Fiji Fantasy Outlook
Last updated May 28, 2015 by Surf-Stats
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Men’s Fantasy Surfer Outlook
Glad to see the enthusiasm growing here on surf-stats! We’ve received a ton of emails letting us know to pick up the slack and get content up. Thanks for being understanding with all the injuries this week! Without further ado, let’s take a look at the Men’s Fiji Pro Fantasy Surfer prices.
We’ll start with our big time Pts/$ Value Picks, and our first suggestion wasn’t even on our FS Pts/$ Value Table.
Jay Davies ($1.5M / Unknown Proj Pts) – Davies was incredible at Margaret River (13.51 Event AHS), and those were even throatier conditions than Fiji looks to dish out. The value he could potentially hand you would be well and above his price tier (dead lowest) and look for him to outperform others from that category. He took out some giants at CT #3 and if he comes anywhere near that performance again, Jay might payoff his salary through R2 alone.
Obviously you’re not looking for a long term deal with Davies, so make sure you have a spot to burn.
C.J. Hobgood ($3M / 84 Proj FS Pts) – We know, we know, C.J. again…. and this might be the last time he gets a nod from us. If he fails to reach the QF here – in the only conditions that offer a faint glimmer of hope – then we won’t bother even at Teahupoo down the stretch. As always, we hope Hobgood can prove himself and at the bottom price again, there’s still a big chance he can payoff. He’s got the second highest Pts/$ value at 2.8 and we think he deserves one last pick of faith – if you’re scrounging.
Wiggolly Dantas ($4.5M / 103 Proj FS Pts) – We suspected that Wiggolly Dantas would probably have an eyebrow-raising Proj AHS for Fiji if we looked into his QS career in similar conditions. We did just that and were impressed as expected. We’re projecting a 14.22 AHS for Dantas in Fiji this year if the break hollows up, but this comes with a disclaimer. We don’t delve into QS stats because while those numbers can tell a story, they can also be misleading; the QS is a very different animal than the CT and surfers do, in fact, perform differently (though it’s hard to say for certain why). That being said, we simply couldn’t help ourselves with Wiggolly. After all – we made our “Bold Prediction” before the season that he would finish top 10, and that was based on strong finishes in, Fiji, Teahupooo, Portugal and Pipe – none of which have occurred yet. If he does have the event we think he can, his value will do nothing but climb for the rest of the season.
Moving on up, there are some guys in the middle-price tier that are also projected to do some damage for their salary. Whether you were following along with us for Brazil or not, you’re likely facing some in-house changes given the conditions for Brazil vs. Fiji. The surfers that do well in one of those locations generally don’t succeed in both (and though there are a few, the biggest player there is the injured John John Florence). If you’ve been playing it smart, you loaded up on the key #BrazilianStorm Riders (Adriano De Souza and Filipe Toledo) and Toledo put together the absolutely mental performance we knew he would at the last stop. The rest of that event we’re going to call a statistical anomaly because nobody, not even most of the Brazilians, landed where expected.
Filipe Toledo ($8M / 151 Proj FS Pts) – Our model is loving Toledo right now, that’s because of the year he’s been having. The more that 2015 gets checked off the schedule, the model is slowly taking more recent performance into account rather than last season (which, statistically speaking for everyone, seems light years away). Toledo actually fares pretty well in big surf (13.27 AHS in 6-10′) but he’s only got a 10.44 career AHS in Fiji, never breaking into the QF. That’s where the risk in Toledo lies, but last season you wouldn’t have guessed he could already stash some 2015 W’s so maybe our projection system is getting smarter than us. Recent performance may carry a good enough weight to break him through the Fiji plateau. BUT, there’s still simply too much risk to draft – or even keep – Filipe for this event; that $8M can be used to a much greater purpose elsewhere. Yes, Toledo will be a solid choice for J-Bay, but you can’t afford to put $8M under the mattress here. Take a breath and cut him loose.
Julian Wilson ($7.25M / 150 Proj FS Pts) and Sebastian Zietz ($5.25M / 102 Proj FS Pts) – These two guys either both need to be on your team or make a choice for one of them. That choice is going to come down to price. They’re both relatively on par with their ratio of cost:points – within .1 of 1 – but Wilson is looking to hit Fiji much harder. He won Pipe last year and has had a phenomenal 2015 so far, even if it’s been under the radar. This is a spot where although he doesn’t have a great track record (10.39 career Fiji AHS – Ok, pretty awful), remember that doesn’t include numbers from his recent resurgence out of a nasty Sophomore Slump. Julian has a huge upside in Fiji, with added value heading into J-Bay and the rest of the season, he’ll get our official endorsement.
Seabass isn’t projected to do quite as well as Julian Wilson, but at his lower price, that might not matter. If Zietz gets anywhere near his 102 Proj FS Pts he will have earned his roster spot (but then give him the toss before Jeffreys Bay – also why we like Wilson a touch more here, he’s got way more longevity down the stretch).
Top Dogs that should catch your attention – if you don’t already have them:
John John Florence ($10M / 250) – Since he’s withdrawn due to injury, we’ll say with 100% confidence JJF would have won the 2015 Fiji Pro. If you had him since Brazil, this is tough news to swallow since he’ll be a sure force in the season’s remainder. But you have to drop him, and probably leave him off your roster until Teahupoo.
Florence is injured, but we mentioned him anyway because he’s the only top-dollar surfer we think will come close to paying off their cost. That is for one reason only – the points drop from first to second place.
Kelly Slater ($9.75M / 175 Proj Pts) – With Florence out, Slaters Proj Pts just went up to 250, as our model had given him second place. Yes, we haven’t been liking Slater much this year, but it’s been very warranted. Fiji is a place he loves to surf even outside the constraints of competition – and that love for a spot always shows. Kelly now owns a career 17.21 AHS (!!!!) in Fiji, a 15.25 AHS in 6-10′ Surf, 15.46 going Left, 15.8 at Reef breaks, and a mind-numbing 56 QSFW. If you leave Slats off your roster for Fiji, you will almost certainly regret it.
Adriano De Souza ($10.25M / 82 Proj FS Pts) – Welcome to Risk City, population: 1. It’s De Souza and he’s not going to come anywhere close to paying off that price tag – even if he breaks into the QF. For >$10M he needs the whole enchilada, and he’s not going to get it. If you have him leftover from Brazil, our condolances.
Mick Fanning ($11.5M / 127 Proj FS Pts) – Just like De Souza, there’s too much risk given the hefty price. Even though Mick is projected to do more damage with 127 Pts, you are still throwing too many eggs in one basket. It’s hard to recommend the highest priced surfer unless they have a very good chance at wining the event, and Fanno does not have that chance.
Nat Young ($8M / 126 Proj FS Pts) – It’s our favorite Goofy Footer again! Natty Boy has continued to march right along this year as if we were paying him to surf exactly how we predict. Nat, since we’re sure you’re reading, thank you so much!
Nat Young has been a compounding value machine this season, and if you’ve continued to hang onto him since we suggested you pick him up (was that Bells Beach? That was Bells Beach) you’re probably sore from high-fiving yourself in the mirror nonstop. Look for Nat to continue the trend of dominance in Fiji, then at J-Bay and at every tour stop from here on out. We can’t wait to see where he finishes the year, but he’s a 100% do-not-drop lock.
The Worst Surfer You Could Have on Your Team for Fiji:
According to our system, and besides Adriano De Souza, that would be Italo Ferreira ($5M / 41 Proj FS Pts) and Matt Wilkinson ($5M / 43 Proj FS Pts) – We actually would have assumed Wilko to have a decent event, but we’ll see if we’re right or our projection model wins that argument.
Women’s Fantasy Surfer Outlook – FIJI
Ok, honestly – Gilmore threw a wrench in our projection system and we’ve finally gotten it sorted out. Thanks for your patience and nagging emails (just kidding, but at least we know people care about what we’re doing, so thank you!)
Gilmore was easily going to be our #1 recommended pickup for Fiji – limited risk with huge upside for a price you couldn’t beat. But since that’s not happening, we’ll start with the highest Points Per Dollar Value – Nikki Van Dijk.
Van Dijk is projected for 100 FS Pts and that is HUGE compared to her $3M price tag. Her post-Fiji cost can’t get any lower, so you’ll have likely earned a few bucks en route to the Vans US Open.
Tatiana Weston-Webb – We’re expecting a very big event from Tati, even though her Proj AHS isn’t in the top 5, she’s still shown her capabilities in overhead to double-overhead surf. Past success in Fiji doesn’t hurt and she loves a Left-Hand break. All signs point to yes for Webb and at $5M, you can’t go wrong. Big upside, very low risk.
