Strong bets and letdowns in Fantasy

PALATKA, Fla. — Past performance does not necessarily predict future results.

That’s the disclaimer that comes with every mutual fund or stock purchase — and one that might have been issued as a reminder during last week’s March Madness game between Mercer and Duke.

It’s also one that applies to Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing.

We’re going to break down after each Bassmaster Elite Series event how fans thought the pros would perform — and how they actually performed.

The biggest surprise of the tournament was Edwin Evers. Mired in Bucket E, based on Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year points, he was hailed as a “steal” by most pundits, and most players chose him. He had more votes than any other player — 57.6 percent of the vote in his bucket — but he missed the cut by one place. He delivered only 173 points to his fans.

Here’s a breakdown, bucket by bucket.

Bucket A

Todd Faircloth owned Bucket A with 28.18 percent of the vote. He did well for his fans, finishing 10th and earning 260 points.

Mark Davis did best, though, with his third-place finish. He earned his fans 290 points, but not many fans earned it. Davis — one of the veterans on tour who boasts a Classic win and an Angler of the Year title — had only 0.92 percent.

Of the 21 pros in that bucket, only eight had fewer confidence points than Davis. One of those, Jared Lintner with 0.35 percent, finished 18th, posting 239 points for his fans.

Other strong Bucket A picks were Alton Jones, 17.07 percent, 285 points; Justin Lucas, 1.46 percent, 264 points; and David Walker, 2.57 percent, 276 points.

A big upset in this bucket was Florida pro Shaw Grigsby, who owned 19.86 percent of the vote. He finished in 82nd place with 111 points.

Bucket B

Randall Tharp did well for his fans with his 13th-place finish. Even though it’s his first year on the Elite Series, the pro commanded a 35.69 percent ownership in the bucket, higher than any pro other than Kevin VanDam, who had 12.83 percent. Tharp produced 251 points.

But Chris Lane was the best choice, winning the tournament and earning a hefty 355 points. Only 4.61 percent picked this former Florida angler and 2012 Classic champ.

Other strong picks in Bucket B were Dean Rojas, 5.01 percent, 295 points; Jacob Powroznik, 4.57 percent, 245 points; and Greg Hackney, 3.67 percent, 283 points.

VanDam’s owners got a big upset. He missed his first cut in 29 Bassmaster Elite Series events, the longest record to date. He finished in 70th place, earning 135 points.

Cliff Prince fans, who expected Prince to dominate because of his hometown advantage, were disappointed to see him not make the cut. He had 11.38 percent of the vote but scored only 163 points.

Bucket C

Davy Hite worked wonders for his 0.57 percent fans — that’s less than 1 percent for another Classic champ! — when he finished in fifth place and racked up 280 points for them.

Terry Scroggins, who’s from Palatka, dominated this bucket in terms of ownership — 43.68 percent — but not in terms of points — 221.

Other strong Bucket C picks were Bobby Lane, 22.77 percent, 248 points; Scott Rook, 0.18 percent; Cliff Crochet, 2.59 percent, 211 points.

Brandon Palaniuk posted a big upset for the 9.22 percent of Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing players who picked him. He ended in 72nd place with 131 points for his fans.

Bucket D

Your best choice in Bucket D was definitely Keith Combs, and that’s one the fans got right. Combs had 41.52 percent of the vote in this bucket, and he delivered. His eighth-place finish garnered 268 points for his fans.

The next-most-owned angler in this bucket was Mike Iaconelli, who posted a 64th-place finish, earning only 147 points for his owners.

Combs was really the only strong pick in this bucket. The next-highest points earner was Jeff Kriet, 4.16 percent, 213 points, followed by Marty Robinson, 1.41 percent, 197 points.

In other words, the 58-something percent of fans who didn’t choose Combs were wishing they did.

Bucket E

As mentioned earlier, Edwin Evers was the big pick in this bucket, and his 51st-place finish hurt more than half the players. The best pick in Bucket E was Randy Howell, who was only chosen by 10.8 percent of fans. The 2014 GEICO Bassmaster Classic champion finished seventh, earning his fans 277 points.

The fans who didn’t pick Howell probably wish they had gone with Jason Williamson, but only 0.45 percent did. Those half-percent of fans earned 257 points for his Top 12 finish.

Paul Elias — yet another past Classic winner with less than 1 percent of the vote — posted a Top 12 as well, giving his fans 254 points.

The perfect lineup

If you had a crystal ball, you would have chosen the following for a total of 1,470 points:

Mark Davis (A)

Chris Lane (B)

Davy Hite (C)

Keith Combs (D)

Randy Howell (E)

No one’s crystal ball functioned properly, though, because the highest score of the tournament was 1,424, and it was one of only two scores that topped 1,400.

Planning to do better next time? Go ahead and get started! Buckets are open for the 2014 A.R.E. Truck Caps Elite at Table Rock Lake, which begins April 3.