Fantasy Central: Week 4

Fantasy Central: Week 4

It’s year three with Gymlytics fantasy college gymnastics in 2024! We all learned lessons when GymChem took up the helm and created her revamped game, and we’re ready for a fun 2024.

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 Wednesday 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.

Good news, trading has arrived! The waiver wire is active for week four. Get your trades in by Wednesday, January 24 at 3 p.m. ET, which means our waiver wire section here is debuting. 

With one week of in-conference play and one bananas invitational under our belts, we’re truly in the season grind. Teams are solidifying lineups, fixing small errors, and figuring out exactly what works.

Do keep in mind that there is a Thursday meet this week, Penn State at Rutgers. There are also meets next Monday the 29th and Wednesday the 31st.

A lot of people were suddenly missing from lineups last week; we heard a lot about gymnasts being sick. If someone suddenly disappeared for a week, it’s safe to assume that’s what happened until there’s evidence otherwise. It’s really going around.

Injury Updates Since Last Week

  • Added: Jordyn Paradise (Alabama): Unknown season ending injury
  • Added: Caroline Leonard (Auburn): Torn Achilles
  • Added: Josephine Thomas (Western Michigan): Torn Achilles
  • Removed: Heather Parker (Georgia)
  • Added: Lali Dekanoidze (North Carolina): Right ankle injury
  • Added: Victoria McMillan (Cornell): Season ending lower body injury
  • Added: Bryce Wilson (LSU): Right foot boot
  • Added: Isabella Trostel (Michigan State): Knee brace
  • Removed: Danie Ferris (Florida)

Week 4 Byes & Doubles

Byes: BYU, Ball State, Boise State, Fisk, Hamline, Penn State, Rutgers, Temple, Utica, William & Mary

Doubles: Alaska, Illinois State, Iowa, Rhode Island College, SEMO

Experts Say

Each week, CGN editors will weigh in on big fantasy topics. We’ll feature them here, so you know how we’re addressing tough issues on our own teams.

This week, we looked at the UCLA bar lineup. With Sara Ulias injured again, the Bruins are struggling to find their solid sixth routine. Eighteen editors participated in ranked-choice voting.

Emily Lee was the most popular answer, followed by Frida Esparza, then Maddie Anyimi, and rounding out with Alex Irvine.

Data Corner

Once again 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: Three-event and all-around gymnasts are certainly key in fantasy gymnastics, but consistent and reliable specialists who are lineup staples on their respective teams can help round out a rotation and take a solid score to a great one. The following gymnasts cemented themselves as lineup staples last season, and have gotten this season off to a great start.

  • Vault: After vaulting in every meet last season, Sage Kellerman has notched a 9.925 or better in every outing so far this year, claiming the No. 1 rank on the event three weeks in.
  • Bars: JaFree Scott, who performed on bars in all 13 of Georgia’s meets in 2023 with only one score below a 9.800, has maintained her spot in the lineup this season, with scores of 9.875 or better in each meet.
  • Beam: Last year, Kalyxta Gamiao competed and hit beam in every meet, with a season low of 9.775. She has continued her hit streak in the first two meets of the year, scoring 9.875 and 9.925 in the lead-off spot to set the tone for the Razorbacks.
  • Floor: Ella Hodges competed on floor in all but one meet last season, with 9.8-plus scores in 11 of those 12 meets. The fifth-year has started the 2024 season off hot, with no score below a 9.925 in three appearances.

Breakout Performances: After vaulting only twice for sub-9.6 scores in her first two years at Temple, Summer Ruskey has competed in three of the first four meets this season, with scores building to an event-winning new career high of 9.875 on Sunday. Sophomore Ava Sorrento came back from the miss in her event debut at Michigan to post a 9.875 on bars this weekend, the top score for Stanford. As a freshman, Lauren Williams established herself as a key piece of the Arkansas vault and floor lineups, but only competed twice on beam. She has performed on the event in both meets this season, notching career highs each time – the latest being a 9.875 at Alabama. After competing just thrice on beam in her freshman season, Georgia’s Sidney Fitzgerald has added bars and floor this year, posting a 9.900 on the latter to tie for second on the event in the meet against Missouri.

