Fantasy Central: Week 8

It’s Tuesday again, and your fantasy lineup is due soon. Not to worry! We have all the info you need to play like a pro this week. 

DON’T FORGET! Lineups close on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. ET this week!

Injury Updates

  • Hannah DeMers – Central Michigan – minor foot injury (2/10)
  • Allie Smith – Washington – dislocated ankle (2/10)
  • Kelley Hebert – UC Davis – fingers wrapped (2/11)
  • Mia Sundstrom – Denver – arm in a sling (2/11)
  • Griffin James – Alabama – torn achilles (2/14)
  • Amanda Cashman – Georgia – torn achilles (2/14)
  • Laura Cooke – Iowa State – in a boot (2/14)
  • Bailey Davidson – UW Eau Claire – torn achilles (2/15)
  • Kirsten Peterman – Maryland – arm in a sling (2/16)
  • Leah Smith – Towson – in a boot (2/16)
  • Olivia Gunter – LSU – in a boot (2/16)
  • Lynnzee Brown – Denver – ankle injury (2/16)

Week 8 Byes and Doubles

Byes: Alaska, Bridgeport, Eastern Michigan, SEMO

Doubles: Bowling Green, Ithaca, N.C. State, Pittsburgh, Rhode Island, Southern Utah, Stanford, Temple, Ursinus, West Chester, West Virginia, William & Mary

Experts Say…Your Hot Tip for Week 8

We’ve made it to the first postseason-ish meets of the year! That’s right, it’s Elevate the Stage Big Five time. Two sessions each with five Big Ten teams will go head-to-head on podium, and we’ll come out of the weekend with conference championship seeding and the regular season champion. We’ll get to see undefeated Michigan and Minnesota duke it out on the same floor. Are you giddy? We’re giddy. 

At last year’s Elevate Toledo, judges weren’t afraid to throw big numbers; this was Natalie Wojcik’s 10.0 vault. Keep in mind that the meet is on podium, so it’s always possible we’ll see some upgrades since the surface has more rebound.

There are a few other unique meets this weekend: Oklahoma and Stanford meet for the Perfect 10 Challenge (which remains an “away” contest for the Sooners; side eye), Cornell hosts the Ivy Classic and there’s a huge pink meet (“Unite for Her”) in Philadelphia, with Southern Connecticut, Ursinus, Temple, Illinois State and West Chester. 

Perfect 10 Challenge is usually, as our esteemed editor in chief put it, a “Carol fest”, so expect big numbers there.

A double meet weekend for Stanford puts some players in a precarious spot; be cautious and be sure to double check the consistency of your Cardinal before putting her in; it is especially fraught since one of those meets is the high scoring Perfect 10 Challenge.

Florida, Southern Utah and Arkansas are home this weekend, so we expect those scores to be strong. Oregon State heads to California; the Beavers proved they can put up a solid away number in the Huntsman Center last week, and they need to do it again in Haas Pavilion with one low NQS score still to drop. 

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.


We’ve seen Brenna Brooks in Allie Smith’s vault slot at Washington the past two weeks, and she notched a 9.825 at home on Saturday. Kennedi Edney was back in this lineup for LSU, and assuming her injury continues to heal, we think she’s there to stay. It seems likely that if Makarri Doggette misses time on vault with her sore knee that we’ll see Maddie Desch in this lineup.

Sarah Edwards was briefly, mysteriously, in the LSU live scores, but then disappeared. We haven’t seen her training yet, so we think it’s wise to hold her off another week.

Start: Brenna Brooks, Kennedi Edney, Maddie Desch, Sierra Alexander

Sit: Sarah Edwards, Alyssa Baumann, Cairo Leonard-Baker


We don’t yet know the results of Makarri Doggette’s knee MRI, but we do know she was at least able to compete bars last weekend; if you risk her anywhere, it should be here.

Brandon Sudge reported that Marissa Oakley was pulled due to a recurrence of her long term shoulder injury, and Emily Schild got the bars start. Courtney Kupets Carter is not afraid to hold her gymnasts out when they’re in pain. Georgia is at Kentucky this week, and that should be a tight matchup, so it’s hard to predict who will be in the lineup; Oakley is the higher score potential, but Kupets Carter has said she won’t risk her health. The conservative choice is to sit both; the bold choice is to start Oakley if you can take a possible zero.

