Silvano Alves finally proved that he is indeed human, bucking off 2-of-3 bulls last weekend in Oklahoma City, as he saw his BFTS-record consecutive ride streak end at 24.
Now, is it time to say Alves is in a slump? Of course not, but he is only averaging 82.96 points per ride this season, which can be frustrating to some fantasy players.
Alves has blind dates with Hot Blooded in Round 1 and Bug Tussle Rd. in Round 2. J.W. Harris rode Hot Blooded for 85.75 points in Fresno, California, last season.
If high scores are what you are looking for from your Tier A riders, then look no farther than Matt Triplett or J.B. Mauney. The riders ranked No. 2 and No. 3 in the world are tied for the BFTS lead with three round wins apiece. Triplett is averaging 86.42 points per ride, while Mauney is averaging 87.89 points per ride.
Mauney has also been scored 85 points or better in his past 21 qualified rides.
The 2013 World Champion faces two of D&H Cattle Company bulls, Wired Wishes and Come Together, in the first two rides.
Friday night will mark Wired Wishes BFTS debut, while Saturday will only be Come Together’s second out on the PBR’s top tour. He bucked off Valdiron de Oliveira in 2.5 seconds last year in Laughlin, Nevada.
Triplett will take on Still Doing Time, who bucked him off in 6.48 seconds last year in Thackerville, Oklahoma, in Round 1, and Slinger Back in Round 2. Slinger Back took care of Stetson Lawrence last week in 4.9 seconds in his BFTS debut.
Ben Jones heads into Sacramento as a potential solid play in Tier B, as he has ridden six of his last eight bulls he has attempted. All of his scores have been 85 points or better, minus the 42.5 points he received on Waterloo (Jones had turned down a re-ride option). He faces HoHoHo on Friday night and California Kid on Saturday. Jones was bucked off by California Kid in 2.59 seconds at a Touring Pro Division event last July in Carson, California.
Oliveira has two round wins this year and the 35-year-old is averaging 85.78 points per ride, but he only has five rides this season. Oliveira will continue to be a risk/reward type pick when he sees Bottoms Up in Round 1 and ModifiedClyde in Round 2.
Be wary of Kasey Hayes, who is currently fighting an 0-for-5 slump. Hayes faces Hells a Poppin (Round 1) and Chantilly Lace (Round 2). Hayes has never faced either bull, but Chantilly Lace did award Harve Stewart with 87.5 points in Oklahoma City.
Shane Proctor is coming off his first event without two or more rides after going 1-for-3 in Oklahoma City. He is set to meet Hair Trigger in the first round and Fire Kat in the second. Proctor has never gotten on either bovine athlete.
Can a familiar setting benefit Fabiano Vieira? Last year, Vieira went 3-for-3 to win the event right here at Sleep Train Arena. This season has been an up-and-down year for the Perola, Brazil, bull rider. He has covered 5-of-12 bulls, but has only accumulated 105 points toward the world standings.
He will try to raise his riding percentage closer to 50 percent when he takes on Savage Moves in the first round and Quiet Riot in the second round. It will be Savage Moves’ first out on the BFTS. He was last ridden by 2015 PRCA champion Sage Kimzey last year for 87 points at a rodeo event in Oklahoma City.
J.W. Harris will look to snap out of his current 0-for-4 funk when the four-time PRCA champion takes on Deerango in Round 1 and Mr. Feiger in Round 2. Harris has yet to attempt either bull.
A potential sleeper pick this week may be Ryan Dirteater. The 25-year-old finally got a ride under his belt last week following three buckoffs in a row in the 7-second range. He has drawn Houla Hoop in Round 1 and Cowboy Phil Round 2.
Dirteater rode Houla Hoop for 87.75 points last season in Sacramento.
Roy is set to make his 2015 season debut on Saturday night in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round, following a strong end to 2014. Julio Moreno’s bull was marked 46 points in his last out at the 2014 World Finals and it was his sixth consecutive out with a bull score of 45 points or better.
Long John hits the arena after being scored 46 points for handling Guilherme Marchi in 2.08 seconds during the Express Employment Professionals Invitational in Oklahoma City.
Mick E Mouse is back for his second out of the season and will attempt to record his 30th consecutive buckoff. He dispatched Bonner Bolton in under three seconds last weekend for a bull score of 44.75 points.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko.
© 2015 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.