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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    MatScouts Dynasty Fantasy Wrestling Pre-Draft Preview (Willie Saylor)

    Yahya Thomas at the 2021 NCAA Championships (Photo/Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)

    If you think back hard enough, you may remember that your timeline was blowing up with random wrestler names and the hashtag #MatScoutsDynasty just over a year ago. That was the inaugural draft of the MatScouts Dynasty Fantasy League.

    Since then, deals were made, duals were waged, and teams were sent to a grand National Tournament in March vying to be the Top Fantasy Wrestling Team in the Dynasty League. We now enter Season 2 of the #MatScoutsDynasty League, so let's catch you up to where all the teams stand.

    As a refresher, here is the basic point scoring rules:

  • For wrestlers competing in dual meets, Standard Dual Team Scoring is used (win by Dec +3, loss by Dec -6, etc).

  • Bonus Points are given when your wrestler beats a ranked wrestler OR if your wrestler loses to a ranked wrestler

    ex: if your wrestler beats Spencer Lee by Dec, your wrestler would get +3 for the Dec and another +6 for beating the #1 ranked wrestler.

    If your wrestler loses by Dec to Spencer Lee, your wrestler is penalized only for -1 pt.

  • One starter per weight with two Flex classes.

  • Two in-season competitions of Head-to-Head Duals and Cumulative Total Points. Each competition brought with it the prize of earning additional team points for the National Tournament. 1st place = +9 team points for Nationals, 2nd place = +8, etc (if you win 1st in the Duals and Total Points, you earn +18 team points for Nationals, etc)

    Brain Power

    Team Manager: Willie Saylor (@MatScoutWillie)

    How It Started:

    How appropriate that the finale of the first round should fall to the Leagues namesake, Willie Saylor. You may remember him from such wrestling escapades such as The #WilieTrials and “Mr. Saylor Angers The Internet.” Willie rounded out the first round as the #10 pick.

    For Willie's full draft recap, see the full draft board HERE

    Hindsight Draft Review:

    First Round Pick (#10 Overall): The point of much controversy during the 2020 season, Willie's first pick of the MatScouts Dynasty League Draft was 197 Michael Beard (PSU). Beard went 12-3 against D1 competition with a 62.5% bonus rate in 2020 as a Redshirt, losing only to Greg Bulsak (CLAR), Nathan Traxler (STAN), and Ethan Laird (RID). He's just another spoke in the wheel that is Penn State 2021: Reloaded.

    Another year in the Penn State Room and another year to grow into the starting role in a weight that has been as unpredictable as milk that has been left out too long.

    Great Picks: One of the star freshmen to hit the mats this season was 184 Parker Keckeisen (UNI). Coming off his redshirt season where he was 16-1 against all competition, he only wrestled three D1 wrestlers going 2-1 (his only loss was 6-5 against Abe Assad). It was still not conclusive how he would do in taking over for 2020's 184 #1 seed Taylor Lujan. Even to start the season, UNI was only giving him extra matches and swapping between 184 and 197, but later pulled the trigger in starting him at 184, and finished 3rd at the National Tournament. Keckeisen was selected in the 12 Round (#111 overall) and was the #6 Fantasy Wrestler at 184.

    Under The Radar Pick: He got a little starting time in this short season for the Wolfpack, and even made a splash by pinning eventual ACC Champion Nino Bonaccorsi (PITT). He may have lost out on postseason duties to Nick Reenan, but in the short amount of mat time he had Trumble showed that he could be the future 197 of NC State. Trumble was selected in the 17th Round (#170 overall).

    A Miss For This Season: It had the potential to be a “Great Pick”, but with the last pick of the draft 141 Kaid Brock (OKST) was selected. The possibly bigger reach and miss for The Brain came in the 3rd Round (#30 overall). Again, this draft occurred in June 2020 when the sky was the limit for all wrestlers in the NCAA, but Willie selected 141 Anthony Echemendia (OHST). He has eligibility as a True Freshman and came in with a lot of hype and excitement as well, but even though the record was 4-1, he did not face any stiff competition and also lost the initial wrestle-off to Dylan D'Emilio (who got postseason duties over Echemendia either by coaches decision tor because of injury back from when he was pinned by Jaydin Eierman in their dual).

    This isn't to say that Echemendia won't get a better grasp on Folkstyle and get his technique up to par, but as for this season a 3rd Round pick may have been juuuust a bit too much for him.

    How The Season Played Out:

    Brain Power fell a little behind in Total Points, due in large part to wrestlers not competing, competing very little, or being injured (see Kaid Brock, Nick Suriano, Theoris Robison, AJ Nevills, and basically anyone on Lehigh for a while). And like they say, if you don't score more points than your opponent, chances are you're not going to win a lot of games.

    Brain Power also hit a bad luck streak in Duals, going 1-3 before repeating the same record on the back half of the season. In all, Brain Power finished in 9th place in both the Dual and Total Points Standings, and was able to secure 2 additional bonus points for his final NCAA team total

    See the full Dual and Total Points Standings HERE

    Some Transfer Portal Pickups were used by Brain Power to try and make up ground due to the lack of ‘Hustle' by his drafted wrestlers:

    - Drop 174 Tyler Stoltzfus (Lock Haven), adds 197 Yonger Bastida (Iowa State)

    - Drop 133 Dom Serrano (Nebraska, adds 157 Markus Hartman (Army)

    - Drop 149 Austin Boone (Penn State), adds 125 Malik Heinselman (Ohio State)

    - Drop 157 Connor Brady (Virginia Tech), adds 184 Matthew Waddell (Chattanooga)

    - Drop 157 Justin Ruffin (SIU-Edwardsville), adds 133 Jason Miranda (Stanford)

    - Drop 141 Kaid Brock (Oklahoma State), adds 141 Grant Willits (Oregon State)

    - Drop 133 Jason Miranda (Stanford), adds 133 Ryan Sullivan (West Virginia)

    Brain Power was also involved in one trade during the season:

    - 1/14/2021: Traded 165 Shane Griffith (Stanford) & 157 Markus Hartman (Army) to Danny B Mobbin' for 157 Kendall Coleman (Purdue) & 149 Brock Hardy (Nebraska)

    2021 NCAA Tournament

    Brain Power approached the 2021 NCAA Tournament with this End-of-Season Roster:

    And this is the lineup Willie entered for Nationals:

    With 71 Team points, Brain Power finished at 10th place in the #MatScoutsDynasty League Standings for the inaugural season.

    Brain Power Entering the 2022 Season Draft

    18 of his 25 roster spots are comprised of sophomores or younger and the true freshmen are consensus Blue-Chippers. This season may not have been a year to compete for the trophy, but a foundational draft last year potentially set this team up for the next 5 seasons allowing the Brain to build a constant stream of talent to be a year-in and year-out contender.
    For the immediate future, 125 will need depth especially if Suriano doesn't make his anticipated/rumored return. Maybe 197 could use some depth… or maybe not. Other than that, the 2022 draft can be used by the original MatScout to add some more green to the depth chart or snipe some remaining veterans in the Transfer Portal.

    Brain Power has the #1 pick in the draft this season on October 18, 2021. Who should he target? Should he drop anyone before the draft? What weights need depth? Should he look to trade? who?

    Let us know!
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