Fantasy NASCAR NASCAR Fantasy Live


After a rain-soaked Phoenix race, we are now in the Championship Round of the Sprint Cup Series. The four remaining drivers have all seen a degree of success in Homestead and should be a competitive race between the contenders. For the final week of Fantasy NASCAR, my advice is to start three of the Championship drivers in your lineup. Not only will they have the most to gain from winning the race, but having them in your lineup should make the race more entertaining. If you are in a position to take risks, then take off-the-wall suggestions and hope that the chaos that is fantasy racing works in your favor.

Of the remaining drivers, I feel that Kevin Harvick offers the best chance for victory. Harvick barely had the opportunity to be in this stage and needed a controversial finish at Talladega to help advance to the final round. Harvick was in the same position in 2014 and needed to win for the championship. Over the last five races at this track, Harvick has finished in the top-10 in every race with a 6th place average finish position. At similarly configured tracks, Harvick has two wins and five top-5 finishes. His 816 laps led on steep tracks in 2015 is 564 more laps led than the 2nd best driver. With 22 top-5 finishes in 2015, Harvick has found the consistency to be a contender all season and is a great choice for your lineup this week.

Another championship favorite this week comes from a one-car team. Though they appear to be underdogs to the more established teams, Martin Truex Jr. will be racing at one of his best tracks this weekend. Over the last five Homestead races, Truex Jr. has an 8th place average finish position. During the same time span, he has spent 84% of his laps inside the top-15. This figure is 2nd best in the series. My biggest concern with Truex Jr. is that he only has a 14th place average in similar track types. With a championship on the line, I expect the team with 23 top-10 finishes in 2015 to be a useful addition to your fantasy lineup.

The next roster spot was a close pick between Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch. My pick may come down to qualifying. For now, I am going with the retiring driver because he has found more consistency at the track. Kyle Busch has not been as consistent and narrowly misses my lineup. With the 2nd most laps led over the last five Homestead races and three top-10 finishes, Gordon has seen success at Homestead. I had written this team off in all occasions only a couple of months ago, but they have found consistency once the Chase started. Like Truex, Gordon has been underwhelming in similarly configured tracks and only has a 13th place average. Gordon will be a fan favorite to bow out of the NASCAR series with a championship in his last race. He is the less risky pick, but should be helpful to your lineup as well.

With three Championship eligible drivers eating up the majority of my budget, I need to go with budget options for the last two roster spots. Justin Allgaier has a great chance to outperform his salary cap figure this week. Allgaier finished in 15th place last year with 18% of his laps inside the top-15 during the race. His average finish of 25th on steep tracks in 2015 is not overly impressive, but even that should provide some value from his roster spot. Ty Dillon has a 22nd place average finish in limited action this season and has provided adequate fantasy value. He will be the final roster spot unless something stands out in qualifying.


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 starting the best drivers each 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 Homestead races. Next, we divide that number by the Fantasy Live salary cap figure. The end result is a number that predicts which drivers have a good chance to provide value this week. Since Kyle Busch is the odd man out of the championship drivers this week, we will use his numbers to further illustrate this formula.


  • Average finish position last five Homestead races: 21st equals 23 Fantasy Live points
  • Start-to-finish differential: Negative 5.4 equals negative 5.4 Fantasy Live points
  • Laps led: 207 equals 20.7 Fantasy Live points
  • Fast laps: 100 equals 10 Fantasy Live points
  • Average Fantasy Live points per race: 48.3
  • Fantasy Live Salary Cap Figure: $27.75
  • Fantasy Live points per dollar: 48.3 divided by $27.75 equals 1.74 points per dollar

Below you will see the Fantasy Live points per salary cap dollar for each driver this week. We will use the 2015 numbers for rookies with no track history. I hope that your teams found success in the 2015 season. Daytona will be around the corner before we know it!

GROUP A ($25.00 or higher)

  • Carl Edwards 2.79
  • Jeff Gordon 2.32
  • Kevin Harvick 2.21
  • Matt Kenseth 2.21
  • Denny Hamlin 2.16
  • Kyle Busch 1.74
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1.61
  • Brad Keselowski 1.24
  • Joey Logano 0.69
  • Kurt Busch 0.67

GROUP B ($20.00 – $24.99)

  • Martin Truex Jr. 2.29
  • Clint Bowyer 2.16
  • Ryan Newman 2.05
  • Kyle Larson 1.94
  • Aric Almirola 1.85
  • Paul Menard 1.24
  • Jamie McMurray 1.11
  • Jimmie Johnson 1.07

GROUP C ($15.00 – $19.99)

  • Kasey Kahne 1.86
  • Austin Dillon 1.16
  • Greg Biffle 0.85

GROUP D ($10.00 – $14.99)

