The only constant in sports (and life) is change. While consistency is key to a winning strategy, the ebb and flow of production often can’t be avoided.

Tracking the endless ups and downs over 40 games and nearly four months can become a heady operation. Segmenting the journey, however, into weekly updates allows managers to live (and play) in the now.

That’s exactly what my Risers and Fallers column aims to accomplish, as we utilize ESPN’s metrics database for a deeper look at the numbers.


Risers

Tianna Hawkins, Forward, Washington Mystics (27% rostered, +16.2)

Hawkins, who has impressed since starting while Shakira Austin is sidelined, made her way onto my list of Risers last week. Due to the All-Star game, Washington took the court just one time since last week’s column went live. In that effort, however, Hawkins recorded a team-high 32 minutes and sank three of four 3-pointers. The 32-year-old posted 13 points and six rebounds in the team’s seven-point victory over Seattle, netting fantasy managers a solid 23-points in the process. She’s now cleared 20 fantasy points for four consecutive games. Austin (hip) is expected to be evaluated on Tuesday, July 18. While Shakira’s return could negatively impact Hawkins’ production, the Maryland native’s solid play has allowed for Austin to be eased back in. Hawkins should remain in fantasy lineups until clarity regarding Austin’s return comes into focus. The Mystics will host the Fever on Wednesday, July 19.

Nia Coffey, Forward, Atlanta Dream (27.2% rostered, +6.5)

As mentioned in last week’s column, Coffey’s shooting volume can be head scratching. Her defensive prowess, however, is entirely obvious. While the former Wildcat has failed to clear 9 points since July 5, she has managed at least 6 rebounds for four straight efforts (top-10). She’s additionally registered a steal and a block in each game over that span. Her defensive impact bolsters her fantasy relevance and provides her with a predictable floor. Coffey has averaged nearly 20 fantasy points per game since the start of the month.

Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu, Forward, Seattle Storm (9.6% rostered, +6)

The Storm haven’t won a game since June 24. While that’s less than ideal for Seattle fans, it has allowed for tinkering and provided bench players with opportunities. Fankam Mendjiadeu has made her way into the starting lineup for three-straight contests. The rookie registered double-digit points (12.3 per game average) in each effort as well as double-digit rebounds in two of those three games. Her shooting efficiency (61.8% over her last four games) offers managers an intriguing floor.

While Fankam Mendjiadeu’s playing time has been frustratingly inconsistent — a trend that figures to continue with All-Star MVP Jewell Loyd likely to return from a foot injury — the Cameroonian standout remains an interesting stash in fantasy leagues.


Fallers

Natisha Hiedeman, Guard, Connecticut Sun (62.2% rostered, -3.3)

Hiedeman’s playing time and production have fluctuated wildly since late June. With the exception of a 33-minute and 14-point effort on July 6, the 26-year-old has underwhelmed from a fantasy perspective. She did exit the court on July 9 with an injury, which could have contributed to a season-low 6 minutes in her following effort on July 1. Still, there isn’t enough production to justify the lack of consistency. Averaging just 2 boards per game and with declining shooting volume, Hiedeman’s numbers aren’t robust enough to warrant a roster spot in fantasy leagues.

Ivana Dojkic, Guard, Seattle Storm (13% rostered, -3.7)

Dojkic began to come on about a month ago, finding her way into the starting lineup and averaging over 30 minutes per game through the end of June. Shortly thereafter, however, the 25-year-old appeared to hit a rookie wall. Dojkic has failed to record more than 8 points (4 PTS/gm) and 3 rebounds (1.6 REB/gm) since the beginning of July. She’s coming off of a scoreless effort in which she posted just two field goal attempts.

Follow Liz on Twitter: @LizLoza_FF



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