As the world of fantasy sports continues to evolve in the major professional sports in the U.S. and around the world, the first ever USA Swim Squads fantasy draft will take place today.
If you missed the details of the competition which broke at the beginning of the week, here’s a quick summary:
- The U.S. national team will be drafted into four different fantasy squads, with Natalie Coughlin, Jason Lezak, Lenny Krayzelburg and Kaitlin Sandeno acting as team captains.
- Prior to each stop, the captain will select the six swimmers they want to use for that meet.
- Each athlete is designated into one of the six categories: free, back, breast, fly, IM and flex (any two races). All distances of each stroke are covered, minus the ‘mystery 200 IM’ which was added to every other stop this year. Athletes can only score in a maximum of 2 events per category.
Below, follow along with the draft live. You can also find a complete list of the rosters at the bottom of the article in a google spreadsheet. The draft will be broadcasted on Facebook live via USA Swimming beginning at 1 p.m. ET.
1. Chase Kalisz, Georgia, Non-NCAA – TEAM KRAYZELBURG
- 200 BR: 2:10.74
- 200 FLY: 1:54.79
- 200 IM: 1:55.56
- 400 IM: 4:05.90
Not surprisingly, Chase Kalisz goes 1st overall to Team Krayzelburg. After his dominant showing on the series last year, he could very well swim all six events and is the top IM pick in the field. He’s also a potential flex use with his ability in the 200 fly / 200 breast.
2. Nathan Adrian, Cal, Non-NCAA – TEAM LEZAK
- 50 FR: 21.37
- 100 FR: 47.52
The number two slot goes to Nathan Adrian, who is absolutely dynamite in-season. He only swims the 50 and 100 free, but he wins them more often than not. Especially considering an athlete can only score in two events per meet, his slim schedule doesn’t hurt at all.
3. Ryan Murphy, Cal, Non-NCAA – TEAM COUGHLIN
- 50 BK: 24.64
- 100 BK: 51.85
- 200 BK: 1:53.62
- 100 FR: 48.88
Ryan Murphy goes #3 to Team Coughlin. As a first year pro, he’ll likely go to the majority of the stops and as the double Olympic champion in both backstroke events, he’s a favorite to win every time he races.
4. Leah Smith, Virginia, Non-NCAA – TEAM SANDENO
- 200 FR: 1:55.97
- 400 FR: 4:00.65
- 800 FR: 8:17.22
- 400 IM: 4:33.86
Leah Smith is the first woman off the board to Team Sandeno. It may be a surprise to some that she went before Katie Ledecky, but with Ledecky still in the NCAA, Smith will likely swim more of the events. She’s dynamite in the 200-400-800 (and even 1500) freestyles, and showed her versatility this summer in the 400 IM.
5. Michael Andrew, Race Pace, Non-NCAA – TEAM SANDENO
- 50 FR: 21.75
- 50 BK: 24.63
- 50 BR: 27.39
- 100 BR: 59.85
- 50 FLY: 23.22
- 200 IM: 1:59.12
Andrew, who benefits greatly from the addition of the 50s, goes #5 to Team Sandeno. Along with any 50, he’s good in the 100 breast, 200 IM and maybe even 100 back / 100 fly.
6. Melanie Margalis, Saint Petersburg, Non-NCAA – TEAM COUGHLIN
- 200 FR: 1:56.58
- 100 BR: 1:07.26
- 200 BR: 2:24.68
- 200 IM: 2:08.70
- 400 IM: 4:37.84
Melanie Margalis is incredibly versatile across the 200 free, breaststroke events and IMs. She’s a great flex option for Coughlin.
7. Josh Prenot, Cal, Non-NCAA – TEAM LEZAK
- 100 BR: 59.60
- 200 BR: 2:07.17
- 200 IM: 1:57.14
- 400 IM: 4:13.15
Prenot joins Cal teammate Nathan Adrian with Team Lezak. Very versatile across the breaststroke and IM events.
8. Kelsi Worrell, Louisville, Non-NCAA – TEAM KRAYZELBURG
- 50 FR: 24.79
- 100 FR: 53.87
- 50 FLY: 25.48
- 100 FLY: 56.37
- 200 FLY: 2:08.61
Krayzelburg follows up with Kelsi Worrell, who has shown ability to swim very well in-season. She’s strongest in the 50 and 100 fly, but can also swim the 200 as well as the sprint free events.
9. Katie Ledecky, Stanford, NCAA – TEAM KRAYZELBURG
- 100 FR: 53.75
- 200 FR: 1:53.73
- 400 FR: 3:56.46
- 800 FR: 8:04.79
- 1500 FR: 15:25.48
- 400 IM: 4:38.16
Finally, the greatest freestyler in history is off the board. She’s the first NCAA athlete to go, meaning she won’t swim all the stops, but anytime she enters she’s close to a lock to win the 200-400-800-1500 freestyles, and maybe even the 400 IM.
