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  • Photo: Sam Janicki

    Photo: Sam Janicki

    The Top 20 Fantasy Wrestlers of 2022 (174 lbs)

    Top fantasy 174 lber Matt Finesilver (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)

    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


    Atop the 174 standings sits a Blue Devil by the name of Matt Finesilver who edged out a Dragon, in Michael O'Malley, by one Fpt, despite O'Malley wrestling in 10 less regular season matches. Even with Finesilver having five losses, including one loss by pin, and O'Malley having 10 pins (against D1 competition), the top spot came down to their match on December 4, 2021, where Finesilver ended the day with his hand raised over O'Malley's.

    The two NCAA finalists were separated by only two points with Mekhi Lewis getting the #3 spot while Carter Starocci, though having less matches and a higher PPM, slotted in at #5. Breaking them up was Logan Messer of George Mason, who used three tournaments to power his way in between the two finalists (though he did not qualify for the tournament himself).

    True freshman Sal Perrine had a quietly wonderful regular season having only two losses to Ethan Smith (OHST) and Mason Kauffman (NIU) from his 22 total D1 matches. He did so despite only five wins by bonus (including a win by DQ in his last match of the regular season). Comparatively, Cade DeVos had 10 more matches wrestled, five not being D1 competition, but due to having more losses, his PPM fell slightly lower to land him at #7.

    Rounding out the Top-10 are two All-Americans who, from a Fantasy perspective, were almost identical in Logan Massa and Michael Labriola. Once again, just as in the #1 and #2 at this weight, the better placing came due to their head-to-head match on February 2, 2022. Massa was victorious 4-1 and got the #8 placement.

    Moving up two weights from his 2021 campaign, Hayden Hidlay only had 13 matches to work with, but still was able to get the #14 spot. That with a loss by going to #20 on this list Clay Lautt. Had Hidlay won that match, he would have overtaken Chris Foca for the #10 spot.

    One Redshirt made the Top-20 at 174 with NC State's Jacob Null grabbing the #12 spot, though this coming year, he'll be working those points for the Boilermakers.

    Six All-Americans made the 174 Top-20 this season.

    Who Missed the Cut:

    Two All-Americans fell short of the 37 Fpts and 2.1 PPM thresholds: 4th Place Michael Kemerer (IOWA) and 6th Place Dustin Plott (OKST). Kemerer only had nine matches under his belt for the regular season, due to lingering injuries. Despite some counting him out, Kemerer battled to a fourth palace finish, but could only get the #39 spot with 24 Fpts. Meanwhile, Dustin Plott was 27th with a few more matches than Dr. Kemerer, and had 32 Fpts.

    Last season's All-American Ethan Smith (OHST) fell two points shy of making the Top-20, but it was teammate Fritz Schierl, who had the same number of Fpts as #20 Lautt, but his PPM was slightly lower (by 0.4) to land him as #21.

    Peyton Mocco and Dustin Plott had the same number of matches for the regular season, and were separated by only one Fpt. Both had -12 Fpts from matches lost, but Mocco won in the bonus percentage battle to Plott 31.3% to Plott's 18.8%. Mocco finished as #25 and Plott at #27, it was Sam Wolf (AF) who split them at #26 (same Fpts as Mocco but 0.6 less PPM).

    Last season, Thomas Flitz (APP) was the #6 Fantasy Wrestler at 174. This season, he didn't have enough firepower to overcome four regular season losses. Especially since he did not record a pin, tech, or win by injury.

    Other notables to miss the cut include Anthony Mantanona (OU) at #23 with 35 Fpts, Mason Kauffman (NIU) at #41 with 24 Fpts, Adam Kemp (CP) at #43 with 22 Fpts, Gerrit Nijenhuis (PUR) at #55 with 16 Fpts, and Andrew McNally (WISC) at #76 with 5 Fpts.

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