Fantasy Central: Week 9

Fantasy Central: Week 9

It’s year two with Gymlytics fantasy college gymnastics in 2023! We all learned lessons last year when GymChem took up the helm and created her revamped game, and we’re ready for a fun 2023.

Our weekly cadence will continue to match Gymlytics: The fantasy “week” begins with Friday meets, ends with any Thursday ones and trading happens every Monday via waiver wire. You’ll find us here every Tuesday talking about “next week,” meaning the fantasy week starting that Friday.

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.

Week 9 marks just two weeks until conference championships. Is your head spinning?! The SEC and Pac-12 have their last week of in-conference duals while the Big Ten is now opened back up for out-of-conference play. Senior nights abound, and every matchup from here out was scheduled strategically with NQS in mind.

Oklahoma has an absolutely wild weekend, hosting Florida on Friday then heading to Michigan on Monday. Talk about some postseason top-four prep. Chances are KJ Kindler will continue to finesse her lineups, so if you’re in a league using the standard rules for doubles—high score of the weekend counts—definitely put your Sooners in everywhere they may compete. If you’re playing hard mode and averaging scores from doubles, you’re in a tougher spot. We’ll talk details below, but keep in mind that traditionally once Olivia Trautman breaks lineups, she remains in them.

This weekend also features the P&G Podium Challenge, featuring California, George Washington, LSU and Washington. This is technically a neutral site meet, but it’s at the Raising Cane’s River Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, so expect it to feel—and be judged—like an LSU home meet. P&G stands for “purple and gold,” not the brand, by the way.

We also have the gymnastics installment of the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series: Iowa State at Iowa. A win in the series comes with a lot of bragging rights, and it’s a headliner in the state. The Hawkeyes will be looking to lock up a 197, so it should be a barnburner in the most Midwestern sense.

Some notable home teams include Ohio State twice, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Utah, Oklahoma on Friday, Michigan and UCLA. Senior nights are scheduled this week at North Carolina, Penn State, Kentucky, Gustavus Adolphus, UW-La Crosse, Utah, Brockport, Western Michigan, West Virginia, Ohio State, Temple, Denver, San Jose State, and Michigan.

Injury Updates Since Last Week

  • Abigail Scanlon (California): Knee surgery
  • Clara Hong (Towson): Unknown
  • Jolie Carpino (Rhode Island): Knee brace and crutches
  • KJ Johnson (LSU): Broken foot
  • Mackenzie Havlik (UW-Oshkosh): Scooter and lower leg cast/splint
  • Amani Hering (Penn State): Boot and scooter
  • Madeline Sowinski (Hamline): ACL
  • Alayna Fern (UW-Whitewater): Removed from roster
  • Brynn Freehling (West Virginia): Boot
  • Ellie Sigman (West Virginia): Boot
  • Ali Lowe (Brown): Boot and Crutches

Gymnasts Removed from the Injury List

  • Skylear Kerico (Penn)
  • Elena Deets (Arizona)
  • Kaleigh Cleveland (Pittsburgh)

Week 9 Byes & Doubles

Byes: Greenville, Lindenwood, Simpson, UW-Eau Claire, West Chester, Winona State

Doubles: Alaska, Bowling Green, LIU, Maryland, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, San Jose State, Southern Utah

Data Corner

This year we have data editor Dara joining us for Fantasy Central each week. She’ll be breaking down the numbers for you with notes on routine hit rate, lineup appearance frequency and breakout performances to keep an eye on.

Hit Rate and Lineup Frequency: While the heavy-hitters who can reign in the big 9.9+ scores are certainly important to a fantasy team, gymnasts who reliably put up 9.8+ scores each time out can also be crucial to a team’s success, particularly in a league with fewer lineup spots available. Currently ranked outside the top 50, the following gymnasts may not immediately come to mind as standout performers, but they have each been in the lineup every meet and have yet to score below a 9.800 this season.

  • Vault: Jaudai Lopes, San Jose State (Low: 9.825, Average: 9.861, High: 9.950); Karina Muñoz, Iowa (9.800, 9.844, 9.900)
  • Bars: Sarah Clark, Arizona State (9.825, 9.875, 9.975); Kylie Gorgenyi, New Hampshire (9.825, 9.875, 9.950)
  • Beam: Emily Lopez, Boise State (9.825, 9.868, 9.925); Aria Brusch, Auburn (9.800, 9.863, 9.900)
  • Floor: Jaylene Gilstrap, Utah (9.850, 9.884, 9.925); Cassie Stevens, Auburn (9.850, 9.881, 9.925)

Breakout Performances: Southern Utah’s Caitlin Kho has started to settle in on vault, rebounding from three sub-9.750 performances to put up a season high 9.900 this weekend. Aggie Thea Michovsky has bested her career high on bars in each of her last two meets, with her most recent high of 9.900 coming at San Jose State on Friday. On beam, all of the last three scores have been 9.900 or better for Amber Koeth of Sacramento State. After posting three sub-9.800 scores to start the season, Western Michigan sophomore Cassie St. Clair has notched scores of 9.900 in each of her last three meets.

