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Fantasy Geeking the Men's Margaret River Pro

As the WSL Championship Tour (CT) heads west for the women's and men's Margaret River Pro, stop No. 3 of the 2018 season, we're already witnessing a dramatic shakeup of the men's Jeep Leaderboard. Aside from the fact that Mick Fanning is gone and Kelly Slater is out, two-time World Champion John John Florence is heading into this event ranked No. 26, meaning he's a Tier C option in this event's fantasy pick. The obvious question now is whether he'll be able to restore some order, or if the chaos will continue. Your guess is as good as ours. Behold your strategic options for the Margaret River Pro, before you make your Fantasy picks here.

Michel Bourez of Tahiti will surf in Round Five after placing second in Heat 2 of Round Four at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro at the Main Break, Western Australia. Michel Bourez WSL / Ed Sloane

Tier A (pick two)

Options: Julian Wilson, Italo Ferreira, Owen Wright, Michel Bourez, Adrian Buchan, Gabriel Medina, Griffin Colapinto, Tomas Hermes

Play It Safe: Both Julian Wilson and Michel Bourez have a history of performing well at Margies. They're the only two in Tier A who've notched Finals appearances here in CT events, and they've backed those up with Quarterfinal finishes as well. Their sturdy stances and ample power feed right into the tricky conditions.

Roll the Dice: Griffin Colapinto's power approach and his ability to pop will make him one to watch on this righthander, and Italo is a pretty good gamble as well, given he's made the semis out here before. Rest assured they'll be getting loose in the lip area, which the judges are favoring this season.

Italo Ferreira during the semi final. Italo Ferreira WSL / Ed Sloane

The Contrarian: Medina has a history of struggling at Margaret River, which will lead people away from picking him. With John John way in the rear view mirror, Gabe may be looking to get some distance here. Tomas Hermes has been one of the unheralded rookie heroes of the first two events, and should be one to consider seriously, as well.

Filipe Toledo of Brazil advanced to the Quarterfinals after winning Heat 3 in Round Five of the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro in clean 3-5ft Main Break, Western Australia. Filipe Toledo WSL / Ed Sloane

Tier B (pick four)

Options: Patrick Gudauskas, Frederico Morais, Filipe Toledo, Adriano de Souza, Jeremy Flores, Conner Coffin, Wade Carmichael, Ezekiel Lau, Michael Rodrigues, Matt Wilkinson, Kanoa Igarashi, Mikey Wright, Joel Parkinson, Jordy Smith, Willian Cardoso, Kolohe Andino

Play it Safe: If there's such a thing as a safe pick in this bunch it's Adriano de Souza, who's won the event and finished in the Quarters, too. Low, fast and powerful seem to work. Filipe Toledo had a very flashy third-place finish last year before losing to Kolohe Andino, who's also an option here with his aerial attack.

Kolohe Andino of the USA and Filipe Toledo of Brazil wait on shore while their Semifinal Heat 2 of the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro was put on hold due to a large bait ball in the lineup at the Main Break, Western Australia. Kolohe Andino WSL / Kelly Cestari

Roll the Dice: If you're looking for more above-the-lip variety here than Michael Rodrigues, Mikey Wright and Patrick Gudauskas are solid options, while Joel Parkinson and Jordy Smith lead a healthy pack of hard-carvers like Wade Carmichael, Frederico Morais, Conner Coffin and Ezekiel Lau. Beyond Jordy and Joel, there's not a lot of history to lean into here. Besides, history seems to be getting a rewrite this year, so go with your gut on this one.

The Contrarian: Kanoa Igarashi and Matt Wilkinson are mostly likely to get overlooked, but they both carry the element of surprise.

Sebastian Zietz during the Final at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro in Western Australia. Sebastian Zietz WSL / Kelly Cestari

Tier C (pick two)

Options: Sebastian Zietz, John John Florence, Jesse Mendes, Michael February, Connor O'Leary, Joan Duru, Ian Gouveia, Caio Ibelli, Keanu Asing, Yago Dora, Miguel Pupo

Play it Safe: Given his landmark performance last year at Margaret River, John John Florence is the no-brainer here. He'll be as fired-up as ever, too, after taking early losses at both Snapper and Bells. And mind you, Sebastian Zietz is a former winner here as well, and backed that up with a legendary barrel at North Point last year.

Reigning World Champion John John Florence of Hawaii advanced to the Final of the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro after defeating Jack Freestone (AUS) in Semifinal Heat 1 in clean 6 - 8 foot conditions at the Main Break, Western Australia. John John Florence WSL / Matt Dunbar

Roll the Dice: Caio Ibelli has all the ingredients for another strong run here. He made the Quarterfinals in 2016. There's a squadron of goofyfooters to choose from too, from the clean-carvers like Connor O'Leary and Jesse Mendes to the more acrobatic approaches like Yago Dora and Ian Gouveia.

The Contrarian: Miguel Pupo is back in the mix here, and will be surfing with absolutely nothing to lose as a result. Keanu Asing's compact stature could play to his advantage if he lets things fly, and we're likely to get our best glimpse yet of Michael February's artistry at Margaret River.

Make your Fantasy picks here, and watch live daily on the WSL and Facebook from April 11 - 22.

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