December 20, 2014

Fantasy Gymnastics Time

First things first, if you're not already doing college fantasy gymnastics (and enjoy that kind of thing), you should do it. I played last year and did . . . fine. My major weaknesses were everything, particularly that my beam lineup consisted of two people who could be relied upon to hit well, a couple others who were really happy to get a 9.700, several tumbleweeds, and a box of garbage. It didn't go beautifully.

This year I plan on making the exact same mistakes and having a grand old time doing it. Really, the best part of fantasy gymnastics is making fun of how terribly your team is doing. I've been working on drafting my team and ranking my possible selections today (I'm almost up to the full 150 gymnasts, but I better not get some of these people), and I thought I'd share my rankings and my overthinking process. If you're playing, feel free to do the same. We can all make fun of each other together this year!

My draft:
  1. Bridget Sloan
  2. Rheagan Courville
  3. Kytra Hunter
  4. Samantha Peszek
  5. Lindsay Mable
  6. Georgia Dabritz
  7. Chayse Capps
  8. Haley Scaman
  9. Jessie Jordan
  10. Jessie DeZiel
  11. Brenna Dowell
  12. Kennedy Baker
  13. Bridgette Caquatto
  14. Alex McMurtry
  15. Kara Lovan
  16. Ivana Hong
  17. Christine Peng-Peng Lee
  18. Elizabeth Price
  19. Caitlin Atkinson
  20. Danusia Francis
  21. Kristina Vaculik
  22. Grace Williams
  23. Mackenzie Brannan
  24. Brittany Rogers
  25. Tory Wilson
  26. Brandie Jay
  27. Ashleigh Gnat
  28. Hollie Blanske
  29. Ciera Perkins
  30. Katie Bailey
  31. Nicole Artz
  32. Corrie Lothrop
  33. Madeline Gardiner
  34. Kaitlyn Clark
  35. Kayla Williams
  36. Maile'ana Kanewa
  37. Lauren Beers
  38. Sachi Sugiyama
  39. Brittni Watkins
  40. Kari Lee
  41. Abigail Milliet
  42. Chelsea Davis
  43. Amanda Wellick
  44. Chelsea Tang
  45. Kamerin Moore
  46. Natalie Vaculik
  47. Kaytianna McMillan
  48. Jennifer Pinches
  49. Shelby Edwards
  50. Kiera Brown
  51. Keeley Kmieciak
  52. Erin Macadaeg
  53. Rebecca Clark
  54. Taylor Harrison
  55. Vivi Babalis
  56. Toni-Ann Williams
  57. MJ Rott
  58. Austin Sheppard
  59. Jennie Laeng
  60. Brianna Brown
  61. Talia Chiarelli
  62. Lloimincia Hall
  63. Braie Speed
  64. Becky Tutka
  65. Kailah Delaney
  66. Taylor Rice
  67. Baely Rowe
  68. McKenzie Wofford
  69. Claire Boyce
  70. Aja Sims
  71. Rachel Spicer
  72. Giana O'Connor
  73. Risa Perez
  74. Bri Guy
  75. Angi Cipra
Am I pretending that all of this makes sense? No. But it's what I have right now. This is the part that I've thought about. After #75, it's just "I've heard of you/You got a 9.850 once that I remember."

  • Everyone plus a thousand other people will be putting Bridget Sloan first, so it would be a smart strategy to select someone else as #1 because you would be more likely to get her. I have not done that.

  • It's tough to put freshmen too high because we just don't know what we're going to get from them until we see it. I've taken the plunge with a few of them like Dowell/Baker/McMurtry because they need to be excellent and have no excuse not to be. I would have Price higher, but that injury worries me.

  • I tried to top-load with AAers and 3-eventers because I didn't want to get stuck with a lot of people who are beautiful on one event, but I'm already concerned that I have some key non-beamers hanging around the top. Obviously, I will end up with all of them. Box of garbage 2.0.

  • Having AAers is essential, even if they're not getting a lot of 9.9s. I had Melanie Shaffer from Ohio State on my team last year, and she may have been my MVP because she was competing every event every week for usable 9.850s so that I wasn't counting some terrible fall or, even worse, short on gymnasts. The Melanie Shaffers of the world are important, so check out those AA rankings.  

  • I put many of the gymnasts who are great on just one event lower on my list, which is why Lloimincia Hall is so far down. She could potentially make three lineups, but floor is the only guarantee, so other less famous gymnasts might end up being more valuable for fantasy. I assume many others will have her high since she's Lloimincia Hall, so because I probably won't get her, I didn't want to waste a top spot.

  • In some places, I've ranked less on strategy and more on which gymnasts I think it would be fun to maybe have, like Toni-Ann Williams from Cal. I don't know what we'll get from her, but I'm excited by the training footage. "Because I just like her" is a perfectly good reason to make a draft decision, and I've done that a ton. Don't feel ashamed of that.

  • But I did also put a lot of consideration into picking people enough I'm sure will make lineups. For instance, I have not ranked Grace McLaughlin and Ericha Fassbender at Florida in the top 75 because, while they're recognizable, excellent gymnasts, I'm not really sure how many lineups they're going to make. Conversely, I put Boise State's Ciera Perkins really high because she has been so much more essential to her team with those 9.9s on three events that they don't have elsewhere. 

  • Speaking of Perkins, don't forget about people from some of the less prominent teams who could be very valuable. Brittni Watkins ranked well in the AA for NC State last year and could be that reliable, any-event type. Shelby Edwards has been 9.9-worthy on both vault and beam for Arizona, and both routines are superb. Taylor Harrison won JOs last year and should be essential for Ohio State.

  • With one or two exceptions named Rheagan Courville, I tended to demote people I had on my team last year because it's just more fun to mix things up. I don't want the same people over and over again. 

  • Because of the calendar this year, most teams are not starting the first weekend. That means many teams don't have any weekends off during the season, so bye weeks are a little less of a concern than some other years. I'm still slightly worried about overloading with gymnasts from the top teams, but they should be competing pretty much all the time.


  1. I had Kat Grable last year. It was glorious.

  2. My top ten are: