Fantasy Central: Week 0 (Practice Week)

Hi folks! We’re excited to introduce to you a new weekly series we’ll be running through season. This is your one-stop-shop for all things fantasy in the week to follow. We’ll be tracking injuries, byes and double headers, and giving you tips and tricks to put forward your best possible team. We’ll also be relying on data to recommend trade pickups when the time comes!

Since the first week is a practice week with most teams on a bye, there’s not too much to talk about, but we wanted to get the series rolling!

Here’s a refresher on the rules in case you’re playing for the first time or have forgotten. You have a team of 20 players. Each week, you select eight to compete on each event, and the top five of those eight scores count toward your total. If a gymnast doesn’t compete in a lineup you put her in, or you forget to pull someone on a bye week, she’ll score a zero. If a gymnast has a double meet weekend, her scores are averaged. Trading opens a few weeks into the season each year, so you need to roll with the team you drafted until then.

Injury Updates

  • Sarah Hargrove – Nebraska – out for 2020 season with injury (12/18)
  • Tia Kiaku – Alabama – season-ending shoulder injury (12/19)
  • Mallory Mizuki – Illinois – torn ACL (again) (12/19)
  • Jade Chrobok– Stanford – broken foot (12/21)
  • Erin Morden – Boise State – in a boot (12/21)
  • Sarah Brownstein – Towson – in a boot (12/25)
  • Marimar Perez-Banus – Ball State – knee surgery (12/27)
  • Jackie Terpak – Temple – in a boot (12/29)

Week 0 Byes and Doubles

Teams with Meets: (During regular weeks, we’ll list byes and doubles, but since this week is so unique, we thought it would make more sense to list the teams actually competing!) 

**Remember: Fantasy “weeks” start on Wednesday. That means a Tuesday meet is grouped with the meets happening the preceding weekend while a Thursday meet is grouped with the meets happening the following weekend.

  • Arizona
  • Arizona State
  • Auburn
  • Bridgeport
  • Brockport
  • BYU
  • California
  • Cortland
  • Denver
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Illinois
  • Illinois State
  • Iowa
  • LSU
  • Michigan State
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon State
  • Penn State
  • Sacramento State
  • SEMO
  • Stanford
  • UCLA
  • UC Davis
  • Utah
  • Western Michigan

Note that while Minnesota will be competing in an intrasquad, it’s not an official meet so the scores won’t count!

Experts Say…Your Hot Tip for Week 0 

There are two big invites happening this weekend: Critique Classic (Bridgeport, Georgia, Iowa, Oregon State) and two sessions of California Grand (Arizona State, Auburn, Denver, Penn State, California, Oklahoma, Stanford, UCLA). Headline invites usually tend to score more generously than your average dual, so expect these teams to get off to a bang. Remember that the Cal Grand meet last year was where Katelyn Ohashi scored her first 10.0 of the season for her viral routine.

We also have LSU and Utah kicking off the season at home, so expect those scores to trend high as well.

Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em

Are you struggling to decide when the time is right to pull a gymnast who keeps letting you down? Wondering whether that surprise star has what it takes to score well in the weeks to come? Never fear! We’re going to weigh in.

A programming note for this first week: I won’t talk at length about everyone I list in the start/sits; rather I’ll point out a few very important things. If you ever have a question about my reasoning, comment or ask on Twitter!

This is a tricky conversation this early in the year; there are the obvious starts (the UCLAs and Oklahomas and LSUs), but we want to help you fill out your lineup in a light competition week, so we’re focusing on names you may not know as well.

Adding a last minute note before publishing, folks! Utah was kind enough to give us lineup hints going into the weekend, as was New Hampshire.

Update (1:05 ET): Denver has put out its press release, suggesting Maddie Karr may be healthy enough to compete in the all around.


If your draft landed you Illinois State’s Angelica Labat, she’s a no-brainer here. Her Yurchenko one and a half is the only 10.0 start for the Redbirds, so she’ll likely anchor, and she’s been landing well all preseason. Western Michigan freshman Payton Murphy had a strong outing for a 9.800 at the Michigan quad friendly in December; she’s also an easy lineup choice. 

There are a few gymnasts I’d hold back if you have enough other options, to see how they’re landing during this first week. They’re listed in the sits below (it’s not a pun, but you know it could be).

