Introducing SwimSwam’s 2022 World Championships Fantasy Draft

As we count down the days until the 2022 World Championships, we’re here to introduce SwimSwam’s 2022 World Championships Draft.

You’ve heard of fantasy football, fantasy baseball, and fantasy basketball. But fantasy swimming is not something that has exactly made its way into the mainstream. So SwimSwam podcasters Coleman Hodges, Braden Keith, Retta Race, and Ben Dornan have teamed up to bring you the 2022 version of the SwimSwam fantasy draft.

SwimSwam did a few iterations of a draft back in 2018 when our staff drafted in the “Predicting Tokyo” drafts, one for international swimmers and one for American swimmers. You can take a look at those played out 4 years ago and consider how each team stacked up at the Tokyo Games.

But in the YouTube video linked above, we present to you the 2022 draft in which all 4 GMs have drafted a team of 8 swimmers who will be racing at the 2022 Budapest World Championships. We each drafted 8 swimmers with the goal of putting together a team that will score the highest number of points based on our made-up scoring system.

But there were rules.

As explain in the video, we did a snake-style draft and drafted swimmers based on categories. Each drafter had to select one swimmer from Asia, one from Europe, one from Africa, one from North America, one from South America, one from Oceania, and two “Wild Card” picks (we originally planned to only get 1 Wild Card pick each but increased it to 2 mid-draft.

Each of us ended with a team of 8 swimmers, which you can listen for in the video or read in the chart that follows.

We’re going to follow up with this draft by applying the following scoring system at the 2022 World Championships to see who has the best team:

Scoring System for the 2022 SwimSwam Fantasy Draft

  • Individual Gold Medal: 6 points
  • Individual Silver Medal: 5 points
  • Individual Bronze Medal: 4 points
  • Relay Gold Medal, Swam in Finals: 4 points
  • Relay Silver Medal, Swam in Finals: 3 points
  • Relay Bronze Medal, Swam in Finals: 2 points
  • Any relay medal, Only Swam in Prelims: 1 point
  • Made an Individual Final, Didn’t Medal: 1 point
  • World Record Bonus: 3 points
  • DQ: -2 points

Check out our teams below, feel free to comment on who you think made the best picks or the worst blunders, and make sure to check back in later to check out whose team scores the best.

Retta Braden Ben Coleman
Asia Hwang Sunwoo Yang Junxuan Zhang Yufei Yui Ohashi
Europe Arno Kamminga James Guy Lukas Martens Sarah Sjostrom
Africa Chad le Clos Lara van Niekerk Matt Sates Youseff Ramadan
North America Josh Liendo Caeleb Dressel Bobby Finke Katie Ledecky
South America Joao Gomes Jr Fernando Scheffer Bruno Fratus Nicolas Santos
Oceania Kaylee McKeown Mollie O’Callaghan Lani Pallister Kyle Chalmers
Wild Card Shayna Jack Kylie Masse Regan Smith Michael Andrew
Wild Card Claire Curzan Torri Huske Penny Oleksiak Hunter Armstrong


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7 months ago

My comments keep getting auto-modded and I don’t know why… Anyway here’s another try:

I wrote a long analysis of each team yesterday but it seems to have been auto-modded out.

So some brief thoughts:

1. Braden: Winning this easily. Dressel is guaranteed to get the most points unless he literally doesn’t swim. MOC is possibly the highest point scorer from Aus (likely below only Kaylee) and Masse from Canada. Guy and Huske have some individual potential but also a few very likely relay medals. Very solid team overall.

2. Retta: Big mistake not choosing Dressel first, but Kaylee is still a great pick with four potential individual medals and 2 relay medals. Jack and Cruzan both with multiple IND/REL… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by jamesjabc
Miss M
Reply to  jamesjabc
7 months ago

I think Madi Wilson is a better pick than Kyle Chalmers at this meet. I could see her with at least 12 points, whereas it is hard to see Kyle getting more than 6.

Reply to  Miss M
7 months ago

Best case for Madi realistically is:
4×100 free – gold (4 points)
4×200 free – gold (4 points)
Medley or MMR or mixed free heat swim – 1 point each (likely 2, not all 3)
200 free final – 1 point

So I see her potentially getting 11 points.

