Fantasy NASCAR NASCAR Fantasy Live


The NASCAR series returns south of the Mason-Dixon this week and returns to Bristol Motor Speedway for the second running of the season. When Brad Keselowski ran into Joey Logano in the early laps, I saw two drivers in my lineup limp to bad results earlier this season. I am hoping for better luck in the second installment.

With only a few races until the Chase, drivers have different strategies. Likewise, your fantasy teams position in the NASCAR Fantasy Live standings should determine how you handle your lineup. If you want to play it safe, choose drivers on the bubble of qualifying for the Chase as they are likely to have conservative setups. If you find yourself at the bottom of the standings, go for broke with drivers who need to win to get in. Either way, the key to Bristol is to pick the drivers who lead laps. Like last week with Matt Kenseth, this is a race of the haves and the have-nots. The amount of laps will enable dramatic swings in the standings. Your basic strategy should be to front-load your lineup in an effort to caputrue the laps led. My recommended lineup is based on a conservative approach based on my current position in the standings.

My first choice for my lineup won the Bristol Food City 500 race in 2015. Though he rarely finds his way onto my team, Matt Kenseth has seen consistent success at the short track. Over the last five Bristol races, he has two wins under his belt and three top-5 finishes. His 508 laps led during this stretch is the best in the series. He only led 47 laps in his winning effort in April, but he spent 100% of his laps inside the top-15 and had an average running position of 3rd. Over the long haul, Kenseth has 14 top-10 finishes since 2005 and has the second-most laps led. In 2015, Kenseth has enjoyed eight top-5 and 14 top-10 finishes in the first 22 races. He has only led 147 laps this entire season, but luckily two of those laps got him to the winner’s circle. Though not usually one of my lineup recommendations, Matt Kenseth should help your team this week.

The 2nd roster spot is reserved to a driver who is not a stranger to my Fantasy Live lineup. Kevin Harvick had a rare bad finish at the last Bristol race, but led 184 laps before being wrecked. With only six top-10 finishes in the last 21 Bristol races, Harvick has not seen long-term success in Tennessee. Harvick has hands-down been the best driver in the Series in 2015. With 15 top-5 finishes and 1,391 laps led this season, Harvick has a high probability for success this week if he can stay clear of the wrecks this time.

While Kyle Busch has long-term success at the track and was a tempting roster choice, there were some low cost drivers that I wanted on my roster. As a result, I had to save some salary cap funds with the 3rd spot. Paul Menard has earned three top-10 finishes in his last five Bristol races. In 2015, Menard has four top-10 finishes and an average finish position of 15.8. My concern with Menard is that I can leave a lot of points on the table with laps led and fast laps, but he should not hurt my team with a solid finish.

I left a little extra salary cap room for the final two spots because I like Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Justin Allgaier. Stenhouse finished in 4th place in the April race at Bristol. Over five starts at the track, Stenhouse has three top-10 finishes and a 9th place average finish position in Bristol. His salary cap figure is low due to a 26th place average finish position in 2015. I expect the #17 car to exceed expectations this week. Justin Allgaier is always a risky option as he ends up in the wall as often as he crosses the finish line. He finished in 8th place in Bristol earlier this season and has a 14th place average finish at the track. Like Stenhouse, his 27th place average finish position in 2015 is pedestrian. There is a chance I could alter my lineup after qualifying to try to capture the laps led points, but I want to keep the #17 and #51 if at all possible. If you look at the numbers, there is value with the budget drivers this week.


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 every week, Fantasy Live uses a salary cap format. First, our formula calculates the average number of points earned by each driver over the last five Bristol races. Next, we divide this number by the Fantasy Live salary cap number to find out which drivers are expected to provide the most value. Joey Logano has been on a tear over the last month and a half. Although he missed my roster, we will use his numbers to further illustrate the formula.


  • Laps Led last five Bristol races: 89 equals 8.9 Fantasy Live points per race
  • Fast Laps: 88 equals 8.8 Fantasy Live points per race
  • Average Finish Position: 16.6 equals 27.4 Fantasy Live points per race
  • Start-to-Finish Differential: Negative 10.4 equals (-10.4 Fantasy Live points per race)
  • Total Fantasy Live points per race: 34.7
  • Fantasy Live salary cap figure: $27.75
  • Fantasy points per dollar: 34.7 divided by $27.75 equals 1.25 points per dollar

Below you will find the Fantasy Live points per dollar for each driver in the field this week. For drivers with no track data, we will use the 2015 numbers to give you an idea how much value to expect this week. My picks are highlighted in bold.

GROUP A ($25.00 or higher)

  • Matt Kenseth 3.68
  • Kevin Harvick 1.89
  • Kurt Busch 1.82
  • Jamie McMurray 1.80
  • Kyle Busch 1.57
  • Brad Keselowski 1.48
  • Jimmie Johnson 1.46
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1.33
  • Joey Logano 1.25
  • Denny Hamlin 0.88

GROUP B ($20.00 – $24.99)

  • Kyle Larson 3.43
  • Carl Edwards 2.78
  • Kasey Kahne 2.43
  • Clint Bowyer 2.19
  • Jeff Gordon 2.10
  • Paul Menard 2.08
  • Ryan Newman 1.58
  • Aric Almirola 1.42
  • Martin Truex Jr. 0.49

GROUP C ($15.00 – $19.99)

  • Tony Stewart 2.62
  • Austin Dillon 2.22
  • Greg Biffle 2.10

GROUP D ($10.00 – $14.99)

  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 4.78
  • Justin Allgaier 3.76
  • Sam Hornish Jr. 3.10
  • Danica Patrick 2.46
  • AJ Allmendinger 1.66
  • Trevor Bayne 1.47
  • David Ragan 1.42
  • Casey Mears 1.36
  • Cole Whitt 0.97
  • Ryan Blaney 0.73 *

GROUP E ($9.99 or lower)

  • Travis Kvapil 5.12
  • Reed Sorenson 5.00
  • JJ Yeley 4.09
  • Michael Annett 3.69
  • Matt DiBenedetto 3.31
  • Alex Bowman 2.92
  • Josh Wise 2.85
  • David Gilliland 2.42
  • Brett Moffitt 1.79
  • Mike Bliss 1.48
  • Michael McDowell 0.81
  • Timmy Hill 0.20
  • Jeb Burton (-0.95)

* Driver has no track data, and we are using his 2015 numbers.