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
Every year, one weight seems to outshine the rest when it comes to Fantasy. This season, that weight was saved for the heaviest of weights.
The race for king of the weight class, and what turned out to be the #1 Overall Ranking of the 2023 season, came down to the last day of competition.
Mason Parris and Wyatt Hendrickson entered the last week of competition separated by four Fpts (Parris with 112 and Hendrickson with 108). All Parris had to do was win and he would be crowned the #1 Fantasy Wrestler of the year. Hendrickson would need to win by pin or tech and have Parris either not wrestle or lose. Hendrickson did his part by pinning Northern Colorado’s Xavier Doolin, but Parris also did his own part and won by major and thus is your #1 Fantasy Wrestler of 2023.
Grady Greiss followed up his 2022 showing with another Top-3 finish, besting his 2022 score by 20 Fpts. SIUE’s Colton McKiernan makes his first Top-20, in fact making it as #5, with his best fantasy season in the past four years. The same goes for Duke’s Jonah Niesenbaum who eeks into the Top-10.
And speaking of best fantasy years, it may surprise you that the 2023 version of Anthony Cassioppi was his best (2022 was #18, 2021 was #23, and 2020 was #12). Of his 19 matches, 10 were won by pin and one by DQ which helped boost him up the ranks to #4.
Falling on the opposite end would be Greg Kerkvliet, who comes in just outside the Top-10 as opposed to his 2022 finish of #4 with just about the same number of matches wrestled.
The 285 weight class had six wrestlers in the Overall Fantasy Ranks within the Top-20. No other weight had more than two in the Top-20.
Who Missed The Cut:
The only All-American to miss the cut was Trent Hillger, finishing at #34 with 24 Fpts. Six losses during the regular season, including one by pin, will do that.
Boone McDermott (RUT) fell just under the Top-20 threshold, accumulating 37 Fpts in his 19 matches in the regular season. He edged out Ohio State’s Michael Misita by one Fpt who finished as the #22 fantasy wrestler at 285.
Cal Poly’s Trevor Tinker tied Binghamton’s Cory Day on Fpts, with Tinker gaining the edge in PPM (1.6 to 1.4, respectively). They finished #23 and #24 in the 285 fantasy ranks.
In the battle of True Freshmen redshirts, Harley Andrews (NEB) and Chase Horne (NCST) wrestled the same number of matches, with Andrews getting the better rank by one Fpt to finish #25.
Other notables to miss the cut include Tate Orndorff (OHST) at #26 with 32 Fpts, Zachary Knighton-Ward (HOF) at #30 with 26 Fpts, Konnor Doucet (OKST) at #35, Ben Goldin (PENN) at #40 with 20 Fpts, and Dayton Pitzer (PITT) at #45 with 17 Fpts (in 10 matches).
Don't see your favorite wrestler on the list? Let me know @FantasyD1Wrestl for the full stats.
Previous 2023 Top-20 Articles: