Italo wins our hearts
I’m fresh off a $40 Fantasy win at Bells, which means I’ll likely crash and burn in Brazil. In golf they call this a PBFU (post-birdie-fuck-up), in Fantasy Surfer it’s just the law of averages.
Brazil is especially difficult to call due to a number of unforeseeable circumstances. Will the comp run at Saquarema’s lefthand point or a nearby beachie? Will it be tubes, turns or punts that decide most heats? Will there be an attempted murder witnessed by formerly-sheltered CT competitors?
Your guesses are as good as mine. Here’s who you (probably) should(n’t) pick.
John John Florence: 12.5 mil
Would you believe that Brazil is the most fruitful CT stop in John’s career? No wins at Pipe, Teahupo’o, or Cloudbreak but two of ’em in Rio. Besides John’s historical success, it doesn’t make much sense to drop the world’s best surfer at his competitive peak. Maybe he’ll flail, but are you really willing to bet against him?
Adriano de Souza: 8.75 mil
As long as his board keeps treating me right, Adriano will hold a large chunk of my heart. Also, if they do end up at that left point, there’s almost no one I’d rather have blowing massive rooster tails out the back
Filipe Toledo: 8.5 mil
This guy has been on a heater, and in waves outside of his perceived range. Filipe flubbed one at Snapper, but I hardly see him doing the same here. His ability to drop a ten at any moment makes Fil a must-have in the short period South Atlantic swells.
Julian Wilson: 7.5 mil
Somehow, Brazil has been a major handcuff to one of the world’s most progressive surfers. Julian has suffered early round defeat after early round defeat in Rio, meaning he’s due for a breakout win. Right?
Mick Fanning: 4.5 mil
Having a weird year but still too cheap to pass up. One starts to wonder, if Mick doesn’t final in Brazil, will he be committed to the rest of the season? He’s already mentioned how his motivation isn’t quite there, but a big result in Saqua puts Mick right back in title talk.
Jack Freestone: 3.25
As a Fantasy player, I’ve found it almost pointless to care about your low-rank picks. Either you’ll get lucky and they’ll make a few heats, or probability will run its course and they’ll fall to a high seed. Jack got second here last year and I like his surfing, so he gets the nod.
Leonardo Fioravanti: 3 mil
Because he finally swung his hog at Bells and he dominated beach breaks on the QS last year. I’m still a BeLeover.
Jesse Mendes: 1.5 mil
Between Jesse and Nat at a left point or a beach break, I’m going Jesse all day. Nat may have a slight advantage on rights, but Jesse’s forehand and air game are far superior. And while there are no easy heats these days, I like his round one matchup against Jordy and Kerr on a long left.
Italo Ferreira: free!
The poor guy is still hurt, but that puts him in a perfect position to win this year’s Pussy Hound award. Instead of focusing on waves and nailing full-toters, Italo can invest his energy into chasing surgically-enhanced tail. Though he’ll be at a slight disadvantage, chase-wise, with that giant boot on his paw.