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!
Picture c/o Stewart Haas Racing
If you played our main line-up this week, you doubled your money. I played it in the $50 DK single entry game and doubled my money with a $100 payout. Let's take another look at that line-up, which we posted late Saturday night:
Bowyer and Kurt Busch were the key to victory here. Bowyer was under 10% owned in the games I played and Kurt was right around 10% owned. Bowyer scored 55.5 points after finishing third from the ninth starting spot. Kurt finished eighth after starting seventh, but he led 52 laps, so he scored 57.5 points. We identified Bowyer based on how strong he was in final practice with single lap, 10 lap, 15 lap and 20 lap averages. Kurt had a very strong recent history at Atlanta and ran solidly in practice as well. So the signs were there if you did your homework -- which we did.
We also added Blaney based on his strong performance in final practice. Watching that coverage really paid off.
We're obviously disappointed with Kahne and Ty Dillion. We expected a bit better. It turns out that the winner of the $50 DK contest had a very similar line-up. They had the same four main drivers we posted, but used Austin Dillon and David Ragan instead of Kahne and Ty Dillon. Austin made a huge difference -- scoring 41 points after finishing 14th from the 25th starting spot. I didn't want to go there because I expected a Daytona hangover. Plus Austin had no history of strong Atlanta runs -- finishing worse than 30th in two of the prior three races. But taking those chances led to a very large pay day.
We also talked about fading Ryan Newman given his history of poor finishes from strong starting spots at Atlanta. That was spot on as Newman finished 22nd and failed to score even 30 points.
As for our alternate lineups, they were designed as contrarian lineups to capitalize if Harvick or Truex, or both, ran into problems. So these lineups obviously did poorly since the conventional wisdom prevailed this week. In addition, both lineups featured Jimmie Johnson based on his strong Atlanta history and position difference potential. But his day was all but over when he spun and suffered damage shortly before the end of Stage 2. Again, if you're playing multiple line-ups, these are the types of line-ups you want to sprinkle in to hit it big if a race turns unpredictable and the favorites fall. By their nature, these line-ups normally fail. But when they succeed, they tend to win big.
On to Vegas!
Just a few quick notes on Vegas. We'll spend much more time on it throughout the week:
A few quick notes before on track action begins today:
Pic from AMS official website
Here's our first detailed look at this weekend's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. With all the randomness and unpredictability that goes into a plate track race like Daytona, I consider this the true start to the fantasy NASCAR season. So let's get started and win some contests.
This is a 500 mile race on an old, worn out 1.5 mile surface. Last year, most of the cars that ran all the laps made 9 - 11 pit stops. So, with the new pit stop procedures this year, a team that can have clean, penalty free pit stops is going to gain a significant advantage in track position. Not to knock them unfairly, but the 11 team of Denny Hamlin seems to have an inordinate share of pit road mishaps. It has been prevalent in years past and reared it's head at Daytona when Hamlin slide through his box and was then penalized when the crew started fueling the car before it was fully back in the pit stall. Two mistakes in the same pit stop in race one is not the way to start.
Another factor this week will be the weather. The schedule is set up with one practice and qualifying on Friday, one practice on Saturday and the race at 2pm Eastern time on Sunday. Friday's weather is predicted to be OK. But Saturday shows a 30-50% rain chance. And Sunday shows rain likely throughout the day. Hopefully we can get the race in Sunday without delays or interruptions. Even if we do, though, the conditions could be much different than what the drivers experienced earlier in the weekend. That should favor drivers who have done well in recent races and have a good baseline coming into the weekend.
So, here's our list of the top recent performers at Atlanta. You'll probably want to get two or three of these guys onto your DK roster:
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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