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NASCAR Fantasy Live Picks, 2014 Talladega Superspeedway, Aaron’s 499

Sunday’s race in Talladega will be hard-pressed to top a Richmond track that had a fantastic finish accompanied by hot tempers and one black eye!

Last week’s picks for Richmond yielded 199 points (1.99 points per fantasy dollar). The final standings were decent; however, my choices did not lead enough laps to win the league. This week’s most valuable driver is Reed Sorensen, even though his data is only from one race (5.33 points per dollar). He passed thirty cars for an 11th place finish in his only spring race at the track. Drivers with five races at the track with the most value were David Gilliland and David Ragan. Both drivers had consistent success at the track.

From the perspective of Fantasy Nascar advice, the Alabama track is nearly impossible to predict. Drivers quickly move to the front and back of the field. All we can do is make the best picks that we can hoping the crashes miss our choices, and they find the right line when the race comes to a close.

With the new playoff format, this will be a highly competitive race that offers a potential playoff spot to teams that usually do not run at the top of the field.


Even with the unpredictable nature of restrictor plate tracks, some drivers have better performances at Talladega than others.

The most consistent driver over the last ten years is Dale Earnhardt Jr. Over the last ten spring races, Dale has an average finish of eleventh. Matt Kenseth is also a solid option and has led the most laps over the last five years.

Other drivers with recent success at the track include Kurt Busch, Dave Ragan, and Clint Bowyer.

FANTASY NASCAR LIVE SALARY CAP uses a salary cap format, which limits you from selecting all of the top drivers.

Using a combination of final race standing, fast laps, laps led, and differential from start to finish, this format forces uses to find the diamonds in the rough each week. In order to discover the value drivers, this article looks at the total points accumulated by each driver over their last five spring races at Talladega.

The only data point that will not be included is the fast laps because I cannot promise 100% accuracy of the data.

Basically, the formula that is used is simply dividing the average points accumulated per week for each driver divided by their salary cap number listed on The end result is the total number of points earned per salary cap dollar.

This data below from Matt Kenseth’s last five spring Talladega races should help.


  • Matt Kenseth Total number of laps led last five years: 234 (46.8 per race average)
  • Matt Kenseth Average lap points on format (1 point/2 laps led): 23.4 per race
  • Matt Kenseth Average point differential: (-7)
  • Matt Kenseth Average finish: 18th (26 fantasy points)
  • Current Matt Kenseth salary on 28.25
  • Matt Kenseth’s Fantasy NASCAR Live points per dollar: 42.4/28.25 = 1.5 points per fantasy dollar


In order to incorporate the rookies with no history at Talladega, my formula is using their results for the 2014 season instead of the track data. Another suggestion for success this week is to select drivers who qualify at the back of the field. Their potential to move up the field is very high with restrictor plates and well worth the risk for reliable drivers.

Best Value Picks

  • Reed Sorensen 5.33 (points per fantasy dollar)
  • JJ Yeley 3.71
  • David Ragan 3.43
  • David Gilliland 3.31
  • Michael McDowell 2.67
  • Terry Labonte 2.27
  • Michael Waltrip 2.05

Notable Rookies

  • Michael Annett 3.2 (points per fantasy dollar)
  • Justin Allgaier 3.13
  • Alex Bowman 2.81
  • Cole Whitt 2.81
  • Austin Dillon 2.67
  • Kyle Larson 2.57
  • Brian Scott 2.4

Notable Drivers

  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 1.88 (points per fantasy dollar)
  • Kurt Busch 1.59
  • Matt Kenseth 1.5
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1.5
  • Jamie McMurray 1.39
  • Clint Bowyer 1.34
  • Tony Stewart 1.15
  • Brad Keselowski 1.12
  • Kyle Bush 1.11
  • Denny Hamlin 1.05
  • Carl Edwards 0.98
  • Kevin Harvick 0.87
  • Joey Logano 0.86
  • Jimmie Johnson 0.78
  • Jeff Gordon 0.32


Based on my formula for salary cap drivers here is my line-up for this week’s race at Talladega. My total salary cap used is $100.00

  1. Kurt Busch $27.25
  2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. $27.25
  3. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. $21.25
  4. David Gilliland $13.00
  5. David Ragan $11.25

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