. 7 of our fantasy league and currently ranks No. 6 among all WNBA players in fantasy points, averaging 45.4 per game. Forward is a stacked fantasy position (all of the five players ranking ahead of Sabally are classified as forwards), but for Sabally to even be in that conversation given her ADP of 26.8 is a complete game-changer for Team Cat.
And speaking of impressive, how about Breanna Stewart? She’s been the most productive player in fantasy basketball this season and has carried Team Josh, averaging 54.8 fantasy points per game. Obviously, the ADP value (1.3) isn’t nearly as high with Stewart, as she was the No. 1 overall player drafted in most leagues, but when she’s giving that kind of a return on those managers’ investments, they can’t argue with the results.
Josh will need bigger contributions from his players on the margins, however. Wings guard Veronica Burton’s fantasy outlook is not looking as good as it did early in the season, especially after Dallas signed veteran Odyssey Sims. Burton totaled just 12.7 fantasy points for Team Josh in two games last week. Storm center Mercedes Russell seems to be getting similarly squeezed out of playing time, totaling 19.4 fantasy points last week, though she did miss one of the two games the Storm played against Minnesota, so maybe she will bounce back this week.
Team Zack (Zack Ward) defeats Team Leite (Chelsea Leite) 858.8 - 748.4
It was a good week to have Sky guard Courtney Williams on your fantasy team, and in our league, that’s Team Zack. Though she had been struggling with her shot, Williams’ role as the Sky’s point guard has upped her peripheral statistics, and she was able to put it all together last week, recording a triple-double against Los Angeles and then a 28-point, eight-assist game against Indiana.
Zack also got another big week from a guard who’s been doing it all season in Jewell Loyd. Loyd, who currently ranks No. 7 in our league in fantasy points per game (No. 1 among guards) with 42.5, racked up 127.5 in three games last week. She’s had the greenest of green lights for the Storm as they rebuild, and things will likely continue that way unless Seattle decides to scale her back toward the end of the season.
Team Leite, meanwhile, has the No. 8 and No. 10 ranked players in fantasy points per game in Ezi Magbegor (39.4) and Aliyah Boston (38.1), respectively. Both Magbegor and Boston are two of the WNBA’s brightest young frontcourt stars, and their ability to contribute on the boards and on defense will make them attractive draft targets in leagues that reward defensive stats like ours. Magbegor and Boston combined to score 225.5 fantasy points last week for Team Leite. Chelsea will need more from Mercury guard Sug Sutton, however, who has fallen back to Earth after a hot start to the season; Sutton recorded 40.5 fantasy points in three games.