Providing fantasy NASCAR advice, recommendations and predictions. Fantasy racing games are their own kind of animal. I've successfully played fantasy racing games for years and started this blog for the 2018 season to offer some advice and tips for winning your fantasy NASCAR games. We'll go beyond things like starting position and fastest lap times in practice to uncover which drivers have the best chance for success each week.
Here's an initial target list for next weekend's June 24 race at Sonoma. I'll be traveling again next week, so don't know how much updating I'll be able to do. At a minimum, I'll try to post something Saturday night after qualifying.
As background, only 110 laps at Sonoma, so just over 25 points total for laps led and 50 points total for fastest laps. We typically see multiple leaders here with teams using different pit strategies, etc. (No driver has led more than 45 laps in any of the last four races, so it's unlikely we see a real Dominator.) So, it places a bigger emphasis on position difference and raw finishing position for this race. Depending on where guys start, it may make sense to fade the Big Three and go with a full roster of solid guys with good teams from top to bottom.
With that in mind, here's who I will be most focused on going into the race weekend:
Sunday Update — I added a few notes in the Saturday update. All in bold. Those are primarily my cash game targets. I can’t argue with those who prefer Kyle Busch or Kevin Harvick. I do think they’ll perform well. But their salaries really hurt the rest of your roster. And which one of Truex or Larson do you leave off? Here are a few tournament targets I like:
Saturday Update — I’m traveling today so only have time for a quick update with thoughts after practice and qualifying:
I may have a few more thoughts late tonight or tomorrow morning, so check back before lock.
Tuesday Night Post:
Two things before getting into the details on the upcoming Michigan race.
(1) I don't know how many updates I'll do this week. I'll be at Texas Motor Speedway for the Camping World Truck Series race on Friday night and the Verizon IndyCar Series race on Saturday night. I may only send a few thoughts/driver targets on Twitter. And, if I do update this site, it might be shorter than normal. It just depends on how it goes in Texas. In case it's only on Twitter, make sure you follow me @illinisjc.
(2) I'm really happy with the way last week turned out. In my last update, I said this about FanDuel -- "I really like Larson and Almirola. Reasonable prices with good upside. It's probably worth taking the discount down to Busch and/or Truex instead of paying up to Harvick. You can fill in with salary savers after that." I followed my own advice and had a great return. In the $2 tournament, I used Chris Buescher as the last guy and came in 3rd out of 1,785. In a $3 tournament, I used Ty Dillon as the last guy and came in 5th out of 196. Check out this ROI:
Michigan Opening Notes
So let's move on to this week at Michigan and hope we can continue on a pretty good roll. Here are the guys I'll be most focused on going into the race weekend:
Let's do DK first. I'm finding this to be a tricky week because I really like a bunch of guys but it's hard to get many of them together in a lineup. Here is where I come out:
On FD, mostly the same guys are in play. I really like Larson and Almirola. Reasonable prices with good upside. It's probably worth taking the discount down to Busch and/or Truex instead of paying up to Harvick. You can fill in with salary savers after that.
I'm going to spend a little more time thinking about how to handle the front of the field, but here are guys I am targeting from the 15th starting position on back. We have a good number of guys with some potential and reasonable prices:
A few general notes before moving into the details. Just 160 laps this week, so many fewer laps led and fastest lap points are in play. Finishing position and position difference will be even more critical this week. Also, current forecasts show very tough weather with high rain chances especially on Friday and Saturday. Hopefully they will get some practice time so we can see how everyone is looking.
Last year, we saw a huge amount of overlap in the Top 10 in the two Pocono races. Seven drivers finished in the Top 10 in both races and two of those drivers finished in the Top 5 in both races. These drivers will be a focus this weekend -- even more so if practice gets rained out. Here's the list:
Here are a few more details on some of these drivers and others of note:
We'll have more after cars hit the track.
Here's my final update and thoughts about where I'm going with a cash lineup:
Some other tournament only targets that I'll be including in tournament lineups are: Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney and Kurt Busch.
Some guys I am purposely avoiding in all formats: Ryan Newman (solid track record, but starting 6th so will lose positions); Alex Bowman (bad track record, bad practice, unlikely to gain much ground from 27th starting spot); Matt Kenseth (starts 17th, but very unlikely to finish in the Top 20); Ty Dillon (starts 20th and will lose ground); and Ross Chastain (starts 25th and will lose ground).
Good luck everyone!
Developments during qualifying left us in a very interesting spot. Based on salary and starting position, I've narrowed down my possible cash game plays to about 10-12 driver targets. Here's who I'm looking at:
We'll be back late Saturday night with a final update and thoughts for your roster construction. In the meantime, you can tweet any questions @illinisjc
In the last post, I identified an initial group of drivers of particular interest to me coming into this race weekend. Here's a few more notes -- mostly about those guys and their performance in the last three 600 mile races and on 1.5 mile tracks this season.
I'm not going to do a write-up on the All Star race. It's a totally new rules package that has no relation to anything they've ever used at Charlotte before. There is a restrictor plate, enlarged spoiler and a different splitter. There is no comparison to anything they have run in the past, so there's no reason to look at historical results. I expect the thing to be totally unpredictable and pretty wacky and I have no interest in putting any money into it.
Looking ahead to the 600, here are a few guys with good to great Charlotte histories who I am starting to focus on. As always, a lot will depend on practice and qualifying position:
We'll have much more coverage for the 600 in the coming days.
Here's what I'm thinking for lineup construction this week:
For cash games, 50/50s, double ups:
For large tournaments:
As always, you can Tweet any race day questions @illinisjc
My name is Steve and I've won thousands playing NASCAR fantasy racing games. This blog will share my advice for enjoying and winning your fantasy racing games. I'm also a NASCAR writer at the motor sports website slicksandsticks.com