Best case for Kyle
50 fly or 100 fly – Final (1 point). I imagine he’ll make one of the finals but not both
Mixed free relay – gold (4 points)
100/200/medley relay – could maybe get a bronze in 1 or 2 of these for 4 points at best.

So Kyle’s best case is 9 and I don’t think it’s that likely tbh.

Miss M
Reply to  jamesjabc
7 months ago

I wouldn’t be surprised if Madi was a heat swimmer in all 3 of those relays … and I’m not ruling out a WR in the 4×100 if they all have a blinder!

7 months ago

Ben picking all distance swimmers (and no relay swimmers) is on par with Coleman picking NC State in the mens 4×200 and having no clue who would swim it 😂

Good stuff everyone, love this feature

Steve Nolan
7 months ago

I picked a team of people that weren’t picked:

Asia: HAUGHEY Siobhan Bernadette
Europe: MILAK Kristof
Africa: OSMAN Farida
North America: FINK Nic
South America: ALVES FRANCA da SILVA Felipe 
Wild Card: MURPHY Ryan
Wild Card: KING Lilly

I was a bit stuck on Australia – Winnington and Larkin could snag some medals – but ZSC has that WR upside and maybe sneaks in a relay medal. Also was gonna pick Junxuan Yang but didn’t realize Braden had her until I went to type in my pick here, lol. Kept wavering between Wang Shun and Daiya Seto, with Honda as a longshot for Asia. (Couldn’t talk myself into another Asian athlete… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by Steve Nolan
Steve Nolan
Reply to  Steve Nolan
7 months ago

Tho I forgot there’s a mixed freestyle relay, Brooks Curry might be a better pick than Fink/Murphy/King. (They have more individual events than him, but Curry could get on 4 potential medal winning relays.)

Scott Bonney
7 months ago

I like Retta’s picks best.

7 months ago

I had a mini heart attack for Ben when I saw the CBC headline “Penny Oleksiak withdraws from…”
but phew, it is “just” for CWs!

Steve Nolan
7 months ago

I didn’t realize how many relays MOC was on for Australia, that really boosts Braden’s relay points. If Peaty was swimming I’d say Braden’s team would win by a billion points because of Guy snagging two medley medals, but w/o that idk.

If Armstrong has a big meet I think Coleman might win, it’ll be between him and Braden. Retta’s team was also completely saved by that Curzan pick; that last wildcard round as a whole is probably better than the actual North American picks. (Like, Liendo could easily not score while Curzan’s got nearly guaranteed points via finals relay swims.)

Reply to  Steve Nolan
7 months ago

The female 100 free winner from any country theoretically should swim 4 relays on that alone, the only other relay being the 200. I am expecting MOC to swim the final of all 5 relays. They may drop her from either the MMR or women’s medley if they want to share the love, but I will be shocked if she swims less than 4

Miss M
Reply to  Sub13
7 months ago

Totally! I can’t see them leaving MOC out of any of them, and I think that is one reason why she’s not swimming any backstroke here. I have Madi Wilson in 2 finals relays and 3 heats … MMR I total expect to be final McKeown, ZSC, Temple, MOC with heat swimmers Wilson, ZSC, Chalmers, Jack, or possibly Matt Wilson in the heat depending on how well he swims earlier in the meet.

Steve Nolan
7 months ago

Nic Fink is potentially a much better pick than Bobby Finke, thanks to relays.

Same with Brooks Curry, he can be on multiple winning finals relays.

7 months ago

Does the WR bonus apply to relays?

Reply to  Bob1235
7 months ago

i think they said 2 points for the finals swimmers
around 8:40

Reply to  emma
7 months ago

I kind of thing we settled on 3. Dornan?

Reply to  Braden Keith
7 months ago

3 points seems like a lot for a relay WR. An individual WR should get 3. But it’s quite possible for a swimmer to get a relay WR without doing anything special.

If it was up to me I would say a relay WR gets 1 point, but a swimmer gets a bonus 2 points if they were fastest in the field (counting only other of their same stroke and gender). That way if someone gets a relay WR and they were the reason for it, they’ll get rewarded. But someone like an MA who is a now a WR holder despite his split being 5th fastest out of 8 doesn’t get full points.