Fantasy Basketball

Top 30 WNBA players 2023: No. 20 through No. 11

As is our annual tradition, we’re counting down the 30 best players in the WNBA.

We had our staff participate by each ranking their Top 30. If a player was voted 1st on a list, they earned 30 points; second place earned 29, and so on, and the totals were summed together to make a collective staff determination. In the event of a tie, the player who was higher on the 2022 list stayed ahead.

Players who received votes but didn’t make our final list include Natasha Cloud, Han Xu, Courtney Williams, Satou Sabally, Aerial Powers, Marina Mabrey, Azurá Stevens, Teaira McCowan, Cheyenne Parker and Aliyah Boston.

On our 2021 list, Alyssa Thomas was left off because she was expected to miss the entire season. On our 2022 and 2023 lists, we included players who were/are expected to miss the season but had/have yet to retire.

Here’s a look at No. 20 through No. 11:

20) Jackie Young (40 points)

Las Vegas Aces

2022: not ranked ; 2021: not ranked

From unranked all the way to No. 20, it’s 2022 Most Improved Player Jackie Young. She may have finished the season with a scoring average improvement of just 3.7 to 15.9, but she was averaging 19.2 points through the first 11 games of the season and probably could have sustained that if she didn’t play on a team with so many other weapons. She upped her career-best 3-point percentage from 31.8 to 43.1 and her career-best in made treys from 14 to 50. She truly began to live up to her status as a No. 1 overall pick (2019) and not only made her first All-Star Game, but was an All-Star starter.

Jackie Young
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

19) Kahleah Copper (43 points)

Chicago Sky

2022: No. 16; 2021: not ranked

Following her 2021 WNBA Finals MVP, Copper averaged a career-best 15.7 points per game and made her second All-Star Game appearance (also her second in a row). 15.7 points per game may not seem worthy of the Top 10 or Top 15 on this list, and we indeed did not put Copper that high. But, in the 30 through 21 portion of our list, we praised Emma Meessemen’s 12.4 points per game for the same Sky as better than it seems because Chicago was loaded with offensive options. Copper lived up to her core designation by leading the Sky in scoring. She has the potential to rise higher on the list with a big 2023.

2022 WNBA Playoffs - Connecticut Sun v Chicago Sky

Kahleah Copper
Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

18) Ariel Atkins (45 points)

Washington Mystics

2022: No. 18; 2021: No. 30

Like Copper, Atkins has made 2021 and 2022 her first two All-Star seasons. After making the All-Defensive Second Team in each of her first four seasons in the WNBA, she made the First Team as a fifth-year player last year. Her career-best scoring average is 16.2, which came in 2021. She has the 3-point shooting abilities and overall offensive skillset to be an even more prolific scorer. But she of course plays with Elena Delle Donne, who is the Mystics’ No. 1 scoring option. Atkins is the second-highest Mystic on this list and is an apt second-best player for a team that will try to make some noise this year.

2023 Washington Mystics Media Day

Ariel Atkins
Photo by Kenny Giarla/NBAE via Getty Images

17) Brionna Jones (46 points)

Connecticut Sun

2022: not ranked; 2021: not ranked

Jones is yet another back-to-back All-Star who is seeking her third-ever appearance this season. She had a case to be on this list last year after averaging 14.7 points and 7.3 rebounds in 2021 and was receiving votes from our staff. However, her overall stat production isn’t quite as high as the players ahead of her on this list. Her efficiency is excellent though, and it’s no wonder if you watch the way she plays; she definitely has great inside touch. She is capable of averaging far more than her career-best 14.7 points per game. With Sylvia Fowles retired, Jones is the highest post on this list among those who don’t regularly stretch the floor with a mid-range or 3-point shot.

2022 WNBA Finals - Game Three

Brionna Jones
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

16) Arike Ogunbowale (54 points)

Dallas Wings

2022: No. 15; 2021: No. 12

It was hard to leave Ogunbowale outside the Top 10 in both 2021 and 2022, and now she’s fallen to No. 16. There are just so many other good players in the league, including three newcomers to the MVP race (Kelsey Plum, Sabrina Ionescu and Alyssa Thomas) and a player who became the best player in the world once the playoffs started (Chelsea Gray). This has pushed Ogunbowale back, but from this point of the list on, any of the players could be the best player in the league on any given night. Ogunbowale averaged 19.7 points per game last year; her career-best is 22.8 (2020). She averaged a career-best 3.6 assists.