Start: Angelica Labat (Ill St.), Payton Murphy (WMU), Morgan Wilson (ASU), Kiya Johnson (LSU), Mia Sundstrom (DU), Mikayla Magee (UGA)

Sit: Anika Dujakovic (UNL), Kasey Meeks (ILL), Anna Kaziska (SEMO), Abi Solari (Cal), Ruby Harrold (LSU), Haley de Jong (UGA)


Remember that Jade Degouveia competed bars at the Oklahoma intrasquad; we don’t know for sure whether she’ll be in the lineup, but it seems likely and she feels worth the risk during the practice week. Georgia freshman Amanda Cashman also showed a strong set at First Look.

For the practice week, I’d hold Sabrina Vega off of bars until she has one competition set under her belt. It looks like the senior is going to be in the all around, but if you have eight other routines, I’d wait a week. Likewise Hunter Dula, who competed in the Red Rocks Preview but was missing from other training situations.

Start: Jade Degouveia (OU), Clara Colombo (UNL), Lauren Bridgens (PSU), Emilie LeBlanc (Utah), Amanda Cashman (UGA)

Sit: Hunter Dula (Utah), Ashley Albrecht (SEMO), Rae Balthazor (ILL), Sabrina Vega (UGA), Madison Kocian (UCLA)


Illinois’ Mia Takekawa scored a 9.950 on beam in the friendly versus Illinois State; we finally got to see the routine, and it was stunning. She’s a no-brainer. Another freshmen we’re likely to see is Haley de Jong, who put up a nice set at Georgia’s First Look.

We’re still not certain of Bre Showers’ status, so hold her for a week if you have enough routines. Cassidy Keelen seems to have retired! If you drafted her, keep her out of lineups until we know for sure. 

Start: Mia Takekawa (ILL), Helen Hu (Mizzou), Jessie Bastardi (PSU), Clair Kaji (Iowa), Madi Dagen (OSU), Riley Freehling (UNH), Haley de Jong (UGA)

Sit: Brehanna Showers (OU), Cassidy Keelen (Cal), Samantha Sakti (UCLA) 


We saw a lot of stunning choreography work from JerQuavia Henderson during preseason. She’s a lock for the Iowa lineup and set to be a show-stopper. Alisa Sheremeta is poised to shine in Missouri’s lineup after transferring from UIC.

We’re not sure of the current status of Ruby Harrold’s hip injury, but I’d keep the sometime-floor worker out of this lineup. Abby Paulson had a strong but not quite outstanding floor set at the Red Rocks Preview; we’re sure she’ll get there, but if you have other routines to use, think about letting her settle in for a week out of lineups.

Start: JerQuavia Henderson (Iowa), Maya Reimers (UB), Gabriella Douglas (MSU), Alisa Sheremeta (Mizzou), Maile O’Keefe (Utah)

Sit: Ruby Harrold (LSU), Abby Paulson (Utah)

Week 0 Pickups

Trying to figure out who to pick up to replace an injury? Looking for a ninja to up your weekly beam total? We’ve got you covered, down to the data on who should still be available.

We won’t be using the Pickups section until trading opens, but I wanted to assure you that we will talk about trades! Stay tuned!

In the meantime, here are some fun post-draft tidbits:

  • Anna Salamone (Air Force) was not drafted in two conferences
  • Emma Slappey (Auburn) will be available for trading in 16 percent of conferences
  • Due to spelling inconsistencies, AK Subject (Denver) and Rachael Lukacs (Georgia) were double-listed in the draft, and may be available in 85 and 88 conferences, respectively, depending on how the inconsistencies are solved
  • Hailey Poland (Kentucky) went un-drafted in 10 percent of conferences
  • Haley Brechwald (Pittsburgh) was not drafted in 37 percent of conferences
  • Cammy Hall (Utah) is available in 15 percent of conferences

Notes From the Fantasy Roundtable

Our editors are experts on their beats. This is a place for them to chime in with anything going on with the teams they cover. 

Since this meet week comes up so quickly after the holidays, there’s not much to report. We have seen Maddie Karr training bars and beam, a promising sign after her minor knee surgery. Paige Williams missed many of Minnesota’s early intrasquads; we’ll keep an eye on her when the Gophers have their final preseason showcase this week.

Article by Emily Minehart

Post updated 1/2/2020 to include Denver press release.

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  1. Is there still a link to the master byes and doubles schedule? I ended up with several groups of multiple gymnasts from the same team and want to look ahead to see if it will leave me short handed. This new column looks great!

    1. You’ll have to hang onto them until trading opens (last year that happened January 15!) to trade them out for competing gymnasts. For now, just hang onto them but don’t put them in lineups. You can take a look at who is available for trading in your conference once it opens in the “Trade Gymnast” menu!

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