Fantasy gym—like everything since March—is a little different this season. The official game isn’t running because of all of the uncertainty. We know a number of you are playing in private leagues, so Fantasy Central lives on!
We’re keeping the College Fantasy Gymnastics weekly cadence as our guide: As far as we’re concerned, the fantasy “week” begins with any Wednesday meets, and ends with Tuesday meets; that’s why you’ll find us here every Tuesday talking about “next week.”
Reminder: Alaska, Bridgeport, Brockport, Brown, Cornell, Cortland, Gustavus Adolphus (Possibly! We have our eye on it), Ithaca, Penn, Ursinus, West Chester and Yale are not competing this season.
Since we’re just kicking off, here are injuries back to Christmas. Going forward, this list will include updates over the preceding week.
- Kiara Gianfagna – Arkansas – in a boot (12/26)
- Cory Shinohara – North Carolina – torn Achilles (12/29)
COVID Schedule Changes
Since this piece will come out on Tuesday every week, it’ll have the most up-to-date schedule changes for the preceding seven days (Tuesday-Monday). For this week, we’ll leave it at: What the heck are you doing Pac-12?!
Big Ten schedules were released yesterday. Yeah. I know. All 10 teams are on a bye this week and starting up next weekend. There are no built-in bye weeks like the SEC. Big Fives are still happening for some unholy reason, the weekend of February 26-28. Yep, that’s right, we still don’t have actual dates, just weekends, for a lot of the meets. As for where Big Fives and the conference meet are happening? TBD, as you do.
Week 0 Byes and Doubles
Byes: Everyone, basically. Rather than listing byes let’s look at who is competing: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona State, Auburn, BYU, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Missouri, Oklahoma, Southern Utah, Utah, Utah State.
We’ll call this week SEC, Utah and Friends.
Deep Cuts for Deep Leagues in Week 0
Tips for those of you in leagues with 10-plus players, where you need to be a little more creative to fill out lineups, especially in SEC bye weeks.
This section is going to be cool once we have more meets going on! It’s where you’ll find your ninjas on big teams, your smaller conference sleepers and your “wow X event is rough this year and it’s SEC bye week, what the heck do I do” picks.
For this week? There aren’t enough teams competing for you to really need to make lineup choices, so here are some things I’ve noted for the competing teams during preseason to keep an eye on while you plan for future weeks.
Don’t forget that Isabella Martin is joining Alabama early; she had a bit of a rough go in her 2020 level 10 season, but she has a very tidy Yurchenko full that we may see. If you were crafty enough to draft the Thunderbirds’ Molly Jozwiakowski, look for her stellar tuck Tsuk 1.5 to make its competitive debut.
Audrey Davis is going to be a bars star for Oklahoma. Look for her piked Jaeger; it’s already the best in the NCAA, and she hasn’t even competed it yet. If you were lucky enough to draft her, she’s your rock here all year. Remember that Alyssa Baumann has been training bars this preseason for the Gators, and Alexia Burch added bars at the Red Rocks Preview.
Soraya Hawthorn and Victoria Nguyen should be important, high scoring pieces of the Gymdogs’ lineup. I expect we’ll see transfer Maggie O’Hara here for the Razorbacks; she should be on bars as well. Ragan Smith has looked like a renewed gymnast in Oklahoma training clips; expect her to come out strong. Sofi Sullivan had a great all around campaign last year, and she excelled especially on beam. Look for her to have a strong sophomore season as well for the Aggies.
Don’t forget about BYU on floor! Abbey Miner Alder, Brittney Vitkauskas, Sadie Miner and Abby Stainton all had 9.8-plus averages last year and are back for more. This is Lucy Stanhope’s most secure-looking lineup spot for the Utes. Look out for Amanda Cashman, too. If she’s recovered enough from last year’s Achilles, she’ll be an important piece of Georgia’s floor lineup.
Starts, Sits and Pickups for Week 0
Are you playing in a smaller league and still looking for advice about big names? Are you in a deep league but not sure what to do with that OU beam specialist? These tips are for you!
We don’t really have the luxury of sitting anyone this week, and I can’t imagine any league is picking up waiver gymnasts yet. For this week, I’ll just remind you of some big things to remember across competing teams.
Keep in mind that newly healthy Jaedyn Rucker was a vault, bars and floor alternate at the Red Rocks Preview; the Utes have competitive lineups, so she’s not a clear lock for the top six anywhere. It’ll be interesting to see if she breaks into any lineups during this practice week.
Kai Rivers is out with an Achilles! Here’s your friendly reminder in case you accidentally drafted her. Kylie Dickson is no longer on the Alabama roster; she graduated early. Be sure to pull her from lineups if you drafted her!
Remember, Helen Hu is out with an ACL! If you forgot and drafted her, don’t be surprised by the zeroes. One major team whose beam lineup intrigues me is Florida. With so many strong options, it’s easy to see Sydney Johnson-Scharpf and Alex Magee for that last spot. Certainly one to keep an eye on this week, and you can bet we’ll be watching to see who does an exhibition or if an extra gymnasts warm up.
Oklahoma has a lot of new depth; keep an eye especially on the floor lineup. The routines we’ve seen rotate in and out over their careers (Evy Schoepfer, Jordan Draper) may or may not appear. We didn’t see Cairo Leonard-Baker compete floor at the Sun Devils’ intrasquad; she did dance through and tumbled a bit; keep an eye on that floor lineup.
Notes From the Fantasy Roundtable
As with last year, my fellow editors will weigh in week to week if there’s anything intriguing to report from their beats. We’ll get this section up and running next week!
Article by Emily Minehart
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