At 1 percent ownership, Butcher offers a much greater reward than does Martens, but it requires taking more risk.
McClelland, who won a 2006 Elite Series event on Grand Lake, is also on the Classic bubble, at 35th in AOY points. Having made one Sunday cut in four Majors on Oneida – 11th in 2008 – he has the second-best average finish here in Bucket B, 30th. His other Elite Series-level finishes: 15th in 2009, 19th in 2007; 57th in 2006.
"I've gone up there and gambled a time or two and tried to catch largemouth the whole tournament and had some failures," McClelland told me last month at ICAST. "But when I've gone up there and mixed it up – catch some largemouth, catch some smallmouth – it's always gone pretty well for me."
When I suggested he might be the most motivated angler in Bucket B, McClelland didn't shy away – "Bet on it," he replied.
I was prepared to lock McClelland on my roster until I interviewed Bassmaster TV host Mark Zona at ICAST.
"He is going to put an enormous amount of pressure on himself," Zona cautioned. "There's a positive of that, and there's a huge negative of that. If you put Mike McClelland on [your roster] in that tournament, you're gambling."
At 3,182nd place in the B.A.S.S. Fantasy Fishing Challenge, I'm inclined to roll the dice, hoping for a big gain. At 0.8 percent ownership, McClelland is Bucket B's best high-risk/high-reward pick.
At 26th in AOY points, Kriet is in a better position to make the Classic without needing to swing for the fence. And he has decent history on Oneida, including a runner-up finish in 2009 and an11th-place finish in 2007. His average finish is 33rd, with 48th- and 70th-place finishes in 2008 and 2006. At the time of this writing, he is at 3 percent ownership.
Martens is the most-picked angler in Bucket B, likely on the strength of his mid-season surge from the back of the pack to 13th in the AOY race. After missing four straight 50-cuts to start the season, Martens rallied to three Top 5 finishes in the last four tournaments.