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Fantasy Focus: Billings

By: Justin Felisko
April 15, 2016

Current No. 2 Fabiano Vieira will look to make a statement this weekend. Photo: Andy Watson/BullStockMedia.com

Current No. 2 Fabiano Vieira will look to make a statement this weekend. Photo: Andy Watson/BullStockMedia.com

THE STANLEY PERFORMANCE IN ACTION INVITATIONAL: The Built Ford Tough Series resumes this weekend in Billings, Montana, with the Stanley Performance In Action Invitational. Don’t forget to set your lineups for Ultimate PBR Fantasy, and if you haven’t already, sign up now for your chance to win.

TIER A: Expect Vieira to bounce back

World No. 2 Fabiano Vieira went 1-for-2 in Little Rock, Arkansas, last week, but he has yet to go back-to-back weekends with only one ride.

Vieira will get at least four chances this weekend, including the 15/15 Bucking Battle, to record two or more qualified rides. Vieira has drawnRocky (0-0, BFTS) in Round 1.

Paulo Lima, Joao Ricardo Vieira and Shane Proctor – the other Tier A – riders went a combined 0-for-6 in Little Rock.

Lima has bucked off five consecutive bulls since spraining his right knee at the Ty Murray Invitational and will try to get back on track Friday against Blackberry Smoke (0-0, BFTS).

Joao Ricardo Vieira has bucked off four in a row and is coming off his first weekend without a qualified ride since February (Sacramento, California).

The No. 4 rider in the world standings takes on Kylie (3-0, BFTS) in Round 1.

The struggle has been real for Proctor, who arrives in Billings on a season-high streak of 13 consecutive buckoffs. Proctor will get a chance to kick that slump to the curb against Cash Ya Out (12-8, BFTS).

TIED B: Pacheco still solid choice despite gaffe

Kaique Pacheco cost himself a ride in Little Rock when he reached for his bull rope before the 8-second mark (7.88 seconds) aboard Cooper Tires Semper Fi. Combine that with his near ride on American Sniper (7.14 seconds) in Round 2 and Pacheco very easily could have been heading into Billings with back-to-back three qualified ride weekends.

Pacheco will begin Billings with a favorable rematch against Bad Moon Rising (2-1, BFTS). The second-year pro rode Bad Mood Rising for 83 points earlier this season in Kansas City, Missouri.

Ryan Dirteater is 6-for-8 in the last two events, which is his best streak since February 2012. Dirteater has drawn Lee’s Dream (0-0, BFTS).

Wallace de Oliveira won his fifth BFTS round of 2016 last week with an 88.5-point ride on Sketchy Bob and Oliveira has become a very solid, high-scoring option beyond world leader J.B. Mauney.

Only five of Oliveira’s 14 qualified rides have been scored under 85 points. Oliveira has drawn Hey Jack (0-0, BFTS).

Also don’t forget about the recent surge Mason Lowe was on before missing Little Rock because of strep throat. Lowe had gone 5-for-10 before getting sick. Lowe faces Steamy Windows (0-0, BFTS) in Round 1.

TIER C: The return of the champ?

It had been a long time since Silvano Alves went 3-for-3 at a BFTS event – exactly 11 events since the season-opener – prior to doing so in Little Rock.

Now the question is whether Little Rock was a sign of things to come for the three-time World Champion, or just in aberration in a down year. Alves has yet to put together back-to-back solid weekends since January and had gone 5-for-28 since the second event of 2016.

Billings was the first event that Alves missed last year after fracturing his left hip, let’s see what he does this year. He takes on Minion Stewart (0-2, BFTS) Friday night and Minion Stewart has been ridden close to 50 percent of the time at all levels.

Valdiron de Oliveira has a rematch against Bottoms Up (8-5, BFTS) in Round 1. Oliveira rode Bottoms Up for 84.25 points last season in Sacramento, California.

A sleeper pick this week is Nevada Newman. The 23-year-old rookie from Melrose, Montana, has actually won two PRCA rodeos at RimRock Auto Arena and would love to break out of his 2-for-10 funk in front of his family and friends.

Newman does have a tough rematch against Banjo in Round 1. Banjo bucked him off in under two seconds two weeks ago in Sioux Falls.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

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