The Stars Have Realigned: Your Guide to the 2023 WNBA Fantasy Universe

With the realignment of stars in WNBA free agency, we’re in a whole new world heading into the 2023 season. This translates to big changes in fantasy basketball, as well. What’s the impact on playing time for these stars on superteams? Who is primed to have a breakout season? What rookies will break out and be worth drafting on your own fantasy team? 

Y’all, sit back and relax—Matt Cohen and I are here to guide you through this new galaxy of WNBA fantasy. 

First thing’s first: you’re going to need a team. ESPN is currently the largest provider of free, season-long WNBA fantasy hoops. ESPN Fantasy leagues are defaulted to eight teams, each containing 10 roster spots (two guards, three forward/centers, one utility, three bench spots, and one injured reserve). Teams play one another each week throughout the season, tallying points over the course of seven days to determine a winner. 

Default scoring settings are as follows:

  • Points: 1
  • Block: 2
  • Steal: 2
  • Rebound: 1
  • Assist: 1
  • Three-point field goal: 1


This leaves open a number of different strategies when planning a roster before your league’s draft:

  • What statistical categories do I want to prioritize, and who are the players who fit that?
  • What risks am I willing to take on when it comes to a player’s injury history versus their production on court?
  • How has a player’s situation changed from last season that could positively or negatively impact their stats? 

These questions may be difficult to answer before the season tips off, but Matt and I are charting the stars, ready to give you our best possible forecast.


Trends to Keep an Eye on

Matt: Superteam Players

With so much talent and only one ball, it’s hard to imagine the fantasy value will be divided up equitably. The minutes might be balanced, so plenty will be able to contribute IRL, but we need to see what it all looks like as the season wears on. 


Kevin: 2023 Sophomore Class

2022 Rookie of the Year Rhyne Howard showed she was borderline MVP-level talent, and the Atlanta Dream spent the offseason surrounding her with even more talent. Howard’s teammate, Naz Hillmon, as well as others like NaLyssa Smith and Lexie Hull showed out during the Athletes Unlimited season and look ready to make an impact in 2023. 


Fantasy MVP

Matt: Breanna Stewart, plain and simple

Stewie is the fulcrum of the New York Liberty’s hopes and dreams. She spreads the floor, plays inside and out. With a phenomenal passer in Sabrina Ionescu, and another good big passer in fellow new addition Jonquel Jones, Stewie is likely to have her usual excellent season. With arguably fewer fantasy weapons around her than A’ja Wilson has in Las Vegas, it’s likely Stewart will be expected to do more. 


Kevin: A’ja Wilson

Wilson was the fantasy points leader for ESPN leagues in 2022, in part because of her otherworldly defensive stats. Despite the addition of Candace Parker, which may impact the available shots on the offensive end, A’ja is going to remain a rim protector and glass cleaner for the Aces.


Breakout Player

Matt: Ariel Atkins

Atkins is already a premier player in the league, fantasy-wise, but will take it to new heights this season. It’s likely she’ll be expected to score more with the team lacking true on-ball creators. 


Kevin: Azurá Stevens

If we know anything about Curt Miller it’s that he puts bigs in a position to succeed. Stevens is going to take on a bigger role in Los Angeles, and her already proven history of shooting, rebounding, and blocking make her a great value pick in the middle rounds of any draft. 


Player I’m Watching

Matt: Napheesa Collier

With a lack of talented players around her, Phee will be the focal point of that offense. Defenses will scheme to stop her, but will she step up?


Kevin: Alyssa Thomas

In the aftermath of Jonquel Jones being traded to the Liberty, a lot was made of the Connecticut Sun being Bri Jones’ team going forward. Thomas, however, was the stats monster for the team in 2022. Putting more on her surgically-repaired shoulders means she has an opportunity to be a top-five player in fantasy leagues.


See Also

Rookie Impact

Matt: *crickets*

I’m going to start with my truest feeling—I’m honestly not sure any rookie will be fantasy-relevant this season. Number one overall pick Aliyah Boston is borderline, but otherwise, I think there are stronger players to fill your rosters. If I have to take one or two, I’d say Diamond Miller, as she’s likely to be called upon for scoring, and, if she can win a job with minutes, Alexis Morris in Connecticut.


Kevin: Jordan Horston

Horston is going to have something that a lot of players coming into the league only hope for—a chance. The Storm roster is thin, and Horston brings an athleticism and perimeter defensive ability unique to anyone else in Seattle outside of the currently absent Gabby Williams. Horston will get the minutes; what she does with them is the big unknown.



Matt: Arike Ogunbowale

The Dallas Wings will need scoring for sure, and they just drafted several players who can contribute on that front right away. To me, Ogunbowale is a quality player but is an empty calorie scorer and not much else in fantasy. Ogunbowale’s real life impact is somewhat better than what she offers in fantasy. Not worth the first-round price.


Kevin: Natasha Howard

Howard is currently in ESPN’s top-10 player projections for the 2023 season. However, it’s impossible to guess what Dallas will do with its rotations and playing time, especially with their bigs. I can foresee a scenario where Howard gets lost in a lineup shuffle and doesn’t get the chance to be her normally amazing self. 


Player Rankings

  1. Stewart
  2. A’ja
  3. Sabrina
  4. Rhyne Howard
  5. Nneka 
  6. Plum
  7. Atkins
  8. Phee
  9. Jonquel Jones
  10. Loyd
  11. Natasha Howard
  12. AT
  13. Mabrey
  14. Kah
  15. Ogunbowale


  1. A’ja
  2. Stewart
  3. R. Howard
  4. Phee
  5. Sabrina
  6. Plum
  7. AT
  8. Loyd
  9. Jonquel
  10. Nneka
  11. Arike
  12. Mabrey
  13. Kelsey Mitchell
  14. Atkins
  15. Ezi


Now that you have our takes on this upcoming fantasy season, it’s time for you to join a league and draft your own solar system of stars to take on your friends and/or strangers on the internet.

Be sure to follow Winsidr as we keep you up to date with our fantasy analysis throughout the season!

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