Kamilla Cardoso, Shakira Austin among top sleepers


The WNBA draft took place earlier this month, training camps have opened and preseason games are up next.

We are rapidly closing in on the start of the regular season, which tips off Tuesday, May 14, and that means it’s crunch time for fantasy managers.

Here are six fantasy women’s basketball sleepers who have a chance to outperform where they are being selected, on average, in fantasy drafts this season.


Kamilla Cardoso, C, Chicago Sky

Cardoso averaged 14.4 PPG, 9.7 RPG and 2.5 BPG in her final collegiate season at South Carolina that ended in a National Championship. Her skills will translate well to the league. The Sky are rebuilding following the loss of several players this offseason and Chicago is in need of Cardoso’s physical play down low. Even though Elizabeth Williams is still on the roster and is projected for 29.4 MPG, Cardoso is projected for 25.1 MPG. If you miss out on Williams in your draft don’t overlook Cardoso.

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Tina Charles, C, Atlanta Dream

I must admit, it feels strange calling Charles a sleeper. Fantasy managers are wondering what impact she’ll have on a Dream team after not playing in the WNBA last season. Charles is an eight-time All-Star and three-time Olympic gold medalist who ranks fourth in the league in career scoring and second in rebounds. Her competitiveness and desire to win will benefit the Dream’s young core, and Charles will contribute on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. She’s projected for 29.0 MPG.

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Diamond Miller, G, Minnesota Lynx

Miller had a solid rookie campaign, averaging 12.1 PPG, 3.5 RPG, and 2.5 APG in 26.1 minutes. She was named to the league’s All-Rookie team alongside her teammate Dorka Juhasz. Despite undergoing knee surgery this offseason, Miller will be fully ready by the start of the season. As a former No. 2 overall pick, she’s poised to shine for the Lynx, even while playing alongside Napheesa Collier and Kayla McBride. Miller is primed to exceed her per-game projections in 2024 and has immense upside.

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Shakira Austin, C, Washington Mystics

Austin will be a major part of things to come for the Mystics, especially with Elena Delle Donne sitting out. Austin had successful hip surgery back in December, and signs point to her being available at the start of the regular season, as Austin has been practicing with Team USA. Although Austin only played in 19 of 40 games last season, she averaged 10.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.0 APG, and 1.0 BPG. She’s another player who I believe could surpass our 2024 projections. The Mystics also exercised the fourth-year option on Austin’s contract last week. She’s a solid option in the middle rounds.

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Sug Sutton, G, Phoenix Mercury

Sutton was the 36th and final pick of the 2020 draft and has bounced around the league, also playing overseas, but looks to have found a home with the Mercury. She appeared in all 40 games for Phoenix last season, averaging 8.2 PPG, 4.8 APG, and 2.6 RPG in 26.3 minutes. The Mercury did upgrade their roster this offseason, but Sutton should continue to be actively involved in the rotation. She’s projected for 25.6 MPG but could see some starts since Diana Taurasi is unlikely to be active for every game. The 41-year-old has only played in more than 30 games in a season just once over the last five. Sutton is worth a look late in drafts.

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Karlie Samuelson, F, Washington Mystics

Samuelson is coming off her career-best season in 2023 with the Sparks. She averaged 7.7 PPG, 3.0 RPG, and 2.0 APG in 26.1 MPG and even worked herself up to a spot in the starting lineup. The 28-year-old was rewarded with her first multi-year contract, the first that guaranteed Samuelson for an entire season. She’s one of the best 3-point shooters in the league, and the Mystics are desperately in need of perimeter shooting since they’ll be without Delle Donne. Don’t overlook Samuelson in fantasy drafts.



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