The women of the Championship Tour are no doubt frothing for the start of the Corona Bali Protected. While Bali has long been an offseason playground, this marks the first time they'll be battling for precious ratings points in this exotic land of perfection. To that end, the slate is clean. There's no history of results to lean on for these women here, which means WSL Fantasy players are going off pure instinct. Of course, differentiating your picks from the pack is often the key to taking away the top honors with your tribe, so here's a little rundown of the strategies being considered.
Tier A (choose one)
Options: Stephanie Gilmore, Lakey Peterson, Tatiana Weston-Webb
Conventional Wisdom: When the six-time Champ is on a roll and the next stop is a hollow righthander, it's not a good idea to bet against her. Every aspect of Steph's surfing approach is a good fit for Keramas, so unlike Brasil, where she actually came in as the underdog (having never nabbed a result there), this time she's the hands-down favorite coming in.
Rolling the Dice After grinding away for years in the "also-ran" category, Lakey Peterson is having a breakout season. With her win at Snapper and her runner-up at Saquerema, the Santa Barbara star has crossed the threshold. She's a bona-fide World Title contender now, with a fresh helping of confidence that's serving as wind in her sails.
The Contrarian Play In case you haven't been paying attention, Tatiana's 2017 slump is now in the rear-view mirror. She's quietly moved up to the No. 3 position after stringing together three solid results. Backhanders have typically been at a disadvantage at Keramas, but trends are meant to be broken.
Tier B (choose two)
**Options: Carissa Moore, Caroline Marks, Nikki Van Dijk, Tyler Wright, Johanne Defay, Keely Andrew, Silvana Lima, Sally Fitzgibbons, Malia Manuel
Conventional Wisdom The power of the wave at Keramas begs to be paired with more power, which is why Carissa Moore and Tyler Wright are the go-to picks in this tier. Both have a long history of performing in perfect reef waves, and they've got the trophies to prove it.
Rolling the Dice Sally Fitzgibbons and Malia Manuel are both off to a shaky start this season, but Bali is the perfect place for these firebrands to turn things around. If betting on momentum makes you feel better, however, then stick with Nikki Van Dijk.
The Contrarian Play Caroline Marks has fallen back to earth a bit over the last two events, but her "Baby Occy" moniker is a sincere compliment to her backhand approach, which she'll be highlighting again at Keramas. We'll be expecting some big hooks, but she's ready to shock with her backhand tuberiding.
Tier C (choose one)
Options: Coco Ho, Sage Erickson, Bronte Macaulay, Paige Hareb, Courtney Conlogue
Conventional Wisdom Courtney's back, and she's pumped. Enough said.
Roll the Dice Coco Ho hasn't had any huge results yet this year, but she has had some pretty impressive moments, like her opening round win over Steph Gilmore at Bells. Keramas is even more her speed.
The Contrarian Play Bronte Macaulay hasn't made any headlines this season, which is why she's considered one of the longest shots to win at this stage, but she's been known to catch fire on her backhand, especially on target-rich rights like Keramas. She's at this level for a reason, and she'll be sending a reminder soon.