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It’s the third game of the best-of-5 semifinal series and these teams all find themselves in different scenarios. The Dream travel to DC looking to wrest back home court advantage, while DC looks to defend their home court possibly with a hobbled Elena Delle Donne. The Storm on the other hand travel to Phoenix looking to clinch a spot in the WNBA finals, while the Mercury with their finals dreams on the line look to survive to fight another day. Let’s dive in!
Atlanta Dream @ Washington Mystics: Series Tied 1-1
Dream Top Plays: Jessica Breland, Tiffany Hayes, Elizabeth Williams, Renee Montgomery, Alex Bentley, Brittney Sykes
The Dream travel to DC looking to wrestle back home court advantage tonight. Their endeavor is aided by the questionable status of Elena Delle Donne. Jessica Breland is the top play for the Dream tonight, she becomes an even better play with EDD out. Tiffany Hayes finally found her form in the last game and will look to keep it up tonight. Elizabeth Williams makes for an excellent Cash play. Alex Bentley has benefited mightily from coming off the bench. This has allowed her to avoid the good defense of Ariel Atkins and Natasha Cloud to an extent. Bentley makes for a good GPP play here. Finally, both Renee Montgomery and Brittney Sykes have tough matchups against good defenders and should be played with caution and only in GPPs.
Mystics Top Plays: Elena Delle Donne, LaToya Sanders, Kristi Toliver, Natasha Cloud, Ariel Atkins, Tianna Hawkins
Elena Delle Donne is the top play here. The problem is whether she plays or not, and how healthy she is if she plays. I think EDD plays tonight, but she won’t be 100 percent. Even in this case, she is one of the top studs on the entire slate. I’ll have some exposure to EDD, but I might be a little under the field, mainly because her ownership will be high once we get news she is playing. This presents an opportunity to leverage the field in GPPs. In the scenario where EDD doesn’t play, Tianna Hawkins will step into the starting lineup and become an instant favorite and chalk play. This is one of those situations where you just eat the chalk and move on in all formats.
With that aside, Ariel Atkins still faces a tough matchup and therefore has limited upside today. Kristi Toliver’s matchup is brutal, and I have stayed away from it all series, and will continue to do so. Finally, I like the outlook for Natasha Cloud today, she makes for a good mid-tier pay in all formats. The likes of Tierra Ruffin Pratt and Monique Currie can be considered as GPP punt plays.
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Seattle Storm @ Phoenix Mercury: Storm leads 2-0
Storm Top Plays: Breanna Stewart, Jewell Loyd, Sue Bird, Natasha Howard, Alysha Clark
After the scare last game, I expect the Storm to come out focused tonight, looking to end this series. Breanna Stewart will be in beast mode, making her my top stud tonight. Jewell Loyd has had ups and downs this series, but at the end of the day she is just too much to handle when her game is on. In a series winning game like this, you can expect the best Loyd to show up, making her one of the top guards on this slate. Sue Bird has been phenomenal this series and she gets a chance to close it out on the road and gets some rest before the finals. She’ll be fired up. I’m not a big fan of Natasha Howard here because of her price and I’ll be fading her tonight in a matchup against the WNBA top defensive center. This opens the door to utilize Crystal Langhorne as a punt play especially in GPPs on Fanduel. Finally, Alysha Clark remains a viable value play at her price range especially on FD.
Mercury Top Plays: DeWanna Bonner, Britney Griner, Diana Taurasi, Briann January, Angel Robinson
There’s going to be some shuffling around for the Mercury, who are looking to avoid being swept at home. They will have to do this without one of the key pieces in their late season success rotation, Stephanie Talbot who is out with a concussion. The choice for the Mercury is either to move Bonner down to SF and start Robinson at PF, or to keep Bonner at PF and start either Leilani Mitchell or Yvonne Turner at SF. Either way they go, Robinson, Mitchell, and Turner make for interesting value plays tonight.
Bonner and Griner are my top plays for the Mercury. They are usable in all formats. I especially like Bonner because she is blowout proof. I have not been a fan of the matchup for Taurasi and I continue to hesitate in paying her here tonight, however she has performed quite well in the past two games and with the series on the line, we can expect her to be at her best. Briann January has been abysmal this series and it’s hard to see rostering her. Angel Robinson will be the highest owned among the value plays for the Mercury, while Yvonne Turner will carry the lowest ownership. I’ll have exposure to all three of them as they allow for some nice roster construction.
Elite: DeWanna Bonner, Jewell Loyd, Diana Taurasi, Tiffany Hayes, Sue Bird, Natasha Cloud
Value: Yvonne Turner, Leilani Mitchell, Monique Currie
Elite: Breanna Stewart, Elena Delle Donne, Britney Griner, Jessica Breland, LaToya Sanders
Value: Tianna Hawkins Angel Robinson, Alysha Clark, Crystal Langhorne