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Fantasy NASCAR NASCAR Fantasy Live

NASCAR FANTASY LIVE PICKS, 2015 TALLADEGA, CAMPINGWORLD500.COM

With one more race remaining in the second round of the Chase, NASCAR returns to eastern Alabama for the second time this season. Restrictor plate tracks are a challenge at this time in the season because there is so much on the line. This track type requires vehicles to be close to each other and usually results in a major wreck involving half of the field. Determining who will lead laps is challenging, and it is rare that one driver will stay out front for very long.

Because moving forward and backwards through the field is constant, the best advice for Fantasy Live is to start drivers who qualify at the back of the field and take advantage of pass differential.

One look at the value totals for the budget drivers will show the value available with budget options. This is the best opportunity to gain on the competition, so take chances this week. The suggested drivers below are the preliminary roster suggestions until qualifying. Check back in the comments after qualifying for additional roster advice and hope your team misses “the big one”.

The driver who is a clear choice for restrictor plate tracks in Dale Earnhardt Jr. Junior won the May race and led 67 laps. In three restrictor plate races in 2015, Earnhardt Jr. has a 1.7 average finish position and two wins. In these three races, the 88 car has led the most laps and has spend 98% of his laps in the top-15. His history of staying at the front of the field may keep him in front of the inevitable big wreck during the race. In his last five Talladega races, Junior has an average finish position of 15.4 and has led the 3rd most laps of any driver. Expect Dale Earnhardt Jr. to find his way on many lineups; he is not a great options for those needing to gain points in their leagues. My biggest concern is that he needs to win to advance and may take unnecessary risks to try to earn an automatic qualifier.

Due to having the 10th best average finish position of drivers in 2015, I debated the next roster decision. The numbers were too much in the driver’s favor at the track, and I decided to recommend Jimmie Johnson based on track numbers. Jimmie Johnson finished 2nd in the May race and has a 3rd place average in three restrictor plate tracks this year. He has led the most laps of any driver over the last five Talladega races. He has also stayed at the front of the field with 90% of his laps in the top-15. Johnson is not as clear of a roster pick as Junior, and he may be a key to gaining on your competition as he stays under the radar. Johnson is not Chase eligible, but he will still make every effort to win this week’s race. His restrictor plate success is enough to consider him for your roster.

Paul Menard finished in 3rd during the May race and is a sneaky pick for your roster. Although no long Chase eligible, the 27 car has a 15th place average finish position in three restrictor plate races in 2015. Seventy-eight percent of his laps has been in the top-15. Like other drivers, I am hoping that will keep him in front of the big wreck. Over the last five Talladega races, Menard has a 15th place average finish position and three top-10 finishes. With only an 18th place average finish position in 2015, Menard will stay under the radar of many rosters and could be a good play.

Adding Menard to the roster enables additional salary cap to be allocated to the final two roster spots. Casey Mears has a 15th place average finish position for three restrictor plate races in 2015. He did not find much success earlier this year in Talladega and finished 28th. Mears has a 22nd place average so far in 2015, and his salary cap figure is low. David Gilliland finished 20th in the May race. I am slightly fantasy biased against Gilliland because he has a tendency of finishing poorly whenever he has found my roster. Nonetheless, Gilliland has two top-10 finishes in his last five Talladega races and outperforms his average finish position on this track. He will probably be bumped, however, for the lowest qualifier.

FANTASY NASCAR LIVE SALARY CAP

Fantasy Live on nascar.com uses a scoring system that combines laps led, fast laps, finish position, and start-to-finish differential. In order to prevent us from 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 Talladega races. Next, we divide that number by the driver’s salary cap figure to determine which drivers provide value at a track. For the first time since early in the season, Kevin Harvick is off my roster. We will use his numbers over the past five Talladega races to further illustrate the formula.

