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
In 2022, Peyton Robb went down a weight and seemed to jump a level. In Fantasy though, it only amounted to a finish at #63. This past season? He’s your top 157 Fantasy Wrestler with 94 Fpts and a 4.1 PPM (in 23 matches). That’s the second-best PPM in the whole weight, only to bested by #3 Austin O’Connor on the 157 Fantasy ranks (4.6 ppm in 16 matches).
Sandwiched between the top two wrestlers, Kendall Coleman started the season winning six of his first nine matches by bonus, and solidifying himself as the #2 with a pin in his final match of the regular season.
Remember in the previous article I mentioned the Quaker switcheroo? The second part of that was Anthony Artalona who bumped up and finally made a Fantasy Top-20. Artalona was 5th with 65 Fpts, but had he completed his pin against Cobe Siebrecht (IOWA) instead of getting pinned, it would have been a 12-point swing and landed him as #3 instead.
National Finalist Levi Haines and Stanford standout Daniel Cardenas were the only two true freshmen to make the Top-20, both wrestling 21 matches and almost identical PPMs (Haines with a 3 PPM and Cardenas 2.8 PPM). The difference looks to be that, despite both taking a loss, Haines had eight bonus matches against D1 competition to Cardenas’ four. Both had an ADP of over 118.
The two non-starters of the Top-20 also had very similar seasons in that #12 Caleb Dowling (19-6 against D1 competition) and #20 Cole McComas (19-7 against D1 competition), but it was the extra loss by McComas and the almost 50% bonus rate by Dowling that was the difference in placement.
Sometimes in Fantasy Wrestling, all that matters is getting the “W” on the bout sheet. That's what Peter Pappas did, wrestling 22 matches and only securing four bonus wins (one being a FFT to start the season). The transfer from Edinboro to George Mason hadn’t won more than 13 D1 wins in a regular season (2020), and this past season he had 18 along with his first qualification for Nationals.
Josh Humphreys may have just made his first podium appearance at Nationals, but it’s not the first time he's made the Top20 in Fantasy Wrestling for a season. In 2022 he finished at #10 with 53 Fpts in 18 matches. This past season, he accumulated 47 Fpts in only 12 matches (due to injury) which got him to eek into the Top-20. He missed the full month of January, where Lehigh had six duals, and the way he was wrestling he could have gone 6-0 in those matches. An additional 18 Fpts would have landed him at #5.
Who Missed The Cut:
All-Americans Will Lewan (MICH) and Bryce Andonian (VT) not only met in the 7th place match at Nationals, but also met back-to-back in the fantasy rankings going #27 and #28. Lewan finished with 31 Fpts in 21 regular season matches while Andonian had 30 Fpts with only nine matches.
#21 Jarrett Jacques (MIZZ) started the season with seven straight wins, with four of them being via tech. After that, however, Jacques only recorded one bonus win (a pin over Rider’s Jake Silverstein at the Scuffle) in his next 12 matches where he also had three losses. He finished with 45 Fpts.
Kaden Gfeller (OKST) slots one spot back behind Jacques with 43 Fpts and the lowest bonus rate of his career (16.7% in the regular season and 10.3% for the entire season).
The second-highest wrestler from Central Michigan in 2023 for Fantasy was Corbyn Munson at #23. He went 2-2 at the Michigan State Open to start the season (winning by major & tech and losing by tech & pin for a net -2 Fts, and a short streak at the Cleveland State Open, but where he jumped up the ranks was in the last stretch of the season (also known as “Dual Szn”), going 9-2. He finished with 37 Fts and four Fpts better than Wyoming’s Jacob Wright.
Other notables include Tanner Peake (DAV) who finished with 32 Fpts, the same amount as Jacob Butler (formerly of OU) but with a 0.5 PPM better than Butler to get the #25 spot. #29 goes to Indiana’s Derek Gilcher with 30 Fpts, Jason Kraisser (ISU) edges out Cobe Siebrecht (IOWA) 29 to 27 Fpts to finish #31 and #32 respectively, and Paddy Gallagher (OHST) ends the 2023 fantasy season at #50 with 17 Fpts in 16 matches.
Don't see your favorite wrestler on the list? Let me know @FantasyD1Wrestl for the full stats.
Previous 2023 Top-20 Articles: