By: Justin Felisko September 05, 2014@ 10:00:00 AM
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Built Ford Tough Series is in Music City this week for the Jack Daniel’s Invitational.
Here are some notes and things to keep in mind when setting your PBR Ultimate Fantasy lineup this week.
Tier A: Will Lee be running again?
Thackerville winner Mike Lee has been given a strong opportunity to begin his weekend in Nashville with a qualified ride in a favorable matchup against Prairie Dog. Lee will serve as a tall task for a bull making his BFTS debut. Prairie Dog has an 11-1 record on the Touring Pro Division, surrendering only an 86.75-point ride to Timmy Vaughn in his last out. However, Lee is a World Champion bull rider coming off his first three-ride performance since the second event of the season in Chicago. Lee’s Round 2 matchup with Redbone, another bull making his BFTS debut, will be one to watch seeing as Redbone bucked off Gage Gay and Kasey Hayes this summer.
Joao Ricardo Vieira used two round-winning rides last week to take over the world lead, and he will have a tough matchup in the first round against Big Kahuna, who has bucked off BFTS-caliber riders such as 2009 World Champion Kody Lostroh and Marco Eguchi. In his last out, Big Kahuna dislocated Sean Willingham’s hip after shedding the rider in 3.66 seconds. Vieira is slated to face Dracula, who is 4-1 on the BFTS this season, in the second round.
Silvano Alves has faced both his Round 1 and 2 bulls (Sue & Delco) before to no success, while Guilherme Marchi and Fabiano Vieira continue to attempt to ride their way through injuries.
Tier B: Aparecido maintaining riding percent of over 50 percent
Eduardo Aparecido continues to cover his bulls better than anyone else in Tier B at a 50.91-percent clip, and he is certainly another rider to consider using this week. Be wary that he was bucked off by Lil Lanche last year in 3.98 seconds in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but take into consideration that Aparecido is riding as good as he ever has on the BFTS and that Lil Lanche has been ridden in 3-of-5 2014 BFTS outs for an average score of 85.67 points. However, Aparecido’s second-round matchup against Alright, Alright, Alright may be a tough task after Jeff Robinson’s bull made easy work of Marco Eguchi last week.
J.B. Mauney looked like he may have regained his form last week in Thackerville after working on some practice bulls leading up to the event. The reigning World Champion takes on Spotted Juice, who is unridden in seven combined TPD and BFTS events, in Round 1. Alves made it the 7.27-second mark in New York on Spotted Juice and if the same Mauney shows up in Nashville like the man that rode in Thackerville, he is likely to get a score. Mauney also has a favorable matchup in the second round against Prince Jake, a bull that Robson Palermo rode for 85.5 points in Kansas City, Missouri, earlier this season. Other riders to keep an eye on in Tier B include Cody Nance and Gay.
Tier C: Champions Lostroh and Harris look to built momentum
In Tier C, Lostroh will look to continue to generate momentum with a Round 1 matchup against Jeremiah, who will be making his BFTS debut. Lostroh is then pegged to face Deer Me in the second round, a bull in which Joao Ricardo Vieira scored 90 points on in Anaheim.
J.W. Harris has a chance to build off his fourth-place finish from last year when he takes on an inexperienced bull in Cowboy Up. Harve Stewart was bucked off by this bull in a little under six seconds in Thackerville, and Nathan Schaper covered him in Chicago for 83 points. Harris then faces Wreck it Ralph, who Stormy Wing rode for 87.5 points in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in Round 2.
Speaking of Wing, he is this week’s sleeper pick to consider. The 25-year-old has struggled in the early portion of the second half, but he has successfully rode Western Hauler – his second-round matchup — for 87.5 points and lasted 7.2 seconds on another occasion.
Bull Bits: Can Bushwacker get back on top?
Asteroid heads to Nashville after posting a season-best 46-point bull score last week in bucking off J.B. Mauney in 3.04 seconds. Bushwacker is back in the mix in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round on Saturday night after taking the Thackerville event off. Bushwacker has gone four consecutive events without being named top bull, but the two-time World Champion Bull has scored 46 points or higher in his last two outs. Mick E Mouse heads into this weekend with an average bull score of 45.54 points in six outs.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko.
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