Fantasy NASCAR NASCAR Fantasy Live

NASCAR Fantasy Live Picks, 2014 Pocono, 400

With Jeff Gordon earning his fifth Brickyard victory, NASCAR returns to Pocono for a second installment. Pocono is a challenging track for teams to prepare. With three unique turns, one setup cannot be 100% effective for every turn. The end result is that some drivers have mastered the challenges of the Pennsylvania track, making this week more predictable than the average track.

One of the resources available on is a statistical engine that analyzes a driver’s performance on a lap-to-lap basis. Using the final position only tells part of the story. If a driver is dominating a track and experiences bad luck at the end of the race, using final position only for your analysis will prove to be incomplete. In order to provide you with the best analysis, I am going to utilize the resources available on this site like loop data to provide you with more information to help you make informed decisions about your lineups.

My first pick for this week illustrates the value of using this data point. During the last three August races at Pocono, Denny Hamlin averages a 29th place finish. Upon further investigation, Hamlin has led the second-most laps over the last five August races with 178. He was the fastest driver for 121 of the laps during this time span, the most of any driver. Hamlin has the best starting position, runs in the top 15 drivers for 78% of his laps, and has the best loop data score. The risk in picking Hamlin is his bad luck at the track, and his upside is worth the risk because he is valued below the top drivers.

The second fantasy live pick has led the most laps over the last five August races. Jimmie Johnson has an eighth place average finish at the track and is second in fastest laps to Hamlin since 2009. With a series-best average running position of 9.8 and 79% of laps in the top 15, Johnson has a high likelihood of success.

Because of some cost-effective choices for the fourth and fifth slots this week, I had enough salary cap money to choose Jeff Gordon as the third driver. Gordon has the best average finish position of any driver. He also has the most fantasy live points since 2009 and is coming off a win last week. Gordon runs in the top 15 drivers for 76% of his laps, tied for third in the series with Ryan Newman.

After these three picks, there was little salary cap room available for the last two spots. Lower cost drivers may not have impressive finishes, but are cost-effective and often score more points per fantasy dollar than the top competitors. Michael Annett finished 20th in June and his loop data score is closer to a $15 driver than his price tag. Annett could provide value this week. While his loop data scores are low, Landon Cassill averages a 30th place finish at the track and should net you two points per fantasy dollar, which is great value.


In order to determine the best starters at Pocono, we look at historical data over the last five years. Fantasy Live on combines fast laps, laps led, start-to-finish differential, and final position. We look at the last five years at the track and see how many fantasy live points each driver has accumulated per race. Then, we divide that number by the salary cap figure. The end result is that we are able to figure out how many fantasy points to expect from each fantasy dollar.

Kurt Busch is a possibility for your lineup this week, and missed the cut for my roster. We will use his Pocono statistics to illustrate how this formula works.


  • Fast laps: Cannot be calculated with 100% accuracy
  • Laps led last five years: 64 = 6.4 points per race
  • Average finish position last five years: 15th place = 29 points
  • Start-to-finish differential: (-9) = negative 9 points
  • Total Fantasy Live Points per Race: 26.4
  • Fantasy Live Salary Cap Figure: $23.50
  • Points per dollar: 26.4/ $ 23.50 = 1.12 fantasy points per dollar

For rookies who have not run the August Pocono race we will use their 2014 statistics to determine their value. Please note Kyle Larson finished fifth in the June race. Review the fantasy points per dollar amounts below with this week’s picks in bold.

GROUP A ($25.00 or higher)

  • Jeff Gordon 2.05
  • Brad Keselowski 1.86
  • Jimmie Johnson 1.84
  • Kasey Kahne 1.67
  • Clint Bowyer 1.59
  • Kevin Harvick 1.31
  • Carl Edwards 1.27
  • Kyle Busch 1.08
  • Matt Kenseth 0.95
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 0.90
  • Joey Logano 0.76

GROUP B ($20.00 – $24.99)

  • Tony Stewart 2.02
  • Martin Truex Jr. 1.89
  • Greg Biffle 1.63
  • Ryan Newman 1.46
  • Austin Dillon 1.41
  • Marcus Ambrose 1.32
  • Denny Hamlin 1.31
  • Kyle Larson 1.16
  • Kurt Busch 1.12
  • Paul Menard 1.09
  • Jamie McMurray 0.94
  • Brian Vickers 0.91
  • Aric Almirola 0.62

GROUP C ($15.00 – $19.99)

  • Justin Allgaier 1.25
  • AJ Allmendinger 1.09
  • Casey Mears 0.67
  • Danica Patrick 0.52
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 0.05

