By: Justin Felisko
September 23, 2016
Rumble in the Rockies: The Built Ford Tough Series resumes this weekend in Colorado Springs with the Rumble in the Rockies. 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: Choices limited
Injuries to Cooper Davis and J.B. Mauney have left fantasy players with not many options in Tier A, but most players would be hard-pressed not to select Kaique Pacheco.
The world No. 1 bull rider is coming off a 3-for-3 victory at the Charlotte Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, and is 11-for-21 since the BFTS resumed following the summer break.
Pacheco leads the PBR with 38 qualified rides.
He has drawn Cheap Trick 2 (8-1, BFTS) for Round 1. This may be a tough draw for Pacheco, but it is still hard to bet against the 22-year-old bull rider. Cheap Trick 2 hasn’t been ridden on the BFTS level since Guilherme Marchi rode him for 84.25 points in April 2013.
Mike Lee (88.5 points) and Silvano Alves (83.5 points) have ridden him at non-BFTS events.
However, Cheap Trick 2 is only 6-3 against right-handed riders compared to 10-1 against left-handed riders.
Eduardo Aparecido has risen to fourth in the world standings and he has done so in part because of strong performances in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round. Aparecido (8-for-18) leads the PBR with eight qualified rides in the toughest round of PBR competition.
Aparecido will first need to get past Voodoo Spell (0-0, BFTS) in Round 1 to have a chance to qualify for the championship round in Colorado Springs.
Fabiano Vieira is 1-for-10 since dislocating his riding shoulder in Nashville attempting to ride Hammer It Again. Vieira is losing ground in his world title pursuit and desperately needs to turn things around. The 34-year-old takes on Compact (9-6, BFTS). Compact has been ridden in three of his last four BFTS outs.
TIER B: Blast from the past for Lockwood
Jess Lockwood has become a household name in PBR circles since he debuted this year on the BFTS in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
However, Saturday night in Colorado Springs will take Lockwood all the way back to the beginning of his professional career. Lockwood has a rematch against Rebel Yell (6-5, BFTS) in Round 1. The 18-year-old rode Rebel Yell for 87 points at the L.J. Jenkin’s Invitational in Clovis, New Mexico, last October during the first professional ride attempt of his non-BFTS career.
Joao Ricardo Vieira slipped into Tier B this week, but it wasn’t because of a poor performance in Charlotte. Vieira almost rode Hammer It Again in the championship round last week, but he bucked off at the 7.63-second mark. He would have likely won the event if he held on for the full 8 seconds, but close doesn’t count in bull riding.
Vieira also needs big performances during the final five BFTS events if he hopes to win his first gold buckle. In Colorado Springs, Vieira will take his first step to get back into the race with a matchup against Dirty Little Secret. Saturday will be the bull’s BFTS debut. Gage Gay rode Dirty Little Secret for 87 points in Brighton, Colorado, in his only professional out.
Guilherme Marchi is 7-for-11 in the last three weeks and also almost found payday in Charlotte. Marchi has a rematch against Big Kahuna (3-0, BFTS). Marchi lasted 2.24 seconds on Big Kahuna at Last Cowboy Standing.
TIER C: Eguchi poised for another strong weekend?
Marco Eguchi joins Lockwood as the only two riders with a rematch against a bull they have previously ridden. Eguchi rode Springer Mountain (4-3, BFTS) for 85.5 points at the Bismarck, North Dakota, BlueDEF Tour event, but he also was bucked off by the bull in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, in 5.5 seconds. Eguchi is four for his last six at all levels of competition.
Silvano Alves has ridden one bull in five consecutive events – his longest streak of 2016 – and takes on WB12 Who Dey (0-0, BFTS). This isn’t the same Who Dey that stepped on J.B. Mauney last week. Instead, it is a new bull making his BFTS debut. Luis Blanco rode Who Dey for 88.5 points at a Touring Pro Division event in Ivins, Utah, in April.
Jorge Valdiviezo is trying to crack the Top 35 and he may have a decent opportunity in Round 1 against Bad Grandma (2-2, BFTS). Valdiviezo is a right-handed rider and, according to Probullstats.com, Bad Grandma is 9-6 against right-handers compared to 9-1 against lefties.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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