  • Tony Stewart 3.99
  • Justin Allgaier 2.73
  • Danica Patrick 2.72
  • Casey Mears 1.68
  • Cole Whitt 1.43
  • AJ Allmendinger 1.33
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 0.67
  • Ryan Blaney 0.28 *
  • Trevor Bayne 0.23

GROUP E ($9.99 or lower)

  • Reed Sorenson 6.74
  • Ty Dillon 3.20 *
  • Alex Bowman 3.04
  • Michael Annett 2.57
  • David Gilliland 2.34
  • Brett Moffitt 2.22
  • Matt DiBenedetto 2.07 *
  • Jeb Buron 2.00 *
  • Ryan Preece 2.00 *
  • Landon Cassill 1.63
  • David Ragan 0.98
  • Josh Wise 0.88
  • Michael McDowell 0.40
  • JJ Yeley 0.27

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

NASCAR Fantasy Live

NASCAR Fantasy Live Picks, 2014 Homestead-Miami, EcoBoost 400

This week’s championship race at Homestead will have a difficult time matching the excitement generated by the Phoenix race. When the dust settled in Arizona, we are left with four drivers who could win the title this week.

While he has been out of my Fantasy Live lineup most of the season, Carl Edwards has a track history that makes him a front-runner this week. Edwards has 5 Top Five finishes in his last 9 Homestead races. His lap-to-lap performance is the best in the series as evidenced by 86% of his laps in the Top 15 and an average running position of 7.9 since 2005. He is also on top of the series in laps led and fast laps. Over his last five Homestead races, Edwards has the best average finish position in the series and will be a contributor in my lineup.

The second choice for my lineup is one of the four drivers vying for a championship. Kevin Harvick has 4 Top Five finishes in his last 9 Homestead races. With 75% of his laps in the Top 15 and an average running position of 10.9 since 2005, Harvick is the fourth-best driver in lap-to-lap performance. Considering his dominant effort at Phoenix, Harvick is a great choice for your roster this week.

I had a difficult time deciding between Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin for the third roster spot. While Kenseth has better numbers at the track, Hamlin will be my pick due to his chance to win the season title. Picking contenders will make the race more exciting to watch from a fantasy perspective. Hamlin has a ninth place average finish position over the last five races and the fourth-most laps led. With 4 Top Five finishes in his last 9 races, Hamlin could easily find a way to win the championship. Cases can also be made to start Martin Truex Jr. if you need to gain points on the leaders. He has excellent track data.

For Fantasy Racing, your strategy should reflect your position in the standings. Leaders should take a conservative approach and start the drivers with the highest probability for success. Those of us behind in the standings should take risks with drivers in order to gain points on the other players. Your level of risk should coincide with how many points you are behind the leaders. Whatever your strategy, we will have champions this time next week in NASCAR and in our fantasy leagues. Good luck as you try to capture your league title.

There was not a ton of salary cap room available after selecting the top three drivers. Hamlin and Edwards have a salary cap figure that is a little lower than some of the top drivers I have been recommending. As a result of the extra space, I had enough cap room to afford Justin Allgaier this week. While Allgaier does not have any track data, he has a 26th place average finish position in 2014. He was a slightly better option than some of the other budget options. With the remaining salary cap, the fifth selection will be Brian Scott. While Scott only has a 33rd place average in 2014 races, he should provide decent value at a $7.25 salary cap figure.


Fantasy Live on uses a scoring system that combines laps led, fast laps, 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. Our formula simply calculates the average number of Fantasy Live points accumulated by each driver over the last five Homestead races and divides that number by the salary cap figure. The end result is a number that indicates how many points to expect from each salary cap figure. Matt Kenseth has some of the best track data at Homestead and is one of the best drivers in the series in 2014, but he missed the cut for my lineup. As a consolation prize, we will use his Homestead data to illustrate the formula.


  • Average finish position last five Homestead races: 9th place equals 35 points
  • Start-to-finish differential: Plus 4 equals 4 points
  • Fast laps: Cannot be calculated with 100% accuracy
  • Laps Led: 162 laps equals 16.2 points
  • Average Fantasy Live points per race: 55.20
  • Fantasy Live Salary Cap Figure: $27.75
  • Fantasy Points per dollar: 55.20 divided by 27.75 equals 1.99

Since this is the first race at Homestead this season, several rookies have not raced at the track. For these rookies, we will use their 2014 data to give you an idea how many points to expect from them. See the Fantasy Live points per dollar figures below with this week’s suggestions in bold.

