Fantasy NASCAR NASCAR Fantasy Live


After a week off from fantasy racing due to the All-Star race, we stay at Charlotte this weekend for the longest race of the NASCAR season. 600-miles is a battle of attrition to the drivers and teams in NASCAR and can also feel like a battle of attrition to those of us watching with young kids in the house. Difficulties aside, Memorial Day is always an exciting racing weekend. Due to the extra laps, front-loading your lineup is important this week. My suggestion, like most weeks, is to choose your three favorite drivers and fill in the rest of your roster with the best budget options available.

The driver who has the highest probability for success this week is Kevin Harvick. For the 2015 season, Harvick is rewarding us with a series-best 4.87 points per Fantasy Live dollar. He should be considered for your lineup every week. Combined with his 2015 numbers, Harvick also has a series best average finish position of 5.2 over the last five Charlotte races. During the same time span, he has spent an astounding 97% of his laps running in the top-15. Even though he has a commanding salary cap figure, you have to keep starting Kevin Harvick in all fantasy NASCAR formats.

The next driver for my suggested lineup is a high-risk high-reward racer on most weeks. At Charlotte, Kasey Kahne is among the most successful drivers in the series. With a 7.2 average finish position over the past five Charlotte races, Kahne has the second best average finish position in the series. He also has the second-most laps led in the series. With 13 top-10 finishes in his last 20 races at the North Carolina track, Kahne is a lower risk than most weeks. His salary cap figure is slightly lower than the other front-runners and should provide a little more flexibility at the bottom of your roster.

With 347 laps led over the last five Charlotte races, Jimmie Johnson will likely find success this week. Johnson has already won three races this season and is one of the top drivers in the series over the last few weeks. His 93% of his laps in the top-15 is second-best in the series to Kevin Harvick. Over the first 11 races in 2015, Jimmie Johnson is rewarding fantasy owners with 2.80 points per fantasy dollar. For the top drivers in the series, he is providing the second-most value per dollar.

With high dollar options for the top three drivers on my roster, there is little salary cap room for the final two spots. I have ignored David Gilliland for the 2015 season because he consistently runs in the bottom third. His track data, as evidenced by his 29th place average over the last five Charlotte races, is not overly impressive. In 2015, he is offering over three points per fantasy dollar. Most of this is due to a plus nine start-to-finish differential. Gilliland will stay on my roster unless he qualifies better than average. I may sub Chase Elliott for Gilliland depending on practice times and qualifying.

Another driver who benefits from start-to-finish differential is Matt DiBenedetto. With a plus seven figure and an average finish position of 30th, he is providing great value in 2015. While these numbers do not sound overly impressive, the translation is 3.78 fantasy points per dollar this year. This value is third-best in the series behind Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch.


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 top drivers every week, Fantasy Live uses a salary cap format. Our formula calculates the average number of Fantasy Live points earned by each driver over the last five Charlotte races. Next, we divide this number by the Fantasy Live salary cap figure. The end result is that we know which drivers will provide the most value each week. Kurt Busch does not have the track history at Charlotte, but has provided the second-most value of any driver in the series in 2015. As a consolation prize, we will use his Charlotte numbers to further illustrate the formula.


  • Laps Led last five Charlotte races: 10 laps equals 1 points per race
  • Fast laps last five Charlotte races: 37 laps equals 3.7 points per race
  • Average finish position: 17.8 equals 26.2 points per race
  • Start-to-finish differential: Negative 3.4 equals (-3.4) points per race
  • Average number of points last five Charlotte races: 27.50
  • Fantasy Live salary cap figure: $25.50
  • Points per dollar: 27.5 divided by 25.5 equals 1.08 points per dollar

Below you will find the points per dollar rankings for each driver. For drivers with no track history, we will use 2015 numbers. Feel free to add your team to the comments section and check the comments after qualifying for any additional updates.

GROUP A ($25.00 or higher)

  • Jimmie Johnson 3.16
  • Kevin Harvick 3.09
  • Brad Keselowski 2.33
  • Matt Kenseth 2.24
  • Denny Hamlin 1.89
  • Jamie McMurray 1.89
  • Jeff Gordon 1.82
  • Kyle Busch 1.73
  • Joey Logano 1.50
  • Kyle Larson 1.31
  • Kurt Busch 1.08
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 0.60

GROUP B ($20.00 – $24.99)

  • Kasey Kahne 3.62
  • Carl Edwards 2.23
  • Ryan Newman 1.58
  • Clint Bowyer 1.42
  • Martin Truex Jr. 1.42
  • Greg Biffle 1.33
  • Aric Almirola 0.94
  • Paul Menard 0.82

GROUP C ($15.00 – $19.99)

  • Austin Dillon 2.58
  • Sam Hornish Jr. 2.20
  • Tony Stewart 2.12

GROUP D ($10.00 – $14.99)

  • Trevor Bayne 2.35
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 1.94
  • David Gilliland 1.90
  • Casey Mears 1.37
  • David Ragan 1.21
  • Ryan Blaney 0.77*
  • Danica Patrick 0.52

GROUP E ($9.99 or lower)

  • Matt DiBenedetto 3.78*
  • Michael Annett 3.28
  • Landon Cassill 2.24
  • Chase Elliott 2.22*
  • Brendan Gaughan 2.13*
  • Cole Whitt 1.94
  • Alex Bowman 1.86
  • Jeb Burton 1.42*
  • Josh Wise 1.15
  • Michael McDowell 1.00
  • JJ Yeley 0.67
  • Brett Moffitt 0.34

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


I Picked Johnson, Kyle Busch, Kahne, David Ragan, and that 51 Car of Allgaier

Kahne qualified 33rd, a 10th place finish would net 57 points and be a good value for the roster. I tweaked the back part of my roster and will roll with Harvick, Johnson, Kahne, Chase Elliott, and Cole Whitt unless something significant happens in practice. I never thought I’d say this, but I will be pulling for Kyle Busch to finish strong. The 600 miles is too much risk coming back from injury so I will stick with safer options.

Kahne is a easy pick for this track, he likes to race here and has won plenty of events at this track. He won the truck race last week and finished 2nd yesterday so expect to see him running up front. I went with Harvick and Johnson, Harvick has proven he is the king of 1.5 mile tracks this season and Johnsons success here goes without saying. My only concern with Johnson is this 2 level tire they are using has changed the way the cars drive here and the 48 & 88 Shop have struggled to get their heads around the setup, but its a 600 mile event so Chad has plenty of stops to get the setup correct. I went with the 2 throwaway drivers you did as well Bill, starting in the back they might pickup a few points.

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