10. Kevin Cordes, Arizona, Non-NCAA – TEAM LEZAK
- 50 BR: 26.76
- 100 BR: 58.64
- 200 BR: 2:07.41
Lezak takes a third male and a second breaststroker, choosing Kevin Cordes who had a fantastic summer. He’s a high-end pick in the breaststroke events, meaning Lezak will probably put Prenot in the IM or flex section in events where they’re both competing.
11. Lilly King, Indiana, NCAA – TEAM COUGHLIN
- 50 BR: 29.40
- 100 BR: 1:04.13
- 200 BR: 2:21.83
Lilly King goes to Team Coughlin, the second NCAA athlete gone. She has continued to improve year-after-year, and is a great female breaststroke pick especially with the 50 added.
12. Caeleb Dressel, Florida, NCAA – TEAM SANDENO
- 50 FR: 21.15
- 100 FR: 47.17
- 200 FR: 1:47.45
- 50 FLY: 22.76
- 100 FLY: 49.86
- 200 IM: 2:04.60
Caeleb Dressel finally falls at #12. Though he is in the NCAA, his breakout performance last summer makes him a threat to win any number of events at any given stop. When he races at the Pro Series, he’ll likely swim the sprint free and fly events, but can also do the 200 free, maybe even the 50 or 100 breast, and potentially the 200 IM after his 1:40.6 yards swim this weekend.
13. Jacob Pebley, Cal, Non-NCAA – TEAM SANDENO
- 50 BK: 25.30
- 100 BK: 52.95
- 200 BK: 1:54.77
- 100 FR: 49.45
- 200 FR: 1:50.59
- 200 IM: 2:02.14
Sandeno picks up a backstroker in Jacob Pebley, who will likely attend most of the meets and is a consistent in-season performer. He has also shown some versatility in the 100 and 200 free as well recently.
14. Simone Manuel, Stanford, NCAA – TEAM COUGHLIN
- 50 FR: 23.97
- 100 FR: 52.27
- 200 FR: 1:57.11
Simone Manuel is the first pure freestyler for Coughlin. Though she has been out with injury early this year, once she is healthy she’ll be dynamite later in the series after the college season.
15. Cody Miller, Indiana, Non-NCAA – TEAM LEZAK
- 50 BR: 27.24
- 100 BR: 58.87
- 200 BR: 2:09.08
- 200 IM: 2:00.66
Lezak takes a third breaststroker in Cody Miller. Stressing trades are possible in the league, Lezak said he simply wanted to take the best swimmer on the board. Miller has expanded out to the 200 IM before, but his focus has been solely on breaststroke recently. Look for some potential deals after this draft.
16. Matt Grevers, Arizona, Non-NCAA – TEAM KRAYZELBURG
- 50 BK: 24.54
- 100 BK: 52.08
- 200 BK: 1:57.04
- 50 FR: 22.01
- 100 FR: 48.27
- 50 FLY: 23.29
Backstroke legend Krayzelburg finally takes a fellow backstroker in Matt Grevers, who has shown great ability to go fast in-season despite being one of the oldest swimmers on the national team. He can expand to the sprint frees, but those haven’t been as good for him over the past few years.
17. Olivia Smoliga, Georgia, Non-NCAA – TEAM KRAYZELBURG
- 50 BK: 28.03
- 100 BK: 58.77
- 50 FR: 24.70
- 100 FR: 54.21
Krayzelburg takes another backstroker in Smoliga, who is also a great sprint freestyler and in her first year as a professional.
18. Lia Neal, Stanford, Non-NCAA – TEAM LEZAK
- 50 FR: 24.77
- 100 FR: 53.59
- 200 FR: 1:58.26
- 100 FLY: 1:00.08
Lezak nabs Lia Neal, who is strong in the sprint frees and can do the 200. She’s also a first year pro. She joins Adrian as a freestyler for the legendary sprinter Lezak.
19. Tom Shields, Cal, Non-NCAA – TEAM COUGHLIN
- 50 FLY: 23.85
- 100 FLY: 51.03
- 200 FLY: 1:55.09
- 100 FR: 49.41
- 200 FR: 1:49.32
- 100 BK: 56.97
Tom Shields fills the butterfly void for Team Coughlin. He consistently attends these events, but isn’t always consistent in-season. He has talked about improving his long course in-season consistency recently, similar to how he’s always been so consistent short course, so he’s a strong pick. He can also swim free and even backstroke.
20. Jack Conger, Texas, Non-NCAA – TEAM SANDENO
- 100 FLY: 51.26
- 200 FLY: 1:54.47
- 50 FR: 22.69
- 100 FR: 49.02
- 200 FR: 1:45.77
- 100 BK: 54.04
- 200 BK: 1:55.47
A first year pro, Jack Conger goes 20th overall to Sandeno. He’s versatile across the butterfly and free events, and could even dabble in the backstroke.
Full rosters are now available below. Note that after the first five rounds the order of the selections wasn’t released, just each roster in alphabetical order. Check them out: