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WNBA Fantasy schedule breakdown: Week 3

There aren’t any games on Monday, but that doesn’t mean that we don't have another exciting week in the W coming up. Before we get into that, let’s take a look back at last week.

Arike Ogunbowale has been dominant through the first five games of the season, averaging 28.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 2.4 steals and 3.2 triples in 38.2 minutes per game. That includes her dropping 40 in a win over the Mercury on Saturday, which was her highest-scoring game since she dropped 41 in the Commissioner’s Cup last June. Unfortunately, they only play two games next week, which will limit her fantasy impact.

Kahleah Copper is the only player averaging more points per game than Ogunbowale this year is Copper, who is putting up 29.2 points and 3.6 triples through five appearances. After spending the last seven years in Chicago, this is her first season in Phoenix, and he is currently shattering her previous career-highs of 18.7 points and 1.8 threes per game. Through the first two weeks of the year, Copper is sixth in total fantasy points with 208, but with four games this week, she should rise.

Napheesa Collier is the league leader in fantasy points per game (by ESPN’s standard scoring format) is Collier, who is averaging 48.4 FPPG. She has stuffed the stat sheet with 23.0 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.8 steals, 2.2 blocks and 1.0 triple per game, and she is currently fourth in the league in scoring, third in rebounds and first in steals per game. It has been a spectacular start for her, which has helped the Lynx jump out to a 4-1 start.

There is only one undefeated team left in the WNBA. The Connecticut Sun have jumped out to a 5-0 start, and Alyssa Thomas has been a big reason why. She is averaging 15.4 points, 9.6 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game thus far and has accumulated a total of 190 fantasy points. She is the only player that ranks in the top five in both rebounds and assists, and she already has one triple-double this season, though she fell just short of getting a second one last Monday. They’ll put their winning streak to the test on Tuesday against the Mercury.

Week 3 games played:

4 games- IND, PHX

3 games- CONN, NY, LA, MIN, CHI, ATL

2 games- LV, SEA, DAL, WAS

Once again, the league is showcasing Caitlin Clark’s squad as often as possible. After getting their first win of the season last week, they’ll play four games for the second straight week. In comparison, the Dream only played their fourth game of the season on Sunday, which came after the Fever had already played seven games. The Mercury will join Indiana in playing a full schedule, though most of their fantasy production is soaked up by five players. However, Natasha Mack (19.9% rostered) and Sophie Cunningham (43.4%) are averaging more than 20 fantasy points per game.

Light game days:

Thursday: 2 games

Seattle @ Indiana

Los Angeles @ Chicago

Saturday: 1 game

Chicago @ Indiana

Just like last week, Fever players will have an advantage by playing on light days. Most of their premier fantasy options are rostered, but Temi Fagbenle (32.2%) has averaged 22.2 fantasy points per game in 22.6 minutes this season. However, the Sky also plays those days, which gives Chicago’s players a nice value boost. Like Indiana, most of their stars aren’t available in many leagues, but Diamond DeShields (49.8%) and Dana Evans (45.4%) are averaging north of 20 fantasy points per game, while Chennedy Carter (3.6%) is just under that mark at 19.5 fantasy points per game.

Back-to-backs:

Tuesday-Wednesday: PHX

Saturday-Sunday: IND

The Fever had a back-to-back last week, and they recorded their first win of the year on the first leg. However, they lost by almost 20 points in Las Vegas on the second night, with Clark only scoring eight points, which was a new career-worst. Phoenix hasn’t had a back-to-back yet, and this one will be two tough road games in Connecticut and New York. However, a veteran team like the Mercury should be ready to go for both matchups.

Headlines:

Rickea Jackson starts second half after Layshia Clarendon’s early exit

Clarendon only played seven minutes on Sunday before exiting with a head injury. She was sidelined for the rest of the game, which allowed Jackson (69.2%) to start the second half. The rookie out of Tennessee has been a solid scoring option off the bench thus far, but if she slides into the starting unit, she’ll receive a nice fantasy boost. She only had four points and three rebounds on Sunday, but she is averaging 9.8 points, 2.4 boards and 1.0 triple per game this season.

Diamond Miller without timetable for return

Miller underwent an MRI on her right knee on Friday, and the team announced that she will be sidelined indefinitely. Bridget Carleton (10%) has started in her place during the last two games, but she had already been playing a larger role off the bench than Miller had been playing as a starter. However, in her first start of the season, she set a new season-high with 14 points and added two rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks. She should continue to start for the foreseeable future.

Brittney Griner out of walking boot

Griner has yet to play this season due to a fractured toe, but she appears to be progressing. She was seen without a boot on Saturday, though she had it back on during their game that night. There still isn’t an official timeline, but Griner is getting closer to suiting up for the first time this season.

Rookie watch:

Nika Mühl

The second round pick out of UConn finally made her WNBA debut after missing the team’s first four games due to issues with her work visa. However, she suited up twice last week and showed off her approved visa with her pregame outfit ahead of her debut. She has only played seven minutes off the bench through her two appearances and has grabbed two rebounds in each game. Mühl isn’t a player to roster yet, but she has a bright future in the league.

Cameron Brink

In the NBA, rookie phenom Victor Wembanyama was one of the finalists for the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award, and Brink may do the same thing in the W. In her first year, she leads the league in blocks per game at 3.2 and is tied for third in “stocks” at 4.4. She had five blocks against the Aces, three of which were on shot attempts by A’ja Wilson. She also currently ranks 12th in the league in defensive win shares. Brink’s 145 fantasy points ranks second among rookies and 12th among forwards in ESPN standard scoring.

Caitlin Clark

Indiana has played more games in the league than anyone else, which gives Fever players an advantage in fantasy. Still, Clark is the lone rookie ahead of Brink with 236 fantasy points, which ranks third in the league. Clark is still having turnover issues, but she is averaging 15.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.9 blocks and 2.6 triples per game. It hasn’t been a flawless start to her career, but she is the favorite to win Rookie of the Year, and she has been elite in fantasy.

Aaliyah Edwards

The Mystics selected Edwards with the No. 6 pick in the draft, and she has been able to show some flashes through their first six games. The overall numbers haven’t been great, but she does have a game with nine points, 11 rebounds, two assists, one steal and two blocks, as well as a game with 10 points, three rebounds, one assist, three steals and two blocks. In the four other games, she has had a total of 20 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks. It has been up and down so far, but the upside is certainly there.

Julie Vanloo

There is another rookie that is playing well in Washington, though she wasn’t acquired in the draft. After a lengthy career playing for various professional teams in other countries, Vanloo signed with the Mystics in February and has immediately made an impact. She is averaging 9.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.2 triples per game, which is good for a total of 124 fantasy points through six games. The 31-year-old is tied for eighth in assists per game and has proven that she can be a viable option in the league moving forward. The best part? She’s only rostered in 17.3% of leagues.