KEVIN HARVICK AT TALLADEGA

  • Average finish position last five Talladega races: 15.2 equals 28.8 Fantasy Live points
  • Start-to-finish differential: Plus 10.4 equals 10.4 Fantasy Live points
  • Laps led: 19 equals 1.9 Fantasy Live points
  • Fast laps: 17 equals 1.7 Fantasy Live points
  • Fantasy Live points per race: 42.8
  • Salary Cap figure: $28.75
  • Fantasy points per dollar: 42.8 divided by $28.75 equals 1.49 points per dollar

It is important to check on qualifying before setting your roster this week. Once again, this is a week to take risks as the upcoming tracks may not provide you with the same opportunities to gain points on your competition. Below are the Fantasy Live points per dollar for each driver in the series:

GROUP A ($25.00 or higher)

  • Jimmie Johnson 1.87
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1.75
  • Kevin Harvick 1.49
  • Matt Kenseth 1.43
  • Denny Hamlin 1.08
  • Kurt Busch 1.04
  • Kyle Busch 0.91
  • Carl Edwards 0.67
  • Joey Logano 0.64
  • Brad Keselowski 0.61

GROUP B ($20.00 – $24.99)

  • Clint Bowyer 1.97
  • Martin Truex Jr. 1.65
  • Paul Menard 1.60
  • Jamie McMurray 1.43
  • Ryan Newman 1.30
  • Kyle Larson 1.25
  • Aric Almirola 1.08
  • Jeff Gordon 0.80
  • Kasey Kahne 0.60

GROUP C ($15.00 – $19.99)

  • Sam Hornish Jr. 2.98
  • Greg Biffle 1.46

GROUP D ($10.00 – $14.99)

  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 3.62
  • Justin Allgaier 3.26
  • Cole Whitt 3.17
  • Bobby Labonte 2.65
  • Michael Waltrip 2.55
  • AJ Allmendinger 2.31
  • Ryan Blaney 1.49
  • Danica Patrick 1.30
  • Casey Mears 1.28
  • Austin Dillon 1.19
  • Tony Stewart 0.41
  • Trevor Bayne (-0.34)

GROUP E ($9.99 or lower)

  • Matt DiBenedetto 7.13
  • Travis Kvapil 6.38
  • Josh Wise 6.10
  • Landon Cassill 5.14
  • JJ Yeley 4.63
  • David Gilliland 4.36
  • Michael Annett 2.57
  • Alex Bowman 2.44
  • David Ragan 2.40
  • Michael McDowell 1.75
  • Timmy Hill 0.84
Categories
Fantasy NASCAR NASCAR Fantasy Live

NASCAR FANTASY LIVE PICKS, 2015 TALLADEGA, GEICO 500

Kurt Busch ended up being the driver we all wanted in our lineups at Richmond and has now punched his ticket into the Chase. We now proceed to the unpredictability of restrictor plate racing this week at Talladega Superspeedway. Typically, there is not a dominating car at the Alabama track so you do not have to aggressively chase laps led and fast laps. I will include drivers in this article who have seen success at Talladega for my early week roster recommendations.

The best strategy is to pick a lineup that qualifies near the back of the field and gain points from start-to-finish differential. The restrictor plates allow drivers to easily move from the front to the back of the field. If you are deep in the standings of the league, you may want to pick drivers who do not see many lineups and hope you get lucky. Set your lineup and hope that when the dust settles, you have four cars who can finish one of the most entertaining races to watch all season.

While Dale Earnhardt Jr. is known for his success in Talladega, the driver who has seen the most recent success is Matt Kenseth. Over the last five races at Talladega, Kenseth has led a series-best 209 laps. His 13.6 average finish position is the best of the top-end drivers. Since 2005, Matt Kenseth has spent 64% of his laps running in the top-15. His 13 top-20 finishes since 2005 is tied with Clint Bowyer for the most in the series. If Kenseth qualifies near the back of the field, he will be the first choice for my lineup.

Speaking of Clint Bowyer, watching his team in 2015 has generally been a painful experience. The restrictor plates are an equalizer for struggling teams and Bowyer has found consistent success at this week’s track. While he has not led too many laps here, Bowyer has an 11th place average at the track and a positive start-to-finish differential. His 13 top-20 finishes in 18 races shows that he usually avoids the big wreck. Bowyer will likely be a member of my roster this week.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is a scary option for most weeks. With a +14 start-to-finish differential and an 11.4 average finish position in three races, Stenhouse has seen early success. He also has two top-10 finishes already and has stayed away from the carnage. In a race filled with quality budget options, Stenhouse has a high probability of success this week.

David Ragan will soon be switching from the #18 team to the #55 team. Whichever team he drives for, he should have a solid run in Talladega. Ragan’s value has increased since the beginning of the season and almost cannot be defined as a budget option unless you have stashed him on your roster. Ragan has averaged a 15th place finish over his last five Talladega races. Although he has only led nine laps during this time span, one of those laps propelled him to victory two years ago. Ragan has ten top-20 finishes in 16 Talladega races. He should be on your roster if he qualifies at the end of the field.