GROUP D ($10.00 – $14.99)

  • David Ragan 2.00
  • Cole Whitt 1.62
  • David Gilliland 1.21

GROUP E ($9.99 or lower)

  • Landon Cassill 2.16
  • Michael Annett 2.15
  • Alex Bowman 1.76
  • Reed Sorenson 0.57
Fantasy NASCAR

2014 Pocono Raceway, 400

Congratulations to Jeff Gordon who picked up his fifth career win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this past weekend during the running of the Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400. With the win, Jeff extended his points lead and picked up bonus points that will be applied when the Chase starts. Now there are only six races left until the start of the Chase and eleven drivers are virtually locked into the field with five more spots up for grabs.


This week the series heads back to Long Pond, PA for the running of the 400 at Pocono Raceway. It was late June when Dale Earnhardt Jr. picked up his second win of the season at Pocono and now we head back to the scene of the crime. I think the teams that ran well this past week at Indy will do very well once again this weekend at Pocono because of the flatter track configuration. There is still some work to be done though with the tunnel turn making things a little more difficult when setting up the race cars.

Jeff Gordon: With six career victories at this track and a win last weekend at Indy I have to pick Jeff to win once again this week. Jeff also has thirty top ten finishes in forty-three starts at this track and those are unbelievable numbers. Six victories here, two wins this season, and leading the point standings make me have to start Jeff once again this weekend.

Denny Hamlin: Denny has four wins at this track and looked good last week at the Brickyard. I think this team has a chance to pick up it’s second victory of the season this weekend if they can make the right adjustments on the car as the race progresses. One other thing about Pocono is that it rains there a lot and teams have to be prepared to run in all types of conditions throughout the weekend and that makes it a tough weekend for everyone involved.

Kasey Kahne: Kasey has two career wins at this track, looked very good last week at Indianapolis, and needs a win to guarantee himself a spot in the Chase. Picking up a win is critical to this teams chances of making the Chase as they are the first team currently on the outside looking in if the Chase started now. They can still move up in the standings and make the Chase without a win, but that is leaving your future in the competitions hands.

Tony Stewart: I thought Tony would run a little better last week at Pocono, but I think they learned some things that they can apply to their setup this weekend and come away with a better result. Tony has two victories at this track and always seems to run well on this type of track. If they can win a race and make the Chase I think they will be very happy after struggling early in the season and finding themselves in this position anyway.

Jimmie Johnson: Jimmie has three career wins here and has finished in the top ten in seventeen of his twenty-five starts here. This team would like to get more consistent as we near the start of the Chase so they can concentrate on winning another championship. With the new Chase rules, consistency is going to be a major factor in the early Chase rounds.

Kevin Harvick: Once again, Kevin sat on the pole and had a car capable of visiting victory lane again this year. This team would like to finish what they start at the end of the weekend. Every victory means more points heading into the Chase and those bonus points could be the difference of making it to the next round, or being eliminated from the Chase before the next round begins.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Dale won the race here in June and has looked very good on this type of track all season long. Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick are the only drivers in my opinion to be more consistent than Dale this year and like I said, consistency is what is going to win a championship this year. I look for Dale to have another great car again this weekend and having a shot to visit victory lane again.

Kurt Busch: Kurt always run better at Pocono than he does at Indy. He has won two races at this track and has finished in the top ten in seven of his last nine starts here. I think the reason for this is that Kurt can figure out how to get his car setup to run all of the different turns at Pocono. I think they would like to have some better finishes and move up a little in the standings as we near the Chase to make sure that their win this year is good enough for them to make the Chase.

Ryan Newman: Ryan had a great run at Indy last week and has finished in the top ten at Pocono in six of his last seven starts there. I think this team will make the Chase without a win, but I am sure they would rather win a race and get some momentum built up as we get ready to start the Chase in another month and a half. I think Ryan is another good starter this week in Yahoo.


Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Jeff Gordon
  • Kevin Harvick

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Denny Hamlin
  • Ryan Newman
  • Tony Stewart
  • Carl Edwards

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Kyle Larson
  • Austin Dillon


  1. Jeff Gordon
  2. Denny Hamlin
  3. Kevin Harvick
  4. Kasey Kahne
  5. Ryan Newman

Dark Horse: Kyle Larson

Stay Away From: Matt Kenseth

NASCAR Fantasy Live

NASCAR Fantasy Live Picks, 2014 Indianapolis, Crown Royal 400

After a week away from fantasy racing, we return to Indianapolis this weekend. There are only a handful of races remaining until the Chase begins, and the pressure is growing for teams who have not yet won a race in 2014. For our fantasy racing leagues, the next few weeks will make or break our runs for our league championship. Indianapolis has helped some of the top drivers, but there has not been a dominant driver from year-to-year here. This translates to an opportunity to gain or lose fantasy points this week.

