We are just about at the turning point where last season’s results and memories start to fade into the WrestleStat archives and the general wrestling community ramps up the interest and speculation of the upcoming season. And when it comes to Fantasy College Wrestling, drafters need to start thinking about who they want to pick in their 2024 draft.
One way to do this is to look at the results of the 2023 season. The 2023 FCW Top-20 at each weight can give you a good idea of who the top Fantasy wrestlers in the country are. Seeing who returns, who leaves, who outplaced who, what teams made these lists more than others… all important information and data to digest.
Of course, things can change quickly in college wrestling. Wrestlers can transfer, injuries can happen, and new stars can emerge. But the 2023 FCW Top-20 is a good starting point for your fantasy draft preparation, as you will see some (many, actually) repeat names from the 2022 Top-20 articles and even 2021 Top-20 articles.
Take for instance: Pat Glory (PRIN), Yianni Diakomihalis (COR), Keegan O’Toole (MIZZ), and Carter Starocci (PSU). That championship group scored 223 Fpts in the 2023 season. How about these names though: Caleb Smith (APP), McKenzie Bell (RID), Evan Barczak (DREX), and Tyler Stoltzfus (LHU). That group scored 313 Fpts, and none were All-Americans.
As you look at the list, keep in mind that not all of the top performers are household names. Some of the wrestlers who scored the most points in 2023 were not All-Americans. This is just one of the things that makes fantasy sports so exciting and unpredictable.
So start your draft preparation today by taking a look at the 2023 FCW Top-20. You might just find some hidden gems that can help you win your league in 2024.
To compile these lists, we used standard WrestleStat Fantasy College Wrestling Data & Scoring. Just a reminder of how points were tallied in WrestleStat leagues:
1) The scoring used was Standard Team Scoring across all competitions (+3 for a win by decision, -4 for a loss by Major, etc)
2) Scoring only counted against D1 competition
3) Wins via Forfeits (FFT) would count as +6 towards a wrestler's point total
4) Wins or Losses by Medical Forfeit (MFF) did not count as + or - towards a wrestler's point total
5) Points were only accumulated during the regular season
Newcomer to the fantasy ranks is Brock Hardy who finished the 2023 regular season as the top 141 wrestler by two points over eventual NCAA Champion Andrew Alirez, but to Alirez’s credit he wrestled eight less regular season matches than Hardy. The last time Alirez was in the Top-10 was in 2020 when he wrestled 149 (finished as #8 in Fpts at 149).
Making a jump in the standings from the previous season was Beau Bartlett. I think we can all agree that Beau was not wrestling at his preferred weight in 2022, where he was 11-6 in the regular season and finished as #44 in Fpts at 149. This past season was a different story. He improved his bonus percentage and winning percentage to climb up the fantasy ranks to #3. Hot on his tail was Rider’s McKenzie Bell (by two Fpts) who ended the regular season with a 10-match win-streak, with eight majors and one FFT. Funny enough, Bartlett and Bell met during the season where Bartlett won by pin. If Bell could have held it to a loss by major, he would have been the #3 over Bartlett.
Tying at 61 Fpts were Mosha Schwartz and Lachlan McNeil, with Schwartz edging out McNeil by 0.1 PPM. One point behind both of them was Ryan Jack who had a handful of matches less.
Saul Ervin finished the 2022 season and 2021 season at #28 in Fpts, but this year with a 19-7 record and a nine-match win streak to end the season.
Fantasy mainstay Matt Kazimir makes his third Fantasy Top-20 in four years and Cole Matthews makes his second consecutive Top-10 at the weight (finished #4 in 2022). Pitt also had backup Ryan Michaels finish #20. And speaking of backups, Cleveland State’s true freshman Dylan Layton placed 54 spots better than the starter.
Clay Carlson and Cole Matthews finished #4 and #5 in 2022, but in the 2023 season fell to #14 and #10 respectively. Carlson had seven losses in 2023 compared to three in 2022, which can be seen as the main cause for his drop in the rankings. Had he only sustained three losses like in 2022, he would have been #3 with 71 Fpts.
Who Missed The Cut:
Boilermaker AA Parker Filius had a couple questionable losses throughout the regular season, which held him out of the Fantasy Top-20 at the weight. Filius finished at #26 with 34 Fpts. The other AA to fall short (way short) of the Fantasy Top-20 was Dylan D’Emilio (OHST) who ended up tied at #62 with 13 Fpts.
When Sammy Alvarez was a Scarlet Knight last season, he only wrestled 15 matches which got him 40 Fpts and the best PPM of any 141-pounder not in the Top-20. His midseason replacement, Joey Oliveri, wrestled 16 D1 matches to get 31 Fpts. They finished #21 and #29, respectively.
Tom Crook (VT) started the season off hot, going 10-2 in his first 12 matches. Of those 10 wins to start the season, he beat Fantasy stalwart Matt Kazimir, eventual All-American Parker Filius, and Top-5 finisher Lachlan McNeil. But after CKLV, Crook went 4-5 resulting in a -2 Fpts in that span which held him back from climbing the 141 ranks. He finishes at #38 in Fpts at 141.
Bartlett’s teammate David Evans only wrestled 10 D1 matches last season, going 8-2 and finishing with 31 Fpts and good to hold the #28 spot. His two losses? Both in sudden victory against Vince Cornella and Beau Bartlett.
Other notables to miss out on the Top-20 include Allan Hart (MIZZ) with 38 Fpts at #23, Cole Mattin (MICH) with 27 Fpts at #33, Jesse Vasquez (ASU) with 26 Fpts at #34, and Frankie Tal-Shahar (NW) with 15 Fpts at #53.
Don't see your favorite wrestler on the list? Let me know @FantasyD1Wrestl for the full stats.
Previous 2023 Top-20 Articles: