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141: The Top 20 Fantasy Wrestlers of 2021

Clay Carlson after winning in the 2021 NCAA Round of 12 (Photo/Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.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)

133: Daton Fix (Oklahoma State)



Notes:

Only one All American makes the Top-10, Clay Carlson, who took eighth place at the 2021 National Tournament. He finishes as the #1 Fantasy Wrestler at 141 this season, despite four losses (-13 Fpts). Five other All Americans made the Top-20, with national runner-up (Jaydin Eierman) and champion (Nick Lee) coming in at #11 and #12, respectively.

Allan Hart went from being the #25 Fantasy Wrestler at 133 in 2020 to tied for fourth in 2021. Though his bonus rate was down from 2020, he drastically improved his win percentage in 2021 (going from 69% in 2020 to 83% in 2021). Tying Hart in points and PPM this season, and making a second consecutive appearance in the 141 Top-20, is Cody Trybus. The latter jumped up from #20 in 2020.

As deep and competitive as the ACC was this year at 141, the top Fantasy Wrestler was Brian Courtney mainly due to his bonus-filled start to the season (two techs and two pins). Opposite of that, Dom Demas used three straight bonus victories to help get the #7 spot (pin, tech, and major).

Josh Edmond was the top non-starter out of the four that cracked the Top-20. Edmond wrestled the most D1 matches of the four non-starters, but had the lowest bonus rate of the bunch (20%). Ryan Burgos had an impressive 66.7% bonus rate (six of his nine matches) but three losses (one of which was by Tech) prevented him from being higher.

Edinboro had two wrestlers at 141 make the Top-20, both True Freshmen. And speaking of True Freshmen, five made the Top-20 (compared to one at 125 and 133).


Who Missed The Cut:

Two All Americans who did not make the Top-20 this season were Sebastian Rivera (#30 this season) and Dylan Duncan (#44 this season). Had Rutgers been able to wrestle Maryland and Rivera were to have gotten at least a tech, he would have been the #19 Fantasy Wrestler this season (#18 if he won by pin).

Had it not been for an injury midway through the season, Kaid Brock was on track to break into the Top-20. He finished with four matches on the season and 15 Fpts (#31, one spot above Sebestian Rivera).

Ian Parker wrestled twelve matches this season, but unfortunately for Fantasy TMs, five of those matches were to on-D1 competition and thus did not count for Fantasy College Wrestling point totals. He finished with only one loss by Decision and 18 Fpts.

Some other notables that didn't crack the Top-20 include Dylan Duncan (#45 with 8 Fpts), Zack Trampe (#48 with 7 Fpts), and True Freshman Sam Hillegas (#50 with 7 Fpts)

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