Fantasy NASCAR NASCAR Fantasy Live


This week’s race in Atlanta will be hard-pressed to have a better racing stretch than the final twenty laps at Daytona. Congratulations to Joey Logano on earning the first win of the season. The NASCAR series moves north for a newly-scheduled March race in Atlanta. For Fantasy Live, the strategy changes from the restrictor plate tracks. This week, my suggested strategy is to front-load your lineup with the top drivers and fill in your final two roster spots with budget drivers.

The first pick on my team dominated the majority of the race last year. Kevin Harvick was in front of the race until a late wreck sent him to an average finish. With 296 laps led and 179 fast laps, Harvick is the best in the series in both categories over the last five races. His lap-to-lap performance over the same time span is second to Jeff Gordon. His historical numbers are not as impressive, with only seven Top 10 finishes in his last 16 Atlanta starts, but I feel his recent success overcomes his historical data.

Jeff Gordon has the best number in the series at Hampton. He was on my team last year when he wrecked early in the race. He was running some of the fastest laps in the field, but there were not enough cautions in the race for Gordon to get back on the lead lap. Over the last five races, Gordon has an average finish position of 7.8 and has the best lap-to-lap performance in the series. Since 2005, Gordon has finished in the Top Ten eleven times and the Top Twenty fifteen times. Gordon has an excellent chance for success this weekend.

By a narrow margin, Jimmie Johnson beat out Matt Kenseth for the third roster spot. Kenseth has more recent success, but Johnson has better long-term numbers at the track. Also, I think the Hendrick cars will have a slight advantage with the new setup rules. Johnson has a 14th place average over the last five races. Historically, he boasts eight Top Five finishes in sixteen races. I like his chances on my team this weekend.

With three of the top drivers in the series on my roster, there is little room for the final two roster spots. Regan Smith’s value climbed to $7.50 this week. With Kurt Busch’s equipment, he should provide great value at that price. Keep an eye on his status towards the end of the week, as he is expecting a child anytime. Michael Annett finished 21st in last year’s race. If he comes close to that number, he will be be a valuable choice.


Fantasy Live on uses a scoring system that combines fast laps, laps led, finish position, and start-to-finish differential. In order to prevent us from simply starting the best drivers ever week, Fantasy Live uses a Salary Cap format. Our formula uses the number from the last five races at a given track. We calculate the average number of points earned by each driver. Then, we divide that number by the salary cap figure to identify the driver with the best value. Matt Kenseth is one of the most consistent drivers in the series, but is being left off my roster in favor of Jimmie Johnson. As a consolation prize, we will use his numbers to illustrate our formula.


  • Average finish position last five Atlanta races: 8.6 average equals 35.4 Fantasy Live Points
  • Start to finish differential: Plus 1.6 = 1.6 Fantasy Live Points
  • Laps led: 117 laps led = 11.7 Fantasy Live Points
  • Fast laps: 63 fast laps = 6.3 Fantasy Live Points
  • Total Fantasy Live points per race: 55 points per race
  • Fantasy Live Salary Cap Figure: $26
  • Fantasy Points Per Race: 55 points / $26 = 2.11 points per dollar

Please review the numbers below for each driver’s points per fantasy dollar. Suggested picks are in bold and good luck building on your early success in the 2015.

GROUP A ($25.00 or higher)

  • Kevin Harvick 3.02
  • Jeff Gordon 2.44
  • Matt Kenseth 2.11
  • Denny Hamlin 1.92
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1.53
  • Joey Logano 1.53
  • Jimmie Johnson 1.35
  • Jamie McMurray 1.24
  • Kyle Larson 1.20
  • Brad Keselowski 0.97
  • Kasey Kahne 0.53

GROUP B ($20.00 – $24.99)

  • Tony Stewart 2.46
  • Carl Edwards 1.96
  • Paul Menard 1.22
  • Ryan Newman 1.21
  • Greg Biffle 1.13
  • Clint Bowyer 0.39

GROUP C ($15.00 – $19.99)

  • Martin Truex 2.38
  • Sam Hornish Jr. 1.55
  • AJ Allmendinger 1.34
  • Aric Almirola 1.17
  • Austin Dillon 1.15

GROUP D ($10.00 – $14.99)