My Fantasy NASCAR strategy for salary cap racing is to pick my three favorite drivers for the race, and then choose the best drivers with the remaining salary cap money. I choose this strategy because fantasy live on rewards more points for laps led and fast laps. Because of the scoring system, choosing five average drivers will not be the path to victory. Once we apply the points per dollar formula, the results will show the best picks are the top drivers and the bottom feeders.

The next step is to determine the drivers with the highest likelihood for success at the track. One of the statistics to review is the total number of laps led. I look at total laps led at a given track over a five-year time span along with the total number of races that the driver has led a lap. I am more impressed with Brad Keselowski leading a total of 44 laps in three different Indianapolis races than Ryan Newman leading 45 laps in only one race because Keselowski shows he can run near the top on a year-to-year basis. When we combine this data with the average final position, we will get a clear idea who is the most likely to succeed in a given week. Beyond historical data, taking into account this year’s performance as a whole by each driver is an important factor to consider.

The driver with the best statistical probability for success this week is Jimmie Johnson. Johnson has led the second-most laps of any driver in Indianapolis over the last five years with 198. He is also the only driver to lead a lap in each of the last five races. All statistics were showing Johnson as a favorite in New Hampshire, but a cut tire became a death sentence to all who started him.

The second driver on my team is Tony Stewart. Stewart has the best average finish position over the last ten years. Although he has only lead twelve laps over the last five years, Stewart also has the highest fantasy points per dollar from the top drivers over the same time span. After some deliberation, Jeff Gordon is the narrow choice for the third spot over Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, and Greg Biffle. Gordon has an eighth place average over a ten-year span and is tied for third-most saps led since 2009 with 48 laps. Biffle has historically been successful in Indianapolis, but his team has been average for most of 2014. Harvick and Keselowski could easily win, but I simply felt more comfortable picking Gordon.

Juan Pablo Montoya has led the most laps of any Indianapolis driver over the last five years. His average finish is only 20th place, but is worth a pick due to a low price tag of $10.25. The last pick was a toss-up between Landon Cassill and Reed Sorenson. Ultimately, I picked Cassill because he has led a lap in three of the last five years. He only has four total laps led so temper your expectations for a top finish. If he can match his 29th place average finish, he will be a valuable selection.


Fantasy Live on combines the laps led, fast laps, final position, and start-to-finish differential in their scoring system. With a salary cap, the format limits the quality of drivers you can choose for your team. The formula used in this article basically tallies the average points accumulated over the last five years for each driver and divides that figure by their salary cap number. The end result is a number that will provide us with an idea how many points to expect from each salary cap dollar.

For further clarification, please review the details for Jamie McMurray below at Indianapolis:


  • Average final position last five years: 12th place = 32 points
  • Start-to-finish differential: Plus 3 = 3 points
  • Total laps led: 21 = 2.1 fantasy points per week
  • Fast laps: Cannot be calculated with 100% accuracy
  • Total Points per race; 37.1
  • salary cap figure: $22.75
  • Fantasy Points per dollar 37.1/22.75 = 1.63 points per fantasy dollar

For rookies without a history at the track, we will use their 2014 numbers for all races so we have an idea what to expect from them. See this week’s fantasy points per dollar below for each driver with this weeks picks in bold:

GROUP A ($25.00 or higher)

  • Jimmie Johnson 1.87
  • Kevin Harvick 1.67
  • Kasey Kahne 1.55
  • Jeff Gordon 1.49
  • Kyle Busch 1.42
  • Clint Bowyer 1.32
  • Brad Keselowski 1.20
  • Matt Kenseth 1.19
  • Carl Edwards 1.06
  • Joey Logano 1.00
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 0.89
  • Austin Dillon 0.57

GROUP B ($20.00 – $24.99)

  • Tony Stewart 2.18
  • Greg Biffle 1.99
  • Brian Vickers 1.95
  • Paul Menard 1.64
  • Jamie McMurray 1.63
  • Ryan Newman 1.63
  • Martin Truex Jr. 1.49
  • Kyle Larson 1.36
  • Aric Almirola 0.99
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 0.95
  • Marcus Ambrose 0.91
  • Kurt Busch 0.67
  • Denny Hamlin 0.63

GROUP C ($15.00 – $19.99)

  • Justin Allgaier 1.25
  • AJ Allmendinger 1.22
  • Danica Patrick 1.10
  • Casey Mears 0.70

