Maddy Siegrist among top fantasy fill-ins to replace Natasha Howard

Maddy Siegrist, the No. 3 overall pick in 2023, has a chance to play a major role. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Wings announced Friday that veteran forward Natasha Howard will be out three to six weeks after breaking her foot in the team's season opener against the Chicago Sky.

The 32-year-old Howard played a major role for Dallas last season, her 10th in the WNBA, averaging 32.9 fantasy points and a career-high 33.1 minutes per game. The timing of her injury couldn't be worse, as the Wings are already without Satou Sabally, who's recovering from shoulder surgery and is expected to return around the Olympic break (July 18-Aug. 14). Sabally averaged 18.6 fantasy points and 33.1 minutes per game last season.

With Howard's injury, the Wings are down to only eight healthy players. To address this, they signed free agent forward Monique Billings to a salary cap hardship contract. Billings, who is rostered in just 3.3% of ESPN leagues, must be released once the Wings have 10 other players available.

Last season, she mainly came off the bench for the Atlanta Dream, averaging 4.8 points and 5.0 rebounds in 16.7 minutes per game. She's one player who will need to step up while Howard is out, and fantasy managers should keep an eye on her.

But there are two other players who also deserve attention.

Managers should consider adding center Kalani Brown, who is rostered in 29.3% of leagues. She had the best season of her career with the Wings last year, averaging 7.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in 16.4 minutes over 32 games. When given more minutes, Brown has been very productive, averaging 17.1 points and 10.0 rebounds per 36 minutes. She'll continue to share minutes with center Teaira McCowan, but there's another player flying under the radar in many leagues.

Forward Maddy Siegrist, rostered in 10.0% of leagues, is another player to keep on your radar. She finished with 26 fantasy points in 18 minutes against the Sky. Remember, Siegrist was selected No. 3 overall in the 2023 WNBA draft, and while her rookie contributions were modest, she has a great opportunity to break out in her second season.

So, if you're looking to bolster your fantasy lineup with other Wings players, my recommendation is to prioritize Siegrist, followed by Brown and then Billings. Keep an eye on these players as the Wings navigate through these challenging times.

Looking around the rest of the league, Alysha Clark (26.0%) is one to consider. As last season's Sixth Player of the Year, she's tied to one of the top offensive teams in the league, the Las Vegas Aces. Clark put up 19 fantasy points in 34 minutes against Phoenix on Tuesday. With Candace Parker now retired, Clark has an even clearer path to minutes. Although the Aces are an offensive juggernaut, they lack firepower in the second unit. This is where Clark can step up for Las Vegas and bolster your fantasy team while Howard is out.

Stefanie Dolson (22.6%) and Karlie Samuelson (28.3%) should also see ample minutes this season for a Washington Mystics team without Elena Delle Donne.