Round 2 - Fox Raceway - Pro Series Pro Series Points Standings

Top Rider Scores

450 Class - Round 2 - Fox Raceway

The great northwest hope, Justin Hill, finally came through for his team owners (both us nerds and Coy Gibbs) with what I think was his best ride of 2019. Hill is about as predictable as Eli Tomac, making him a fantasy nightmare. He posts consistent top ten times in qualifying, yet has rarely made it happen when it counts. His fitness has been a big question mark by analysts, but the way he charged through the pack at Fox Raceway says otherwise (also his seventh place ride at Daytona supercross). Hill is now a 3 handicap moving into Thunder Valley. If he can score another top ten finish, he'll be a good pick.

"Fast" Freddy Noren has historically been a solid fantasy pick. More underrated than the latest Fall Out Boy album (I had an emo phase okay, it lingers), I predict we see the former factory Honda fill in getting consistent top tens all season. Player beware as his finishes improve, his value (handicap) will go down. I like Freddie at an 8 handicap, but I'm not sure how I feel about Freddie at a 4 as he is this week.

Next, you'll see where the 18 handicap "send it" picks came through: Erki Kahro, Brandon Leith, James Weeks and Dustin Winter. I'm gonna be real, I know nothing about these guys. When I see them in the top 25 in qualifying, however, I'm all about them.

250 Class - Round 2 - Fox Raceway

The 250 class saw an even mix of higher and lower handicap guys scoring well. Where my interest lies in this top ten is Hunter Lawrence. Had he not tangled with Jordon Smith in the first moto, I bet he would have been the top points score of the day. His battle with title favorite, Adam Cianciarulo, in the second moto was our first taste of the Aussie's potential. I predict the next couple of rounds will be your last chance to get an underdog (double points) Hunter Lawrence. He's a 0 handicap this week, meaning he gets points for the exact position he finishes (if he finishes fifth, he gets points for fifth). I would pick him again this week if I could (but I can't because we can't pick the same rider two rounds in a row). If he rides anything like he did at Fox Raceway he'll be single points very soon, or at the very least double points with a hefty negative handicap.

Pick Trends:

450 Class - Round 2 - Fox Raceway

The pick trends at round two look very different from Hangtown. There were some clear favorites. If you didn't pick Noren at Fox Raceway, sorry not sorry. You're really not gonna pick a top ten qualifier who's an 8 handicap. Given his past results outdoors, Fast Freddie was a no brainer for me (and 40.51% of you). He paid off big and those who didn't have him likely suffered because of it. The one flop on this list I see is Tyler Bowers. "The Bear" hasn't transitioned his solid supercross season to the great outdoors. He only scored 25 points for the day which left 18.72% of you probably wishing for more. I think Bowers is better than his first two rounds have shown. He should be top 15. Bowers is an 11 handicap this week and I'll definitely be considering him for my team.

250 Class - Round 2 - Fox Raceway

Ouch, I'd say most players struck out on their 250 picks. Luckily, 43.59% of you had Jacob Hayes who was the second-highest score of the weekend. As Hunter Lawrence and Jordon Smith held hands and skipped down that roller section, 38.97% of you emptied the bottle of Smirnoff Whipped Cream vodka you'd been sipping all afternoon. If someone told me earlier this year that Smith would win an overall, I'd concur. He's probably had the worst year as a pro thus far, but look for Smith to improve this summer as he rides back from injury. Lawrence's second place in the final moto salvaged his fantasy score, but 25.90% of you could have had a top scoring rider if it weren't for that crash.

Weekly Tip: Don't Follow Your Heart

We all have our guys; the riders who we favor through good times and bad. Being from Oregon, if I see I northwest privateer you bet I want him on my team. If Adam Cianciarulo is double points, it's everything I can do not to pick him because I'm a fan (that's FAN, not "boy crush" as my girlfriend likes to put it). When the stars align, your favorite rider is a killer fantasy pick and they win you a butt load of MotoSport money; it doesn't get much better. That's the exception, though, folks, not the rule. Use logic when making picks. Just like relationships, following your heart in fantasy will get you into trouble. You'll likely end up with a pit in your chest, joint custody of a dog and an AT&T family plan with you as the sole member (not that I've experienced anything like that).

