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  • Photo: Tony DiMarco

    Photo: Tony DiMarco

    Fantasy College Wrestling - 2023 Season Top-20 (165 lbs)

    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



    Two Dragons bookend the Top-20 with Evan Barczak taking the top spot by a nine-point gap. This is the second time Barczak has made the Top-20, last year coming in at #15 with only 45 Fpts. In 2023, he used his career-best 55.6% regular season bonus rate to become the #13 overall Fantasy Wrestler of the season.

    Second place Izzak Olejnik and third place Peyton Hall, however, are different stories. Both are three-time Top-10 Fantasy Wrestlers at 165, and both had their best finish in 2023. Previously Olejnik had been #7 in 2022 and #4 in 2021, while Hall was #4 in 2022 and #9 in 2021.  

    Another Top-10 staple in the FCW ranks is Princeton’s Quincy Monday. He was one point behind Peyton Hall for third, and only had one loss during the regular season (to Julian Ramirez, #11 on this Top-20). You can do the math on that one. 

    In 2022, Dean Hamiti wrestled 21 regular season matches and finished with 93 Fpts (#1 at 165 and the #3 overall Fantasy Wrestler in 2022). He also had a PPM of 4.4. This season, he wrestled 21 matches again, but finished with 68 Fpts which was good for #7 at 165 this past season. His PPM also dropped to 3.2. Several factors here, with a drop in pins (eight in 2022 and three in 2023), a slight drop in techs (four in 2022 and three in 2023), and two additional losses than his 2022 self. 

    Gardner Webb’s Roderick Mosley started the season going 5-4 against D1 competition, which was all in the month of November. As of December till the end of the season, Mosley went 18-1 and six of those wins were via bonus. 

    The lowest ranked NCAA Champion across all weights to make it into a Top-20 was Keegan O’Toole coming in at #17 (there was one 2023 National Champ that did not make it into the Top-20 at their weight… more on that in a few articles later). It’s surprising, because last season as a True Freshman he finished at #3 with only 17 matches and a PPM of 4.6 (which was tied for 3rd out of any other wrestler in any other Top-20 in 2022). This past season he had an ADP of 4.84 (Average #3 overall) and had a PPM of 4.1, the best of anyone in the 165 Top-20, but with only 13 matches. Four more matches with wins by Major, he would have been #7.

    O’Toole tied Clarion’s Cameron Pine with 53 Fpts (who had 18 more matches than O’Toole), but a 1.7 PPM which was tied for the lowest in the 165 Top-20. Six losses will do that. 

    Patrick Kennedy and Alex Facundo had very similar seasons: both had 18 matches, Kennedy had a PPM of 3.1 and Facundo 2.9, but Kennedy finished 3 Fpts higher and can be directly related to their match on January 27, 2023. That’s fantasy wrestling, one result is the difference between 15th and 19th place.

    Who Missed The Cut:

    The only 165 AA to not make the Top-20 was Cam Amine (MICH), who only had 12 matches in the regular season amounting to 32 Fpts. He finishes as #30 for the 2023 Fantasy season.

    The #21, #22, AND #23  wrestlers all wrestled 21 regular season matches, but Justin McCoy (UVA) gets the “first man out” nametag over #22 Joshua Ogunsanya (COL) and #23 Brevin Cassella. They finished with 48 Fpts, 44 Fpts, and 42 Fpts respectively. 

    Danny Braunagel (ILL) started the season going 13-3 in qualifying Fantasy scoring matches. After that (after Midlands), Braunagel went 3-5 for a net -6 Fpts, which sunk him to #28 with 35 Fpts.

    At the beginning of the season, Ohio State had a surprising wrestle-off result at 165 lbs, where Bryce Hepner challenged Carson Kharchla’s place in the Buckeyes lineup. While Kharchla was solid and a bloodrounder, he only wrestled in 12 countable matches and two of those were losses by Pin (-12 Fpts). Placing 47th in the 165 ranks, he finished with 15 Fpts. His counterpart, Hepner, wrestled six matches and accumulated 12 Fpts (good for 52nd).

    Other notables include Cameron Steed (MIZZ) with 37 Fpts at #26, Braxton Lewis (VMI) at #29 with 33 Fpts in 33 matches, Austin Yant (UNI) with 31 Fpts at #32, and Tyler Swiderski (ISU) coming in at #50 with 13 Fpts. 

    Don't see your favorite wrestler on the list? Let me know @FantasyD1Wrestl for the full stats.

    Previous 2023 Top-20 Articles:

    Top-20 Fantasy Wrestlers at 125

    Top-20 Fantasy Wrestlers at 133

    Top-20 Fantasy Wrestlers at 141

    Top-20 Fantasy Wrestlers at 149

    Top-20 Fantasy Wrestlers at 157

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