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, Sac State, Southern Connecticut, UC Davis, Ursinus, West Chester and Yale are not competing this season.
- Long Term: Erin Fortman – Minnesota – torn ACL (2/22)
- Long Term: Arayah Simons – Illinois – torn Achilles (2/23)
- Long Term: Ashley Albrecht – SEMO – unknown season ending injury (2/27)
- Unknown: Mallory LeNeave – Minnesota – in a boot (2/27)
- Long Term: Amoree Lockhart – Denver – torn Achilles (2/27)
- Unknown: Laura Leigh Horton – Arizona – injured on floor (2/27)
- Unknown: Abby Brenner – Michigan – injured on floor (2/27)
- Unknown: Emma Silberman – Maryland – injured knee on bars (2/26)
COVID Schedule Changes
All eyes on Michigan State. The Spartans were meant to return to action last week at Big Fives after a two week pause, but had to pull out due to COVID protocols. They’re supposed to host Michigan on Friday. If the Spartans do cancel, you can bet Bev Plocki has a backup plan: The Wolverines need an away meet to tally an NQS.
Week 9 Byes and Doubles
Byes: Gustavus Adolphus, Hamline, SEMO, UW-Eau Claire, UW-La Crosse, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Stout, UW-Whitewater, Western Michigan, Winona State
Doubles: Air Force, George Washington, Northern Illinois, Oklahoma, Temple
All of the doubles are the usual, Friday/Sunday. There is a weird one, though: Rutgers at Maryland on Wednesday.
Deep Cuts for Deep Leagues in Week 9
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.
We saw Lexi Powe back on vault for the Illini for a solid 9.800. She’s likely to be back, given Arayah Simons’ injury. In-state rival Illinois State has seen J’Chelle Heard come into her own over the past three outings.
Towson’s Grace Vaillancourt keeps getting better week after week. She nabbed a 9.875 last week for her third 9.8-plus in a row. Michigan State will—probably? maybe?—compete this week. If it does, you want Delanie Harkness in your bar lineup. N.C. State’s Katelyn Cox just doesn’t miss, and she’s had two big hits the past two weeks. San Jose State put up full lineups! Emma Milne notched a 9.800! She scored as high as 9.925 last year, so it’s only up from here.
Have you picked up New Hampshire’s Robyn Kelley yet? She had a slow start to the year on beam, but two 9.900s and two 9.825s later and she’s rolling. She’ll get you a great floor number, too. Natalie Hamp is on a roll for Northern Illinois. She matched her season-high 9.875 last week. Conference foe Caitlin Satler at Eastern Michigan is also having a stellar beam season. Melissa Astarita has added beam the past two weeks for Penn State, and with two mid-9.8s it seems likely she’s in that lineup to stay.
We knew LIU’s Mara Titarsolej would be a bars star, but she hit floor this week for a 9.800 as well. Kent State is a floor school, there’s no doubt about it. Toshi Richard has been stellar. Don’t let her recent slip scare you away. Stanford competed kind of? And Chloe Widner hit a 9.800 floor set. Given that the Cardinal has been in the gym about two point four seconds, that’s a great start.
Starts, Sits and Pickups for Week 9
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!
Denver’s lineups have been a bit unpredictable all season; Mia Sundstrom has only vaulted three times, but it seems likely she’ll get the spot on senior night this Sunday, which likely means no vault from Alexis Vasquez this week. We saw Jazmyn Foberg on vault for Ellie Lazzari at Florida’s senior night; Foberg has put up two solid numbers now, but Lazzari has higher potential. If you can face a zero, keep Lazzari in; it seems likely she’ll vault, but there’s always a chance Jenny Rowland goes with Foberg.
Ragan Smith is back on bars. It stands to reason that she’ll stay in this lineup. She and Olivia Trautman will presumably add beam back next, although there have been no new clues as to that timeline. It seems like Lexi Graber has figured out bars; she has two back-to-back hits. It’s likely she’ll be in the all around on senior night versus Florida. Minnesota’s bars and beam lineups were missing standby Lexi Montgomery last week; we saw Halle Remlinger in her stead on bars and Tiarre Sales on beam. Both outperformed Montgomery, and it’s reasonable to assume they’ll be back this week.
Carly Woodard performed an exhibition on beam this weekend (but unfortunately fell), returning to gymnastics after an injury took her out for most of the regular season. KJ Kindler noted in last week’s press conference that the senior will be back on the event for senior night this week. Nia Dennis missed a second week of beam; Nicki Shapiro was again in her spot and had a rough outing. If Dennis is feeling better, we can assume she’ll be back in the all around in the Bruins’ final Pac-12 conference dual.
Maya Green has now done two floor sets for Cal, both above 9.8. There has been some movement in that lineup, but she seems likely to stay. It’s LSU senior night, and you know the Tigers will be protecting a win at all costs. Floor has been a bit of a situation in Kiya Johnson‘s absence. Jay Clark has been very cautious with her sore Achilles, so we can assume she won’t be back until postseason. There’s always a chance that senior night is the night, but it seems more likely that we’ll see senior Reagan Campbell back on floor, with classmate Christina Desiderio also in the lineup. They’re not just both seniors but also have been outscoring other options this season. Even if her injury isn’t as bad as we fear, Abby Brenner isn’t likely to see this lineup any time soon. That means both Reyna Guggino and Naomi Morrison will probably be in the top six this weekend.
Article by Emily Minehart
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