Courtney Conlogue – Well, if you listened to us about Conlogue for the Rio Pro, we’re sorry. But we hope all the other great advice we gave paid off. Sports is sports, and like we always say – no one is 100% (we sure try to get close, though). If you didn’t listen to us, then you’re in the money now. Conlogue has consecutively jacked up her price over past few events and those who have been riding the train are getting her at an insane value. With Steph Gilmore sidelined, Conlogue can make a serious bid for the W. She’s pricey, so you’ve got to be positive she’s going to win it.
Mahina Maeda – Buy! Buy! Buy! It’s been a Wild Card’s world this season, and Maeda might very well pull a Jay Davies. There’s a lot of confusion heading into Fiji and there’s a very good chance at some upsets. At the WC price, she’s irrelevant on your payroll and only has to place in the top 15 to pay off. We think she’ll do it, for no other reason than Sage Erickson, Dimity Stoyle, Laura Enever, Alessa Quizon, and Keely Andrew are all going to fall flat. #WildCardStorm?
Stay Away From: That aforementioned quintet ^ . Nothing personal! Love you all, but you’re projected to perform the worst in Fiji. As always – open invitation to prove us wrong. We support triumph, media shaming.
Worth a Look: Bianca Buitendag – Bianca is tall (6′) and her weight allows her to better harness wave energy. We saw it at Margarets River and in Rio. She’s got a lot of momentum on her side and that pairs nicely with the highest ranked Proj AHS at 14 coming into Fiji. Her price is right about what you’d pay for someone in her spot – huge upside, but the risk is just big enough to make you think about it. She won’t likely hold her value heading into the Vans US Open, either so the choice here is yours.
Silvana Lima – We say no yet again to Silvana. We were right in Rio and we will probably be right again in Fiji. She’s never been able to put up consistent scores in 6-10′ surf, and after a classic “trying-too-hard” display at Rio, we’re only going to see more of the same. If her price drops after Fiji, we may consider Lima for CT #6 in July.
Hope that helps a bit, and if it does – give us a shout on Twitter! We’d love to hear from you! Thanks and happy drafting!
[/xt_item][xt_item title=”WSL Fantasy Outlook” icon=”Select Icon—“]Men’s WSL Fantasy Outlook
OK, it’s been a wild week with more injuries than Slater’s quiver has boards. Jordy Smith is the latest to go down with one. Here’s who’s out, and who’s in:
2015 Men's Fiji Pro Injuries and ReplacementsWho's in and who's out? Here's a quick table for you.
|John John Florence
With all the changes to the Heat Draw, we’ve been late to put up the Fantasy Outlook, but here it is – let’s just hope for no more withdrawals before the wait period. Onto the outlook….
Tier A – Tier A has lost John John Florence, but there’s some solid talent left. Start Percentages should begin working their way into your strategy so you can find some distance from the crowd. Here’s who we like:
Nat Young (13.55 Proj AHS for 103.65 Pts) – Nat Young has had a very, very solid year so far and his barrel riding talent should fare him well in Fiji. He’s got the 2nd lowest start percentage in Tier A at 11% (behind Josh Kerr with 7%) and that should get you excited. Nat owns a 7 QSFW in his young career and has posted a 14.4 AHS at the few Left-Handers on tour. Great fit, big upside, low start percentage – it’s sure been a while since we’ve had one, but Young’s a LOCK to start. HEAT DRAW: Extremely Favorable – Nat’s got Miguel Pupo (10.54 Proj AHS) and Glenn Hall (10.72 AHS) in R1 and it’s close to a 100% chance he comes out on top of that one.
Mick Fanning (13.86 Proj AHS for 104.26 Pts) – Mick is projected to post a similar line as Nat Young, but he’s got the highest start percentage in Tier A at a staggering 51%. That would scare us if there weren’t two top slots (like the Women WSL Fantasy) – but there are two, and if you think Fanning will go QF or more, he deserves a spot on your roster. There’s low risk with Fanno here, but also very limited upside given that circumstance. If you want to come out on top then you have to beat the masses. Should Mick wins the event you’ll be happy you had him, but if he falls anywhere short of such a result you might be happier to have taken a chance on someone else. There’s a lot of room for chance at Fiji, so we can’t guarantee a strong event – even given his projected numbers. HEAT DRAW: Extremely Favorable – He’ll face off against Ricardo Christie (11.4 Proj AHS) and Wild Card Aca Ravulo – but Fanning’s shown he’s susceptible to upset and should that happen, how will those 51% of teams be looking?
