By: Justin Felisko
March 12, 2016
THE DULUTH INVITATIONAL: The Built Ford Tough Series resumes this weekend in Duluth, Georgia, with the Duluth 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: FABIANO’s FRIENDLY FOE
Fabiano Vieira may be one of the happier riders heading to Duluth after seeing his draw.
Vieira has a rematch against Blues Man in Round 1 on Saturday night. Vieira rode Blues Man for 85.25 points in Charlotte last season, and Blues Man has been ridden in all six of his BFTS outs for an average score of 85.46 points.
For the second week in a row, world leader Shane Proctor has drawn a bull with no Built Ford Tough Series experience. Proctor, who went 0-for-2 in Phoenix, has drawn Psycho Kid (0-0, BFTS) for Round 1 in Duluth.
Joao Ricardo Vieira may not have ridden Jared Allen’s Air Time last weekend, but the No. 2 bull rider in the world standings felt confident enough to attempt him. Vieira leads the BFTS with 20 qualified rides and faces Gold Rush (1-3, BFTS) in Round 1. Gold Rush has been ridden in three of his four BFTS outs.
J.B. Mauney is returning to competition after missing Phoenix because of a personal matter. He has drawn Tux (0-1, BFTS). Mauney has yet to buck off consecutive bulls this season at the BFTS level in eight events.
Paulo Lima has drawn U R Next (4-3, BFTS), which may prove to be a tough test for the No. 5 ranked bull rider. U R Next is 7-1 at all levels against left-handed riders.
TIER B: WHEN HE RIDES; HE SCORES WELL
Wallace de Oliveira won his fourth BFTS round in Phoenix with an 87.25-point ride on Hy Test and continues to show that he has the ability and riding style to place high in rounds. Eight of Oliveira’s 12 qualified rides have been scored 85 points or higher.
Oliveira will face Full Draw (1-1, BFTS) in Round 1. Juliano da Silva rode Full Draw for 81.75 points
Phoenix event winner Ryan Dirteater will try make it four consecutive qualified rides when he takes on Doc Mosely (2-4, BFTS). Dirteater hasn’t ridden four in a row since beginning the season 4-for-4. Dirteater went 3-for-15 in between his 4-for-4 start to the season and his current 3-for-3 run.
Valdiron de Oliveira has a rematch against Percolator. Oliveira was bucked off by Percolator in 2.26 seconds two years ago in Nampa, Idaho, but Percolator has been ridden in seven of his past eight BFTS outs.
TIER C: TRIPLETT RETURNING
Matt Triplett finished last year fifth in the world standings and third in 2014, therefore it may be worth taking a flier on Triplett with one of your two picks in Tier C.
While it can be risky selecting a rider who hasn’t ridden on the BFTS or in a PBR competition since tearing two ligaments in his riding elbow at the 2015 World Finals, he may just be worth the gamble.
Triplett has drawn Flex on Em (0-0, BFTS).
Cooper Davis is coming off a 2-for-3 performance in Phoenix and the 2015 World Finals event winner has the highest riding average (38.1 percent) in Tier C. Davis’s 38.1-percent ratio is the 12th best on the BFTS. Davis has a first-round meeting with Hillbilly (0-1, BFTS). Rubens Barbosa rode Hillbilly for 88.5 points last month in Kansas City, Missouri.
Guilherme Marchi has bucked off four consecutive bulls, but still has the second highest riding percentage in Tier C with 37.5 percent. Marchi has a Round 1 match against Hey Jack (0-0, BFTS).
Three-time World Champion Silvano Alves, mired in a 4-for-19 slump, takes on Alligator Arms. He was previously bucked off by Alligator Arms last year in 3.08 seconds at the Charlotte Invitational.
Barbosa has posted two qualified rides in two consecutive events, he’ll take on Hot Spot (0-0, BFTS).
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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