Fantasy Central: Week 5

[UPDATED 2/3 9:43 am]: Illinois has joined the Michigan State at Ohio State meet on Feb. 7.

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, Ithaca, Penn, Southern Connecticut, UC Davis, Ursinus, West Chester and Yale are not competing this season.

Injury Updates

  • Short Term: Kalyany Steele – UCLA – ankle injury (1/25)
  • Short Term: Lexi Graber – Alabama – car accident; out two weeks (1/26)
  • Unknown: Martina Comin – Nebraska – in a boot (1/31)

COVID Schedule Changes

  • LSU and Auburn will make up their missed dual from last weekend this Friday, Feb. 5.
  • Michigan is still on pause this weekend. Illinois stated on its broadcast that it is looking to join another meet, but nothing is finalized yet. This post will be updated when anything becomes official.

Week 5 Byes and Doubles

Byes: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Gustavus Adolphus, Hamline, Illinois*, Kent State, Kentucky, Lindenwood, LIU, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Northern Illinois, Stanford, UCLA, UW-Eau Claire, UW-La Crosse, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Stout, UW-Whitewater, Winona State

Keep in mind that UCLA and BYU compete Feb. 10, which is a Wednesday. Depending on how your league defines a “week,” it may not be on bye this week, and BYU may be on a double.

Deep Cuts for Deep Leagues in Week 5

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. 


Well, it’s SEC bye week No. 1. We knew it was coming. Deep breath and here we go. Did you miss Illinois’ Mia Townes debuting her new Yurchenko 1.5 for a 9.850? She’s a solid pickup if available in your league. Cal lineups were interesting this weekend; if Natalie Sadighi went undrafted in your league, she’s an option.


Nebraska’s Kinsey Davis is having a quietly good start to her career on bars especially; she’s been 9.800 or better each time out. New Hampshire’s Lauren Diggen has two 9.8s to her name so far as well. You might think of Iowa as a floor team, and Adeline Kenlin a beamer, but she has three very good bars scores so far, too. If she is somehow still available in your league, snatch her up.


Arizona’s Sirena Linton has back-to-back 9.850s under her belt; she’s an obvious choice if you’re lacking beamers. Minnesota’s Abbie Nylin was quietly added to beam two weeks ago and has been solid in both outings. Did you catch Michigan State’s debut? All arounder Baliegh Garcia beamed to a 9.900 in her debut.


Illinois State only traveled eight gymnasts last weekend and struggled, but Cameron Topp—who is back from an Achilles—posted a 9.825 on floor; she’s a sneaky add. Halle Remlinger is back for the Gophers; she’s a solid vault and floor number to boost your lineups.

Starts, Sits and Pickups for Week 5

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!


What to do about Kiya Johnson? She was limited to bars against Georgia due to ongoing Achilles pain. While we can assume the bye week helped, we can also assume that Jay Clark is going to continue to be very cautious; he’ll want Johnson healthy for postseason. It’s our best guess that she’ll have an expanded role against LSU’s biggest foes. She’ll want to be in top shape for Florida next week. We’d assume she’ll be limited to bars this week, but it is of course a toss up. Start her elsewhere only with caution.


Auburn’s bar lineup has been, in a word, chaotic. The absences of Cassie Stevens and Aria Brusch continue to perplex us. In their absences, Piper Smith settled in during her last appearance, and Drew Watson was finally back on bars. It’s hard to say what’s going on here and who will land spots against LSU. We’ve heard rumblings that we can expect Brusch back this week, but proceed with caution.


With another fall for Emilie LeBlanc, Utah’s second lineup spot seems up for grabs between her and Jaylene Gilstrap. We’d lean Gilstrap, given that LeBlanc has now fallen twice. Things are getting weird in Norman. KJ Kindler can’t seem to find her preferred six here while she waits for Olivia Trautman’s return. With about half of the beam options having fallen once, there’s no clear picture of who Kindler will put in. Ragan Smith‘s 9.9-ability makes her likely, despite the low number last week. Evy Schoepfer redeemed herself last week, but does Karrie Thomas get another go? Kindler is known for being ruthless with lineups, so tread lightly here.


We wouldn’t stress about Lauren Guerin‘s low score; Larissa Libby posted on Twitter that it was a routine construction error that will be fixed next week. We’re not sure why Andrea Maldonado didn’t compete this weekend. Phoebe Turner put in a decent showing in her absence, but we have to assume that if healthy, Maldonado will return to this lineup. As for Lynnzee Brown, it’s fair to assume she was being rested with caution since she’s just back from an Achilles; with Oklahoma on the slate this weekend, it’s likely she’ll be back in this lineup.

Article by Emily Minehart 

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