Start: Makarri Doggette, Alaina Raybon, Rachel Decavitch

Sit: Emily Schild, Marissa Oakley, Aspen Tucker, Abby Beeston


Washington’s Meaghan Ruttan didn’t compete her usual beam/floor lineups last week; Michaela Nelson stepped in on beam and hit a 9.875. We can’t be certain she’ll stay in the lineup, but with a debut like that it seems likely.

Mia Takekawa exhibitioned beam for a 9.900 last week; it seems likely she’ll be back this weekend in Toledo, although competition for a lineup spot is tight. We expect Rachel Borden may lose her spot.

We believe Amelia Hundley may be back here; her peak is the same as Leah Clappers’ and the Gators will want all hands on deck with Alabama in town. That said, it seems like the two are fighting for a lineup spot, so there’s always the chance we’ll see Clapper again. Starting either is rolling the dice.

Erin McLachlan had a rough landing on her last floor pass last week and was then pulled from the beam lineup; we don’t know more than that at this point, but it seems likely that she’ll at the very least be rested for a week.

Start: Michaela Nelson, Mia Takekawa, Amelia Hundley, Kynsee Roby

Sit: Erin McLachlan, Meaghan Ruttan, Rachel Borden, Alexis Hankins, Rachel Smith


Whatever was hampering Clair Kaji through the first several weeks seems to have righted itself; the Hawkeye is back on floor with two solid weeks under her belt. We believe Emma Brown will step into Lynnzee Brown’s floor spot; she tops out at 9.750, but if you’re desperate after L. Brown’s injury, she’s a fairly sure thing for the lineup. With Griffin James and likely Makarri Doggette out of floor, it seems likely that Alonza Klopfer will be in this lineup; she scored a 9.850 last week.

Amanda Cashman’s floor replacement was Sterlyn Austin; we’d give her another week or two to settle in before putting her in fantasy lineups. The Perfect 10 Challenge versus Stanford doesn’t feel like a meet where Maggie Nichols will return to this lineup.

Start: Clair Kaji, Christina Desiderio, Emma Brown, Alonza Klopfer, Jade Degouveia, Molly Jozwiakowski

Sit: Sterlyn Austin, Meaghan Ruttan, Maggie Nichols

Week 8 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.


Oh, vault. Is it just us, or has vault been especially rough this year? Maybe we say that every year. Emery Summey (84 conferences) vaulted for the first time for North Carolina in 2020 last weekend for a 9.825. Alecia Petrikis has a near-9.800 average and is available in 61 conferences. Illinois’ Mia Townes has gotten into the 9.800-plus groove and is available in 54 conferences.


Boise State’s Alexis Stokes at least gripped up and was in a leotard during the Broncos’ last meet. We have to assume she’ll be in that lineup, which is currently going five-up, as soon as she’s remotely able. She’s available in 49 conferences. She also warmed up beam.

Sofia Iribarren (22 conferences) has been on a bars roll all season; she’s a possible regionals individual qualifier on the event, with regular 9.875s. Jori Jackard remains in 16 conferences; she notched a 9.925 last weekend. N.C. State’s Katelyn Cox (73 conferences) had an off weekend last week, but is a regular 9.800-plus routine. 


Ball State’s Arden Hudson tied the school record with a 9.900 recently and remains available in 25 conferences. Ryan Henry (28 conferences) is one of Division II’s top beamers; she can be hit or miss, but is capable of 9.900s. Don’t sleep on Division III, either. Divisional leader Emma Schulz of Cortland is steady here and available in 78 conferences; she’s also a capable floor worker. George Washington beam specialist Hannah Cohen is available in 23 conferences and has scored between 9.775 and 9.900 all year.


The Bridgeport bye leaves a Maya Reimers’ sized hole on floor. Temple’s Faith Leary (49 conferences) could hold you over; she can go as high as 9.875. Bria Northrop inexplicably remains available in 11 conferences. The all arounder is especially good here. Kent State’s Jade Brown (33 conferences) has also found her floor groove and has topped out at 9.925. Tara Kofmehl (19 conferences) is another strong MAC option.

Article by Emily Minehart with additional reporting form Tara Greave, Rebecca Scally and Elizabeth Grimsley

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  1. I love everything you guys do!! It would be super awesome to add some smaller schools to your start em, sit em segment too! 🙂

  2. Do you know what’s up with Morgan Hoang of Stanford? She is normally 3 events for them but was completely absent this weekend.

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