For once, I still have salary cap room available for the 5th roster spot. I am regretting leaving Kurt Busch off of my roster last week. He has not seen recent success at the track, as evidenced by his 25th place average finish position during the last five Talladega races. Long-term, he is tied for the best in the series with 64% of his laps inside the top-15 since 2005. With 12 top-20 finishes in 20 races, Kurt Busch can drive well here.

FANTASY NASCAR LIVE SALARY CAP

Fantasy Live on nascar.com uses a scoring system that combines fast laps, laps led, average finish position, and start-to-finish differential. In order to manage the talent we choose every week, Fantasy Live uses a salary cap format. Our formula calculates the average number of points earned by each driver over the past five Talladega races. Next, we divide the average number of points by the salary cap figure to help find potential value. By the end of this weekend, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has a good chance to find my roster. He is off right now, and we will use his numbers to further illustrate the formula.

DALE EARNHARDT JR AT TALLADEGA

  • Average finish position last five Talladega races: 19.2 equals 24.8 Fantasy Live points per race
  • Start-to-finish differential: Negative 1.2 equals negative 1.2 points per race
  • Laps led: 113 equals 11.3 points per race
  • Fast laps: 14 equals 1.4 points per race
  • Total points per Talladega race: 62.67
  • Fantasy Live Salary Cap Figure: $27.25
  • Points per Dollar:62.67 divided by $27.25 equals 2.30 points per dollar

Below you will find the Points per Dollar for each driver. My picks are highlighted in bold. We will use 2015 numbers for drivers with no track history. Good luck and make sure to tweak your lineup after qualifying.

GROUP A ($25.00 or higher)

  • Matt Kenseth 3.88
  • Jimmie Johnson 2.87
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2.30
  • Kyle Larson 2.13
  • Kevin Harvick 1.69
  • Jamie McMurray 1.62
  • Denny Hamlin 1.23
  • Jeff Gordon 1.17
  • Kasey Kahne 1.06
  • Brad Keselowski 1.00
  • Joey Logano 0.90

GROUP B ($20.00 – $24.99)

  • Greg Biffle 2.81
  • Clint Bowyer 2.15
  • Martin Truex Jr. 1.58
  • Paul Menard 1.29
  • Ryan Newman 1.28
  • Aric Almirola 1.05
  • Kurt Busch 0.89
  • Carl Edwards 0.71

GROUP C ($15.00 – $19.99)

  • Austin Dillon 1.57
  • AJ Allmendinger 1.30
  • Sam Hornish Jr. 0.69
  • Tony Stewart 0.24

GROUP D ($10.00 – $14.99)

  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 4.19
  • David Gilliland 3.67
  • Bobby Labonte 3.56
  • David Ragan 3.49
  • Justin Allgaier 2.98
  • Michael Waltrip 2.73
  • Casey Mears 1.91
  • Danica Patrick 1.21
  • Ryan Blaney 0.30
  • Trevor Bayne 0.10

GROUP E ($9.99 or lower)

  • Landon Cassill 5.04
  • JJ Yeley 2.97
  • Josh Wise 2.80
  • Cole Whitt 2.55
  • Matt DiBenedetto 2.50*
  • Brendan Gaughan 2.45*
  • Michael McDowell 1.92
  • Jeb Burton 1.12*
  • Michael Annett 0.75
  • Alex Bowman (-0.14)
  • Brian Scott (-4.75)

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

Categories
Fantasy NASCAR NASCAR Fantasy Live

NASCAR Fantasy Live Picks, 2014 Talladega Superspeedway, GEICO 500

Talladega is one of the most exciting races of the season, and the championship implications will only make the race more competitive. Restrictor plate tracks balance the field to the extent that there is little advantage from one team to the next. The results are unpredictable. As a result, your fantasy racing strategy for this week will be different than most. Dispensing Fantasy Racing advice is difficult as my guess is just as likely to fail as it is to succeed. That being said, some drivers have a better Talladega history than others. Below are my pre-qualifying Fantasy Live picks. My strategy is to start with this team and switch the picks with drivers who qualify near the back of the field. The points gained from start-to-finish differential should outweigh the fluky laps led number.

The driver with the most Fantasy Live points over the last five Talladega races is the first pick for my roster. Matt Kenseth has hopefully cooled off from his post-Charlotte riff with Brad Keselowski. Since 2005, Kenseth has a series-best average running position of 13.9 and runs 65% of his laps in the Top 15. Kenseth has 12 Top Twenty finishes in his last 19 Talladega races. He also led the most laps of any driver during this time span.

