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!
Some interesting developments during qualifying.
First, Kyle Busch wins the pole. He certainly has to be on the radar since it wouldn't surprise if he leads numerous laps and runs a significant number of fastest laps. But there is so much risk in the position difference category. And there is this history: Kyle has qualified in the Top 10 in nine of the last ten Atlanta races. But, in those nine races, he has finished in the Top 10 only three times. And the most laps he has led in any of those nine races is 66. That shows the downside risk of using him this week. (h/t www.driveraverages.com)
Second, Martin Truex starts 35th. Given his 1.5 mile track record, you have to think he's going to move forward and score a lot of position difference points. And, in a long 500 mile race, it's possible he works his way all the way to the front and also scores laps led/fastest lap points. (In 2015, Jimmie Johnson started 37th, but won the race and led 92 laps. And in 2016, Kyle Busch started 39th, but finished 3rd and led 2 laps. So it has been done.) Truex has the biggest points upside in the field I think.
High End Options
I think Truex and Harvick have the highest upside and there are ways to get them both in there despite their $10K+ salaries.
Other expensive options starting towards the front include Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch -- both of whom we highlighted earlier this week.
Further back in the field, I like Chase Elliott and Jimmie Johnson. Each has run well here in recent races and they both offer good upside with position difference points. I'm also OK with Blaney. He has a mediocre record at Atlanta, but you have to figure he's likely to move up 10 spots or so from his 26th starting position.
Ty Dillon and Kasey Kahne look like pretty good lower cost options to me. They have at least some credibility compared to the other low end options. I don't think either of these guys are going to score a huge points day, but they should be solid.
Some will look at Ryan Newman's $6,900 salary since he starts on the front row. But I'm really worried about him. He started 2nd last year too, but finished 35th. The year before, he started 4th, but finished 24th. Another replay of that would be a huge hit to your lineup. If you're playing a lot of lineups, I suppose you can dump Newman in one or two. He'll be low owned and if he does lead laps and stay up front, it will differentiate you from most other entries.
I'm still tinkering with some lineup possibilities. Will be back by Sunday morning with any new developments and a few sample lineups to help you finalize your lineups for the race. Until then, keep an eye on weather reports as things don't seem to be getting any better. 80% chance of rain on Sunday!
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