Dan Beaver

Fantasy Power Rankings

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Power Ranking After: Indy

Tuesday, September 11, 2018


Gone is the Big 3. Say hello to the Dynamic Duo.

Martin Truex Jr. plummeted down the order, while Kyle Busch’s loss of current momentum dropped him one position in the Fantasy Power Rankings. Kevin Harvick maintained his place as the driver with the greatest strength over the past 60 days, but his edge is shrinking.

Brad Keselowski won back-to-back events – and while he has struggled through portions of the past two months – he underscores the fact that The Dominators can be beaten. His pair of wins is joined by victories by Kurt Busch at Bristol Motor Speedway, Elliott at Watkins Glen International, and Erik Jones at Daytona International Speedway in recent weeks.

1. Kevin Harvick (Last week: 1)
Weeks in the top 10: 26
The gap between the Big 3 and the remainder of the field is closing in time for the playoffs to begin. Kevin Harvick has enough playoff bonus points to easily get him into Round 3, but with the (albeit unlikely) possibility of three winners from among “The Others,” this could come down to Harvick versus Busch for a spot on points. Harvick has beaten Busch in the last four races.

2. Chase Elliott (Last week: 3)
Weeks in the top 10: 11
It has been quite some while since any of “The Others” held the second position in the Fantasy Power Rankings. Chase Elliott finished only 15th last week to snap a six-race, top-10 streak, but he was running with the leaders for most of the Brickyard 400 before he got into a shoving match with Austin Dillon. In the last 60 days, Elliott has had a perfect record of top-15s.

3. Kyle Busch (Last week: 2)
Weeks in the top 10: 25
With the competition so tight, minor things make a big difference. Back-to-back unforced errors at Bristol and Darlington Raceway have kept Kyle Busch from running with the leaders as long during races as Elliott. That has caused Busch to slip just behind his challenger. With 50 playoff bonus points, he has almost a full race cushion over the bottom four in the standings and that could make him (and Harvick) just a slight bit complacent.

4. Kurt Busch (Last week: 6)
Weeks in the top 10: 27
Kurt Busch is the only driver who has been in the Fantasy Power Rankings top 10 since every week. He’s done so with constancy. Busch enters Las Vegas Motor Speedway with eight consecutive top-10s; seven of these landed between sixth and ninth, so it’s easy for players to predict what they will get from the No. 41.

5. Ryan Blaney (Last week: 7)
Weeks in the top 10: 20
Like most of the drivers above him, Ryan Blaney enters the weekend with a perfect record of top-15s in the past 60 days. In order to challenge for top-10s or –fives, drivers have to put their car in contention and that is precisely what Blaney has accomplished in the past two months. This is Blaney’s second time in the playoffs. Last year he made it all the way to Round 3. With a little luck, he will repeat in 2018.

6. Erik Jones (Last week: 5)
Weeks in the top 10: 7
In regard to the current Fantasy Power Rankings average, Erik Jones no longer has the benefit of his Coke Zero Sugar 400 win and that caused him to sink one position. He has still been one of the most consistent drivers in the field, however, with results of 16th or better in the past 60 days. Four of these eight attempts ended in top-fives, including last week’s second-place finish in the Brickyard 400.

7. Kyle Larson (Last week: 8)
Weeks in the top 10: 24
In all likelihood, only two of “The Others” are going to join Harvick and Kyle Busch in the finale. Kyle Larson is the kind of all-around driver who should be able to get to Homestead unless he has bad luck along the way. As he progresses through the rounds, he is likely to move up the grid and become an increasingly better value with each passing week.

8. Denny Hamlin (Last week: 10)
Weeks in the top 10: 22
Last week was one of the first times in a long while that Denny Hamlin lived up to his record on a track. The team executed their pit strategy flawlessly, but an untimely caution allowed Brad Keselowski to catch up to him on fresher tires. If he can become predictable once more, fantasy players have great opportunities to start him on the flat tracks of Martinsville Speedway and Ingenuity Sun Media Raceway during the next 10 weeks.

