Fantasy NASCAR NASCAR Fantasy Live


The Chase has now started.

Like most weeks, you should front-load your lineup. I do not anticipate this week to be one where there is a great disparity in the standings because the laps led statistic is historically spread out. Congratulations to those of you who did not take my advice and rostered Matt Kenseth. Your standings took a hit if he missed your lineup.

The good news for Fantasy NASCAR players is that we now do not have to worry about teams experimented since the races matter now for all teams. You should concentrate on drivers who are Chase eligible since they have the most to race for in the next 10 races.

Kevin Harvick will continue to be my recommended pick for your roster. With the most laps and fast laps of any driver in 2015, Harvick provides a high probability for success every week. He also has the most top-5 finishes and the best average finish position of any driver in the series. In last year’s race at Chicago, Harvick led the most laps on his way to a 4th place finish. Harvick has three top-10 finishes in his last five races in Chicago. In eight large oval track races in 2015, Harvick has 403 laps led and 271 fast laps. Both numbers are good for the best in the series. He also boasts a 7th place average finish position and 96% of his laps inside the top-15 for similarly configured tracks. When you combine track success, track type success and 2015 success, you have a driver who you want in your lineup.

While the #2 and Brad Keselowski have not been an elite team in 2015, they are still one of the 10 best teams. Keselowski won the Chicago race in 2014, and led 62 laps on his way to the checkered flag. With three top-5 finishes in his last five Chicago races and two wins at the track, Keselowski has proven to be able to find success. On large oval tracks in 2015, Keselowski has finished inside the top-10 in all eight races. With an average finish position of 6.3 and 95% of his laps inside the top-15 for similarly tracks, Keselowski should continue his success this week in Chicago.

The decision for the third roster spot became a decision between Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, and Kyle Busch. Jimmie Johnson has the best track history, and Joey Logano has the best 2015 numbers of the three drivers. The Hendricks cars have not been as dominant, and I did not like Logano’s track numbers at Chicago. As a result, the recommended third driver is Kyle Busch. Kyle Busch finished in 7th place in 2014 while leading 46 laps during the race. He has three top-10 finishes in his last five races. With four wins in 2015, his team has proved itself to be one of the best in the series since July. While his numbers at large oval tracks is mediocre, Kyle Busch won at Kentucky earlier this season. Unless he struggles in qualifying, Kyle Busch will find his way onto my roster this week.

With a front-loaded lineup, the drawback is that there is not a lot of salary cap room for the final two roster spots. David Ragan is starting to find a pattern of having no fantasy value due to his qualifying speeds. The start-to-finish differential is hurting his value. Nonetheless, he has a 20th place average finish position over his last five Chicago races. You would be hard-pressed to find a better driver. I barely had enough budget for the fifth roster spot. This will tentatively go to Brett Moffitt, who is averaging a 30th place finish in 2015. As always, I will keep an eye on qualifying and may consider the 43rd driver in hopes of start-to-finish differential points.


Fantasy Live on uses a scoring system that combines fast laps, laps led, average finish position, or start-to-finish differential. In order to prevent us from starting the best drivers each week, Fantasy Live uses a salary cap format. Our formula calculate the number of Fantasy Live points earned by each driver over the last five Chicago races. Next, we divide the number by the Fantasy Live salary cap figure. The end result is a number that provides us with an idea of which drivers provide value each week. Jimmie Johnson has the most laps led over the past five Chicago races, yet missed my lineup. As a consolation prize, we will use his Chicago numbers over the past five races to explain the formula.


  • Average finish position last five Chicago races: 10.8 equals 33.2 Fantasy Live points
  • Start-to-finish differential: Negative 4.6 equals negative 4.6 Fantasy Live points
  • Laps Led: 343 equals 34.3 Fantasy Live points
  • Fast laps: 217 equals 21.7 Fantasy Live points
  • Total Fantasy Live points last five Chicago races: 84.6
  • Fantasy Live Salary Cap Figure: $26.25
  • Points per Fantasy Dollar: 84.6 divided by $26.25 equals 3.22

Below you see the Fantasy Live points per dollar for each driver entered in this week’s race. Suggested picks are in bold. For rookie drivers with no history at Chicagoland, we will use their 2015 numbers to provide an idea of their value. Good luck with your picks as we enter the first round of the playoffs.

GROUP A ($25.00 or higher)

  • Jimmie Johnson 3.22
  • Brad Keselowski 2.68
  • Kyle Busch 2.07
  • Kevin Harvick 2.06
  • Matt Kenseth 1.89
  • Kurt Busch 1.54
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1.08
  • Joey Logano 1.07
  • Denny Hamlin 0.99

GROUP B ($20.00 – $24.99)

  • Kyle Larson 3.55
  • Jeff Gordon 2.03
  • Kasey Kahne 2.01
  • Martin Truex Jr. 1.66
  • Carl Edwards 1.61
  • Ryan Newman 1.56
  • Clint Bowyer 1.46
  • Jamie McMurray 1.45
  • Paul Menard 0.81
  • Greg Biffle 0.70

GROUP C ($15.00 – $19.99)

  • Austin Dillon 1.77
  • Sam Hornish Jr. 1.30

GROUP D ($10.00 – $14.99)

  • Tony Stewart 3.91
  • Danica Patrick 2.34
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 2.24
  • Justin Allgaier 1.71
  • Trevor Bayne 1.57
  • AJ Allmendinger 1.25
  • Casey Mears 0.93
  • Cole Whitt 0.50
  • Ryan Blaney 0.48*

GROUP E ($9.99 or lower)

  • Travis Kvapil 4.68
  • JJ Yeley 3.53
  • David Ragan 3.18
  • Timmy Hill 3.16
  • Matt DiBenedetto 2.53*
  • Brett Moffitt 2.52*
  • Reed Sorenson 2.38
  • Jeb Burton 3.11*
  • Timmy Hill 1.89*
  • David Gilliland 1.88
  • Landon Cassill 1.62
  • Alex Bowman 1.47
  • Josh Wise 1.05
  • Brian Scott 0.52*
  • Michael Annett (-0.17)
  • Michael McDowell (-0.58)

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


Out of the kindness of my heart I will mention that Sam Hornish Jr. in the last 4 finishes at Chicago ranks 10th with an average finish of 11th. A bargain in any game.

Ooops, his best was 11th, not his average. This is why you should leave this advice thing to the professionals. ‘Have a good race’ to you all.

Thanks, me too. I still am looking at Sam for the bottom of my picks. I found this on the Jayski track/tire notes:
“this tire combination was confirmed for Chicagoland in a tire test at the track on July 13-14 . . . drivers participating in that test were Dale Earnhardt Jr., Sam Hornish, Martin Truex Jr. and J.J. Yeley . ”
That kind of track time should help him. He finished 11th once in a Penske 22 car. RPM now has a Penske affiliation. Maybe………

I am pulling for Hornish to do well in races. He will be starting 22nd and was 23rd in practice speeds. There is not enough there for me to start him with a $15.00 value unless he leads some laps. Hopefully, I am wrong and he has a good run tomorrow. I will consider Yeley for the bottom part of my lineup over Moffitt because I did not know he tested in Chicago.

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