Player Picks

Each week, I ask a guest for their previous week's picks as well as their predictions for the coming weekend. Guests can be a fellow employee, a customer or a top finishing player in the game. Regardless of their score, there's always something we can learn.

This week, I have a guest near and dear to my heart. My baby bro, Cole Hockema a.k.a. Coleshots, and I both put our teams in the top ten for the Pro Series at Fox Raceway. This is a great example of how Motocross Fantasy brings families together. We probably talk about fantasy moto more than anything else, and he just had his first child a few months ago. Cole is a big bad Alaskan fishing boat captain in Kodiak, Alaska. I had the same job at one point and can attest to the challenges of playing fantasy while on the ocean. Most of the time, the only cell service available is a satellite phone meant for emergencies only. It doesn't get more hardcore than 29 minute phone calls (at a dollar a minute) to a homie on land for qualifiyng results and to set picks for us. All the way from the final frontier, Cole has put in solid fantasy results over the years taking race wins and top finishes in season ending points. Let's see what got him sixth place at round two...

Team Name: Coleshots

Real Name: Cole Hockema

Rd. 1 Score/Finish: 556/6th

Season Points/Rank: 957/32nd

450 Class: 319 points

Fredrick Noren

Fredrik Noren (8) 100 points

"Fredrik Noren is a guy to keep an eye on all year. He has a long resume, racing in MXGPs, Motocross Des Nations and here in America. Knowing that he will most likely finish both motos, and that he had the 10th fastest qualifying time of the day, at an 8 handicap he was for sure on my team."

Erki Kahro (18) 94 points

"I've never heard of Erki Kahro until this weekend. I was sending it with this pick and it was purely based on a decent qualifying time. Sometimes we get lucky."

Brandon Leith (18) 72 points

"Brandon Leith is another guy who I think had a higher handicap than he should have for as good as he is. Last year in the 450 class outdoors, he finished inside the top 20 most of the time with an impressive 11th overall at Southwick."

Lorenzo Locurcio (13) 53 points

"Lorenzo Lucurcio has the ability to easily be inside the top 15. He seems to do better in the races than qualifying. With a 19th in qualifying, I was expecting better than that in the motos."

250 Class: 237 points

Jacob Hayes

Challen Tennant (18) 90 points

"Challen Tennant is another guy who is relatively unknown (2018 was his first year as a pro) but he spent the whole season last year in the 250 class finishing around 19-22nd. Him being an 18 I think was an oversight by the people who set the handicaps and when they make a mistake like this you have to take advantage."

Jacob Hayes (11) 72 points

"Jacob Hayes had a really good day in qualifying. He qualified 12th which is a lot better than his 27th at Hangtown. Though he's known as an indoor guy, retired pro/broadcast journalist Daniel Blair has been working with him a lot. They know that for Jacob to get a good ride for Supercross in 2020, he also needs to perform outdoors."

Bradley Lionnet (18) 66 points

"Bradley Lionnet has been around the block more than your average 18 handicap rider. He was a top 25 guy in 250s for 2017 and in 450s for 2018. He also rode for his home country of South Africa at Motocross Des Nations last year. So for me, he has been around enough and has actually finished enough races to know that he is going to charge until the end to get you good fantasy points."

Jordon Smith (4) 9 points

"Jordon Smith is expected to be a title contender, so even with a nagging wrist injury, he should be a top 10 guy no problem."

- Cole Hockema (Coleshots)

Team Name: Cody105

Real Name: Cody Hockema

Rd. 1 Score/Finish: 571/4th

Season Points/Rank: 1018/14th

450 Class

Justin Hill

Justin Hill (7) 100 points

"Northwest pride! My guy, Justin Hill, came through. I must admit, it's been a heartbreaking fan experience with Justin. I watched him go from a goofy little kid playing in his older brother's shadow to a supercross champion, all the while claiming the 450 class is where he would realize his true potential. His 450 effort has been underwhelming thus far. With mediocre 2019 supercross results and his JGR Suzuki contract coming to an end this year, Hill needs to prove he's worth the cheese coming into 2020."