Dallas Wings v Atlanta Dream

Arike Ogunbowale
Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images

15) Napheesa Collier (65 points)

Minnesota Lynx

2022: No. 13; 2021: No. 11

Collier missed all but four games of the 2022 season on maternity leave. Her stat lines the previous two seasons were very similar and very good. She averaged 16.1 points, nine rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.3 blocks in 2020 and 16.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks in 2021. She co-starred alongside Sylvia Fowles in the past; with Fowles retired, she is the clear-cut best player on the Lynx and will be asked to carry a franchise that is looking to transition into a new era. We’ll see how much No. 2 overall pick Diamond Miller will be able to help her out.

Seattle Storm v Minnesota Lynx

Napheesa Collier
Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images

14) Nneka Ogwumike (72 points)

Los Angeles Sparks

2022: No. 14; 2021: No. 9

Ogwumike is another example of a player who could be the best in the league on any given night. Last year, she carried the Sparks through the Liz Cambage fiasco, averaging 18.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals. The 18.1 points per game was a welcome sight after she averaged under 15 in both 2020 and 2021. Her efforts earned her four fourth-place MVP votes and four fifth-place votes, allowing her to finish 10th in the race. I mentioned last year that Ogwumike may be the most underrated former MVP of all time and I still think that’s true. She proved last year that she’s still got it.

San Antonio Stars v Los Angeles Sparks

Nneka Ogwumike
Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images

13) Alyssa Thomas (73 points)

Connecticut Sun

2022: No. 20; 2021: not eligible

Here we have the player who finished fourth in MVP voting last year. She really could have been ranked anywhere between fourth and 13th because I don’t think her 2022 performance was a one-time thing. She continues to be so thrilling to watch and amazes us with seemingly better and better play. She has also done incredible things in the playoffs, which has to be taken into consideration when making a list like this. When she makes her 2023 regular-season debut, she will be working on a third straight triple-double because she notched one in both Games 3 and 4 of the 2022 Finals.

2022 WNBA Finals - Game Four

Alyssa Thomas
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

12) Sabrina Ionescu (74 points)

New York Liberty

2022: not ranked; 2021: not eligible

Ionescu finished eighth in MVP voting last year, but really could have finished higher if the Liberty had finished with a better regular-season record. Her overall stat production was very high; not many players could compete with her 17.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game when added together. Ionescu was a hyped up No. 1 pick, so she has a lot of pressure on her to be a superstar player. She handled that pressure last year and was even named an All-Star starter. The Liberty now have Breanna Stewart, and that’s the main reason they are considered a frontrunner. But having an up-and-coming superstar in Ionescu is pretty beneficial as well.

2022 WNBA Playoffs - Chicago Sky v New York Liberty

Sabrina Ionescu
Photo by Evan Yu/NBAE via Getty Images

11) Courtney Vandersloot (79 points)

New York Liberty

2022: No. 9; 2021: No. 8

Vandersloot finally gave up the top spot in assists per game to Natasha Cloud last year, averaging 6.5 to Cloud’s seven. She had led the league in that category five years in a row with averages of 8.1, 8.6, 9.1, 10 and 8.6. Her career average of 6.7 is the highest in WNBA history. With 2,386 assists coming as a member of the Sky, she will always be a Chicago sports legend. Now she starts a new chapter in New York, where Breanna Stewart can likely increase Vandersloot’s assist numbers. Sloot could have gone home to Seattle, which would have been a good story, but it’s hard to blame her for choosing New York. It would have been tough to pass up the opportunity to play on that superteam. It will be interesting to see what Sloot can accomplish in her mid to late 30s.

New York Liberty Press Conference

Courtney Vandersloot
Photo by Mike Lawrence/NBAE via Getty Images

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