Stop No. 2 of the 2015 Samsung Galaxy Championship Tours (CT), the Rip Curl Pro and Rip Curl Women's Bro Bells Beach, forced another shift in the rankings and, subsequently, another Fantasy shakeup. As the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro men's and women's events draw closer, catch up on the notable performances, or lack thereof, from the world's best.
Need a refresher on how to play? Read Fantasy 101.
Miguel Pupo (BRA) started the season with a Semifinal finish on the Gold Coast, launching him into Tier A on the Fantasy standings. After two events, Pupo finds himself on the bubble of Tier A, having had the fourth-lowest Fantasy point score after his Round 2 elimination at Bells Beach (17.84).
Rookie Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) also started our at Bells Beach in Tier A, but after a Round 2 elimination he's been downgraded to the middle of Tier B. If Dantas falters at Margaret River there's a good chance he'll drop to Tier C for Rio. However, conditions are supposed to be heavy in Western Oz and in his Faces of 2015 interview Dantas mentioned that he embraces barrels on Tour. If competition gets moved to the barrel-friendly Box, this could be an opportunity for him to shine.
The most surprising performance at Bells came from Michel Bourez (PYF). Started by 42 percent of team managers, Bourez again failed to deliver the surfing fans expect from him. He was eliminated in Round 2 for the second event in a row and scored the lowest number of Fantasy points of all 34 surfers. The "Spartan" sits in second-to-last position in Tier C overall, but as the defending event champ at Margie's, he may still be worth considering.
Tier B surfer Nat Young (USA) was only started by 12 percent of team managers and, before the Bells Final, he was ranked No. 2 in Fantasy points behind Adriano de Souza (BRA). The upshot? The Californian had a pretty decent heat average overall. Young grew up in Santa Cruz, and is comfortable in cold and tricky conditions -- which makes him a solid Dark Horse for Tier A when setting your team for Margie's.
Few fans bet on significant point-earner De Souza (12 percent start rate), holding their collective breath after his performances on the Gold Coast. But he was in solid form throughout the event at Bells and, in spite of finishing runner-up, racked up more Fantasy points than any other surfer. Remember: Heat points are the name of the game in Fantasy. (Jordy Smith (ZAF) was eliminated in the Quarterfinals, but earned more points than Josh Kerr (AUS), who made the Semifinals.)
Coco Ho (HAW) had a great run at the Bells Beach event, yet she was only started by 4 percent of team managers (compared to a 51 percent start rate for the previous event, where she finished middle-of-the-pack in Fantasy points). The drop was surprising considering that Ho made it to Round 4 on the Gold Coast and as far as the Quarterfinals at Bells. She's proving to be fairly consistent so far, which might be something to consider for Margaret River.
Johanne Defay (FRA) had a 4 percent start rate on the Gold Coast and was eliminated in Round 2, but last season's Rookie of the Year bounced back significantly at Bells Beach and made the jump from Tier C to Tier B. Will she make your women's roster for Margaret River?
Silvana Lima (BRA) was eliminated in Round 4 of the women's event, but nonetheless continues to be a decent Tier B asset. In the first two contests of the season, Lima finished with more points than any other surfer who left the event with the same result. Not to mention, she's already scored her second perfect 10 of the season.
Only two surfers are going to make the Final so, no matter what, some of your surfers will have to lose. Picking top point-earners like Lima and Kelly Slater (USA) may benefit your scoreline, whether they make it to the winner's podium or not.
The Drug Aware Margaret River Pro begins April 15. Remember to maximize your score and set your Fantasy Surfing team before Round 1 hits the water! Download the WSL app to get instant alerts concerning your team.