Players to pick up and drop in Week 8



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The only constant in sports (and life) is change. While consistency is key to a winning strategy, the ebb and flow of production often can’t be avoided.

Tracking the endless ups and downs over 40 games and nearly four months can become a heady operation. Segmenting the journey, however, into weekly updates allows managers to live (and play) in the now.

That’s exactly what my Risers and Fallers column aims to accomplish, as we utilize ESPN’s metrics database for a deeper look at the numbers.


Risers

Odyssey Sims, G, Dallas Wings (35% rostered in ESPN leagues, +28% rostered)

Sims wasn’t on a final roster when the season kicked off in May. Desperate for help, Dallas signed the 31-year-old to a hardship contract two weeks ago. The former Baylor standout took full advantage of the opportunity, finding her way into the starting lineup after just two games. Sims has now cleared 30 minutes in four straight contests while registering double-digit points in each of those outings. Interestingly, three of the Wings’ five victories have occurred since Sims joined the squad.

Coming off of a season-high 25 points, Sims has emerged as an effective and efficient shooter for Dallas, recording a 52.2% field-goal percentage (top-20). She is also contributing to secondary categories, averaging 2.8 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game since being named a starter. Her efforts have gifted fantasy managers with at least 24 fantasy points over her last four outings. Sims figures to produce again with the Wings likely to be chasing points in Phoenix on Wednesday.

Azura Stevens, F, Los Angeles Sparks (19.8% rostered, +5%)

A left arm injury (and subsequent surgery in late March) forced Stevens to miss the first half of the season. However, the 28-year-old recorded her first points of 2024 in the second quarter of the Sparks’ loss to the Mercury this past weekend. Stevens registered 10 points over 26 minutes in that effort. Stephanie Talbot’ early exit (foot) admittedly provided Stevens a boost in playing time. Talbot is a GTD for Tuesday’s game with the Lynx. Still, Stevens’ role is likely to grow as she shakes off rust.

Speaking of rust, she wasn’t very sharp from the field in her season debut, converting just 4-of-10 field-goal attempts and failing to sink any of her 3-point shots. Yet, her efforts on the glass and as a facilitator were considerable, as she posted six rebounds and four assists. Stevens also added two steals and a block to her stat line. She figures to emerge as a capable fantasy contributor, likely to register 20+ fantasy points per outing, down the stretch.

Myisha Hines-Allen, F, Washington Mystics (27% rostered, +14%)

It has been an up and down campaign for Hines-Allen, who dealt with a hip issue last month. As of late, however, the 28-year-old appears to have found her footing, joining the starting lineup and posting numerous double-digit point efforts since late June. Coming off of her first double-double of 2024, Hines-Allen seems to be playing with renewed energy in her final season with the Mystics.

Not only has Hines-Allen’s shooting efficiency improved — she’s currently recording a career-best 52.1 FG% — but her work against the glass and as a facilitator has amplified her overall outlook. With averages of 13.6 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists per contest, Hines-Allen has been inside of the top 25 players in each category over the league’s last five games. Her playing time is contingent upon the presence of Shakira Austin, but given the recurrent nature of Austin’s injury and with the All-Star Game around the corner, Hines-Allen figures to return fantasy dividends through the remainder of July.

Faller

Dana Evans, G, Chicago Sky (40% rostered, -5.8%)

Evans began the season in promising fashion, averaging over 27 minutes per game as a member of Chicago’s startling lineup. Over the last three weeks, however, her playing time has plummeted. In fact, Evans has struggled to clear 10 minutes in three of her last five games.

Unsurprisingly, her production has tumbled considerably. The 25-year-old has failed to post a single point in back-to-back efforts. Evans’ fall happens to directly coincide with the rise of Chennedy Carter (who led the Week 5 edition of this column). With Carter continuing to dominate, Evans’ opportunities are drying up and creating uneven fantasy output. While she’s capable of getting hot and recording an outlier effort, her role on the squad isn’t consistent enough for managers to rely on game in and game out.

Follow Liz on X (formerly Twitter): @LizLoza_FF





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