Oklahoma State's two-time NCAA runner-up Daton Fix (Photo/Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
When the #FantasyCollegeWrestling season comes to an end, it's usual to feel like you need a break. I get it; even WE took a little time for some needed R&R (fear not, though, the FCW Podcast returns later this month!). The amount of work and game planning is exponentially higher than Fantasy Football or other sports.
There is not much to do other than research in the off-season. But just like we say in training, it's what you do when others are not looking that separates you from the pack.
We are left with a lot of raw data that needs to be filtered and sorted. The off-season is devoted to not only recording and organizing that data, but grouping, interpreting, and utilizing that data to forecast and strategize for the upcoming season. Sometimes the best way to prepare for the future is to look back on the past season and who is returning or names/data to remember come week 12 when you are struggling to find that 174 starter.
Usually, you have names like Spencer Lee, Shane Griffith, Aaron Brooks, and Tony Cassioppi that you think of to bring you success. Together this season, they combined for 84 Fantasy Points (Fpts).
Well, let me throw a couple other names at you: Codi Russell, Will Formato, Brit Wilson, and Michael McAleavey. This group totaled 185 Fpts this season.
As I say every year, that's the beauty and frustration of Fantasy Sports. Sometimes your top performers are not "household names."
Now, this year was definitely an "asterisk" type of year as there will be quite a few instances of skewing in one way or another (see the co-Hodge announcement). In past seasons, we have stressed that match count is not always a determining factor in actual or in Fantasy Wrestling success, but this year was different. Some teams were hit with COVID precautions or wrestlers actually got COVID making an imbalance of matches wrestled between wrestlers/teams larger than in years past and causing some big names to not make the Top 20 of their respective weights.
To compile these lists, we used WrestleStat Fantasy College Wrestling data. 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
Here are the previous #FCW 2021 Season weight class Top-20 Lists:
125: Codi Russell (Appalachian State)
He may have only wrestled five matches.... in the last week of the season, but went on a Spencer Lee-esque tear winning four matches by pin and one tech. With double the matches, but two points behind, Brendon Fenton slots in as the #2 Fantasy Wrestler at 133 in 2021.
Three wrestlers tied with 26 Fpts, but the best PPM of the three was Micky Phillippi who improved his 2020 ranking to be the #3 Fantasy Wrestler this season. Meanwhile Louie Hayes was powered by his outstanding showing at the Appalachian State Quad to get him to the #4 spot, while Zach Price finished the regular season going 8-1 and netting 22 of his 26 points.
National Champion Roman Bravo-Young finished with six regular season matches wrestled and 24 Fpts, but it was Austin DeSanto who, while also having 24 Fpts this season, got the higher spot due to his 4.8 PPM thanks to his four techs and one major.
Six non-starters break the Top-20, with the highest being Jake Gilva who came in at #11 powered by winning five of his eight matches by major. Oregon State's back-up Jason Shaner Jr rounds out as #20, beating starter Devan Turner (#71 this season).
Little Rock's only Top-20 Wrestler this season is Paul Bianchi as the #13 Fantasy Wrestler with 21 Fpts, despite starting the season in a -8 hole. Also important to note, Bianchi was Little Rock's first National Qualifier.
Who Missed The Cut:
A couple Fantasy Wrestlers from last season's Top-20 did not break into the standing this year. They were Mosha Schwartz (last season #17, this year #45), Anthony Madrigal (#16 last season, #129 this season) and Jarrett Trombley who was #15 last season (#37 this season). Technically, Sammy Alvarez also slipped out of the Top-20 (was #9 last season), but only had three matches this regular season so hard to fault him on that result.
Some other notables not able to crack the Top-20 this season include Bryce West (NIU), Sean Carter (APP), Mario Guillen (OHIO), Jack Medley (MICH), Devan Turner (ORST), and Zach Redding (ISU)