My buddy Marty likes to give me a hard time on occasion for how much money my WNBA Optimal lineups leave unspent. I guess when you are routinely leaving $600-$1100 on the table it tends to stand out a bit. Since Tuesday’s DraftKings GPP lineup has $1000 left over, it seemed like a good time to discuss my strategy when it comes to having money leftover in my lineups.

Most of the time, I barely even notice how much salary I have remaining in my lineups. I’m just trying to put together the best lineups possible. If I have salary remaining, I will look to upgrade at a position or two if possible, but I am obviously fine with having plenty left over. That being said, I’m not trying to spend less than the full amount on my lineups. I get the logic behind leaving money on the table in the hopes of having a unique lineup, but my brain just isn’t wired that way. I can’t bring myself to play a lineup I believe isn’t quite as good just because I think there is a better chance nobody will have that lineup. If I think Jewell Loyd is the best guard play in the slate, I’m not going to downgrade to Courtney Vandersloot unless I have to.

In today’s DraftKings GPP, I have $1000 left because I decided Astou Ndour is slightly more likely to have a big game than LaToya Sanders. It’s really close, and I wouldn’t begrudge anyone who swapped Sanders for Ndour, but at the end of the day, I’m trying to create the best lineup, not spend the most money. I would love to upgrade from Ndour, Natasha Cloud or Layshia Clarendon, but there isn’t anyone within $1000 of them who I actually think is an upgrade.

My FanDuel GPP lineup originally left $800 on the table, but by swapping out Cheyenne Parker for LaToya Sanders, I was able to fit both Jewell Loyd and Layshia Clarendon in that lineup. The original lineup was fine, and I might still enter it in a contest, but I love Jewell Loyd today, and when I saw the opportunity to get her in another lineup, I took it.

With so few players in the player pool even on a five-game slate like Tuesday’s, there are bound to be gaps in the pricing that lend themselves to leaving money on the table. DFS players who are used to playing full slates in other sports might not be used to having so much salary remaining, but it is just a fact of life for WNBA DFS players.

Player  FanDuel Price   DraftKings Price  Comments
Sylvia Fowles, F, MIN  $  8,300  $     12,200 Big Syl had 23 points, 20 rebounds, two blocks and five steals in her only game against Dallas this season. 
Candace Parker, F, LA  $  8,200  $     11,400 Candace Parker has scored at least 40 fantasy points on DraftKings in three of her last four games, with double-doubles in her last two. She isn't quite consistent enough for cash games, but her ceiling is as high as anyones. 
Tina Charles, F, NY  $  7,700  $     12,600 No team has allowed as many fantasy points to opposing forwards as the Dream this season. In case that wasn't enough, Tina Charles is averaging 39.8 fantasy points per game at home this season compared to just 29.7 on the road. 
Jewell Loyd, G, SEA  $  7,700  $        9,400 Jewell Loyd shot 2-11 against Connecticut Saturday, and she will almost certainly shoot better Tuesday. Perhaps more importantly, Las Vegas's guards are much too slow to keep up with Jewell Loyd. No team has allowed as many fantasy points to guards as the Aces this season, and Jewell Loyd is averaging 20.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists against them this season.
Jessica Breland, F, ATL  $  6,900  $        9,200 Breland is coming off her worst game of the season Saturday when she scored 21.75 fantasy points. I still think a double-double is coming any day now.
Courtney Vandersloot, G, CHI  $  6,800  $        9,200 If you take out her two games against LA, Courtney Vandersloot is averaging 28.4 fantasy points on FanDuel. I would be fine with that for her price, but she demonstrated last season she is capable of much more.
Chelsea Gray, G, LA  $  6,800  $        8,100 Chelsea Gray has scored at least 21.75 fantasy points in nine of her 10 games this season. The Indiana Fever have allowed the fourth most points per game this season.
Sue Bird, G, SEA  $  5,200  $        6,400 Sue Bird is averaging 10.5 points and 6.5 assists in two games against Las Vegas this season. That's just fine for a cash lineup.
Kristi Toliver, G, WAS  $  5,000  $        9,500 I could never justify her price on DraftKings, but it isn't hard to see why she costs so much. Kristi Toliver has scored at least 20 points in three of her last seven games, but she has scored six or fewer in three others. She is a FanDuel GPP play. 
Cheyenne Parker, F, CHI  $  4,800  $        8,900 Parker is a cash play on FanDuel. She has played at least 20 minutes in seven consecutive games and scored at least 21.8 fantasy points in five straight.
Kayla McBride, G, LAV  $  4,700  $        9,100 McBride has scored at least 22.75 fantasy points in eight consecutive games, and like Kristi Toliver, I have no idea why McBride is so much cheaper on FanDuel.
Layshia Clarendon, G, ATL  $  4,300  $        4,400 Layshia Clarendon has a chance to start Tuesday with Tiffany Hayes and Brittney Sykes both questionable. Clarendon averaged 10.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 6.6 assists in 29.8 minutes per game last season, and I don't see why she couldn't do that again if given the opportunity.
Natasha Cloud, G, WAS  $  4,100  $        6,800 Natasha Cloud led the Mystics in field goal attempts Friday despite playing just 25 minutes and shooting 26.7 percent. She is a fine GPP alternative to Kristi Toliver, especially on DraftKings. 
LaToya Sanders, F, WAS  $  3,900  $        5,600 I expected LaToya Sanders's price to go up more after she posted a double-double Saturday. Sanders is averaging 9.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in 26.0 minutes over her last two games, and she should at least be a cash play.
Nia Coffey, F, LAV  $  3,800  $        3,500 Coffey played 25 minutes in her second game back from an ankle injury, which is what she was playing before she got hurt. She had a double-double in that game despite shooting 3-10 from the field, and she doesn't need a double-double to justify her price.
Astou Ndour, F, CHI  $  3,000  $        4,800 I don't necessarily trust the Sky to play Astou Ndour 29+ minutes for a third consecutive game, but I don't see why they wouldn't after she put up 10 points, seven rebounds, one assist and three blocks in each game. Cheyenne Parker is lurking, but it certainly seems like Ndour has played well enough to continue to receive heavy minutes.

POS FanDuel Cash $ FanDuel GPP $ POS DraftKings Cash $ DraftKings GPP $
G Kayla McBride $4,700 Kristi Toliver $5,000 G Layshia Clarendon $4,400 Jewell Loyd $9,400
G Courtney Vandersloot $6,800 Jewell Loyd $7,700 G Chelsea Gray $8,100 Natasha Cloud $6,800
G Sue Bird $5,200 Layshia Clarendon $4,300 F Jessica Breland $9,200 Sylvia Fowles $12,200
F Tina Charles $7,700 Astou Ndour $3,000 F Nia Coffey $3,500 Candace Parker $11,400
F LaToya Sanders $3,900 Tina Charles $7,700 F Sylvia Fowles $12,200 Astou Ndour $4,800
F Cheyenne Parker $4,800 Sylvia Fowles $8,300 UTIL Tina Charles $12,600 Layshia Clarendon $4,400
F Jessica Breland $6,900 LaToya Sanders $3,900          
  Total $40,000 Total $39,900   Total $50,000 Total $49,000
  Remaining $0 Remaining $100   Remaining $0 Remaining $1,000