Julian Wilson (11.65 Proj AHS for 105.8 Pts) – Looks like our system likes Wilson a lot even with a middle-of-the-road Proj AHS, though that’s likely due to a career 10.39 AHS at Fiji. But winning last year’s Pipe Masters in very similar conditions has weighted Julian’s projection in a positive way. This is a case where even though Wilson may not look like a good option on paper, he could turn a few heads. Only 18% of teams have started him, so if you think he’s due for even a decent performance, get him on board. HEAT DRAW: Medium – While there should be no trouble in taking out Adam Melling, Jadson Andre looms as a slightly bigger threat given his last few events.
Adriano De Souza (10.89 Proj AHS for 73.76 Pts) – Similar to Julian Wilson, our system is showing De Souza some love; he’s only projected for a chilly 10.89 AHS and somehow looks to steal 73.76 Pts off that. We like De Souza as a margin pick, but he’s getting up there in popularity with a 28% start rate. At this point you should be looking to supplement your Nat Young pick, and Adriano might just be the guy. HEAT DRAW: Extremely Favorable – De Souza’s got Kai Otton and a TBD entry on deck in R1. If you were wondering why we liked him, there you go.
Tier A Potential Bust: Filipe Toledo (11.67 Proj AHS for 105.96 Pts) – The numbers look good, but that’s likely due to his recent events, and in very different conditions. Toledo has been solid in double-overhead conditions this year and has a career 13.27 AHS in 6-10′ Waves, but with a 10.93 AHS going left and a 4.26 RLD Filipe is much more comfortable on his forehand. He’s surfing for 35% of teams so hopefully if you don’t pick him up it will set you apart in a good way. HEAT DRAW: Medium-Unfavorable – With Ace Buchan (former Teahupoo champion – similar conditions) and Dane Reynolds (who can never be fully counted out – not a probable threat but someday he might decide to turn it on), Toledo is looking anything but secure in conditions he doesn’t favor.
Tier B – Lots of talent in this pool, but make your four picks count. Tier B is your most important tier.
LOCK IN: Kelly Slater (16.12 Proj AHS for 113.81 Pts) – We’ve been advising against Kelly for most of the year, and so far it has been sound advice. Kelly will likely retire soon, especially given the lackluster season he’s been stitching together. It’s looked like his heart hasn’t been in it and he certainly doesn’t enjoy surfing anything less than world class breaks. Well Fiji is one of those breaks that Slater loves, and he’s going to surf it that way. He’s been the most successful surfer on tour at this location, with a HUGE 17.21 AHS and a 56 (!!!!) QSFW. If Kelly’s hungry for his first win of the season this year, it has a very good chance of happening Fiji. A whopping 82% of teams have him the lineup, but with 4 surfers to choose from here, there’s much less risk in joining the crowd. With Florence out, our model is giving him the win. HEAT DRAW: Extremely Favorable – Kolohe Andino and Alejo Muniz will try to slay the dragon in R1, and they’ll have a very tough task at hand if the waves are pumping.
Gabriel Medina (11.45 Proj AHS for 105.47 Pts) – There is a lot to like with Gabriel Medina for Fiji, most notably his outrageous 22 QSFW (how long has he been on tour?) as the defending champ. The snag for us here is risk – Medina is on 68% of teams and that’s almost as hefty as Slater. Our advice is to choose one, not both of them. HEAT DRAW: Extremely Unfavorable – Former Pipe Master Jeremy Flores (12.17 Proj AHS for 71.79 Pts) and a potentially lethal C.J. Hobgood (13.43 Proj AHS for 84.34 Pts) will be on the hunt in R1.
Sleeper Of The Tier: Wiggolly Dantas (14.22 Proj AHS for 96.31 Pts) – At a 10% start rate, our projections for Dantas should be lighting up your eyes. We dived into his QS stats a bit because of a good gut feeling and historically, he’s shown up when the waves pump. The confidence in his projections represents a risk – 12.2-16.88% variability – but there is simply way too much upside to ignore when you’ll be one of the few teams with Wiggolly. HEAT DRAW: Medium Favorable – This would be extremely favorable if not for Jay Davies. Josh Kerr has had a long enough career that a 2 QSFW is simply not enough to brag about, while Davies has shown that he can not only hang tough in huge conditions, but beat the pants off proven CT veterans.