The second pick for my roster scared me earlier in the year at this race. He stayed in the back of the field to avoid the big wreck and is a risky strategy. With his championship situation, he may need to be more aggressive. Dale Earnhardt Jr. usually drives well at restrictor plate tracks. With an average running position of 14.7 and 60% of his laps in the Top 15, Junior has a chance to finish near the top. He is also third in laps led since 2005.

The third choice for my roster is Brian Vickers. Vickers has 5 Top Five finishes in his last 13 Talladega races. Vickers has a 17th place average finish position and spends 57% of his laps in the Top 15. David Ragan is a great bargain as he drivers much better than his salary cap figure. Ragan has 7 Top Ten finishes in his last 15 starts and holds a 15th place average finish position since 2005. He won this race last spring and has upside. He was running well earlier this year before being involved in a wreck.

There are plenty of options as any driver in the field has a legitimate shot at a Top 15 finish. My fifth roster spot goes to David Gilliland. Gilliland is not as dominant here as his teammate David Ragan, but he understands how to drive at restrictor plate tracks. Once again, my picks will be influenced by the qualifying order, and the weekly picks can change.

FANTASY NASCAR LIVE SALARY CAP

Fantasy Live on NASCAR.com 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 ever week, Fantasy Live uses a salary cap format. Our formula simply determines the average number of points each driver earned over the last five Talladega races and divides that number by the salary cap figure. The end result is a number that shows how many points to expect form each of your fantasy dollars. I almost picked Jeff Gordon over Dale Earnhardt Jr. simply due to his consistency in 2014. As a consolation prize, we will use his Talladega numbers to illustrate the points per dollar salary cap formula.

JEFF GORDON AT TALLADEGA

  • Total laps led last five Talladega races: 12 equals 1.2 fantasy points per race
  • Average finish position: 19th place equals 25 fantasy points per race
  • Fast Laps: cannot be calculated with 100% accuracy
  • Start-to-finish differential: Negative Ten equals (-10) fantasy points per race
  • Average points per race: 16.20
  • Fantasy Live Salary Cap Figure: $27.75
  • Fantasy points per dollar: 16.20 divides by $27.75 equals 0.58 points per dollar

See each driver’s fantasy points per dollar over the last five Talladega race with this week’s picks in bold. Check the comments after qualifying for some additional advice.

GROUP A ($25.00 or higher)

  • Matt Kenseth 2.15
  • Kyle Busch 1.60
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1.55
  • Clint Bowyer 1.51
  • Jimmie Johnson 1.14
  • Brad Keselowski 1.13
  • Kevin Harvick 1.07
  • Jeff Gordon 0.58
  • Ryan Newman 0.48
  • Carl Edwards 0.28

GROUP B ($20.00 – $24.99)

  • Brian Vickers 2.43
  • Kyle Larson 2.37
  • Greg Biffle 1.82
  • Jamie McMurray 1.46
  • Martin Truex Jr. 1.42
  • Paul Menard 1.37
  • Aric Almirola 1.19
  • Kasey Kahne 0.95
  • Denny Hamlin 0.95
  • Kurt Busch 0.66
  • Austin Dillon 0.65
  • Marcus Ambrose 0.55
  • Joey Logano 0.19
  • Tony Stewart (-0.01)

GROUP C ($15.00 – $19.99)

  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 2.57
  • AJ Allmendinger 1.49
  • Casey Mears 1.05
  • Justin Allgaier 0.53
  • Danica Patrick 0.22

GROUP D ($10.00 – $14.99)

  • David Ragan 4.87
  • David Gilliland 3.53
  • Michael Waltrip 1.68
  • Cole Whitt 1.67
  • Trevor Bayne 0.21

GROUP E ($9.99 or lower)

  • Travis Kvapil 5.23
  • JJ Yeley 4.15
  • Landon Cassill 4.00
  • Michael Annett 3.22
  • Michael McDowell 2.53
  • Terry Labonte 2.50
  • Alex Bowman 2.24
  • Josh Wise 1.33
  • Reed Sorenson (-0.25)
Categories
Fantasy NASCAR NASCAR Fantasy Live

NASCAR Fantasy Live Picks, 2014 Talladega Superspeedway, Aaron’s 499

Sunday’s race in Talladega will be hard-pressed to top a Richmond track that had a fantastic finish accompanied by hot tempers and one black eye!

