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Dan Beaver

Fantasy Power Rankings

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Power Ranking After: Texas

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


The last five races of the season are contested on two track types. Martinsville Speedway and Ingenuity Sun Media Raceway (Phoenix) are both short, flat tracks. Kansas Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, and Homestead-Miami Speedway are 1.5-mile courses.

That makes this period on the calendar a little easier to predict.

This is the time of year when momentum is so very important. Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. seemed to be losing it. Chase Elliott, Joey Logano and non-playoff contenders Ryan Blaney and Erik Jones seemed to be gaining it. Last week started a change in the tide that could predict who is going to run well in this week’s Can-Am 500k and next week’s Ford 400.

1. Joey Logano (Last week: 1)
Weeks in the top 10: 25
FPR#: 5.66
Logano is peaking at the right time. His last nine races during the past 60 days have all ended in top-15s. His last six have been top-10s including a win at Martinsville and third at Texas. If he can carry this momentum into Homestead, he is going to be a fitting rival to Harvick.

2. Kevin Harvick (Last week: 4)
Weeks in the top 10: 34
FPR #: 6.42
Harvick finally got back into championship form last week at Texas. He swept the race by winning both early stages and the overall race. That is one of only three top-fives in the past nine races, but he has run well in nearly every race in that span before mistakes were made on the track or in the pits.

3. Kurt Busch (Last week: 3)
Weeks in the top 10: 35
FPR#: 6.77
Busch remains one of the most consistent drivers in the field without making a ton of noise. He started seventh and finished seventh at Texas. Two weeks ago he started and finished sixth at Martinsville. Busch will have another solid performance this week in Arizona, but it will not be enough to advance him to Homestead in championship contention.

4. Brad Keselowski (Last week: 2)
Weeks in the top 10: 30
FPR#: 7.36
Keselowski’s three consecutive wins are slowly aging out of this formula and are being replaced with a lot of results outside the top 10. A solid run at Kansas and Martinsville were followed by a modest one at Texas and now it is time to head to a track where he has not shown much speed in recent years. Kez has only one top-10 at Phoenix in his last five starts.

5. Chase Elliott (Last week: 6)
Weeks in the top 10: 19
FPR #: 7.50
Elliott enters Phoenix with a six-race, top-10 streak on unrestricted tracks that include wins at Dover and Kansas. He’s going to need to win again in order to advance to Homestead in championship contention, but that could give him momentum and a fighting chance at the Cup.

6. Kyle Busch (Last week: 5)
Weeks in the top 10: 33
FPR#: 7.79
Busch was frustrated last week as much by his 17th-place finish as the fact that he did not run particularly well. With back-to-back top-fives at Kansas and Martinsville, it appeared he had reversed course from five results outside that mark in his previous six races. The good news is that he has been almost perfect on flat one-mile tracks in recent years.

7. Martin Truex Jr. (Last week: 7)
Weeks in the top 10: 29
FPR#: 8.56
Truex’s ninth-place finish last week at Texas came after he was forced to pit multiple times for a loose wheel and a penalty. That was the first time this year that he has finished between sixth and 10th and it might actually be good news for a team that has run hot and cold all year.

8. Ryan Blaney (Last week: 10)
Weeks in the top 10: 28
FPR#: 8.71
Blaney had one of his best performances of the year last week at Texas. He challenged Harvick late, but the No. 4 team did not make a mistake for the first time in several weeks and no one could match the Stewart-Haas Racing speed. Like his teammate Keselowski, Blaney is not very strong at Phoenix so players are going to have to wait until Homestead to see if he can capitalize on his momentum.

9. Aric Almirola (Last week: 12)
Weeks in the top 10: 10
FPR#: 9.63
Almirola expressed displeasure with Logano for being raced hard last week, but he scored his fifth straight top-15 with an eighth in the AAA Texas 500. No one gave this driver and team high odds of surviving this far into the playoffs, so everything they do from this point forward is going to be gravy for fantasy owners.

