KAWASAKI STRONG BATTLE AT THE BEAU: The Built Ford Tough Series returns to action this weekend in Biloxi, Mississippi, for the Battle at the Beau. Don’t forget to set your lineups, and if you haven’t already, sign up now for your chance to win.
The Oakland Dream Team included Joao Ricardo Vieira (Tier A), Gage Gay (Tier B), L.J. Jenkins (Tier B), Stormy Wing (Tier C) and Billy Robinson (Tier C), as well as Roy, Bushwacker and Stanley FatMax.
RIDER RUNDOWN: Joao Ricardo Vieira has soared to the top of the world standings by going 5-for-7 in the past two events. He is only averaging 78.85 points-per-ride during that stretch, but he is the only rider in Tier A to have ridden two bulls or more in each of the past two events. He takes on new BFTS bull Wacey in Round 1. Defending event champion Mike Lee returns to Biloxi in search of rides and points toward his chase of a second world title. Lee nearly made the 8-second mark on both of his ride attempts last week in Oakland, California, being bucked off in 6 seconds and 6.45 seconds. Look for Lee, who is averaging 85.7 points-per-ride this season, to rebound against Mexican on Friday night. Fabiano Vieira frustrated fantasy players last week when he opted out of the Built Ford Tough Championship Round due to his unstable shoulder. He is by far the most consistent rider in Tier A with a 57.58 percent riding average, but he has opted out of the championship round twice in the past four weeks. Fabiano is a risk/reward kind of play for the rest of the season. Silvano Alves has irked players possibly more than Vieira the past two weeks by turning down three re-ride options. His last three qualified rides produced scores of 58.25 points, 63.75 points and 72.75 points. Guilherme Marchi enters Biloxi marred in a 4-for-16 slump.
L.J. Jenkins has posted at least one ride in four of the last five weeks to move into the Top 10 of the world standings. He has the second-highest riding percentage (38.89 percent) in Tier B behind Eduardo Aparecido (45.45 percent). Jenkins faces Hou’s Back in Round 1. Cody Nance, who is 4-for-18 in the second half, rode Hou’s Back in the bull’s last out for 89 points in Springfield, Missouri. Kasey Hayes (fractured jaw) is back in action for the first time in more than a month and he takes on Wagon Wheel. Before getting hurt in Thackerville, Oklahoma, Hayes had at least two rides in four of his last five BFTS events. Gage Gay has posted at least one ride in the past six events and is slated to face Black Powder in Round 1.
Tier C presents a ton of options for fantasy players to choose from after 12 different riders in this group posted at least one ride in Oakland. Tanner Byrne leads Tier C with a 54.55-percent riding average, but he is coming off an 0-for-2 performance last weekend. Byrne should be expected to rebound this weekend against Jungle. In the two other instances this season when Byrne has failed to record an 8-second qualified ride, he has bounced back the following week with at least one ride. Last week’s event winner, Stormy Wing, leads Tier C with an average ride score of 87 points and showed once again in Oakland that when he rides, he earns points – picking up an average ride score of 88.33 points. Jason Malone heads to Biloxi after recording a career-high 90.25 points aboard Fire Rock. He finished 2-for-3 for his first two-ride event on the BFTS this season. Billy Robinson also went 2-for-3 in Oakland; it was his first two-ride showing since February.
BULL BITS: The two powerhouse bulls to select for your lineup this weekend are World Champion Bull contenders Asteroid and Mick E Mouse. Asteroid brings his 28 consecutive buckoff streak into Biloxi and the 2012 World Champion Bull will try to rebound after being marked 43.75 points in bucking off Fabiano Vieira in Springfield, Missouri, two weeks ago. It was the first time he was marked less than 45 points in four BFTS outs. Mick E Mouse has his own impressive buckoff streak (24). He has been marked an average of 45.61 points in seven BFTS outs this season. Other bulls to consider this weekend include Jack Daniel’s After Party, who has an average bull score of 44.27 points, and Pound the Alarm (43.96-point average bull score).
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko.
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