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.
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