I started this blog to provide a casual, recreational level of fantasy NASCAR advice and discussion. I've been playing these contests for a number of years and am annoyed by lineup sellers and groups of players using the same lineup. I'm hoping to give the casual player some help in building solid lineups that can beat that annoying crowd most of the time. I'm not a "tout" and don't do this for a living, so proceed accordingly. I hope you enjoy the discussion here and Good Luck!
Well, with the ridiculous post-qualifying inspection fiasco, we can really throw all the prior analysis out the window. I think things here for a cash game, 50/50, double up, etc. are pretty straight forward. You want a team full of guys starting 28th or worse. There's a ton of good cars back there and several good combinations are available. Also, there's no need for extreme salary savers, so just ignore everyone below Bubba Wallace at $6,100 on DK and $6,500 on FD.
As for some specific names, Kevin Harvick (starting 29th) and Kyle Busch (28th) obviously offer the most upside. They had qualified on the front row before their q times were disallowed. And they both showed very good overall speed in practice. So they have great position difference upside to go along with a realistic chance of leading laps and running fastest laps at some point. Harvick in particular was the class of the field throughout the day.
All of the cars starting 30th on back are in play as well. The first choice is to decide if you want one or both of Harvick and Kyle. Then fill in with the guys starting behind them. Of those, Clint Bowyer (31st), Ryan Blaney (33rd), Aric Almirola (34th) and Joey Logano (30th) seemed to have the best cars throughout practice on Saturday. You probably can't take them all, but there are plenty of moderately priced guys like Paul Menard (36th), Austin Dillon (37th), William Byron (38th), Bubba Wallace (39th) and Kasey Kahne (40th) there as well.
I could see an argument for using Martin Truex in a cash game as well. He starts 8th and looked very strong throughout the final practice. I think there's a pretty decent chance he takes the lead and gets some laps led and fastest lap points early on in the race. But for the salary you have to pay, I think there is both less risk and more upside in using Harvick or Busch over Truex. I think Truex is a better tournament play where he should be a bit lower owned and still could go off and dominate the race.
An overall note -- I think this might be a week to put less money in for two reasons. First, there is going to be a ton of identical or similar cash game lineups. Everyone will use Harvick, probably Busch and some combinations of the guys starting 30th-40th. So, the scores are all going to be very similar and compressed into a very narrow scoring band. If it's as compressed as I'm thinking it will be, one or two positions by one of your drivers could literally be the difference between being 1st in the contest versus totally out of the money. It will be like a plate race where everyone rosters a bunch of guys starting toward the back, only there won't be 3-4 "Big Ones" to spread out the field and differentiate the entries.
Second, our advantage of superior research and preparation is largely gone when we see an "inverted" field like this because the proper plays are so obvious and everyone will have them. Under this scenario, I prefer to play less money overall and to do a higher percentage in large tournaments where you can use contrarian strategies (like Truex or the Ryan Newman idea I offered in the notes earlier this week) to differentiate yourself and shoot for a great result.
A few notes on the stand alone xfinity race in Iowa on Saturday:
160 laps at Pocono, so fewer then normal points available on DK for laps led (40 total available) and fastest laps (80 total available). We have had one driver lead about half the laps in each of the last three races. Kyle Busch did so twice and Kevin Harvick once. This track also allows for real good position difference potential because cars can pass off Turn 3 or into Turn 1 and varying pit strategies are in play to gain track position.
Here's my initial list of drivers I'm most interested in going into the race weekend. Many familiar names up top:
As always, we'll have more as the race weekend approaches and goes along. We'll post a few Xfinity notes again this week too.
It's a tough week to build a cash game lineup. As we highlighted yesterday, there is no clear cut Dominator and there are many mid-field options at various salaries. Here's the approach I'm taking right now on both Draft Kings and Fan Duel:
I'm going to hold most of my CUP analysis until after race practice on Saturday. Just a few quick thoughts for tonight:
Here are some guidelines for XFINITY lineups for Saturday. I won't have time to update after qualifying Saturday morning, so you'll have to do a bit of work just before the race to get this right:
Guideline 1 -- Focus on the front row qualifiers
Here are some notes from recent New Hampshire races to help us key on a few guys heading into this weekend:
More to come Friday and Saturday after the cars hit the track.
I wasn't thrilled with the way my approach worked out this week. I really thought Harvick would pose a bigger challenge to Truex. Usually when Harvick makes a real long run in practice, it means he's really happy with the car. Maybe Truex was just that good and/or the conditions later in the day at race time were so different that Harvick's practice work didn't translate as well.
Anyway, already working on New Hampshire and will have an early week update with the best recent New Hampshire stats. I'll throw in a few Xfinity stats as well this week.
I had my best day of the year in Xfinity on Friday night (see graphic below). I'm hoping to keep on a roll for the Cup race on Saturday night. Here are my thoughts going into this race:
Here's my Xfinity return. There was more green below that didn't fit on one screen. It was a great night.
Much more to come Friday after practice and qualifying, but here's some mid-week notes to get you started for the Kentucky race:
Have I mentioned how much I dislike plate races? I don't like them from a fantasy standpoint and I really think they are stupid overall. What other sport does things to minimize its most talented stars and puts random chance as the biggest deciding factor in it's biggest events? I just don't get it. And why do the owners put up with all the money wasted on super speedway cars?
Anyway, many of my DK and FD entries were taken out by the one man wrecking crew in the 17. Made a few crumbs back, so not all was lost, but a net negative on the week for the first time in quite a while.
We're already researching Kentucky and look forward to getting back on track next weekend.
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