Fredrick Noren (8) 100 points

"Noren has always been a fantasy favorite among players. He always seems to have a fairly high handicap despite his good results. He could easily get another top ten and, at a 4 handicap, be a great pick but could just as easily finish 15th (dropping out of double points). I'm about 50/50 on picking the Swede for this weekend."

Brandon Leith (18) 72 points

"I know nothing about Brandon Leith other than he's a "send it" type dude who has scored me a gang of fantasy points over the years. If you catch Brandon under top 25 in qualifying with a high handicap, pick him. He's a 14 now, which is a decent choice."

Taiki Koga (10) 37 points

"Last week I said I'd consider Koga if he qualified top 15. Well, he came through 14th in qualifying so I couldn't stay away from his 10 handicap. He could have done better than 22/17 moto scores, making him my lowest scoring 450 rider, but still a solid pick."

250 Class

Brandon Hartranft

Challen Tennant (18) 90 points

"Tennant is another one of those guys I have no knowledge on, other than he qualified 23rd with an 18 handicap and he has a brother named Caleb also racing outdoors (careful not to confuse the two). If you see a handicap 18 inside the top 25 in qualifying, you're crazy not to consider it."

Jacob Hayes (11) 72 points

"Turns out the 2018 arenacross champion knows how to take it outside. He had a killer start to supercross, but a hand injury kept him down in the latter half. I wouldn't be surprised to see Hayes eventually put it into the top ten outdoors."

Hunter Lawrence (2) 50 points

"Wow. We have something here, guys. Despite a mechanical DNF in the first moto, Hunter had AC's number in the second. There is no doubt he was the fastest 250 rider at Fox Raceway. Pick him quick before he goes to a negative handicap or single points. He's the poster child for a low handicap with potential to max out on points."

Brandon Hartranft (12) 50 points

"Heart Throb could have been a max points guy at round two, judging by his 13th in the second moto. Brandon lost a footpeg in the first moto, causing a 35th place finish, ruining any chance at a top fantasy score. His handicap did go down slightly to a 10, which could still be a great pick this weekend."

Picks of Interest

Our guest gives me an interesting pick in each class for the coming weekend and I also throw my picks into the mix. These are by no means a guarantee, just some guys to consider.

450 Class - Blake Baggett (0)

"Blake Baggett has had a rough start to the outdoor season, but I think El Chupacabra is going to make an appearance and put it in the top five very soon. This is a rare chance to get him as an underdog."

Jordon Smith

250 Class - Jordon Smith (5)

"I can't pick him because I had him last week, but Jordon Smith is a solid choice. At a 5 handicap he's had some weird stuff happen in the first two rounds, but he is a top ten guy if he can finish without another oddball weekend."

Thomas Covington

250 Class - Thomas Covington (9)

"Thomas Covington a.k.a Big Air Tom was a top American amateur years ago. After a factory contract fallout, he elected to go to the MXGP's where he was able to stack multiple wins in MX2 (250 class). His return to America in 2019 has gone, well, awful. In supercross he struggled to even qualify for mains which, for a factory Husqvarna rider, isn't good. His Hangtown performance was more of the same. Big Air Tom was able to snag an 11th in the first moto at Fox Raceway but his 25th in the second moto hurt his overall score. I think his first moto is more indicative of where he belongs. At a 9, I will definitely be looking at Thomas for my team this weekend."

Tyler Bowers

450 Class - Tyler Bowers (11)

"The Bear hasn't had a stellar start to the motocross season. As the top privateer in supercross, I would expect Bowers to do almost as well outdoors. He's fit and likely has the tightest privateer program in the pits. Tyler should be top 15 at worst and top ten at best. I'm willing to bet his results improve as he figures things out in the coming weeks."

- Cody Hockema (Cody105)