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Fantasy Focus: Little Rock

By: Justin Felisko
April 09, 2016

Paulo Lima sits at No. 3 in the world standings and looking to gain ground. Photo: Andy Watson/BullStockMedia.com

Paulo Lima sits at No. 3 in the world standings and looking to gain ground. Photo: Andy Watson/BullStockMedia.com

THE BAD BOY MOWDOWN: The Built Ford Tough Series resumes this weekend in Little Rock, Arkansas, with the Bad Boy Mowdown. 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: WHAT IS NEXT FOR MAUNEY?

Two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney made fools of any doubters that questioned the health of his left riding elbow last week by riding Pearl Harbor for 94.25 points to win the 15/15 Bucking Battle in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

While the elbow is a tad bit worse than past seasons, Mauney said in Sioux Falls that he doesn’t expect it to get in the way of his push for a third world title.

Therefore, until Mauney decides the elbow is an issue, or his results in the arena begin to falter, Ultimate PBR Fantasy players may be smart to keep rolling out the 90-point slugger into their lineups.

Mauney takes on Rebel Yell II (2-1, BFTS) in Round 1 Saturday. World No. 3 Paulo Lima rode Rebel Yell II for 87.75 points in Duluth, Georgia.

Lima returned from his right knee injury in Sioux Falls and went 0-for-2. The 28-year-old faces Cut the Cord (4-0, BFTS) Saturday.

Fabiano Vieira looked outstanding in Sioux Falls, going 3-for-4 and nearly winning a BFTS-leading third event. Vieira has posted at least three qualified rides in four events this season and has at least two rides in seven of the 12 events.

The 33-year-old has drawn Filthy Animal (1-0, BFTS).

Shane Proctor has bucked off 11 consecutive bulls since winning Iron Cowboy. Proctor nearly rode Moto Moto in Sioux Falls before coming up just shy of the 8-second mark (7.47 seconds). He has a Round 1 matchup against Swamp Wreck (1-2, BFTS).

Joao Ricardo Vieira previously rode Swamp Wreck for 87 points in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and he will attempt to add to his BFTS-leading 25 qualified rides this weekend. Vieira’s first test is a Round 1 meeting against Lost Soul (2-1, BFTS).

TIED B: ROLL THE DICE WITH BYRNE

Tanner Byrne has favorable Round 1 matchup against Roll of the Dice (0-2, BFTS). Roll of the Dice was ridden by Justin Paton for 86 points in Kansas City, Missouri, and Kaique Pacheco for 86.25 points in Oklahoma City.

Pacheco is quietly sitting fourth in the BFTS in riding percentage (47.5 percent) and his 4-for-4 victory in Sioux Falls has him right back in the world title conversation after nearly becoming the first rookie to win a world title in 2015.

Pacheco has drawn Swamp Donkey in Round 1.

TIER C: HOME COOKING?

Tyler Harr and Reese Cates will try to thrive off the home crowd as they try to shed their early season struggles on the BFTS.

Harr (Hazen, Arkansas) and Cates (El Dorado, Arkansas) both have tough draws in Round 1 though. Little Tim’s All Nighter (4-1, BFTS) awaits Harr in Round 1, while Cates will be greeted by Wicked Stick (4-2, BFTS). The bulls are a combined 5-0 this season.

Kasey Hayes has only ridden one of his last 10, but the 30-year-old may get a dose of helpful medicine in Hustle Man (1-2, BFTS). Hustle Man was ridden by Hayes for 87 points last year in Springfield, Missouri, and Emilio Resende earned an 83.25-point ride on him in Oklahoma City.

Jess Lockwood showed a flash of potential in Sioux Falls with his Round 3 winning ride on Tom Horn. Let’s see what 18-year-old does against Born In The USA (5-1, BFTS).

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

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