As we approach the one-month mark of the WNBA season, two players who haven’t performed up to their average draft position in fantasy women’s basketball are New York’s Sabrina Ionescu and Atlanta’s Rhyne Howard.
Entering Wednesday, Ionescu’s 32.6 fantasy points per game ranks 13th in the league while Howard’s 20.0 FPPG ranks 20th. So which of the stars should fantasy managers be more concerned about going forward?
Here are Andre Snellings, Eric Moody and Liz Loza with more on that.
I’ll always take the healthier player. Ionescu is dealing with a hamstring injury. While it doesn’t appear serious and she’s expected to be back on the court come Friday, soft tissue issues can linger. Additionally, Howard’s production has been more steady. She hasn’t had blow-up weeks like Ionescu, but her shooting has been more consistent. She’s managed at least 12 field goal attempts in every game and has recorded five straight double-digit outings. Ionescu’s ceiling is higher, but that also makes her production more volatile on a week-to-week basis.
Snellings: If I had to choose one, I’d say I’m more concerned about Howard because it seems that Ionescu is settling into her new reality of finding her spots to shine on a stacked team. Ionescu had two horrible shooting efforts in back-to-back games against the Sky, but other than that, has averaged 24.0 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 4.0 APG and 5.3 3PG in her other four most recent games. Howard has been consistently very solid across the board, but doesn’t seem to have Ionescu’s big game upside even though she doesn’t have to share the court with three future Hall of Famers.
Moody: I find myself more concerned about Ionescu in New York because she’s surrounded by an incredibly talented lineup. With stars like Breanna Stewart, Courtney Vandersloot and Jonquel Jones sharing the court, her fantasy production will fluctuate. But don’t underestimate her potential for jaw-dropping performances, just like her recent 57 fantasy point explosion against the Wings last Sunday. With that in mind, if your fantasy team is well-rounded, you’re better equipped to handle any ups and downs that Ionescu provides.