Fantasy Central: Conference Championships

Fantasy gym—like everything since the COVID pandemic began—is a little different this season. The official game isn’t running because Kristen and the College Fantasy Gymnastics crew welcomed a little one to their family (congrats!). However, we know many of you are playing in private leagues, or are using the brand new site Gymlytics from Twitter user GymChem, so Fantasy Central lives on!

We’re switching up the weekly cadence to match Gymlytics’: The fantasy “week” begins with Friday meets, ends with any Thursday ones and trading happens every Monday via waiver wire. However, you’ll still find us here every Tuesday talking about “next week.”

This is your one-stop-shop for all things fantasy each week. We’ll be tracking injuries, byes and double headers, and giving you tips and tricks to put forward your best possible team.

Postseason?! How?? Teams will be rolling with their best lineups this week to either compete for their conference title or secure solid away scores for one last shot at their NQS, so it’s time to go all in! No resting, no depth testing, just the top six on all four.

Injury Updates

  • Kara Eaker – Utah – removed from injury list (competition routines) (1/8/22)
  • Taylor Schulze – Brown – removed from injury list (competition routine) (12/19/21)
  • Adabelle Wright – Cornell – removed from injury list (competition routines) (10/21/21)
  • Katelyn Nels – William & Mary – removed from injury list (competition routine) (10/18/21)
  • Sandra Jessen – Stanford – in a boot (3/8/22)
  • Madison Benson – NC State – torn Achilles (3/9/22)
  • Amanda Pedicelli – Towson – in a sling (3/11/22)
  • Chloe Lashbrooke – UCLA – removed from injury list (exhibition routine) (2/17/22)
  • Mya Lauzon – California – removed from injury list (competition routine) (2/13/22)
  • Kyana George – California – removed from injury list (exhibition routine) (9/15/21)
  • Makenzie Sedlacek – Arkansas – unknown injury vaulting (3/13/22)

Deep Cuts for Deep Leagues in Week 11

Tips for players in leagues with 10-plus players, where you need to be a little more creative to fill out lineups; especially during big bye weeks. 

Vault: LIU’s Jah’Liya Bedminster sat out of vault last week; the spot went to Karsyn Foster who put up a 9.700. It’s hard to say who will get the spot at EAGLs, but Bedminster had an off day overall, so perhaps she was just under the weather or dealing with a nagging injury and will be back at full force this weekend.

Bars: Gayla Griswold added bars last week to compete in the all-around for the first time since week one. She put up a fine set, but we’d only put her in your fantasy lineup on bars if you absolutely need a routine. Vault is still her shining glory. Carina Jordan was back on bars for N.C. State and put up a 9.850; she should be in this lineup for conference champs.

Beam: Daija Stevenson didn’t compete this week for Air Force, and we’re not sure why. She’s absolutely a critical piece of Air Force’s beam and floor lineups, so assume she’ll be back for MPSFs. Sofia Iribarren has struggled on beam for Illinois State while thriving on bars. It seems likely she’ll just do bars at MICs after sitting out beam last weekend. Kyla Podges sat out for Texas Woman’s last week, but the lineups were overall a bit odd. Perhaps lineup regulars were just getting some rest before MICs; expect her back.

Floor: Hannah Ruthberg was missing for Ball State last weekend. She’s an all-arounder who has done a lot of routines this year, so she could have just been resting heading into MACs.

Starts, Sits and Pickups for Week 11

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!

Vault: The Mackenzie Sedlacek vault fall during warmups was, by all accounts, a very scary one. We’re wishing her all the best. Until we hear some official news, it’s safe to assume she won’t compete at SECs. Sheridan Ramsey didn’t vault for the Sooners after a rough outing at Texas Woman’s the prior week; Olivia Trautman was back in that spot. K.J. Kindler made it clear Trautman would be in whatever lineups she was prepared for. It stands to reason that she’s on vault to stay, especially since postseason play is largely on podium and easier on the joints. Fear not about JerQuavia Henderson’s status; she was just getting rest in before Big Tens.

Bars: Unfortunately, it seems like a bad sign that Margzetta Frazier was unable to even exhibition at the her senior night. If she were on a path back, it seems likely we would have seen her there. It’s unlikely she competes at Pac-12s. In better news for the Bruins, Frida Esparza is certainly part of their top six bar sets, and she was back in action for the first time since January. She’s likely to remain in this lineup for postseason. We haven’t seen Deiah Moody for Washington since she smashed her foot into the bars at UCLA; whether she’ll be back at Pac-12s is anyone’s guess, although the commentary on the Washington stream a few weeks ago indicated she was done for the season.

Beam: We saw Jacey Vore in this lineup for the Wolverines on a day when no one seemed to be resting; she went up in the third spot after two shaky routines and got things back on track, proving she’s a reliable beamer. She was in Reyna Guggino‘s spot and outscored Guggino’s high for the year. Vore is likely to keep the spot for Big Tens, although nothing is certain with so many talented options and Bev Plocki’s lack of sentimentality about lineups.

Floor: Don’t fret about Kaitlyn Yanish not competing last week; she Tweeted that she just stayed home to rest after a tough outing the previous week; it makes sense that she’d take it easy so she’s ready to come back full force at Pac-12s. Denver is in a bit of a pickle. It’s possible that only competing five gymnasts on vault, bars and floor last week could have been a strategy to give a few lineup newcomers an extra week to prep for Big 12s without having to worry about competing before then. Alexandria Ruiz could add floor back; Abbie Thompson is the other option. Vault and bars are anyone’s guess. It has been two weeks now since we have seen Gabrielle Stephen on floor for the Spartans. She’s a possible 9.900, but that lineup is stacked. She could be resting, or she could simply be competing for a lineup spot. Put her in this lineup with caution. Linda Zivat competed a floor exhibition for Iowa; she might be back in this lineup at Big Tens; she’s certainly part of the ideal top six.

Waiver Wire Wrap-up

Finally, we have a waiver wire in gymnastics! Who should you prioritize this week? Since Fantasy Central comes out on Tuesdays, keep in mind that these tips are catered toward next week.

Vault: Halle Faulkner competed for Western Michigan for the first time since early Feburary. She only vaulted but notched a 9.800 on the Broncos’ record day; she’s likely to keep that spot for MACs and could fill out your vault lineup.

Bars: With Henderson on a rest week, Allison Zuhlke competed her first bar routine since transferring to Iowa for a 9.800. That matches Henderson’s high, which she hasn’t scored since January. Zuhlke may have earned herself a permanent spot on what is a problem event for the Hawkeyes.

Beam: Dymiana Cox has now competed twice and hit twice for Penn State. Beam is a rocky event for the Nittany Lions, so there’s a fair chance she’ll keep her spot at Big Tens. She won’t pull a huge number, but if you need one more beamer, she could be your gymnast. Kaitlyn Lyle is another option; she missed about a month for UC Davis but was back for a 9.850 last week.

Floor: It is interesting that Kyana George did a full routine with tumbling at senior night. Most senior night exhibitions for an injured or non-competing gymnast are dance throughs. One has to wonder if she’s hoping to compete sometime during the postseason. It’s by no means a sure thing, but if you’re desperate for a floor score she could be worth considering.

Article by Emily Minehart

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