Lock Haven 125 lber Anthony Noto (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
When the final whistle blows at the national tournament, fans usually get up from their seats and rush for the exits to try and get a table at a nearby watering hole. Most of the time, the walk and talk is about who was most dominant, who choked, or who had that terrible call go against them.
For me, I start running through what wrestlers I don't have to ever worry about again for the upcoming #FantasyCollegeWrestling season. Nick Suriano? Nicky No-More. Sebastian Rivera? See ya later. Greg Bulsak? Bye Bye. Gable Steveson?... probably, possibly, maybe.
It's a business mindset and you have to start your research early for that draft in October.
This year though, we took a little time offâ€¦ longer than usual (as you can see by the time of these articles). Behind the scenes the Fantasy D1 crew has been working on a few projects I think you all are going to enjoy, but that's a reveal for September (stay tuned).
But now we are back, getting that #FantasyCollegeWrestling itch and starting to sift through the data for a season passed. To look forward in strategy, you have to look at the past and history trends to 1) recognize targets for your draft strategy and 2) create your shortlist for in-season stashes and add/drops.
To steal the line from last year's FCW Top-20 Articles, everyone knows 125 Pat Glory, 133 Roman Bravo-Young, 174 Carter Starocci, 184 Aaron Brooks, and 285 Gable Steveson are bonus point monsters, and this season they totaled 283 Fpts. Top names and all NCAA Champions or Finalists (Nick Suriano did not make the Top-20).
But here's five names that totaled 328 Fpts: 125 Caleb Smith (APP), 133 Joshua Koderhandt (NAVY), 174 Logan Messer (GMU), 184 Jonathan Loew (COR), and 285 Ben Goldin (PENN). This group only has one All-American (Loew finishing 8th).
And as I say every year, that's the beauty and frustration of Fantasy Sports. Sometimes your top performers are not "household names."
So, with that, let's take a look at this past season's Top-20 at each weight to help give you an early start to win each week this coming year.
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
He wasn't even supposed to start this season. 2020 #3 Fantasy Wrestler at 125 Luke Werner was supposed to finish his Senior year and NC State transfer Anthony Noto would slide in perfectly to keep the Eagles soaring. Due to injury though, Noto stepped in and took the Fantasy season by storm. He finished with the 3rd biggest gap between 1st and 2nd (23 Fpts).
In the first half of the season during his redshirt, six of his 13 matches were won by bonus (two pins and two techs) and suffered one loss. After taking the starting spot, Noto went undefeated in his last 14 matches, scoring bonus in 10 of them (four pins and three techs). An added note, of the top 251 wrestlers that had an Average Draft Position data point, Noto came inâ€¦. not listed. He did not have any draft data available (what a Portal pickup!)
Another true freshman, with higher notoriety, who was thrust into the starting lineup was Drake Ayala, taking over for the injured Spencer Lee. Big knee braces to fill, but Drake held his own only losing four matches to two wrestlers (the backside bandit Pat McKee being his kryptonite and three of those losses). Ayala finished the regular season at #19 in the 125 weight class.
The highest senior was Fabian Gutierrez who finished his career with 2022 being a statistical best as a starter in most wins, winning percentage, and RPI (per WrestleStat), even though his bonus rate was just slightly down (39.3% compared to his best rate in 2021 at 42.1%). The only other senior in this list, who has been in the Top-5 of 125 twice in the past three years, was Devin Schroder.
2022 finalist Pat Glory finished at #6 with 53 Fpts and a 61.5% regular season bonus rate, but missing the Top-5 by three points. Had Glory wrestled in the Southeast Open and at Iowa, chances are he would have finished as #2.
Despite the low bonus rate of 12.5% (only two majors of his 16 matches), Trevor Mastrogiovanni found himself breaking into the Top-20 at #17.
Four 2022 All-Americans finished in the Top-10
Who Missed The Cut:
National Champion Nick Suriano (MICH) fell just short of breaking the Top-20 by one Fantasy Point, despite only wrestling eight D1 Matches in the regular season. Had he beat Drew Hildebrandt (PSU) by a major (his only win by dec in the regular season), he would have been #20. By a tech? #19. And via pin, #16.
Despite getting the best of #19 Ayala three times this season, Pat McKee (MINN) fell to #25. After a bonus-filled start, his last eight matches unfortunately yielded -7 putting him in a late hole and finishing with 33 Fpts.
The final All-American who was on the outside, and really really outside, was Michael DeAugustino (NW) finishing at #45. He only had eight total D1 matches starting with Northwestern's dual from January 7th and only one bonus win (by tech) which was negated by two losses by Dec to finish with only 17 Fpts.
Spencer Lee (IOWA) only wrestled three matches, all at the National Collegiate Duals, and scored 12 Fpts, which tied him for #51 at 125 with True Freshman Richard Figueroa (ASU).
Other notables include Clarion's Joseph Ficher missing out on the #20 spot by 0.04 in PPM, Joey Prata (OU) at #30 with 30 Fpts, Drew Hildebrandt (PSU) just under that with 29 Fpts, and Sam Latona (VT) at #41 with 21 Fpts.