GROUP A ($25.00 or higher)

  • Carl Edwards 2.82
  • Kevin Harvick 1.99
  • Matt Kenseth 1.99
  • Clint Bowyer 1.75
  • Ryan Newman 1.37
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1.36
  • Jeff Gordon 1.33
  • Brad Keselowski 0.97
  • Jimmie Johnson 0.88
  • Joey Logano 0.73

GROUP B ($20.00 – $24.99)

  • Denny Hamlin 2.65
  • Martin Truex Jr. 2.44
  • Tony Stewart 2.36
  • Aric Almirola 2.05
  • Brian Vickers 1.66
  • Kyle Larson 1.48
  • Austin Dillon 1.41
  • Kasey Kahne 1.33
  • Greg Biffle 1.04
  • Paul Menard 0.94
  • Jamie McMurray 0.84
  • Marcus Ambrose 0.69
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 0.10

GROUP C ($15.00 – $19.99)

  • Danica Patrick 1.78
  • AJ Allmendinger 1.53
  • Justin Allgaier 1.20
  • Casey Mears 1.12

GROUP D ($10.00 – $14.99)

  • David Gilliland 1.42
  • David Ragan 0.89
  • Trevor Bayne 0.43
  • Cole Whitt (-0.09)

GROUP E ($9.99 or lower)

  • Reed Sorensen 2.18
  • Michael Annett 2.10
  • Alex Bowman 1.33
  • Michael McDowell 1.33
  • Brett Moffitt 1.17
  • Landon Cassill 1.09
  • JJ Yeley 0.18
  • Blake Koch 0.00
  • Josh Wise (-0.15)
  • Brian Scott (-0.41)
Fantasy NASCAR

2014 Homestead-Miami Speedway, Ford EcoBoost 400

The field is set for the first championship race under the new Chase format. Four drivers and four different owners will vie for the championship this week at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The four drivers and their respective teams are Kevin Harvick, driving in his first season for Stewart-Haas Racing, Joey Logano, driving for Penske Racing, Denny Hamlin, driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, and Ryan Newman driving for Childress Racing. None of these drivers has ever won a Sprint Cup championship, but that will change for one of them this weekend.

Out of these four drivers, the one who comes away with the best finishing position this week will become the new Sprint Cup champion. Hopefully they all have great cars and we can see who really deserves to win the championship in a close race. The intensity of this race is going to be something hardly ever seen in any professional sport. Every pit stop, every restart, and every crew chief decision will have a bearing on who win the championship.


Kevin Harvick: I am going to pick Kevin to win the championship and do it by winning the race this weekend. This team has been the fastest and most consistent of all the teams left in the Chase, they haven’t had mechanical issues lately, and they qualify well every week. I think they win the pole and the race. Although he has never won a race here, Kevin has finished in the top ten in nine of his last ten starts at this track.

Joey Logano: Joey has only been slightly behind Kevin when it comes to being fast and consistent, especially on the mile and a half tracks. I think this team will once again qualify in the top five and make this an exciting race all the way to the end. Joey has only run five races at this track and came away with his best finish last season when he came away in eighth place.

Denny Hamlin: Don’t count this team out. Denny won this race last season and that is what you need to do to guarantee yourself a championship this year. This team is going to come into this race with a lot of confidence and should be able to have a great setup under their car when they unload it from the trailer. In nine starts at this track, Denny has two wins and five top ten finishes. Any of these drivers can be this year’s champion.

Ryan Newman: Hardly anyone gave this team a chance to even make it to the second round of the Chase, but here they are in the championship race. Ryan is also in his first year with Richard Childress Racing and he never gives up. This can be seen in the pass he made on the last lap of the race at Phoenix and I’m sure he is going to do something very nice for Kyle Larson after he used him to stay off the wall and make the pass he needed to make it to this round. Ryan’s best finish at Homestead-Miami was a third place finish he came away with two years ago.

Jeff Gordon: Jeff missed the final round of the Chase by the narrowest of margins and that will give him incentive to win the race this weekend. Even though he can’t be the champion this season, they can show everyone what they could have done if they would have had on more point heading into the final race of the year. Jeff won this race two years ago and has finished in the top ten in eleven of his fifteen career starts here.

Carl Edwards: Carl has two wins at this track, but he has struggled at the mile and a half tracks this season. I think his team was doing everything they could for him while he still had a shot at the championship, but now they are probably looking towards next season without Carl. Carl is moving to Joe Gibbs Racing next year and will be replaced with Trevor Bayne who will run full-time for Roush/Fenway Racing.

Jimmie Johnson: Jimmie has never won a race at Homestead, but that might be because all he had to do was stay out of trouble to win championships. This week he will have nothing to lose and can cross this track off his bucket list if he can get his first win here. I really think that this team is going to try some different things this weekend to see if they can figure out why they weren’t as good as past seasons.

