Week 3 is all about kicking off the West Coast Swing! Two weeks of racing are in the books and one thing has been apparent: The Blue Ovals are on fire. The Ford camp have made things tough for the rest of the field. Penske and Stewart-Haas have put on a clinic. Even Roush-Fenway has shown serious signs of improvement over last season. Until Chevy or Toyota can prove otherwise It is hard to stray too far away from the Ford camp.
Each week I’ll cover nine different drivers who I think will give you the best bang for your buck and help you dominate your NASCAR Fantasy Live league.
These are the guys that are the cornerstone of your roster. Chances are you can only afford one so you have to choose wisely! Who will have the fastest laps, most laps led, and lead the last lap? That’s your main concern with this group.
Brad Keselowski: Brad had a huge week last week! He overcame the adversity of a pit road penalty to win the race. Brad has won two of the last three races at Las Vegas and he was extremely impressive in practice one. My money is on Keselowski to win back-to-back races.
Martin Truex Jr: If anyone is going to rain on Ford’s parade I think this is the guy to do it. His car has been stupid fast since it came off of the hauler. He has developed into an excellent mile-and-a-half racer and could very well end up in victory lane.
Kevin Harvick: Harvick had a rough qualifying effort but don’t doubt the No. 4 team. Harvick has something to prove this weekend. The No. 4 car has led 65% of the laps this season and hasn’t come away with a win. I like that he’s starting
The Role Players
These drivers are the bulk of your line up. The mid range drivers are the ones who are going to win you your league. The best strategy with these guys are to pick the drivers who are starting back in the pack but you know they don’t belong there and are unlikely to finish there. Every car they pass is worth valuable points to your overall total.
Ryan Newman: The Childress cars have shown a ton of promise early on. The battery issue was a setback last week, but otherwise these guys have been contenders. Newman comes in as a cheaper Role Player. He is only $17.75 on NASCAR Fantasy Live and he’s starting 21st. Huge potential.
Austin Dillon: Everything I said about Ryan Newman and Childress applies here as well. Austin is $21.25 and he’s starting 22nd.
Kasey Kahne: I’m a little shocked that I’m saying this. Kasey is typically the guy you avoid at all costs, but this year feels different. Keith Rodden and Kasey Kahne have found performance and are contenders for the win. Kahne’s car looked solid in both practice and qualifying and I think it’s going to look even better on Sunday. Starting 7th at $22.25, Kasey is a risk but I think it could very well pay off.
The Value Drivers
These are the guys who are below $18. They help you afford the Contender and give you breathing room with your Role Players. These drivers still play a huge role and can make the difference in a solid points day vs. a victory.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Ricky is starting 29th overall in the Kobalt 400. Every fiber of my being believes that he will not finish there. During his qualifying runs it looked like he couldn’t close up to the white line, which really affected his overall time. On NASCAR Fantasy, Stenhouse is $14.25. He’s probably the only 100% lock on my roster.
Clint Bowyer: Clint Bowyer is one of those early season gems! By mid season his stock will rise and he’ll be over $20, so the earlier you get him on your roster, the better if you’re playing on NASCAR.com with their roll-over pricing rule. Clint qualified 13th, which I don’t really like. There isn’t a ton of room for gained positions and he probably doesn’t have the car to lead a ton of laps. This is simply an investment.
Ty Dillon: Ty has all pros in my book. He starts 24th and he’s only $12.25. I am all in on Ty Dillon. I think he’s the total package. He’s smart, level headed, he takes care of his car, and because of this he’ll finish much better than he starts. I also think Germain Racing is going to turn the curve with their Childress Partnership and backing.
Who are your picks this week? Leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet me your lineup this week.