Fantasy NASCAR

2016 Daytona International Speedway, Daytona 500

Here we go! I am getting fired up for the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Denny Hamlin were the class of the field all week long at Daytona and with the big wreck in the second Can-am race on Thursday I don’t want to trust drivers in a backup car without a lot of practice under their belts.

Daytona 500

Seeing it is already late in the week I am going to get to my picks after a little explanation of a game people are playing and I have been asked advice about.

When I was in this game it was called the Big 18. You pick any driver that you think is going to do well that week and you get his points for that race, or finishing position depending on the version of the game and who is running it. The catch is you can only use a driver twice during the season. That means you can use 18 drivers two times each or you might want to use 20 or more drivers. That is your choice, but remember you can only use each driver twice.

When I played the lowest score won. If your driver won the race you received 0 points if he finished second you got 2 points and so on down the line. Lowest scores at the end of the year won the prizes allocated.

I will be adding my picks for this type of game to the end of my article each week. Play along if you would like and send me your picks before the start of each race. Just put it in the comment section at the end of the articles.

My pick for this week’s Big 18 is Casey Mears.

One word of caution before I reveal my roster for this week. Don’t use drivers who you will want to use nine times during the year at other tracks in the Yahoo game. The risk/reward is too great to take chances of them getting caught up in the big one! Now for my Yahoo picks and top 5 overall.


Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  • Denny Hamlin

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Casey Mears
  • Danica Patrick
  • Aric Almirola
  • Paul Menard

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Brian Vickers
  • Michael Waltrip


  1. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  2. Denny Hamlin
  3. Kevin Harvick
  4. Joey Logano
  5. Kyle Busch

Dark Horse: Casey Mears

Stay Away From: Ryan Newman

Big 18: Casey Mears

Fantasy NASCAR

2016 NASCAR Preview

Welcome To Another Season Of Fantasy NASCAR!

We are only about two weeks away from the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season’s first points race. Drivers will try to qualify for the Daytona 500 on February 14th with the top two fastest drivers sitting on the front row.

Once again the final spots will be determined in the Can-Am Duel races on February 18th with a few spots going out on times and to a past champion if one of them needs to make the race.

Daytona 500 – February 21, 2016

The Daytona 500 is scheduled to be run on February 21st with 43 drivers taking the checkered flag as we wait to see not only who will win the “Great American Race”, but who will become this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion.

  • Can Kyle Busch repeat?
  • Will Kevin Harvick run as well as he has the past two seasons?
  • Will Jimmie Johnson be a Championship contender throughout the season?
  • Which NASCAR rookies will run well and will any of them be consistent?

Join My Yahoo Fantasy League

I think this is going to be another interesting season, and once again we will be running our own Yahoo Fantasy Racing League. If you would like to join there is still time, but you better hurry because the league is limited to the first 50 participants and those spots will be going fast. Click on the link and sign up now at Yahoo Fantasy Racing League.

The Group ID is 1257 and the password is busch (all small letters).

I will be back here after the Can-Am Duels (taking place at 7 PM and 9 PM (EST) on Thursday, February 18, 2016) to give you my advice on Yahoo starting lineups for the Daytona 500. So, check back on February 19th if you would like to use some of my advice or even if you just want to see how your team stacks up against mine before the first race of the season.

I will also try to answer any questions that anyone has, so just leave a comment and I will do my best to reply as soon as possible.

Once again, good luck and may the best fantasy player win this league!

Fantasy NASCAR NASCAR Fantasy Live


As the NASCAR summer series continues for the 17th race of the season in Daytona, we are already nearing the half-way point of the NASCAR season. Restrictor plate tracks are the most difficult to predict in the season, but provides an opportunity to gain points on your competition.

The nature of the restrictor plates makes passing easy, and also darts drivers from the front to the back of the field. My lineup early in the week will be a number of drivers who are typically successful at Daytona, but who I choose will be strongly influenced by qualifying position. My suggestion would be to find drivers in the back of the field and take advantage of start-to-finish differential. Generally, you will not benefit greatly from laps led or fast laps this week.

Usually track history is one of the most important statistics to determine my lineup on a week-to-week basis. My first lineup choice this week has nothing to do with track success, but Kevin Harvick has found success almost everywhere this year. His numbers are adequate in Daytona, but not overly impressive. He has two top-5 finishes in his last five Daytona races, including a second-place finish earlier this season. Since 2005, Harvick has the sixth-best average finish position for active drivers in the series. He has also seen nine top-10 finishes in his last 21 Daytona races. All these numbers are not enough evidence to start Harvick. Combining decent track numbers with dominant 2015 numbers, Harvick is a good choice for your lineup this week.

