Pro Tips: New Playoff Games are Here!

By Rick Bouch

After seven thrilling  weeks of regular season play, the 2020 WNBA playoff field is finally set. The top eight teams begin their quest for the championship this Tuesday, September 15 with two single elimination quarterfinal rounds before the semifinal and championship series. To go along with the new playoff format, She Plays has three all-new fantasy games for you to play along with the postseason action.

She Plays WNBA Playoff Fantasy Games

  1. Bracket ChallengeWe’re taking pick ’em to the next level with this March Madness-style bracket game. Simply pick your winners to complete your bracket, and earn points for each correct pick. You’ll earn more points for your picks as we get closer to the championship series, so choose wisely!
  2. Moneyball To play this game, you’ll fill out your ultimate WNBA stat sheet for each playoff round. First, predict the game winners and final scores for each matchup. Then, choose players to earn you fantasy points in each of four stats categories: Total Points, Assists, Rebounds, and Three-Pointers Made. Decide which of your stats picks has the highest point-scoring potential and designate that category as your Moneyball. You’ll earn double points for your Moneyball pick, which can help you move up the leaderboards even late in the game.
  3. 3-Point Draw DownHere’s another bracket challenge for you, but this one pits individual players against each other. We’ve laid out the top four three-point shooters from each team in Round 1 in a bracket. Your job is to choose which player will have more threes in head-to-head matchups with other players from that round. You’ll earn extra points for every pick you get right, and the stakes get higher as you get closer to your three-pointer champion. Take your Slay the Trey knowledge from the regular season and see who can put together a perfect bracket each round.

Now that you’re caught up on the new games, here are She Plays’ pro tips to help you make the most of Round 1!

Pro Tips: Postseason Begins

For most of the 2020 WNBA regular season, the Las Vegas Aces sat in second place in the league standings. With a season-ending 86-84 victory over Seattle, the Aces took over first-place and the double postseason bye that goes with it. 

Las Vegas will be the No. 1 seed as the WNBA enters its postseason. Seattle is No. 2, Los Angeles No. 3, and Minnesota No. 4. The first round of the playoffs begins Tuesday with seventh-seeded Connecticut taking on No. 6 Chicago, and No. 8 Washington facing No. 5 Phoenix.

WNBA Playoffs Round 1 Schedule

  • Chicago Sky vs. Connecticut Sun – Tuesday, September 15 at 7 pm ET (ESPN2)
  • Phoenix Mercury vs. Washington Mystics – Tuesday, September 15 at 9 pm ET (ESPN2)

Big Time

As we head into the playoffs, remember this: big-time players make big-time plays in big-time games. Think about that as you choose your players for Moneyball. Then, think of Las Vegas star A’ja Wilson. With just under 17 seconds remaining in their final regular season game against then-first place Seattle, Wilson hit a jumper from just inside the free throw line to give the Aces an 84-79 advantage. Wilson’s shot would prove to be the winning margin.

With that victory, Wilson and Las Vegas will have the luxury of sitting out Rounds 1 and 2 and waiting for their first playoff opponent. Chicago, Connecticut, Phoenix, and Washington will battle in Round 1 with No. 3 Los Angeles and No. 4 Minnesota waiting in Round 2.

From those six teams, there are plenty of big-time players to place in your Moneyball lineup. Let’s take a look.

Moneyball 

Just a few weeks ago, defending champion Washington looked like it was headed home for the postseason. The Mystics then won their final four games in a row to capture the eighth seed. One of the reasons why has been the play of Myisha Hines-Allen. 

The Mystics forward is averaging 17.0 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game for Washington. Guard Ariel Atkins (14.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.4 apg) is another consideration for your Moneyball lineup. If you’re looking for a sleeper guard, you might look at Washington’s Emma Meesseman. At 6-foot-4, she can do a little of everything. In the Mystics final four games, Meesseman averaged 13.5 points, 5.0 assists, and 3.2 rebounds.

Now, the guards you really want to look at are Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi and Chicago’s Courtney Vandersloot. Both players need to come up big for their teams to advance to Round 2 of the playoffs. Taurasi averages 18.7 points per game which is fifth-best in the league. Vandersloot leads the WNBA in assists with 10 per game and she also scores 13.6 points a game. 

You could pair Connecticut’s DeWanna Bonner (19.7 ppg, 7.8 rpg) or teammate Alyssa Thomas (15.5 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 4.8 apg) with Hines-Allen at forward. At center, the Sun’s Brionna Jones is a double-digit scorer at 11.2 points a game and she also grabs 5.6 rebounds. 

Among the four teams playing in Round 1, there is more than enough talent to put together a stellar lineup of Moneyball picks. The hard part will be deciding which player you want as your double-points scorer with so many great names to choose from. 

Head over to She Plays to make your picks for our new playoff games today, and check back here for more fantasy tips before Round 2!

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