9. Clint Bowyer (Last week: 9)
Weeks in the top 10: 25
Clint Bowyer was frustrated in the closing laps of the Brickyard 400. He had a better car than Hamlin with the biggest win of his career in sight until he had two bad restarts. Fantasy owners should be a little encouraged, however, because his fifth-place finish in the Brickyard 400 was the first time in nine races that he scored a top-five.

10. Martin Truex Jr. (Last week: 4)
Weeks in the top 10: 21
Martin Truex Jr.’s early departure from the Brickyard 400 and last week’s announcement that the No. 78 will shut down at the end of the year has caused him to tumble down the order. In his last six races this season, he has earned only one top-10 – a second on the road course of Watkins Glen International – and he is the reason that the Big 3 is no longer being discussed.

Big Movers outside the Top 10

12. Joey Logano (Last week: 14)
Weeks in the top 10: 19
Teammate Brad Keselowski is getting all the press lately, but Joey Logano is the one moving up the chart. Last week’s 13th-place finish was the first time in three races that the No. 22 did not crack the top 10. More importantly, Logano has been more consistent than Kez and that plays into fantasy players’ hands.

14. Ryan Newman (Last week: 12)
Weeks in the top 10: 2
Ryan Newman has nothing left to race for except to be the 17th driver in the standings. Will that cause him to lose some of his edge? Only time will tell, but for now fantasy players should be a little concerned about his three results outside the top 15 in the past eight races. 

This
Week

Driver

Power
Average

Last
Week

Difference

1.

Kevin Harvick

5.07

1

0

2.

Chase Elliott

5.72

3

1

3.

Kyle Busch

5.79

2

-1

4.

Kurt Busch

6.35

6

2

5.

Ryan Blaney

7.19

7

2

6.

Erik Jones

8.18

5

-1

7.

Kyle Larson

8.56

8

1

8.

Denny Hamlin

9.00

10

2

9.

Clint Bowyer

9.00

9

0

10.

Martin Truex Jr.

9.44

4

-6

 

 

 

 

 

11.

Brad Keselowski

10.13

11

0

12.

Joey Logano

11.93

14

2

13.

Aric Almirola

12.97

13

0

14.

Ryan Newman

14.15

12

-2

15.

Daniel Suarez

14.29

17

2

16.

Jimmie Johnson

14.63

16

0

17.

Jamie McMurray

15.21

19

2

18.

Alex Bowman

16.17

15

-3

19.

William Byron

17.30

22

3

20.

Austin Dillon

17.74

18

-2

21.

Paul Menard

17.89

24

3

22.

Trevor Bayne

18.63

20

-2

23.

Matt Kenseth

18.75

26

3

24.

Chris Buescher

21.06

25

1

25.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

21.23

23

-2

26.

Kasey Kahne

24.27

28

2

27.

Regan Smith

24.50

NA

 

28.

Michael McDowell

25.00

29

1

29.

David Ragan

25.30

30

1

30.

Parker Kligerman

25.50

32

2

31.

Ty Dillon

26.97

31

0

32.

AJ Allmendinger

27.37

33

1

33.

Bubba Wallace

29.83

34

1

34.

Matt DiBenedetto

31.03

36

2

35.

Ross Chastain

31.30

38

3

36.

Josh Bilicki

32.75

40

4

37.

Cole Whitt

33.75

42

5

38.

Landon Cassill

33.77

44

6

39.

Corey LaJoie

33.85

46

7

40.

JJ Yeley

33.94

41

1

41.

Kyle Weatherman

34.00

43

2

42.

Blake Jones

34.17

45

3

43.

Reed Sorenson

34.33

47

4

44.

Jeffrey Earnhardt

34.93

39

-5

45.

BJ McLeod

35.83

48

3

46.

Garrett Smithley

35.86

49

3

47.

Spencer Gallagher

36.00

50

3

48.

Jesse Little

36.50

51

3

49.

Timmy Hill

36.90

52

3

50.

Gray Gaulding

38.88

53

3

51.

David Starr

39.75

NA

 

52.

Joey Gase

40.00

37

-15

 



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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