Jeffreys Bay is a dreamy, right point break in South Africa's Eastern Cape. Like Bells Beach, it's a colder water spot, with average sea temperatures in the 16°-17°C range (61°-64°F). If conditions align, using the Bells event as a baseline for your fantasy picks might come in handy. The Average Heat Score (AHS) at J-Bay in the last two years is 12.94, which is slightly higher than the overall CT during that time at 12.54 -- the break is favorable. Actually, 44.1% of all heats surfed since 2014 have been in what were considered excellent conditions, with 15.3% very good conditions, and the forecast (at this point) looks solid for day one.
At Bells we saw Mick Fanning, Jordy Smith, Matt Wilkinson and Conner Coffin average higher than 15.00 for heat scores, trailed closely by John John Florence and Joel Parkinson, though neither would break 50 Fantasy points. Parkinson is also coming off a knee injury that sidelined him for Fiji, so weigh the risk versus reward accordingly.
Since modern scoring in 2003, Kelly Slater leads nearly every Fantasy category at J-Bay with 9 events surfed: a 15.7 Average Heat Score (AHS), 7 Quarterfinals appearances (QFA), 6 Semifinals appearances (SFA), 4 Finals and 3 wins. Next in the AHS queue sit Jordy Smith (15.42), Joel Parkinson (15.39) and Mick Fanning (14.99). Jordy has 2 wins in only 6 events here and was the Fantasy winner at Bells Beach, so he's looking like a solid option with limited risk.
Kelly Slater is back in Tier C after an outstanding Fantasy win in Fiji (from a Semifinal finish, nonetheless). That's likely going to spike ownership percentage for Jeffreys, and while his last event was a breath of fresh air, you still might want to consider fading Slater. He averaged 11.26 at Bells for 33.77 points and while his long history suggests a solid event, the advantage to be gained in case he falters is too great to ignore. Yes, there is an upside; J-Bay was Kelly's best event last season with a third-place finish. To fade him here is bold, but bold moves win against a large pool of contestants, so take your time considering.
Adriano de Souza has made the Quarterfinals in 6 of his 7 events here, but never a Semifinal. That's extremely consistent and very good, but not quite good enough for Tier A. Elsewhere, you may find value in Alejo Muniz, who is 3/3 in QFA (also 0 SFA); in Tier C making a Quarterfinal is usually enough for payoff.
Stay up on J-Bay Open event news and forecast, and don't forget to set your Fantasy lineup before next week. If you're loving fantasy, create a league to challenge your friends. And, as always, open invitation to talk Fantasy with us on Twitter: @FantasyWSL and @RossWilliamsHI.
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