Greg Biffle: Greg won three races in a row from 2004 to 2006 at this track, but has struggled here a bit after it was reconfigured. He is another Roush driver that hasn’t had the speed that the Penske teams have had this season, even though both teams run the same engines under the hood. I would have to guess that there is something missing from their aero package and they would like to figure that out before next season.

Tony Stewart: Tony has also won three races at this track, but this team has struggled on this type of track this year. It really seems odd that they have done so, when Kevin Harvick has been just the opposite and they both run for the same organization. Tony won the first two races he ran at this track and then won his third race here two years ago. Winning this race would give this team a boost they need as they head into the off season.

Matt Kenseth: Matt finished second in this race last season and doesn’t want to go into the off-season knowing he didn’t win a race this year after winning six races the previous season. This team is going to do everything they can to find the speed they need to win a race on an intermediate track and then come back next year and win multiple races before the start of the Chase.


Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Kevin Harvick
  • Jeff Gordon

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Ryan Newman
  • Greg Biffle
  • Carl Edwards
  • Tony Stewart

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Kyle Larson
  • Danica Patrick


  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Joey Logano
  3. Jeff Gordon
  4. Jimmie Johnson
  5. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Dark Horse: Kyle Larson

Stay Away From: Brian Vickers

Fantasy NASCAR

2013 Homestead-Miami Speedway, Ford EcoBoost 400

Jimmie Johnson extended his lead over Matt Kenseth to twenty-eight points and still leads Kevin Harvick by thirty-four points as we head into the final race of the season next Sunday afternoon. All of the other drivers have been eliminated from contention and all Jimmie has to do is finish in the top twenty to secure his sixth championship. However, an accident, blown engine or some other catastrophic mishap could open the door for Matt or Kevin.

For the final week the series heads to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the running of the Ford EcoBoost 400. This track is another mile and a half track that has progressive banking in the corners. I think that we will see Matt and Kevin let it all hang out, while Jimmie might just play it safe to ensure himself the championship.


Kevin Harvick: While Kevin has never won a race at this track, he has been one of the most consistent drivers here. He has finished in the top ten in ten of twelve races that he has run at this track and that includes five top five finishes also.

Matt Kenseth: Matt has won a race at this track during his career and we all know how good he has been on this type of track all season. He has nothing to lose by trying to win this race and I am sure that he is going to give it everything he has to give himself a shot at his second championship.

Jimmie Johnson: Like I said, Jimmie only needs to finish in the top twenty to win his sixth championship, but he has been very good at Homestead throughout his career. However, he hasn’t done that well the past two seasons finishing worse than thirtieth in both of those races and losing the rear housing of his car last year. Anything can still happen.

Carl Edwards: Carl has been the class of the field here during the nine races he has run at this track. He has won two of the past five races here and has finished in the top five in five of those nine starts he has had here. However, this team hasn’t been the greatest at this type of track this season.

Greg Biffle: Greg won three races in a row at Homestead from 2004-2006. He likes to race at this track and knows how to get around it in a hurry. However, like Carl Edwards this season, Greg hasn’t been very consistent, so I’m thinking that the Roush/Fenway drivers don’t quite have the new Gen 6 car figured out when it comes to these types of tracks.

Jeff Gordon: Jeff won this race last season and has really been good during the Chase this year. This team looks like they might be ready to compete for a championship once again next season and would love to win the last race of the year to keep their confidence up heading into next season.

Kasey Kahne: Kasey has never won a race at Homestead yet, but he has been very good almost every week early in the races. This team just needs to make the right adjustments towards the end of the race to give themselves a shot at visiting victory lane.

Martin Truex Jr.: Martin has had a disappointing season, but this is the type of track that he excels at and he has been very good here during his career with six top ten finishes in eight starts. This will be the last race he runs for MWR and I’m sure he would like to go out a winner.

Clint Bowyer: Clint started out having a great year, but that all went south for him during the Chase. He finished second in this race last season and is another driver in the MWR stable that should have a great car once again this weekend.

Kurt Busch: Kurt has fallen off a bit lately after having a superb year running on a one car team. He proved that he is still an elite driver and that he can get it done no matter how much backing his team has. I think that he could be a serious contender once again next season when he moves to Stewart/Haas Racing. He has finished in the top five in four of his twelve career starts at Homestead.


Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Kevin Harvick
  • Matt Kenseth

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Carl Edwards
  • Greg Biffle
  • Joey Logano
  • Martin Truex Jr.

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr .
  • Elliott Sadler


  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Matt Kenseth
  3. Jeff Gordon
  4. Kasey Kahne
  5. Jimmie Johnson

Dark Horse: Joey Logano

Stay Away From: Brad Keselowski