Margaret River is a heavy reef break with both lefts and rights on tap. As a mobile event, it can be relocated to The Box or North Point if conditions suit, but the majority of contest heats have been surfed at the Main Break. With a solid swell expected, it could get tricky; experience is always a plus at Margies and it looks like another event to favor the veterans. For more fantasy analysis, check out the Men's write-up.
Carissa Moore (Projected 15.54 AHS / 115.57 FP) - Carissa Moore is off to a poor start in 2016 (by Carissa Moore standards). She's leading the CT in AHS with 15.42, but that hasn't resulted in success; her 123.33 FP trails both Stephanie Gilmore and top-ranked Courtney Conlogue. That's not to say she won't pick up the slack, however, and Margaret River could revive her young season. This location has been one of Moore's sweet spots - her 37 QSFW leads the field by 20 (Courtney Conlogue is second with 17).
Odds - 4:1
QSFW is a metric that measures surfer performance for any location or time period based on advancement through the QF-F. It's calculated with exponential weight for each progressive round as:
QF Appearances + (SF Appearances x2) + (F Appearances x4) + (W x8)
The greater a surfer's QSFW, the more successful they've been.
Tyler Wright (Projected 14.73 AHS / 112.63 FP) - Potentially the best value in Tier A, Tyler Wright is projected to take second at Margies this year. With most teams likely to grab Moore or Courtney Conlogue, you stand to gain the most with Wright. Her projected fantasy total is only -2.94 under Carissa while the ceiling is easily a W. If you're bearish on the popular tickets Wright makes a great hedge, but like all contrarian options, there's risk; to truly provide an advantage, Tyler will need to win it.
Odds - 6:1
Sally Fitzgibbons (Projected 14.63 AHS / 93.54 FP) - In 2016 Sally Fitzgibbons has been on both sides of the results window. She finished with a career-worst Round Two exit at Gold Coast, but rebounded nicely for second at Bells. Numbers don't suggest a World Title for Sally in 2016, but that won't stop her from putting up points at Margaret. Last year she posted 15.88 AHS for 99.25 FP, a solid line and though she may not win, she doesn't need to in Tier B. Fitzgibbons has made the SF at Margies consistently since 2013, lock it in.
Odds - 8:1
Malia Manuel (Projected 14.85 AHS / 91.92 FP) - Malia Manuel ranked fourth in AHS (15.21) and FP (93.51) at Margaret River last year and has a hot trendline, finishing 13, 5, 3 the last three years. With Sally Fitzgibbons and Stephanie Gilmore (Projected 14.18 AHS / 74.15 FP) sharing Tier B, Malia represents both value and upside. Gilmore has been surfing tremendously this season, but her popularity is a concern; averaging 75% drafted, she needs to break the Finals for a payoff. Nobody on the planet would suggest she can't do just that, but until she finishes top-two in the tier, there is still too much risk given the huge start percentage. Malia has yet to outscore Steph, but at 7.13% started for Bells hopefully you can see the upside.
Odds - 8:1
Bronte Macaulay (Projected 11.33 AHS / 23.68 FP) - To be fair, the projection model is suggesting Coco Ho (Projected 12.77 AHS / 66.35 FP) for Tier C, but Bronte Macaulay may be a better option. This is a thin tier at Margies, and while Coco Ho has been somewhat successful here (1 QF in 2013), she'll be saturating the market. After Round Two losses at each event so far, you may want to roll the dice elsewhere. Bronte Macaulay has some legacy at Margaret River, her father Dave beat Tom Carroll to win the event in 1989. This is a tricky tier, though, since Keely Andrew (Projected 10.24 AHS / 22.4 FP) or even Laura Enever could break from the pack. Enever is averaging 9th place for Margaret River finishes and always seems to surprise at heavier locations (5th place at Fiji the last two seasons).
Stay tuned for fantasy insights from Ross Williams, who always provides great pointers from experience on the front lines.