COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Nathan Schaper heads into the Rumble in the Rockies looking to continue to gain ground on world leader Joao Ricardo Vieira before the summer break.
Schaper’s strong performances the past two weeks have bumped him up to third in the world standings – making him categorized as a Tier A fantasy rider for Ultimate PBR Fantasy.
The 24-year-old has drawn Cowbanger (0-0, BFTS) in the first round and Chocolate Shake (0-0, BFTS) in the second round.
Schaper has gone 6-for-9 in the past two events.
While you never want to look too far in advance, Viera, the world leader, has to like his Round 2 opponent at The Broadmoor World Arena.
Vieira, who continues to deal with a rib injury, has drawn KISS Animalize(14-14, BFTS) on Sunday afternoon. He rode the bull last year for 90 points in Duluth, Georgia, and KISS Animalize has been ridden in six of his nine outs in 2015.
In Round 1, Vieira faces Gangster Bucks (2-0, BFTS). Gangster Bucks bucked off Douglas Duncan and Chase Outlaw earlier this season.
Valdiron de Oliveira has the only rematch in the first round when he faces Closing Time (8-3, BFTS). Oliveira was bucked off in 2.94 seconds by Closing Time last season in Thackerville, Oklahoma. Closing Time bucked off Kasey Hayes in 5.5 seconds last weekend in Des Moines, Iowa.
Oliveira has drawn Griz Jr. (7-1, BFTS) for Round 2. Griz Jr. took care of Cody Nance in 5.06 seconds last week.
Guilherme Marchi admitted in Des Moines that he was dealing with various injuries to his shoulder, knee and ankle. However, Marchi has the potential for a great score in the first round with Bruiser (6-3, BFTS). A rider was rewarded with 90 or more points the last two instances when Bruiser was ridden.
Vieira rode Bruiser for 90.5 points at Iron Cowboy in the bull’s last BFTS out.
Marchi takes on Perfect Storm (2-0, BFTS) in Round 2.
Matt Triplett has been mired in an 0-for-7 slump since tearing his left MCL and he will try to break out of it against Bert (0-1, BFTS) on Saturday night.Ben Jones rode Bert for 85.75 points in Oklahoma City.
Triplett has a better matchup in Round 2 against Live Action (4-3, BFTS), who he rode for 87.25 points in Kansas City, Missouri, last season.
Tier B: Fabiano Vieira looking to duplicate success
Fabiano Vieira is another rider with a rematch in Round 2, where there are a total of eight rematches. Vieira has drawn Savage Moves (4-2, BFTS), the bull he rode for 87.25 points in Sacramento, California, in January. However, Savage Moves has bucked off four of his five opponents since then.
Vieira will look for 8 seconds aboard Hou Did He Buck (0-0, BFTS).
J.B. Mauney showed last week in Des Moines that he is going to do all he can to not let his torn left ACL hold him back. Mauney’s first test in Colorado Springs will be against Midnight Bender (0-0, BFTS). He then will take on King Buck (7-17, BFTS) in Round 2.
Mauney should get a score on King Buck, who has surrendered a qualified ride in eight of his nine outs this season – including five in a row. All eight riders that made the 8-second mark were scored 87 points or higher.
Tier C: Is Roy beginning to catch fire?
Aaron Roy has consecutive fifth-place finishes on the BFTS and he is gaining more confidence week by week since returning from a career-threatening injury at the 2013 Calgary Stampede.
Roy has ridden 4-of-7 at the past two events and heads into Colorado Springs as the No. 32 bull rider in the world standings. The 27-year-old has drawn Rusty (3-2, BFTS) and Butcher’s Nightmare (3-3, BFTS).
Rusty bucked off Claudio Crisostomo (4.32 seconds) and Bryan Titman (4.92 seconds) in Billings, Montana, in his last two outs.
Vieira rode Butcher’s Nightmare for 87 points in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Brady Sims will have an opportunity to get a score on the board in the first round against C-Note (7-9, BFTS). C-Note hasn’t bucked on the BFTS since the World Finals when he was called for an infraction.
Prior to his 0-for-2 performance in Des Moines, Sims had gone 3-for-6 in the previous two events.
He faces What Up Sucka? (4-6, BFTS) in Round 2. What Up Sucka? bucked off Cooper Davis in 2.96 seconds last weekend.
This weekend’s sleeper pick is Alexandre Cardozo. The 25-year-old has a good matchup with Jared Allen’s Hy Test (8-12, BFTS) in Round 1. Hy Test had been ridden in six consecutive BFTS outs until he bucked off Valdiron de Oliveira in 6.59 seconds at the Des Moines Invitational.
Then in the second round, Cardozo has a rematch with White Lie (7-5, BFTS). Cardozo lasted 6.5 seconds on White Lie at a Denver Touring Pro Division event earlier this month.
White Lie hasn’t bucked since Denver and was previously ridden by Jones for 87.5 points at the Ty Murray Invitational.
Bull Power: Sweet Pro’s Long John back in the mix
Long John returns to action following a week off after his 46.75-point outing against Kasey Hayes in Billings, Montana.
The 2015 World Champion Bull contender leads Stone Sober (45.05 points per out), Boot Jack (44.55) and Percolator (44.42) into Colorado Springs as some of the bulls to keep an eye on.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
© 2015 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.