Last week’s picks for Richmond yielded 199 points (1.99 points per fantasy dollar). The final standings were decent; however, my choices did not lead enough laps to win the league. This week’s most valuable driver is Reed Sorensen, even though his data is only from one race (5.33 points per dollar). He passed thirty cars for an 11th place finish in his only spring race at the track. Drivers with five races at the track with the most value were David Gilliland and David Ragan. Both drivers had consistent success at the track.

From the perspective of Fantasy Nascar advice, the Alabama track is nearly impossible to predict. Drivers quickly move to the front and back of the field. All we can do is make the best picks that we can hoping the crashes miss our choices, and they find the right line when the race comes to a close.

With the new playoff format, this will be a highly competitive race that offers a potential playoff spot to teams that usually do not run at the top of the field.

TALLADEGA IS UNPREDICTABLE, BUT…

Even with the unpredictable nature of restrictor plate tracks, some drivers have better performances at Talladega than others.

The most consistent driver over the last ten years is Dale Earnhardt Jr. Over the last ten spring races, Dale has an average finish of eleventh. Matt Kenseth is also a solid option and has led the most laps over the last five years.

Other drivers with recent success at the track include Kurt Busch, Dave Ragan, and Clint Bowyer.

FANTASY NASCAR LIVE SALARY CAP

Nascar.com uses a salary cap format, which limits you from selecting all of the top drivers.

Using a combination of final race standing, fast laps, laps led, and differential from start to finish, this format forces uses to find the diamonds in the rough each week. In order to discover the value drivers, this article looks at the total points accumulated by each driver over their last five spring races at Talladega.

The only data point that will not be included is the fast laps because I cannot promise 100% accuracy of the data.

Basically, the formula that is used is simply dividing the average points accumulated per week for each driver divided by their salary cap number listed on www.nascar.com. The end result is the total number of points earned per salary cap dollar.

This data below from Matt Kenseth’s last five spring Talladega races should help.

MATT KENSETH AT TALLADEGA

  • Matt Kenseth Total number of laps led last five years: 234 (46.8 per race average)
  • Matt Kenseth Average lap points on nascar.com format (1 point/2 laps led): 23.4 per race
  • Matt Kenseth Average point differential: (-7)
  • Matt Kenseth Average finish: 18th (26 fantasy points)
  • Current Matt Kenseth salary on www.nascar.com: 28.25
  • Matt Kenseth’s Fantasy NASCAR Live points per dollar: 42.4/28.25 = 1.5 points per fantasy dollar

POINTS PER FANTASY DOLLAR FOR TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY

In order to incorporate the rookies with no history at Talladega, my formula is using their results for the 2014 season instead of the track data. Another suggestion for success this week is to select drivers who qualify at the back of the field. Their potential to move up the field is very high with restrictor plates and well worth the risk for reliable drivers.

Best Value Picks

  • Reed Sorensen 5.33 (points per fantasy dollar)
  • JJ Yeley 3.71
  • David Ragan 3.43
  • David Gilliland 3.31
  • Michael McDowell 2.67
  • Terry Labonte 2.27
  • Michael Waltrip 2.05

Notable Rookies

  • Michael Annett 3.2 (points per fantasy dollar)
  • Justin Allgaier 3.13
  • Alex Bowman 2.81
  • Cole Whitt 2.81
  • Austin Dillon 2.67
  • Kyle Larson 2.57
  • Brian Scott 2.4

Notable Drivers

  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 1.88 (points per fantasy dollar)
  • Kurt Busch 1.59
  • Matt Kenseth 1.5
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1.5
  • Jamie McMurray 1.39
  • Clint Bowyer 1.34
  • Tony Stewart 1.15
  • Brad Keselowski 1.12
  • Kyle Bush 1.11
  • Denny Hamlin 1.05
  • Carl Edwards 0.98
  • Kevin Harvick 0.87
  • Joey Logano 0.86
  • Jimmie Johnson 0.78
  • Jeff Gordon 0.32

MY RECOMMENDED STARTERS FOR TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY

Based on my formula for salary cap drivers here is my line-up for this week’s race at Talladega. My total salary cap used is $100.00

  1. Kurt Busch $27.25
  2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. $27.25
  3. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. $21.25
  4. David Gilliland $13.00
  5. David Ragan $11.25
Categories
Fantasy NASCAR

2014 Talladega Superspeedway, Aaron’s 499

Congratulations to Joey Logano who picked up his second victory of the season on Saturday night at Richmond. Now he, along with Kevin Harvick both are definitely in the Chase field and can relax a little bit for now. There are still seventeen more races before the start of the Chase so, those drivers without a victory yet this year still have time to pick up that victory to help them into the Chase field.