Starts, Sits & Pickups for Week 4

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: Welcome to vault JaFree Scott. Georgia’s vaulters were in short supply, so it’s good to see a sixth option emerge; we can expect her to remain in this understaffed lineup. Alabama’s Jamison Sears tweaked something in warmups, per the broadcast, so didn’t vault this week. She did add floor for a 9.875, though, so we can presumably expect her back this week.

Bars: Missouri took the Bhardwaj out of Mara Titarsolej’s routine, and she scored a 9.975. All signs point to big scores for her from here on out. Georgia’s Holly Snyder reportedly trained bars as the Gymdogs prepped for their meet; she seems inching closer to being ready. Lyden Saltness may also be getting close; she exhibitioned for Illinois. Sage Thompson was MIA last week; there’s no word on her status. If you can stomach a possible zero, it might be worth keeping her in lineups for now; perhaps she was just sick, as so many other gymnasts were this week?

Beam: Syd Morris was missing for LIU on Sunday, but they were just sick. We can expect them back this week, per commentary. Michigan State’s Gabi Ortiz, known for the power events, added beam to her program this week for a 9.875. She might just be the Spartans’ consistent sixth routine; it seems likely we’ll see her here again this week.

Floor: Have yourself a 9.950 Abby Mueller! The Illini didn’t compete floor week one, had a solid outing week two, and then put up a career number at Nebraska week three. Whatever held her out of this lineup early seems resolutely resolved. It’s unclear what is going on with Gabby Gladieux. The broadcast mentioned a minor injury, but it’s not yet known how long she’ll be out. We’d keep her out of lineups for now, until we know more. Word is Anya Pilgrim was overcoming illness this week and can be expected back on floor.

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.

Happy waiver wire week!

Vault: Buckeye Nicole Riccardi is quietly having a stellar vault season, with no score below 9.875. She is a strong bar worker, as well. Her teammate Mallory Gregory also looks poised to join the Ohio State lineup any moment. She has exhibitioned two weeks in a row, including a solid Yurchenko one and a half versus Michigan. She’s an intriguing option to scoop up if you’re in a deep league.

Bars: Air Force freshman Maggie Slife had a stellar debut for a 9.925; the all-arounder also has a Yurchenko one and a half in her pocket. Lindsay Ockler‘s bars 10.0 was part of the Tennessee madness, but she’s the real deal, with a 9.900 in week two. Michigan’s McCaleigh Marr is getting close to lineup-ready. She has exhibitioned beam twice now and added bars this week.

Beam: Maryland’s Josephine Kogler is a gorgeous beamer. With a 9.925 and 9.875 so far this year, she looks set to repeat her 2023 9.900 NQS. West Chester is off to a flying start; Lily McFarland has two mid-9.800 beam routines under her belt so far.

Floor: Don’t sleep on Penn this year! Emma Davies is probably available in your league (unless you’re in a league with Rebecca), and so far her scores are 9.800, 9.925, 9.825. Alea Byrne has also been consistently good, with back-to-back 9.875s for the Illini. Brown’s Julia Bedell also picked up right where she left off last year, putting up a 9.900 in the Bears’ season opener.

Notes From the Fantasy Roundtable

Per the SEC broadcast, Naya Howard will “hopefully be back soon” for the Gymdogs. We also learned that Alabama’s Mati Waligora had been sick. She competed three events against Arkansas.

READ THIS NEXT: Does a Consistent Lineup Matter for Team Success?

Article by Emily Minehart and Dara Tan; additional reporting from Elizabeth Grimsley, Tara Greave, Rebecca Scally, Claire Harmon, and Rebekah Frank

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