Fantasy Focus: Springfield

By: Justin Felisko
September 09, 2016

Joao Ricardo Vieira is 4-for-12 to start the second half but can easily turn things around. Photo: Andy Watson /

Joao Ricardo Vieira is 4-for-12 to start the second half but can easily turn things around. Photo: Andy Watson / Invitational: The Built Ford Tough Series resumes this weekend in Springfield, Missouri, with the 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: Can Vieira get back on track

Joao Ricardo Vieira is only 4-for-12 since the BFTS resumed in Nashville and the 32-year-old has lost some ground in the 2016 World Championship race.

Things won’t get easier for Vieira as he has a tough rematch in Round 1 against Deep Water (9-0, BFTS). Vieira lasted 4.81 seconds on Deep Water in Sacramento. Vieira then takes on For Sale (8-2, BFTS) in Round 2.

World leader Cooper Davis is eight for his last 13 and should make that 9-for-14 following a Round 1 matchup against Cool Hand Luke. Davis rode Cool Hand Luke for 86.75 points last weekend in Thackerville, Oklahoma.

Two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney is returning to competition after taking a week off to rest his left hip pointer and abdominal contusion injury.

Mauney leads the BFTS with a 56-percent riding percentage and has drawn Flat Top Pete (2-0, BFTS) in Round 1 and El Diablo (1-0, BFTS) in Round 2. Flat Top Pete bucked off Valdiron de Oliveira in 2.94 seconds last weekend in Thackervile. El Diablo debuted in Thackerville with a 3.25-second buckoff of an unhappy Davis.

Kaique Pacheco is tied for the PBR lead with 34 qualified rides this season. Pacheco is seven for his last 13 and has drawn Swamp Wreck (3-2, BFTS) and Wired Child (14-2, BFTS) for the first two rounds. Swamp Wreck bucked off Aaron Roy in 3.92 seconds two weeks ago in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Wired Child has bucked off 10 riders in a row, including Silvano Alves in 7.87 seconds last week.

Fabiano Vieira returned to action last weekend from his dislocated riding shoulder and failed to make it to the 8-second mark. Vieira said his riding arm felt fine, but the 34-year-old appeared tentative in the arena.

He will try to bounce back against Face The Time (0-0, BFTS) and Honey Hush (18-2, BFTS).

TIER B: Lockwood one of three riders riding above 50 percent

Jess Lockwood earned cowboy points last weekend by attempting seven bulls over the course of the two-day BFTS event. Not to be lost though is the fact that Lockwood’s 3-for-4 performance in Thackerville was his fourth consecutive event with two or more rides. Even more so, Lockwood’s riding percentage is now up to 51.72 percent.

Lockwood’s riding percentage is the second-highest in the PBR. That said, his sample size is still limited to only 29 outs.

The ninth-ranked bull rider will try to gain ground in the world title race with matchups against Frequent Flyer (1-0, BFTS) and Fire House (4-1, BFTS).

Fantasy players may be smart to pair Lockwood with Eduardo Aparecido in Tier B. Aparecido is sixth in the world standings and is converting at 49.18 percent clip.

Aparecido has drawn Mr. Deeds Jr. (2-1, BFTS) and Gangster’s Blue (0-0, BFTS).

Wallace de Oliveira has a good Round 1 matchup against Find Jesus (2-2, BFTS). Shane Proctor rode Find Jesus for 85.25 points in Thackerville. However, Oliveira has bucked off 10 in a row.

TIER C: Is this the beginning of the return of Alves?

Silvano Alves was within milliseconds of pulling off a 3-for-3 performance in Thackerville last weekend.

Now was that a fluke from Alves during his disappointing 2016 campaign? Or was it a sign of things to come with seven BFTS events remaining?

Time will tell if Alves can put together a late-season push, but his first test in Springfield will begin with Drifter (0-0, BFTS). He next takes on Rooster (3-1, BFTS) in Round 2.

Springfield will provide a little good and a little bad for Guilherme Marchi.

The 2008 World Champion arrives in the Queen City of the Ozarks fresh off his 24th career victory and has rematches in the first two long rounds.

Marchi was bucked off by Flight Plan (6-1, BFTS) in Kansas City, while he rode No Regrets (21-6, BFTS) for 87.5 points two years ago in Oklahoma City.

A sleeper this week may be Brant Atwood. The BFTS alternate takes on Locked and Loaded in Round 1. Alves rode Locked and Loaded (0-1, BFTS) for 88.5 points in Thackerville. Atwood has drawn Springer Mountain (3-3, BFTS) in Round 2.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

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