WNBA waiver wire pickups – Five players to add to fantasy rosters

Andre Snellings, ESPNJun 26, 2023, 08:30 AM ET

One of the big “wow” sports moments of the weekend came Saturday night, courtesy of Chelsea Gray of the Las Vegas Aces. Her no-look, behind-the-back dart past two defenders to catch A’ja Wilson in stride for a layup went viral, for excellent reason. Below, we’ll dig into the unsung producers who can help your fantasy hoops squad, but do yourself a favor and check out this play if you haven’t seen it. To be good at fantasy hoops, you really should be watching and enjoying the excellent product the WNBA is putting on the floor right now.

And now, on to the fantasy hoops waiver wire pickups for the week.

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Michaela Onyenwere, Phoenix Mercury (32.3% rostered in ESPN leagues): Onyenwere bounced back from a facial injury that forced her to leave a June 18 game early and returned to the strong play she has demonstrated over the past two weeks. In the three games before the injury, Onyenwere averaged 13.7 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 1.7 3PG, 1.3 SPG and 0.7 BPG. In the two games since the injury, she has been at 11.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 2.5 APG, 1.0 3PG and 1.0 SPG. The 2021 WNBA Rookie of the Year is playing fantasy hoops roster-worthy — if not starter-worthy — basketball right now.

Marine Johannes, New York Liberty (17.2% rostered): Johannes was in this space last week after she played well in the two games that Sabrina Ionescu sat out because of a hamstring injury, but she earns another mention here after playing well in Ionescu’s return. Coming off the bench, Johannes dropped 18 points, five 3-pointers, two assists, one steal and one rebound in 24 minutes Thursday to show that she still has fantasy streamer value, even in her current bench role.

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Kristy Wallace, Indiana Fever (10.5%): Wallace has stepped into a versatile contributor role in recent games. In her past three games, she has two performances with 13 points, two with at least five boards and two with at least five assists. Wallace doesn’t have the highest ceiling while in her current role off the bench, but she’s playing about 24 minutes per game and producing enough to be considered a solid streamer — and has startable upside if her role increases.

DiJonai Carrington, Connecticut Sun (6.5%): Carrington was one of my sleeper picks in my main 10-team fantasy hoops draft, but she got off to a slow start to the season. She has picked it up in recent weeks, though, and has steadily ramped up her production. Over her past five games entering Sunday, Carrington averaged 10.4 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.2 SPG, 1.2 APG and 0.8 3PG in 21.4 MPG off the bench. She had her best game of the season Thursday, scoring 17 points with five rebounds, three 3-pointers, one assist and one steal in 22 minutes of action.

Olivia Nelson-Ododa, Sun (4.5%): With the terrible news that Brionna Jones (Achilles) is done for the season, Rebecca Allen (rostered in 34.8% of ESPN leagues) and Nelson-Ododa will be the first to be asked to step up in the paint for the Sun. Allen started the first game without Jones, on Thursday, and the 6-foot-2 veteran notched eight points, four rebounds, three blocks, two 3-pointers and a steal in 29 minutes of action. Allen is a solid fantasy hoops pickup, but keep an eye on Nelson-Ododa, as well. Nelson-Ododa is a 6-foot-5 second-year player with a higher ceiling as a defensive anchor. She hasn’t played a lot of minutes thus far, but for her career is averaging 9.9 points per 36 minutes, 7.1 RP36 and 2.2 BP36. She should be on the fantasy streamer radar in her projected role as first center off the bench, but she has significant upside if she earns starter minutes at any point moving forward.

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