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. 

Injury Updates

Confirmed season-ending injuries are in bold.

  • Kirsten Peterman – Maryland – broken hand, confirmed out for season (2/16)
  • Leah Smith – Towson – in a boot (2/16)
  • Olivia Gunter – LSU – in a boot (2/16)
  • Lynnzee Brown – Denver – torn achilles (2/18)
  • Mia Sundstrom – Denver – upper body injury; will miss rest of 2020 season (2/18)
  • Ally Cucich – New Hampshire – torn ACL (2/3; confirmed on 2/21)
  • Maggie Nichols – Oklahoma – unknown ankle injury (2/21)
  • Kyana George – Cal – unknown ankle injury (2/22)
  • Alma Kuc – Cal – elbow surgery (2/22)
  • Maddie Mariani – Michigan – in a boot (2/22)
  • Caitlyn Kline – Pitt – elbow brace (2/22)

Week 9 Byes and Doubles

Byes: Iowa, Nebraska 

Doubles: Alaska, Central Michigan, Northern Illinois, Seattle Pacific, SEMO

Experts Say…Your Hot Tip for Week 9 

Things get weird this week. Many conferences (notably the Big Ten) have completed necessary in-conference play, so this is the first week since early in the season that we get some really bizarre and fun matchups.

New Hampshire heads to the Crisler Center to compete against Michigan; Big Ten scoring isn’t extremely generous, but the EAGL squad may notice a little boost. Northern Illinois and SEMO will head to the Tennessee Collegiate Challenge, part of the USA Invitational in Lebanon, Tennessee. That’s a new college invite, but if the others we know and love are any indication, scores will trend high.

Denver heads to Oklahoma for an ESPN showdown; here’s hoping the Pioneers will have shaken off the dust of last weekend and use the big stage to set things right in what could be a high-scoring matchup if they can hit.

Don’t forget that Monday’s contest between Arizona State and Stanford counts toward this week’s scores.

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.


There was a rumor that Ona Loper’s struggles at Elevate the Stage were due to missing time with the flu; we have confidence that she’ll be back in form this week. Nya Reed might compete this weekend, per Florida to our editor at last week’s meet, where Reed warmed up vault and floor. If you like risk, put her in, but if you can’t take a zero should she not compete, hold off one more week. If you’re late to the party, Emily Shepard has been consistently great for N.C. State. Arden Hudson is also strong for Ball State; she had a less-than-stellar week, but we expect to see her back in the 9.8s. Don’t miss Rutgers’ Kaitlyn Hall, who has a 10.0 start and has gone 9.875 two weeks running.

KJ Kindler didn’t make Maggie Nichols’ status sound promising; as far as we know, she’s out entirely for now. It seems likely that Amoree Lockhart will need to keep vaulting for Denver, but she only performed a Yurchenko layout, so we wouldn’t use her here for fantasy yet. BYU’s post-meet release said Shannon Evans was out of vault and floor due to a sore Achilles; we have to assume the Cougars are going to be very cautious with her moving forward.

Start: Ona Loper, Nya Reed, Emily Shepard, Arden Hudson, Kaitlyn Hall, Stefanie Schweikert, Daisy Woodring, Maddi Leydin, Andrea Maldonado, Abby Heiskell

Sit: Maggie Nichols, Amoree Lockhart, Emili Dobronics, Kennedi Davis, Abbey Ward, Shannon Evans


Alexis Stokes is back in a much-needed bars role for Boise State. Brown’s Mei Li Costa had a strong comeback after a few rough weeks at Ivy Classic. Sofia Iribarren is in a grove for Illinois State.

We don’t know why Iowa State’s Natalia Ros Vaquer didn’t compete last week; we’d keep her out of lineups until we know more, if you have other options. Sabrina Vega has been back on bars the past two weeks, but she hasn’t quite been on; we’d give her more time here.