  • Trevor Bayne 4.09
  • Danica Patrick 2.52
  • Justin Allgaier 2.30
  • Casey Mears 1.80
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 1.71

GROUP E ($9.99 or lower)

  • Regan Smith 4.53
  • Landon Cassill 3.88
  • Reed Sorenson 3.62
  • Michael Annett 3.37
  • JJ Yeley 2.95
  • Ty Dillon 2.87
  • Brett Moffitt 2.83
  • Cole Whitt 2.82
  • David Gilliland 2.62
  • David Ragan 1.23
  • Alex Bowman 0.60
  • Josh Wise 0.60
Fantasy NASCAR

2015 ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY, Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500

The 2015 NASCAR season is now officially underway. Congratulations to Joey Logano on winning his first Daytona 500 in an interesting race. The win will probably lock Joey into the Chase grid, so now he can relax and just go out and race. I would also like to wish Kyle Busch a speedy recovery and I hope he can get back on the track as soon as possible.


Now that the Daytona 500 is in the books the teams can start focusing on the types of tracks they will spend most of their weekends racing on. This week the series heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the running of the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. Atlanta is a mile and a half quad-oval and is one of the fastest tracks on the circuit. A 500-mile race here is going to test engines and tires and I am sure we will see more than one driver have problems with these issues.

Carl Edwards: Carl is my pick to win the race this week at Atlanta. Carl has won three races at this track and I believe that he is going to have faster cars this season with Joe Gibbs Racing then he had last year at Roush/Fenway. The Gibbs and Hendrick teams had the fastest cars last weekend and I think these two teams are ahead of the curve at this point of the season.

Jeff Gordon: Jeff has five career wins here and has run very well on this type of track over the past year. If he can keep out of trouble early in the race, he will have a shot at the win when the laps wind down. Hopefully his pit crew is a little more consistent this year than last season and they can service the car and get Jeff out in at least the same position he entered in.

Jimmie Johnson: Jimmie also has three career wins at Atlanta and I think he will have a better season this year than last year where he struggled for a stretch in the middle of the thirty-six race season. I think this team will once again win multiple races before the Chase begins and will be vying for a championship once again.

Matt Kenseth: Matt is looking to break his winless streak and I think he will do it at some point early in the season. Matt has yet to win a race at Atlanta, but he has finished in the top five here in a third of the races he has started including a second place finish here last season. I think this race will tell me a lot about where this team is and how well they will compete this year.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin won the very first race of his career at this very track. He hasn’t won here since, but he has finished in the top ten in seven of his last ten starts here. This team will pick up right where they left off last season and will definitely be in the hunt for a second straight championship this year. He should be fast every week once again and win some more poles.

Joey Logano: I think I will stay away from Joey this week just because of the two Ford engines that blew at Daytona last weekend. This is a 500-mile race and I just want to be sure that the issue Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney had at Daytona is fixed. I don’t think it will take them long to figure out what went wrong and get the problem rectified, but just to be safe I will run other drivers this week.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Dale has one win at Atlanta during his career and this is the type of track he loves to run at. He likes to run the high line and carry his speed through the corners. As fast as his car was at Daytona he should be confident he will have one of the faster cars on the track once again this weekend.

Kasey Kahne: Kasey won the race here last fall and that win propelled him into the Chase. This year he would like to win a race much earlier in the season, so he is locked in the Chase and doesn’t have to worry about winning with just a couple of races to go before the Chase begins. Like Dale, Kasey loves to run the high line at this track and if he can keep his car off the wall he will be a contender at the end of the race.

Tony Stewart: Tony has won three races at Atlanta and I think he will have a much better year than he had last season. If Kevin Harvick can have a fast car every week, Tony should have one equally as fast. I think he will win multiple races this year and make the Chase. This week will tell me if this team has improved since last season or if they still have a lot of work to do to become contenders on a weekly basis.

Denny Hamlin: Denny has one win at this track and finished 3rd here last fall. I think Denny’s back is feeling fine once again and he is going to be more comfortable in his car every week. That in itself will help him win a few races this season and he might get his first win this weekend.


Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Jeff Gordon
  • Kevin Harvick

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Carl Edwards
  • Kasey Kahne
  • Tony Stewart
  • Jamie McMurray

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Driver of the #18
  • Driver of the #41


  1. Carl Edwards
  2. Jeff Gordon
  3. Kevin Harvick
  4. Matt Kenseth
  5. Jimmie Johnson

Dark Horse: Kyle Larson

Stay Away From: Joey Logano

Fantasy NASCAR

2015 Daytona International Speedway, Daytona 500

I am going to make this short and sweet this week because of the qualifying format for the Daytona 500. Next week when NASCAR returns to the regular qualifying format I will have a full article ready to go early in the week.


It looks to me like this is going to be a race between the Hendrick Motorsports drivers and the Joe Gibbs Racing drivers. I think Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Matt Kenseth will be the two drivers fighting for the win this Sunday. As we all know, anyone can win a race at Daytona, so nothing is written in stone.

One piece of advice before I give my picks for this week’s race. Don’t waste drivers you will need later in the season in the Yahoo league.

You only get to start a driver nine times during the season and when you get towards October and November you will be happy to have good drivers left to start. The A group you can use anyone you want to, but the B and C groups are a different story. These picks could possibly change depending on what happens in the practices that are left to run.

With that said, here are my picks for the Daytona 500.


Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  • Matt Kenseth

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Aric Almirola
  • Martin Truex Jr.
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  • Carl Edwards

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Michael Waltrip
  • David Gilliland


  1. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  2. Matt Kenseth
  3. Jeff Gordon
  4. Martin Truex Jr.
  5. Carl Edwards

Dark Horse: David Gilliland

Stay Away From: Kurt Busch

NASCAR Fantasy Live


We are a few days away from the beginning of another NASCAR season!

Compete against us on the Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet league! Details at end of article.

The Daytona 500 is one of the most anticipated races of the NASCAR schedule. For Fantasy Racing purposes, the restrictor plates and the changes in the car setup requirements will make week one very challenging. This article will indicate which drivers have a successful history at Daytona.

My suggestion is to find the drivers who qualify at the back of the field. Start-to-finish differential will be the key to success because we rarely see a dominant car leading a significant amount of laps during restrictor plate races. You can already take Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson out of your lineups.

The driver with the best average finish position over the last five races will find his way onto many fantasy lineups this weekend. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has an average finish position of 8th place during his last five Daytona races and has logged the most Fantasy Live points during the same time span. Since 2005, Junior has seven top-5 finishes and 15 top-20 finishes in his last 20 races. Junior is the best driver to choose this weekend unless he qualifies near the front of the field.

Matt Kenseth is a driver with great lap-to-lap performance data at Daytona who has finished in the middle of the pack in recent years. He has led the most laps over the last five races and ties Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the best lap-to-lap data. His fantasy points per race are low due to a negative start-to-finish differential. Kenseth has the second-best lap-to-lap performance since 2005 (behind Kyle Busch). His 14 top-20 finishes since 2005 is second only to Dale Earnhardt Jr. If Kenseth qualifies near the back of the pack, he should be considered in your lineup.

A driver who has quietly experienced recent success at the Florida track is my first bargain suggestion. Casey Mears has an average finish position of 14th over the past five races. At a $12 value, having the driver with the fourth-best average finish position is worth a shot. Since 2005, Mears has an average finish position of 21.3 and nine top-20 finishes in 17 races. In a race where many of the lower drivers are valuable, Mears stands out as one of the top bargain options.

At a $13 cap value, I anticipate Danica Patrick will find her way onto many fantasy lineups this weekend. Over her past five races at Daytona, Patrick has an average finish position of 17.5. Patrick also has two top-10 finishes in her last five Daytona races. While her numbers are not impressive enough to burn an allocation in a Yahoo league, she is an excellent selection in a salary cap league this week.

The original fifth choice on my team was Ricky Stenhouse Jr. before I realized I had enough cap room for Austin Dillon. Dillon, with a 15th place average finish position, has the fifth-best average finish position in the series over the last five races. Dillon has two top-10 finishes in three Daytona races. For all drivers, keep an eye on the qualifying order along with the value numbers below for the best chance of success.


Fantasy Live on uses a scoring system that combines finish position, start-to-finish differential, fast laps, and laps led. In order to prevent us from simply starting the top drivers ever week, Fantasy Live uses a salary cap structure. Our formula uses the date form the last five Daytona races. For each driver, we calculate the average number of points earned. Then, we divide that number of points by the salary cap figure on Fantasy Live. The end result is a number that shows how many points to expect from each driver.