AARON’S 499

This week the series heads to Talladega Superspeedway for the running of the Aaron’s 499. This is the second restrictor plate race of the season and is one of the races that any driver that makes the field can take the checkered flag and secure a spot in the Chase. What I mean is that every driver and team is on equal footing when it comes to restrictor plate racing. The individual equipment doesn’t matter as much as who you draft with to get you to the front and hopefully keep you there.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Dale is my pick to win his second race of the season at Talladega. This team has been very consistent week in and week out this year and Dale is always very good at Talladega. He seems to know who he can draft with and how to draft with them that he is always in the mix at the end of the race if he can stay out of a wreck early in the day. He has five career victories at this track and finished second here last fall.

Jeff Gordon: Jeff is the only active driver with more career victories than Dale Earnhardt Jr. with a total of six wins here. This team has also been extremely consistent on a weekly basis this year and Jeff knows how to draft with the best of them. The main thing for every team this week is to stay out of trouble until the end of the race and then you have a shot at the win.

Matt Kenseth: Matt is still looking for his first victory of the season and has been very good at Talladega. He has lead a lot of laps during his last eight starts here and won the fall race back in 2012. I look for Matt to have a car capable of moving up in the pack whenever he wants to if he finds a drafting partner that is willing to race early on. If not, he will be content to ride along at the back of the pack until it is go time late in the race.

Kyle Busch: Although he hasn’t lead a lot of laps during the last five races here, Kyle has three top five finishes in the last four races here. This is the type of track where a driver doesn’t care how many laps he leads, but more importantly which lap he leads. Kyle needs to stay patient early in the race and not take any foolish chances that might cause a big wreck. You can’t win if you aren’t running at the end.

David Ragan: David proved that David can beat Goliath here last season as he won this race for a minimally funded team. He has also shown that this wasn’t a fluke as he is the only driver that has finished in the top ten at Talladega in each of the last four races. He has done this by staying out of trouble and then teaming up with somebody late in the race to make a push for the victory. This just goes to show that you need a partner more than money to win this race.

Jimmie Johnson: Jimmie always seems to lead laps at Talladega. As a matter of fact, he has lead laps in twenty-two of his twenty-four career starts at this track including two races where he lead the final lap. Jimmie is also looking for his first victory of the season and will do whatever it takes to push his way to the front at the end of this week’s race also.

Brad Keselowski: Brad and Matt Kenseth had a small difference of opinion last week late in the race at Richmond. Both of these drivers need to put that incident behind them because there is no room for error or letting your emotions get the best of you this weekend at Talladega. You need all of the help you can get to win this race and it can come from your worst enemy if that’s the way it needs to be. Brad will find a drafting partner during this race, but I doubt if it will be Matt.

Greg Biffle: Greg has had good cars at Talladega recently and can usually find his way to the front during the race. It seems like the Roush/Fenway drivers work well together in the draft and if they can find each other late in the race one of them will have a shot at winning the race. Greg works well with both Carl Edwards and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and doesn’t seem to mind doing the pushing for one of his teammates either.

Kevin Harvick: This will be Kevin’s second restrictor plate race since moving over to Stewart/Haas Racing this season. They have struggled with mechanical issues in quite a few races this year that could be their biggest issue this week. You can’t afford to have the smallest problem during a restrictor plate race or you will find yourself out of the draft and there is no way you can catch back up.

Clint Bowyer: Clint is another driver that always seems to find someone he drafts well together with. I can see him teaming up with someone like Michael Waltrip, who knows how to win at restrictor plate tracks. They might just ride around at the back of the pack early in the race trying to stay out of the big wreck, but look for them to make a run to the front later and have a shot at the victory.

YAHOO! FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY

Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  • Jeff Gordon

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Jamie McMurray
  • David Ragan
  • Aric Almirola
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Michael Waltrip
  • Trevor Bayne

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY

  1. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  2. Jeff Gordon
  3. Matt Kenseth
  4. Jimmie Johnson
  5. Kyle Busch

Dark Horse: Michael Waltrip

Stay Away From: Tony Stewart