10. Kyle Larson (Last week: 8)
Weeks in the top 10: 32
FPR#: 9.69
Larson quietly scored a top-five last week on a track that has eluded him in the past two years. He was third two weeks ago at Kansas on another 1.5-mile track and that bodes well for his odds of ending the season on a high note next week in Miami. Larson’s flat track program is not particularly strong, however, so Phoenix is a good place to rest the No. 42.

Dropped from the Top 10

12. Denny Hamlin (Last week: 9)
Weeks in the top 10: 24
FPR#: 12.03
Hamlin was hanging onto the Fantasy Power Ranking top-10 by a thread last week and when he was bumped by Clint Bowyer early in the AAA Texas 500, it sealed his fate. Falling off the lead lap early robbed him of an opportunity to score a decent average running position or Driver Rating. Now, he has just two more opportunities to win and extend his streak of at least one victory per year to 13 consecutive seasons.

Big Movers outside the Top 10

15. Jimmie Johnson (Last week: 17)
Weeks in the top 10: 5
FPR#: 14.30
Like Hamlin, Johnson wants desperately to win and extend a winning streak. He has never failed to win since his rookie season and without a strategic move at Phoenix or Homestead, that will almost certainly come to an end. Still, he had a good run in recent months with three top-10s in four races near the beginning of the playoffs.

16. Ryan Newman (Last week: 14)
Weeks in the top 10: 2
FPR#: 14.78
Newman is moving to another team next year and that is always tough on both driver and crew. For one race, it appeared he could succeed anyway with an eighth at Martinsville, but last week in Texas he fell two laps off the pace to 18th.

 

 

This
Week

Driver

Power
Avg.

Last
Week

Difference

1

Joey Logano

5.66

1

0

2

Kevin Harvick

6.42

4

2

3

Kurt Busch

6.77

3

0

4

Brad Keselowski

7.36

2

-2

5

Chase Elliott

7.50

6

1

6

Kyle Busch

7.79

5

-1

7

Martin Truex Jr.

8.56

7

0

8

Ryan Blaney

8.71

10

2

9

Aric Almirola

9.63

12

3

10

Kyle Larson

9.69

8

-2

 

11

Clint Bowyer

11.00

11

0

12

Denny Hamlin

12.03

9

-3

13

Erik Jones

13.20

13

0

14

Alex Bowman

14.00

15

1

15

Jimmie Johnson

14.30

17

2

16

Ryan Newman

14.78

14

-2

17

Austin Dillon

15.86

18

1

18

Jamie McMurray

16.41

16

-2

19

Paul Menard

16.50

19

0

20

Daniel Suarez

17.86

20

0

21

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

19.30

21

0

22

Matt Kenseth

21.06

23

1

23

AJ Allmendinger

21.29

22

-1

24

Trevor Bayne

22.71

25

1

25

William Byron

23.24

26

1

26

Chris Buescher

23.36

24

-2

27

Ty Dillon

25.21

27

0

28

David Ragan

26.06

28

0

29

Michael McDowell

27.06

29

0

30

Daniel Hemric

27.22

31

1

31

Regan Smith

27.67

30

-1

32

Matt DiBenedetto

29.97

32

0

33

Bubba Wallace

30.21

36

3

34

Cole Custer

30.85

34

0

35

Cole Whitt

30.88

35

0

36

Corey LaJoie

32.20

33

-3

37

Ross Chastain

33.18

37

0

38

DJ Kennington

33.20

38

0

39

Parker Kligerman

33.50

 

NA

40

Justin Marks

33.75

40

0

41

Landon Cassill

33.94

39

-2

42

JJ Yeley

34.28

41

-1

43

Jeffrey Earnhardt

35.04

42

-1

44

Reed Sorenson

35.88

45

1

45

Joey Gase

36.00

43

-2

46

BJ McLeod

36.25

46

0

47

Kyle Weatherman

36.33

44

-3

48

Jeb Burton

37.25

47

-1

49

Harrison Rhodes

38.00

48

-1

50

Alon Day

38.75

49

-1

51

Timmy Hill

38.93

50

-1

52

David Starr

39.75

51

-1

53

Gray Gaulding

40.00

52

-1

54

Hermie Sadler

40.00

53

-1

55

Stanton Barrett

40.00

54

-1

 



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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