Starts, Sits & Pickups for Week 9

This is the spot to find your sleeper picks, your two- or three-eventers and your solutions for those big bye weeks. We’ll also comment on the big names when relevant: Injuries, lineup absences, or inconsistency.

Vault: Let’s talk Trautman. She casually dropped a 9.975 after suddenly appearing in the vault lineup after not so much as exhibitioning the event. She also added bars. In the past three seasons, once she has added back an event, she has never been removed from the lineup for the rest of the season. While it’s possible Kindler will be cautious with this weekend’s double, all signs point to Trautman vaulting and competing bars and beam for the rest of the season. In fact, she added vault March 5 in 2021 and vaulted again that Sunday, March 7. Danae Fletcher was pulled from the lineup for Trautman. Brooklyn Moors still hasn’t competed for UCLA, but she’s medically cleared and exhibitioned vault at Arizona. It seems like she’s getting ready to return imminently; she is reportedly focusing on vault and floor for now. Reyna Guggino didn’t compete at Big Fives; it seems as though she simply was beat out for lineup spots after a couple of tough vault outings. It’s unclear whether she’ll return this week.

 Bars: Riley McCusker put up a great bar set for a 9.950 in the Gators’ resounding win. It appears that she is in or out of lineups based largely on how training and warmups are going, so it’s hard to guess if she’ll be in or out at Oklahoma. She was in Payton Richard’s spot; McCusker has a higher ceiling but is also the riskier choice.

Beam: With her injured groin, Alyona Shchennikova skipped beam and floor last week; Alexis Jeffrey made a resounding beam debut for a 9.900 and stepped into Shchennikova’s floor spot too. She seems like a likely option for Jay Clark going forward on beam especially. Gopher Brooklyn Rowray took a very hard fall at Big Fives, smashing a foot into the beam on her gainer pike dismount. She was clearly in pain; we’d leave her out of your lineups this week until there’s more clarity on her situation.

Floor: Sooner Fletcher also sat out of floor in lieu of Audrey Davis.Davis had an off performance, and it’s unclear who Kindler’s top six are on the event. In any case, with a double, it would be wise to put both Fletcher and Davis on floor if you’re taking the highest total; if you’re averaging, Davis is a risky play. We should have a better sense of Kindler’s ideal postseason lineups after this week, since she’s likely using Florida and Michigan to pressure test those questionable spots. There’s, of course, always the chance we see Trautman make her triumphant floor return at some point, but that’s a high-risk move; she hasn’t competed floor since 2021. Fret not: Selena Harris was just resting floor last week. Word on the Georgia broadcast was that Naya Howard was also simply resting floor. Unfortunately, it seems that Amani Herring is injured. She missed Big Fives, and we spotted her on a scooter; Haleigh Gibble took her floor spot.

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: If Kaylen Morgan is available in your league, pick her up stat! The Michigan freshman has battled injuries and finally broke into the vault lineup for two 9.900s at Big Fives and Monday at Nebraska. She also exhibitioned the other three. Kennedi McClain also made her Southern Utah debut for a 9.725; it might be worth gambling on her improving that number if you’re in need of a vaulter. Bryce Wilson is another option, after she stepped in for LSU.

Bars: Despite two torn biceps, it seems Olivia Dunne is in the LSU bar lineup since the Tigers’ are so depleted by injury. She put up a solid 9.825 and would be a reasonable pickup for someone needing another bar routine. Kyra Burns has competed bars the past two weeks for Missouri, for a 9.850 and 9.875; she’s another strong option.

Beam: LIU’s Syd Morris has really settled in as an all-arounder for the Sharks the past few weeks. They added their standing back full on beam this week for a second 9.900 in a row; Morris is a solid pickup especially for bars and beam depth. Maryland’s Josephine Kogler has quietly become a top beamer, and she also competes vault.

Floor: Northern Illinois’ Emmalise Nock is on a roll on floor, with back-to-back 9.900s. She also has a 9.950 on the year. N.C. State’s Lauren Rutherford had an on-and-off start to the year, but has been very strong in February.

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Article by Emily Minehart and Dara Tan

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