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Get a better bang for buck

3/21/2007

Given a single choice for either the Bassmaster Classic or Lake Amistad, it's highly unlikely that many fantasy managers would've picked up Boyd Duckett or Derek Remitz.

Nothing against the two Elite Series pros — it's just that they're both "no-names" to all but a few hard core fantasy fishing fans.

Harsh? Not really. It's no different than saying John Daly was a no-name when he burst onto the professional golf scene 16 years ago by winning the PGA Championship.

Duckett and Remitz are good at what they do, but don't mistake them for headliners in the world of professional bass fishing.

The point isn't to debate the name recognition of this year's first two winners; the point is that you needn't worry about slotting untested anglers on your fantasy fishing rosters. As the Classic and Amistad proved, an angler's point value has absolutely nothing to do with his ability to win a tournament.

Beyond that, I'd argue that bargain basement anglers •  and in this case rookies — play an important role on fantasy rosters. The rules of the game preclude managers from stacking rosters with the high-point value anglers like Kevin VanDams and Mike Iaconellis, anyway.

Filling out a fantasy roster for this week's event on the California Delta shouldn't be any cause for grief and dismay once you've penciled in your high-value players. In fact, this tournament may be one of the best this season for fantasy players looking to make a splash with the middle- and lower-tier anglers on their rosters.

Here are a few plays that could make you a happy manager and the envy of your fantasy fishing brethren. Let's call them the Dirty Half-Dozen:

Mark Tyler No news flash here. Tyler holds the BASS record for heaviest single bass ever weighed at a Bassmaster event with a 14-pound, 9-ounce, giant he caught on this same waterway in 1999. He's also posted some impressive finishes here, so a 7.0 value rating goes a long way. Don't be surprised to see him in the money on Sunday (and on a lot of managers' fantasy rosters).

Jared Lintner At 8.0 value points, Lintner isn't as inexpensive as you might expect, but that's because his stock is rising fast. After an impressive rookie showing last year, Lintner has picked up this year where he left off, posting solid numbers at Lay Lake and Amistad. But the next two events on the West Coast are where I really expect the second-year Elite pro to shine. And even Lintner isn't as cheap as you think he should be, he's still half the price of KVD.

Fred Roumbanis You'll see Fast Freddie on a lot of rosters this week. He's a California boy, and after making up ground to finish in the top 20 at Amistad, he'll be a favorite play of many managers. He knows the Delta well, as evidenced by a ninth-place showing here in a BASS Open in 2005. And at 4.4 points, he won't take up a lot of salary-cap room.

Kurt Dove Why in the world would you put Dove in your lineup? He isn't a West Coast guy like Roumbanis or Lintner, but he's a highly skilled tidal fisherman, and that will be very important with the significant tidal fluctuations typical of the Delta. Dove, who hails from Virginia, is a regular on the Potomac River system, which fishes a lot like the Delta. He'll only cost you 4.5 points, too.

Grant Goldbeck After a rather disappointing rookie campaign, Goldbeck has showed some early promise this season. He'll only take up 4.4 points on your roster, and he's a tidewater bass specialist who fishes the Potomac River all the time. He's the kind of play that could move you ahead of the pack this week.

Jimmy Mize He's sometimes overlooked by fantasy managers, but that would be a mistake this week on the Delta. Last time BASS had a tour-level event here, Mize placed second to Delta virtuoso Robert Lee (who's not in the tournament). At 7.7 points, he's a solid play as a middle-value fantasy angler.