Greg Biffle has seen recent success at Daytona, but missed the cut for my roster. As a consolation prize, we will use his Daytona numbers to illustrate the formula.


  • Average finish position last five Daytona races: 10.8 equals 33 points per race
  • Start-to-finish differential: Negative six equals -6 points per race
  • Laps led: 52 laps = 5.2 points per race
  • Fast laps: 14 = 1.4 points per race
  • Total points per race last five Daytona races: 33.6
  • Fantasy Live Salary Cap Figure: $23.00
  • Points per race: 33.6 / 23 equals 1.46 points per fantasy dollar

See this week’s fantasy live points per dollar numbers below with my picks highlighted in bold. Good luck with your picks for Daytona.

GROUP A ($25.00 or higher)

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1.89
  • Brad Keselowski 1.77
  • Denny Hamlin 1.74
  • Jimmy Johnson 1.40
  • Jamie McMurray 1.38
  • Joey Logano 1.23
  • Matt Kenseth 1.09
  • Kyle Busch 1.01
  • Jeff Gordon 0.70
  • Kevin Harvick 0.57
  • Kasey Kahne (-0.04)
  • Kyle Larson (-0.17)

GROUP B ($20.00 – $24.99)

  • Kurt Busch 1.59
  • Ryan Newman 1.56
  • Greg Biffle 1.46
  • Aric Almirola 1.16
  • Tony Stewart 0.98
  • Clint Bowyer 0.88
  • Carl Edwards 0.77
  • Paul Menard 0.56

GROUP C ($15.00 – $19.99)

  • Austin Dillon 1.33
  • Martin Truex Jr. 1.01
  • Ryan Blaney 0.47
  • AJ Allmendinger 0.11
  • Sam Hornish Jr. (-0.34)

GROUP D ($10.00 – $14.99)

  • Bobby Labonte 4.27
  • Michael Waltrip 3.46
  • Casey Mears 3.05
  • Justin Allgaier 2.85
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 2.54
  • Danica Patrick 2.50
  • Trevor Bayne 0.75

GROUP E ($9.99 or lower)

  • JJ Yeley 8.22
  • Alex Bowman 4.88
  • Michael McDowell 4.27
  • Reed Sorenson 3.00
  • Michael Annett 3.00
  • Landon Cassill 2.97
  • Ty Dillon 2.50
  • David Ragan 2.17
  • Josh Wish 1.91
  • Brian Scott 0.87
  • David Gilliland 0.53


Play along with me and others on the Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet NASCAR Fantasy Live League! Once you are logged in to the game at click the ‘Join A League’ link and search for us.

Here are the details:

  • LEAGUE NAME: Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet
Fantasy NASCAR

2015 NASCAR Preview

Here we go.

The 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup series is almost here. Saturday we start out the year with the Sprint Unlimited. I think this race is for those who can’t wait until some real important racing gets underway. That for me will be this coming Thursday when the Budweiser Duels are run. This is when I get really interested in the season. I know that there is qualifying on Sunday for the Daytona 500, but that only sets the top two positions and we all know that it doesn’t really matter where you start at Daytona, it’s whether or not you can avoid the big wreck and put yourself in position to win the Great American Race.


Once again I am running a Yahoo Fantasy Racing League. The league is almost full so if you want in get signed up as soon as you can. The Group ID is 4143 and the password is harvick.

Last year was the first year of the new championship format and it was more exciting than I thought it was going to be. I just wish they wouldn’t have one race decide the eventual champion. I do believe that Kevin Harvick deserved to win the championship and he was the best driver on the track week in and week out last year. I just think that a blown tire, accident, or blown engine will knock out a deserving driver in the not so distant future with this system and it is hard to fathom a driver running so well all year and not winning a championship because of one race in 36.


Come back next Friday night to see my picks for the Daytona 500 and let’s get this season started!

Good luck to all of you fantasy race team owners and remember, I am here to give you the best advice I can. It might not be right all of the time, but I do base my opinions on more than just intuition. I do the research and will not just give you an answer to your question, but I will also give you my reasoning behind my answer. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions. I try to answer every question within 24 hours of it being asked.