Joel Parkinson (14.26 Proj AHS for 101.52 Pts) OR Sebastian Zietz (12.94 Proj AHS for 92.87 Pts) – Both these guys have a big time upside and will most likely pay off. Obviously the model likes Parko here, but we’re going to suggest Zietz. You’ll find Joel on 40% of teams and they’re not wrong for picking him up, but Seabass is only rocking a 13% start rate. He’ll be a better bet if he can steal some points over Parkinson.
Dead In The Water: Ricardo Christie (11.4 Proj AHS for 42.44 Pts) and Keanu Asing (12.06 Proj AHS for 50.5 Pts) – Steer far and away from these two chaps in Tier B. You shouldn’t need much more information than those projections.
Tier C – Here’s where all those injury replacements have found themselves, but instead of making things easier in the shallow end, guys like Jay Davies have fogged the glass a bit.
C.J. Hobgood (13.43 Proj AHS for 84.34 Pts) – It’s been a tough year for C.J. and he hasn’t offered any real reason to pick him up anywhere. That being said, you can’t ignore how well he’s performed here over the course of his career – Hobgood owns a 6th ranked 14.88 AHS at Fiji. More stats? 12.58 AHS going left, < 1 RLD, and a 27 QSFW. Not bad for Tier C. HEAT DRAW: Medium – Defending Champ Gabriel Medina and Pipe Champ Jeremy Flores will vie for a R3 jump.
Jay Davies OR Adrian Buchan (11.23 Proj AHS for 61.44 Pts) – Jay Davies is an injury replacement for John John Florence, and while we don’t know much about him, we all saw what he did at Margaret River (13.51 AHS at a pumping Box, taking out the likes of Mick Fanning with ease). He makes an easy call for 50% of your Tier C slots if you ask us. Adrian Buchan is a less formidable pick, but he’s won Teahupoo in similar conditions – over Kelly Slater no less. And while his projections are nothing to drool over, let’s remember this is Tier C.
Avoid: Kai Otton (12.13 Proj AHS for 54.06 Pts) – Kai Otton has an above average start rate at 17% and we suspect that’s due to him going frontside as a goofy footer. But make no mistake, whatever reason the masses have for liking him – Ottz is not a good choice. Here’s his fantasy points slash for 2015: 28.96/17.8/31.1/32.06; he’s only gotten to R3 twice and lost both those heats. Don’t go anywhere near him for Fiji.
***** STEPHANIE GILMORE IS OUT FOR THE FIJI WOMEN’S PRO****** UPDATED OUTLOOK:
Women’s WSL Fantasy Outlook
Here are the updates to our Outlook below:
Tier A – Courtney Conlogue now seems to have a greater edge over Carissa Moore if you’re going to go with our Tier C pick Mahina Maeda (and you should). Conlogue has re-drawn Johanne Defay and Keely Andrew in Gilmore’s absence and should have a clear runway to the Finals.
LOCK IN – Tatiana Weston-Webb. She’s a full go now that Gilmore is out of the hunt.
NEW HEAT DRAW: Favorable – Tati is up against Lakey Peterson, who is surely capable of holding her own at more intimidating breaks, but with a 9.09 Proj AHS, don’t expect any fireworks. Webb should have R1 and more in the bag.
We Still Like – Mahina Maeda. This may line up to be a Jay Davies situation and the other Tier C choices are slim to none so there isn’t much risk in branching out.
Women’s WSL Fantasy Surfing Outlook – FIJI —- PRE Gilmore Drop (read only for good joke about Blue Crush the film)
Well how’d ya like that Rio? We missed Conlogue on that one – fair enough. But we also advised big time against Silvana Lima, and that seemed to be a great recommendation. So you give and you take. Lined up for Fiji, the ladies of the CT have their Heat Draws locked and ready to fade deep. It’s a big, left-handed reef break over there at Tavarua – let’s take a look at who’s got the chops to get it done.
Tier A – Sorry everyone, there’s no clear lock for Fiji in Tier A. We would only advise against Tyler Wright as Carissa Moore and Courtney Conlogue will be very motivated to leave the island at #1. Both Moore and Conlogue have shown success in bigger surf in the past – clearly Conlogue has the edge after winning their matchup at Margaret’s Final. Here’s what the stats say: Moore – 13.59 Proj AHS for 86.08 Fantasy Pts, she’s got a huge Left-Break AHS of 14.77, 14.29 AHS over Reef, and 13.52 in 6-10’+ Surf. Looks great to us, but somewhere in the projection, our model doesn’t think Carissa will win it, or even get to the F – looks more like Semi’s and out at best.
