Waiver watch: Aari McDonald and other underrated guards to pickup



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With no games on the schedule this Monday, perhaps it’s productive to take this time to analyze your fantasy roster and prepare for the week ahead. There is just a single game on the schedule for Tuesday, but Wednesday affords us a unique matinee marathon with five early tip-offs. You’ll want to have your roster decisions made prior to those games, which is what this weekly column is designed to do.

There are three teams proving ideal for opponents’ fantasy upside; the Dallas Wings, Los Angeles Sparks, and Washington Mystics. Over the past five games, each ranks in the bottom three in defensive rating.

When it comes to selecting a winning waiver move, matchup trends such as defensive rating, pace, and point totals can prove revealing; Dallas becomes even more fantasy-friendly with the league’s top pace over this recent sample, suggesting porous defense and added possessions for their opponents this week, the Phoenix Mercury and the Sparks.

With an eye on finding some of the better interim additions for this coming week in WNBA, the selection of streaming candidates below factors in recent rotation, production and usage trends, as well as looming matchup metrics. Players are listed in order of preference.

Odyssey Sims, G, Dallas Wings (Rostered in 30.2% of ESPN Leagues)

The former No. 2 overall pick signed a midseason hardship deal with the Stars in late June and is already a key rotation contributor for Dallas. The veteran savvy is already showing up for fantasy managers, with Sims often pacing her team in points and dimes in recent games. With the club’s aforementioned leaky defense and up-tempo approach to offense, Sims makes for a worthy option ahead of Wednesday’s afternoon tilt with the Phoenix Mercury.

Aari McDonald, G, Los Angeles Sparks (37.8%)

An unintentional theme of the week is underrated veteran guard play, as McDonald joins Sims in producing strong statistics in a lead creation role despite little fanfare. The Sparks are one of the weakest defenses in the league, but this is also a product of a wave of injuries to the roster, which has tasked vets like McDonald with more usage. McDonald has averaged nearly 40 minutes the past week to go with 20 PPG, vaulting her into the must-add tier ahead of the week. Per matchup appeal, the Sparks face two reeling defenses this week in the Mercury and Wings.

Stephanie Talbot, F, Los Angeles Sparks (17.3%)

With the Sparks missing several key starters to injury, Talbot’s playing time, role, and usage rate have all surged in recent weeks. The rare player capable of helping you in scoring, rebounding, and passing production, Talbot is a top frontcourt target amid a week rife with rewarding matchup potential.

Myisha Hines-Allen, F, Washington Mystics (26.5%)

Like Talbot, Hines-Allen has been producing relevant numbers in several categories lately. While we aren’t quite in triple-double territory, such versatility matters when seeking high-floor fantasy contributors to augment your production. The Mystics play just twice this week, although they are softer defensive foes (Fever and Aces).

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, G, Washington Mystics (14.3%)

Another theme of the week is teammate tandems worth our time and roster space. Walker-Kimbrough joins her hyphenated peer as a strong streaming play this week given both the soft schedule and hot hand on offense. Walker-Kimbrough enters the week having scored at least 15 in four of the past five games while also delivering strong defensive rates. With two-way play so helpful in category and point leagues, “SWK” is a strong play this week.



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