Dan Beaver

Statistically Speaking

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12. Jamie McMurray

Saturday, February 3, 2018


For much of the 2017 season, it appeared Jamie McMurray was implementing the Ryan Newman approach from a few years ago; stay in contact with the leaders, be in a position to earn points during the race, and try to qualify for the playoffs by the benefit of those points. McMurray made the playoffs and was a great value from time to time, but he failed to make it very far once he qualified.

McMurray was constantly on the verge of breaking through. After crashing out of the season-opening Daytona 500, he was in the top 15 in 15 of the next 17 races. The two times that he failed to finish as well came as the result of accidents at Martinsville Speedway in the spring and Pocono Raceway in June, so it was easy to place-and-hold him in keeper leagues for the first half of the year. Despite his solid average finish, however, he was not always one of the better values.

That was because one of McMurray’s strengths was actually a fantasy weakness. In the first 18 races of the season, he qualified among the top 10 on 14 occasions and on the sixth row twice. He finished worse than he started in the majority of those races and considering that he had only two top-fives to log solid points, he often scored close to the mid-point in most games.

McMurray’s fate did not improve for the remainder of the regular season. He continued to qualify well, but fell back in race trim. In the next eight races leading up to the playoffs, McMurray advanced to the round of 12 each time and finished worse than he started in every race. By the time the season ended at Homestead, he had accumulated the third-worst average place-differential of -4.47.

McMurray fell apart during the playoffs. While he got off to a decent start with three top-10s and a 16th in the first four races, a crash at Talladega SuperSpeedway on lap 25 took the wind out of his sails. He finished 37th that afternoon and then went to Kansas to run in the 30s again. He failed to make the next round of the playoffs. McMurray finished 29th at Martinsville Speedway and was outside the top 15 again at Texas Motor Speedway. By the time he snapped his four-race streak of sub-15th-place results at Phoenix International Raceway, he had lost his fantasy relevance.

McMurray almost cracks the top 10 in this year’s preseason rankings, however, because of his consistency and worth in keeper leagues that do not use place-differential points. His average finish of 14.61 was actually much better than it appears when one mentally disregards the misfortunate and unpredictable accidents. His even-keeled personality is such that he is likely to pick up exactly where he left off and that means he is going to be of immediate use for players.

2017 Victories: None
Average Finish: 14.61
Top-fives: 3 (.083)
Top-10s: 17 (.472)
Top-15s: 26 (.722)

 

Track

3-Yr
Avg.
Fin

Career
Avg.
Fin

Career
Attempts

Career
Top-5s

Career
Top-10s

Race 1

Race 2

Michigan International Speedway

9.00

17.13

30

2

9

5

9

Kentucky Speedway

9.33

16.86

7

1

3

7

 

Richmond International Raceway

10.00

19.00

30

3

8

6

14

Homestead - Miami Speedway

10.33

15.00

15

3

5

13

 

Phoenix International Raceway

10.83

18.76

29

2

5

15

6

Bristol Motor Speedway

11.67

16.23

30

3

11

12

12

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

11.67

16.67

15

1

5

8

 

Texas Motor Speedway

12.17

16.54

28

4

10

7

18

Auto Club Speedway

12.33

16.55

22

3

8

6

 

Chicagoland Speedway

12.33

19.47

15

1

4

10

 

Sonoma Raceway

12.67

15.87

15

2

3

10

 

Charlotte Motor Speedway

12.83

15.87

31

8

12

12

5

Darlington Raceway

13.00

15.53

17

3

6

10

 

Dover Downs International

14.67

17.53

30

2

9

7

9

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

16.33

19.67

30

4

7

17

16

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

16.67

15.00

15

3

5

15

 

Martinsville Speedway

18.33

17.47

30

2

15

38

29

Talladega Superspeedway

18.67

20.03

31

8

9

2

37

Pocono Raceway

20.33

19.90

30

 

7

37

26

Watkins Glen International

20.67

19.33

15

1

3

14

 

Daytona International Speedway

22.50

23.33

30

3

5

28

14

Kansas Speedway

23.00

21.00

22

 

4

8

34

Atlanta Motor Speedway

23.67

20.13

24

 

5

10

 


* Top-10 sweeps


2018 Top-25 Fantasy Values

13. Bowyer, Clint 
14. Suarez, Daniel 
15. Newman, Ryan 
16. Busch, Kurt 
17. Almirola, Aric 
18. Dillon, Austin 
19. Stenhouse Jr., Ricky 
20. Menard, Paul 
21. Bayne, Trevor 
22. Dillon, Ty 
23. Buescher, Chris 
24. Allmendinger, AJ 
25. Kahne, Kasey 

Rookie Watch

Wallace Jr., Darrell

 



Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 12 years with a little help from his >500,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.
Email :Dan Beaver



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