Fantasy Focus: Nashville

By: Justin Felisko
August 19, 2016

Silvano Alves could be a sleeper pick for fantasy players this weekend in Nashville. Photo: Andy Watson /

Silvano Alves could be a sleeper pick for fantasy players this weekend in Nashville. Photo: Andy Watson /

Frontier Communications Music City Knockout: The Built Ford Tough Series resumes this weekend in Nashville with the Frontier Communications Music City Knockout. 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: Can Pacheco thrive as new world leader?

The main objective this weekend to keep on riding is to make the 8-second mark, something Kaique Pacheco has done 50 percent of the time on the BFTS this year. However, in this bracket-style event, a rider can potentially advance to the next round if his opponent also bucks off – then buckoff time is the tiebreaker.

The buckoff time tiebreaker may be beneficial if Pacheco fails to make the 8-second mark seeing as Pacheco only bucked off three times in the final two months of the first half before the 5-second mark.

Pacheco is also the world No. 1 rider for the first time in his career thanks to his PBR Major victory in Las Vegas at Last Cowboy Standing and is looking to extend his lead atop the world standings. He should be able to start off the second half of the season with a qualified ride as he has a favorable rematch against Legal Tender. Pacheco previously rode Legal Tender for 88.25 points in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, this season.

Fabiano Vieira won the Ride Score Championship last year in Nashville and is one of four riders on the BFTS with a 50 percent or higher riding percentage this season. Vieira also rested for the majority of the summer. He went 4-for-6 at the Calgary Stampede and won two TPD events. Vieira has drawn Colonel (9-1, BFTS) in Round 2. He previously rode the bull for 82.75 points in New York.

Joao Ricardo Vieira is having another strong season, but a partially torn bicep in his riding arm at the end of May is something to monitor with the BFTS starting back up. Vieira says his arm is good to go, but we will have to see. If healthy, Vieira should be able to record a strong score on Ante Up (4-1, BFTS).

Paulo Lima will battle against Slim Ice in Round 2. Slim Ice is making his BFTS debut. Lima finished the first half 1-for-13.

TIER B: Expect Palermo to bounce back

Robson Palermo has a rematch in Round 1 against Big Benny and the three-time World Finals event winner should be happy about it. Palermo was bucked off by Big Benny at the 6.89-second mark in Little Rock, Arkansas. Big Benny had previously been ridden in three consecutive outs. Palermo is eighth in the BFTS in riding percentage.

Jess Lockwood has a favorable matchup against Soldier’s Pride (10-4, BFTS), but Lockwood was a little banged up this summer and has to be careful not to be fooled by Soldier’s Pride initially coming out of the gate.

Tanner Byrne’s 41.46 percent riding percentage is 10th on the BFTS. He has drawn Wrongful Termination, who is making his BFTS debut.

TIER C: Will Alves make it four in a row?

Three-time World Champion Silvano Alves couldn’t have drew better than he did in Round 1. Alves will take on Yo Yo for the fourth time and he has a perfect 3-0 record on that bull. Alves is averaging 86.75 points on Yo Yo.

Tier C is where fans can roll the dice if they want and pick some potential bracket busters in the tournament. Hot picks will likely be No. 27 Chase Outlaw, No. 22 Cody Nance and No. 20 Rubens Barbosa.

Outlaw and Nance square off against each other in Round 1, but both riders had the strongest summer performances. Outlaw was 25-for-49 (51.02 percent) and won seven events. He takes on Cooper Tires Semper Fi (24-11, BFTS). Nance was 20-for-38 (52.63 percent). He has drawn Tequila Sunrise (6-1, BFTS), who should fit Nance pretty well.

Barbosa was the hottest rider in Brazil by going 22-for-24. The question becomes will that success carry back over to the BFTS? Will see when he takes on Scratch Off (0-1, BFTS).

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