Courtney, on the other hand, is only projected to grab 76.21 Fantasy Pts (and we’ll throw Tyler Wright in for fun – Projected right around Conlogue at 77.18 Fantasy Pts). So the question is not picking a Tier A surfer that will win, just the one you think will score the most points – because the winner is going to come from Tier B.
HEAT DRAW: Moore – Extremely Favorable – She’s got Johanne Defay (11.04 Proj AHS) and Wild Card Mahina Maeda (unknown stats – but could very well prove dangerous if she charges like we’ve seen in some video). Conlogue – Favorable – She’ll take on Silvana Lima (mild risk with a Proj AHS of 11.65) and Sage Erickson, who looked lost when the surf was overhead at Margaret River.
Tier B – We want desperately to say “Lock in Stephanie Gilmore” but we know we can’t. She’s got the hottest statistics coming into this event, and you have every reason in the world to like her for Fiji. One of the top rated Proj AHS at 13.81 and #1 in Proj Fantasy Pts with 93.97, Gilmore has been phenomenal here in the past (posting another #1 ranked Career 14.45 AHS for Fiji). She’s been the most consistent across the board for conditions AHS, too, and looks poised to take a seat back in the A bracket. She’ll have to if she wants a World Title this year, and we know she does – look for Gilmore to bring her absolute best game to the lineup in an effort to rejoin the conversation at the top. BUT, the pesky downside is risk. It’s high. Stephanie hasn’t even been in the water since her injury at Margaret River (a month and a half ago). It’s going be hard to jump back in the rhythm, especially the surf is pumping; we saw Blue Crush, and we know how big wave injuries can psych a girl out even if her ex boyfriend is calling her into a set and there might be an NFL quarterback that unexpectedly…….wait what were we talking about? Right, right…. Steph Gilmore. We’ll probably leave her out for this one – even though her stats are insane – only because there are other great options in Tier B….
3-Way Choice – Yes, that’s right. Tier B is a 3-way toss up between Sally Fitzgibbons, Tatiana Weston-Webb and Bianca Buitendag. Buitendag has the highest Proj AHS at 14 and 6-10’+ Waves at 15.2. Momentum is in her favor at the moment and she’s an absolute charger. This could finally be her event.
HEAT DRAW: Favorable – She’s Drawn Sally Fitz in R1, but is projected to out-duel her in AHS.
Sally Fitzgibbons is another great option at Tier B. A previous champ here at Fiji, she’s projected to go as deep into it as anyone this year with 90.89 Proj Fantasy Pts. There is a bit of risk though, because while some might say her ugly Rio performance will motivate her around the globe, we feel like something’s not sitting right with Fitzgibbons. That’s somewhat irrational, we understand, because how can a statistics website make an emotional judgement? Well then fine, we won’t go there, but you can’t un-hear it and you’ll have to take that into account. Is there too much risk to ignore her upside? Probably not, so hopefully that helps (yes, pick Fitz).
HEAT DRAW: Medium – She’s got the talent, but so does Buitendag – whom Sally will face in R1. One of them will land in R2, and Bianca has the edge here, on paper at least.
Tatiana Weston-Webb – Gosh, depending 100% on how you feel about Stephanie Gilmore should make your decision about Webb (and quite possibly, vice-versa). They’ve drawn the same Heat in the Draw and Tati is going to have a career-changing event, says we. She’s had success in Fiji even as a Wild Card, and now she’ll have some swagger for 2015. Tatiana has a big 15.13 AHS when the surf goes double-overhead and is perfectly at home in a forehand barrel. If you think Gilmore will flinch, Webb is a lock.
HEAT DRAW: Medium – We want to say Favorable, but the reality is that Gilmore is going to make this tough on Tati, she’s got more raw talent, practice, and experience. But brazen youth can go a long way and Tatiana is no scrub in the talent pool.
Tier C – No honorable mentions. Absolutely no recommendations. Tier C has nothing to offer from the CT for Fiji. That being said, there’s a Wild Card in there named Mahina Maeda who looks like she’ll be able to tame much more than Fiji will throw at her. She’s a big wave buff, and her confidence alone makes us lean towards a pickup. Toss that in the options bucket with nothing else and it’s a fairly easy decision. It won’t be easy to upset Moore in R1, but she might. And if she’s in R2, she’s got a better chance than any of the other C surfers to climb out of that hole. Wild Cards have been making a huge statement in 2015. Lock it in.