This is a good week to save a roster spot for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Junior has found success at restrictor plate tracks. Over his last five races at Daytona, Junior has an average finish position of 5.6. With three top-5 finishes in five races and 73% of his laps running in the top-15, Junior has proven to be a dependable option on a track where finding dependable drivers is a challenge. Since 2005, the #88 team has eight top-5 finishes at Daytona, the third-most laps led of any active driver, and the best average finish position of any driver. The only thing to keep Junior from my lineup this week would be a high qualifying position.

Most weeks I suggest to front-load your lineup with the three best drivers and fill the remaining spots with value picks. Because there is a low likelihood of a driver dominating in fast laps and laps led this week, I am only choosing two top-tier drivers in order to have higher quality drivers at the bottom of my roster. For the early-week suggestions, I am advising mid-tier drivers who have seen decent success at the track. Casey Mears has an average finish position of 11.6 in his last five Daytona races including four top-10 finishes. His lap-to-lap numbers are not as impressive, but he is worth the risk. Austin Dillon has enjoyed two top-10 finishes in four attempts at the track and a 16th place average finish position. Danica Patrick has two top-10 finishes and an average finish position of 18.2. This strategy enables my lineup to have five drivers who have seen success in Daytona. This lineup is subject to change based on where the drivers qualify. There are many drivers under $10 who provide excellent value.


Fantasy Live on uses a scoring system that combines fast laps, laps led, average 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 to encourage us to strategically arrange our lineup. Our formula calculates the number of Fantasy Live points earned by each driver over the last five Daytona races. Next, we calculate that number by the driver’s salary cap figure to show which drivers are expected to provide value this week. Although he does not get the restrictor plate attention of his teammate, Jimmie Johnson has led the most Daytona laps of any driver over the last five Daytona races. He missed my lineup, but we will use his Daytona statistics to further illustrate the formula.


  • Average finish position last five Daytona races: 10.8 equals 33.2 Fantasy Live points
  • Start-to-finish differential: 0.4 equals 0.4 Fantasy Live points per race
  • Laps Led: 165 laps equals 16.5 Fantasy Live points per race
  • Fast laps: 13 equals 1.3 Fantasy Live points per race
  • Total points per race: 51.40
  • Salary cap figure: $27.75
  • Fantasy Live points per salary cap dollar: 51.4 divided by 27.75 = 1.85 Points per dollar

Below you will find the figures for all drivers this week. For rookie drivers with no Daytona history, we will use their 2015 numbers. We had three DNFs with last week’s suggested Sonoma lineup. All drivers were running well, but mechanical issues and Gilliland’s wreck made for a bad week for my team. I am hoping my suggestions see better success this week. Keep a close eye on qualifying this week and try to find the top drivers who qualify at the back of the field. Feel free to include your roster in the comments below and good luck navigating the restrictor plate track this week.

GROUP A ($25.00 or higher)

  • Denny Hamlin 2.21
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1.98
  • Jimmie Johnson 1.85
  • Kurt Busch 1.57
  • Brad Keselowski 1.52
  • Joey Logano 1.32
  • Kyle Busch 1.00
  • Jeff Gordon 0.93
  • Kevin Harvick 0.82
  • Matt Kenseth 0.54
  • Martin Truex Jr. 0.28

GROUP B ($20.00 – $24.99)

  • Clint Bowyer 1.39
  • Aric Almirola 1.35
  • Ryan Newman 1.26
  • Carl Edwards 0.50
  • Paul Menard 0.38
  • Kyle Larson 0.02
  • Kasey Kahne (-0.05)

GROUP C ($15.00 – $19.99)

  • Austin Dillon 2.09
  • Greg Biffle 1.64
  • Aj Allmendinger 0.70
  • Tony Stewart (-0.33)

GROUP D ($10.00 – $14.99)

  • Sam Hornish Jr. 4.17
  • Casey Mears 3.93
  • Bobby Labonte 2.91
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 2.58
  • David Ragan 2.10
  • Danica Patrick 1.98
  • David Gilliland 1.05
  • Trevor Bayne 1.00
  • Cole Whitt 0.77
  • Ryan Blaney (-1.58)

GROUP E ($9.99 or lower)

  • JJ Yeley 6.70
  • Alex Bowman 5.87
  • Michael Annett 5.19
  • Matt DiBenedetto 3.23*
  • Josh Wise 2.83
  • Brett Moffitt 2.18*
  • Jeb Burton 2.00*
  • Brendan Gaughan 2.00*
  • Justin Allgaier 1.86
  • Landon Cassill 1.33
  • Brian Scott 1.06

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

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