Start: Alexis Stokes, Mei Li Costa, Jada Rondeau, Sofia Iribarren, Taylor Chan, Morgan Hart

Sit: Julianna Roland, Natalia Ros Vaquer, Sabrina Vega


Yale’s Lindsay Chia owns the beam program record; she had a slow start but has really settled in, including a 9.900 at Ivy Classic. Likewise for UC Davis’ Alyssa Ito, who hit a 9.925. Central Michigan’s Morgan Tong is reliable and a great option.

Two of last year’s reliable Big Ten beam specialists have been struggling this year, and it’s not worth the risk; we’d sit Jessie Bastardi and Rachel Borden. Southern Connecticut has had an unimaginable year, but with retired head coach Jerry Nelson back as interim, the team has a renewed energy; Hannah Stahlbrodt doesn’t seem quite ready for fantasy lineups, but keep your eye on her here.

Start: Lindsay Chia, Anna Kaziska, Alyssa Ito, Chloe Negrete, Leah Clapper, Morgan Tong

Sit: Jessie Bastardi, Rachel Borden, Hannah Stahlbrodt, Courtney Mitchell, Kathryn Doran


We heard on the broadcast that Cairo Leonard-Baker isn’t quite 100 percent yet, but she looked almost like her old self again last week. Cami Bea Austin is consistently good for Centenary College, and worth a start if you need a reliable 9.800. George Washington duo Deja Chambliss and Cydney Crasa have been on fire recently, and Abby Fletcher has found her floor groove. California’s post-meet release mentioned that Kyanna George‘s injury was minor, and she’s expected back on floor this weekend.

We think Missy Reinstadtler is probably done on floor for good; it just doesn’t seem like her ankles can take it. Christina Berg just hasn’t been pulling big numbers on floor this year. 

Start: Cami Bea Austin, Deja Chambliss, Cydney Crasa, Abby Fletcher, Tara Kofmehl, Isabel Goyco, Bria Northrop, Cairo Leonard-Baker, Kyana George

Sit: Missy Reinstadtler, Makarri Doggette, Rachel Decavitch, Olivia Gunter, Christina Berg, Shannon Evans

Week 9 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.


Vault specialist Kasey Meeks was back in the lineup for Illinois at Elevate the Stage; she’s still available in 78 conferences and notched a 9.825. BYU’s Adeline Rieder came out of nowhere for a 9.850 vault this week. Rutgers’ Kaitlyn Hall has a 10.0 start and has gone 9.875 two weeks in a row.


Illinois State bar specialist Anna Marema has had two strong weeks in a row, after a tough start to the season; she’s available in 85 conferences. Esperanza Abarca (32 conferences) can be hit-or-miss, but she has a 9.900 ceiling and is worth considering.


Callie Schlottman (83 conferences) stepped into beam for Denver at BYU, and in the midst of a chaotic meet hit a 9.850 in her first collegiate routine. Lindenwood beamer Emily Milliet (81 conferences) missed the beginning of the year, but hit for a 9.800 on Sunday. Emma Milne is a stellar beamer and available in 13 conferences, she put up a 9.925 last week.


Cornell’s Claire Haklik (69 conferences) was a reliable 9.8-plus routine last year, and just went 9.925. Pennsylvania’s Rebekah Lashley (87 conferences) also had a strong Ivy Classic for her second big hit in a row. Floor star Jessica Meakim remains available in 33 conferences.

Notes From the Fantasy Roundtable

We’re all still trying to sit with what is going on at Denver. Yes, losing two stellar athletes midseason is always a massive blow, but for the caliber team it is, the Pioneers shouldn’t be struggling this much. They have always had low depth due to a small roster, but last week’s performance goes beyond that. We’re hoping they pull it together this week, but we won’t know how many of last week’s mental mistakes were flukes, and how many are sticking around.

Article by Emily Minehart with additional reporting from Tara Graeve and Rebecca Scally

One comment

  1. Natalia Ros Vaquer posted on her IG (in Spanish) that she was in bed with the flu, so thankfully it’s nothing too serious.

    Thanks for everything you do!

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