GROUP D ($10.00 – $14.99)

  • Juan Pablo Montoya 2.96
  • David Ragan 1.92
  • Cole Whitt 1.62
  • David Gilliland 1.53
  • Trevor Bayne 1.47

GROUP E ($9.99 or lower)

  • Reed Sorenson 2.43
  • Landon Cassill 2.19
  • Michael Annett 2.15
  • Ryan Truex 1.03
Fantasy NASCAR

2014 Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400

After taking a much needed week off, NASCAR returns to action this week at the Brickyard. This is the second most coveted trophy right behind winning the Daytona 500 in all of NASCAR and that means you won’t be seeing teams taking chances with their setups heading into this race. Every driver wants to win this weekend in the worst way and that will show on the track.


Jeff Gordon: Jeff has won four races at this track and more importantly he has finished in the top ten in sixteen of his twenty starts here. Those are pretty good odds for him to score a lot of points this week. I am taking him to win this race because he has been very consistent all season and he really excels on this type of track.

Tony Stewart: Tony got into a Sprint car race for the first time since breaking his leg last year in one of the very same races and he went right to victory lane. That tells me that he is 100% healthy and he is heading to his home state this week. Tony has won a race at the Brickyard and wants to get his first win of the season and get qualified for the Chase. He won’t hold anything back this week.

Jimmie Johnson: After two terrible races in a row, I think this team goes back to what won them six championships and just make the correct adjustments to a good car this week. Jimmie has won four races here and would like to get his fourth win of the season and get back on track as we get closer to the start of the Chase. The Hendrick cars are always very good and there is no reason to try anything special this weekend.

Brad Keselowski: Brad would love to keep his momentum going and pick up his first win at Indy this week. The way the Penske cars have looked all season, Brad should have a great car and he is very good on the long flat tracks. I think he will be towards the front for most of the race and be in position to win at the end. I also look for him to qualify in the top five once again this week.

Kyle Busch: Kyle has yet to win at the Brickyard himself, but he has finished in the top ten in seven of the nine races he has run here. That makes him almost as good of a choice as Jeff Gordon to come away with another top ten finish and maybe a visit to victory lane for the first time in his career at this track. He is definitely on my team this week.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin won a race here back in 2003 and has finished in the top ten in seven of his thirteen starts at Indianapolis. This team has had fast cars all season and that could be enough to get Kevin another win here. I wish I could start all of the top tier drivers this week because that is just how good they are at this track, and like I said before, every driver wants to win this race.

Jamie McMurray: Jamie has won a race here in his career and has looked very good over the past month plus. This is the type of track that he runs very well at and is a good pick in the B group in Yahoo. This team has flown under the radar much of this season, but Jamie could pick up a win this week and qualify himself for the Chase. Once your in, you have a chance to be a champion.

Matt Kenseth: Matt would love to get his first career victory at this track this week. That would also guarantee him a spot in the Chase, although I don’t think he has to worry about that too much. He would however love to pick up some bonus points for winning a race when the Chase does start. This team is due for a win and I think they will get one before the Chase starts.

Kasey Kahne: Kasey is another driver who is looking for his first win of the season and at this track. He has finished in the top ten in half of the races he has run here and needs a win to make the Chase. This team doesn’t seem to be improving much as the season progresses and I’m not sure that they have what it takes to put an entire race together right now. They have a great driver and great equipment, but they don’t seem to be on the same page communication wise right now.

Denny Hamlin: Denny is always good at this type of track and should have the equipment he needs to get the job done this weekend. This is another team that hasn’t really stepped up their program throughout the season and they are hit and miss each week. However, this race means a lot to all of the drivers and I think this team comes with their A game this week.


Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Jeff Gordon
  • Kyle Busch

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Tony Stewart
  • Brad Keselowski
  • Jamie McMurray
  • Greg Biffle

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Kyle Larson
  • Juan Pablo Montoya


  1. Jeff Gordon
  2. Brad Keselowski
  3. Kyle Busch
  4. Tony Stewart
  5. Jimmie Johnson

Dark Horse: Paul Menard

Stay Away From: Kurt Busch

Fantasy NASCAR NASCAR Fantasy Live

NASCAR Fantasy Live Picks, 2014 New Hampshire, Camping World RV Sales 301

As a Fantasy NASCAR analyst, I am glad to be finished with a restrictor plate track and back to a more predictable track in Loudon. Hats off to you if you benefited from selecting Aric Almirola, Brian Vickers, and Casey Mears. For the rest of us, we saw our weekly lineup decimated by the two major incidents. New Hampshire provides us the opportunity to lick our wounds from Florida and start the second half of the NASCAR season on a positive note.

