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The Top 33 Overall Fantasy Wrestlers for the 2021 Season

Tanner Sloan at the 2020 Big 12 Championships (Photo/Cam Kramer)

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)

141: Clay Carlson (South Dakota State)

149: Boo Lewallen (Oklahoma State)

157: Jacob Wright (Wyoming)

165: Travis Wittlake (Oklahoma State)

174: Demetrius Romero (Utah Valley)

184: Brit Wilson (Northern Illinois)

197: Tanner Sloan (South Dakota State)

285: Michael McAleavey (The Citadel)


Notes:

Every weight has a Fantasy Wrestler representative except for 133. Jacob Wright is the only wrestler from 157 to break into the Top-33 Overall, while the 141 and 165 weight classes tie for the most (five each).

If you have been following along, then it may not be a surprise that Appalachian State had the most wrestlers in the Top-33 with five, Oklahoma State had the second most with four, and Missouri after that for third with three.

Teams that made the Top-10 in points at the NCAA Tournament but did not have a wrestler make the Top-33 include Iowa, Penn State, Michigan, NC State, and Northwestern. Add to that Pittsburgh, Nebraska, Iowa State, Virginia Tech, and several others and you can see why we called this an "asterisk" year.

All wrestlers that made the Top-33 were starters for their respective teams and their Conference Tournaments.

Three other wrestlers had 35 Fpts but a slightly lower PPM and thus missed the Top-33. Tanner Skidgel and Zach Brown both with a PPM of 3.5 and Noah Adams with a 2.9 PPM.

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