With the European leg of the Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour (CT) in the books and the World Title race headed to Hawaii, choosing the right Fantasy lineup has never been more important. The women's Target Maui Pro and men's Billabong Pipe Masters are the last stands of 2015 for the surfers, but also for team managers and players.
Get Fantasy tips from Rosy Hodge for the Target Maui Pro.
Leading up to this huge finale was a month of epic waves, giant barrels and inspiring performances. The Quiksilver and Roxy Pro France contests, as well as the Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal right after, saw huge upsets, challenging conditions and some new players in the World Title race.
As the Title race heads to Hawaii, review how some surfers did in Europe, and reassess your picks for the final events of the season. If there is anything to learn from Europe, it's that momentum means everything for No. 1, but you can't discount the hunger of No. 2.
Quiksilver Pro France
Ross Williams called Mick Fanning (AUS) an obvious choice for France, and he didn't let down the 50 percent of Fantasy owners who picked him. Fanning looked unstoppable at times in the French beachbreak, doubling-down on 20-point bonuses on his way to the Quarterfinals where he would lose to event runner-up Bede Durbidge (AUS).
Speaking of Durbidge, Fanning's fellow Australian was the biggest surprise of the event. Although selected by just 9 percent of team managers, Durbidge used momentum from a Round 2 bye (Alejo Muniz withdrew from their heat due to injury) to go on a tear all the way to the Final.
Another surfer who was picked by only 9 percent of Fantasy teams was event winner Gabriel Medina (BRA). The reigning World Champion came out firing, showing no signs of stopping throughout the entirety of the event -- winning every single heat he surfed. With that kind of momentum Medina is likely to be a sought-after pick heading into Pipe.
Last year's event champion John John Florence (HAW) had one of the highest starts of the event at 50 percent. Florence by no means disappointed, finishing fifth overall after being bounced out in the Quarterfinals by Medina. But, with the CT making its final stop at his home break, Florence could be a smart pick for Fantasy teams looking for easy points.
Joel Parkinson (AUS) was one of the bigger disappointments at this year's Quiksilver Pro. The stylish veteran was selected by more than 45 percent of owners, the third highest of the event. However, Parkinson would only go as far as Round 2, where he was eliminated by rookie Keanu Asing (HAW).
Roxy Pro France
The women's event in France, meanwhile, had a series of notable moments including the swapping of the yellow jersey (yet again) between Carissa Moore (HAW) and Courtney Conlogue (USA). Conlogue, who started the event as the Jeep Leader, lost her position with a defeat in Round 4. Moore, meanwhile, finished in the Semifinals, which put her back on top. Only 18 percent of Team managers had faith in then-No. 1 Conlogue; the Hawaiian on the other hand, had been selected by 55 percent of managers.
Fantasy selection stats for the two World Title contenders have not fluctuated much in the back half of the season, but neither has their consistent trading of the yellow jersey. Since the Vans US Open in July, every event that they've started in as World No. 2, Moore and Conlogue have each consistently risen back to No. 1. This may give Conlogue the inspiration she needs to win the Title in Maui.
The standout, however, was by far rookie Tatiana Weston-Webb (23 percent start). The Kauaian surfer made her first Final of the season and eliminated both Moore and World No. 3 Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) in the process. Weston-Webb finished runner-up in France, but her big heat score totals landed her in the top spot for Fantasy points.
Moche Rip Curl Pro
At the Moche Rip Curl Pro 30 percent of Fantasy teams bet on Filipe Toledo (BRA) taking it all in Portugal, and the Brazilian didn't let them down. Toledo put on a top-notch airshow on his way to the Final, picking up two 20-point bonuses after victories in both Round 1 and Round 4.
Event runner-up Italo Ferreira (BRA) was one of the biggest statistical Fantasy surprises not just for Portugal, but for all time. Although selected by less than one percent of owners, Ferreira snuck his way into the Final, where he went toe-to-toe with Toledo. Finishing just .46 points behind the event winner in overall Fantasy event points, Ferreira put an exclamation mark on Portugal -- and his shot at being named Rookie of the Year.
California native Brett Simpson (seven percent start) was also another big surprise for team managers. After rather lackluster finishes all season, the Tier C surfer won every single heat he surfed until being eliminated by Toledo in a close Semifinal matchup.
Coolangatta natives Joel Parkinson (AUS) and Mick Fanning (AUS) had the two highest starts for Supertubos at 43 percent and 52 percent, respectively. However, the veterans failed to deliver the serious results expected of such high starts with Parkinson losing in the Quarterfinals and Fanning being bumped out in Round 3.
The men's and women's World Title races are headed to Hawaii, the birthplace of surfing. The elite 17 women go to battle at the Target Maui Pro beginning November 21 and the Top 34 men take on Banzai Pipeline at the Billabong Pipe Masters starting December 8. Catch all the action on the WSL website and the WSL App.