My preferred strategy for Fantasy Live is to pick my three favorite drivers, then find the best value with the remaining salary cap money. The driver with the most Fantasy Live points at New Hampshire since 2008 is Jimmie Johnson. Johnson’s value has dipped slightly after his Daytona wreck. Johnson is consistent at the track, averaging an eighth place finish over the last ten years. He has led laps in four of the last five summer races. Only an unexpected circumstance will keep the 48 team from running near the top this weekend.

Tony Stewart has led the most laps of any driver over the past five years in Loudon. Stewart was also involved in the Lap 21 wreck last week and should provide better value in New Hampshire as a result. Stewart has averaged a top ten finish and is the only driver to lead at least one lap in each of the last five summer races. Needing a win to make the chase, Stewart will drive aggressively for the next few weeks.

I was torn between Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, and Kurt Busch for the third spot. Kurt Busch has led the second-most laps since 2008, but has finished inconsistently over the last few years. I love Jeff Gordon’s consistency, but he has a higher price tag than Denny Hamlin. Hamlin has averaged a ninth-place finish over the last ten years. Hamlin was dominant in 2012, leading 193 laps on his way to victory. Hamlin should outperform his salary cap figure this week.

Deciding between the last two drivers is challenging because there was more cap room available than expected. Reed Sorenson has averaged a 21st place finish in two summer starts in Loudon. With only a $7 salary cap tag, his bargain value was too high to ignore. With $19.75 remaining, there are more options for the fifth spot than expected. Jeff Burton is racing this week for Michael Waltrip racing. With a 17th place average over the last five years, Burton should help your team with a modest cost of $15.25. My original choice was Burton, but had enough salary cap room for AJ Allmendinger. Allmendinger has averaged a 19th place finish since 2008 so he should be a valuable fifth starter for my team.

Our salary cap value formula basically determines average total number of fantasy live points over the past five summer New Hampshire races and divides that total by the salary cap figure provided by fantasy live on We can then determine how many points to expect from each fantasy dollar.


The Fantasy Live scoring system is a combination of laps led, fast laps, finish position, and start-to-finish differential.

For additional clarification on our formula, please review Kasey Kahne’s details below:


  • Total laps led at the last five summer New Hampshire races: 116 (23.2 per race = 11.2 points)
  • Fast laps: cannot be calculated with 100% accuracy
  • Final position: 12th place average = 32 points
  • Start to finish differential: Negative Six = (-6 points)
  • Total points per race: 37.6
  • Fantasy Live Salary Cap Figure: $25
  • Points ranking: 37.6 points/$25 = 1.50 points per fantasy dollar

For rookies with no history at the track, we will use the data from the 2014 to help you know how many points to expect from each fantasy dollar. This week’s picks are in bold along with the fantasy points-per-dollar for all drivers.

GROUP A ($25.00 or higher)

  • Jimmie Johnson 2.28
  • Jeff Gordon 1.71
  • Matt Kenseth 1.51
  • Kasey Kahne 1.50
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1.49
  • Kevin Harvick 1.33
  • Joey Logano 1.33
  • Clint Bowyer 1.25
  • Kyle Busch 1.25
  • Brad Keselowski 1.06
  • Carl Edwards 0.98

GROUP B ($20.00 – $24.99)

  • Tony Stewart 2.50
  • Denny Hamlin 2.31
  • Kurt Busch 1.76
  • Greg Biffle 1.43
  • Austin Dillon 1.38
  • Aric Almirola 1.36
  • Ryan Newman 1.28
  • Kyle Larson 1.19
  • Marcus Ambrose 1.14
  • Martin Truex Jr. 1.13
  • Brian Vickers 0.97
  • Jamie McMurray 0.92
  • Paul Menard 0.60

GROUP C ($15.00 – $19.99)

  • AJ Allmendinger 1.80
  • Jeff Burton 1.51
  • Justin Allgaier 1.35
  • Casey Mears 0.59
  • Danica Patrick 0.13
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (-0.05)

GROUP D ($10.00 – $14.99)

  • David Gilliland 2.08
  • David Ragan 1.85
  • Cole Whitt 1.52

GROUP E ($9.99 or lower)

  • Reed Sorenson 4.30
  • JJ Yeley 2.46
  • Landon Cassill 2.40
  • Michael Annett 2.36
  • Alex Bowman 1.71
  • Ryan Truex 1.00
  • Josh Wise 0.80
  • Joe Nemecheck 0.35