NEW ROTOWORLD BETA SITE

Dan Beaver

NASCAR Fantasy Live Preview

print article archives RSS

Fantasy Live: Can Am 500k

Wednesday, November 7, 2018


This year’s playoffs have not been what one expected.

Six of the first eight races were won by a driver other than the Big 3. Last week, Kevin Harvick seemingly reestablished his dominance by winning both stages of the Texas 500 and the overall victory, but on Wednesday it was announced that he was being hit with a severe penalty [http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/nas/83722/408/harvick-penalized] that robbed the victory of all its bonuses – meaning Harvick is no longer automatically locked into the championship four.

That penalty would be much more impactful if it had stripped him of all the points he earned with his encumbered win or if the series was not heading to a track where they have his name permanently engraved on the trophy.

Three positions are once again open to make it to the finale and that means the competition level at Ingenuity Sun Media Raceway (Phoenix) is going to be rewarded. It also means the cream will rise to the top and this is not the week to take very many risks on dark horses.



Playoff Drivers

Kevin Harvick
This spring when Harvick was hit with a penalty for an improper back window, he came to Phoenix the next week and won. This time, it was a spoiler that failed to meet the rules and once again Harvick has the ability to make a statement on a track he has absolutely dominated in recent years with seven wins in the last 13 races. In that span, he has finished worse than sixth only once. A 40-point penalty is not going to be enough to keep him out of the championship four.

Chase Elliott
The scenario has changed for Elliott. There is a way that he could point his way into the championship four if something happens to the Big 3 early enough in the race to cost them a lot of points. The best scenario is to win, however, and that is what the team will plan for. Last year, Elliott had the lead of this race late in the going before he was passed by Matt Kenseth. Now that he knows how to win, it will not be that simple if he has the top spot again.

Garage Pick: Kyle Busch
Don’t expect Kyle Busch to stumble. Now that Harvick is not automatically locked in the playoffs, Busch’s ability to point his way into the finale has greatly improved and practically the only thing that can keep him out is an accident during the first stage of the race. Busch should and probably will play it safe early in the going. If he gets stage points, he can go flat out for the win. He has finished in the top five on five occasions in the last six races at Phoenix and never worse than seventh. He hasn’t won on this track since he was a rookie driving for Hendrick Motorsports, but that could change this week.

Red Flag: Clint Bowyer
Bowyer finished sixth at Phoenix this spring, but that is his first top-10 on the track since 2013. In his last 10 races, he has less than a handful of top-15s, so it is not as if he has come close on many occasions. That is not the track he would have chosen for his last stand to try and get into the championship four and it is not one on which fantasy players want to gamble on his ability to reverse fortune.

Non-Playoff Drivers

Denny Hamlin
Hamlin is generally considered a flat track master. At the beginning of his career, Phoenix was a great venue with a pole in his first start and top-six finishes in five of the first nine. Recently, he’s been a little more likely to finish a bit deeper in the field, but he enters with six top-10s there in his last eight races and that is enough to make him attractive as a non-playoff driver.

Erik Jones
Jones found the groove at Phoenix from his first race as a rookie there. He finished eighth in spring 2017 and has swept the top 10 since. Last year he finished fourth in this race and is coming off an encumbered fourth-place finish at Texas. Like Harvick (and Ryan Blaney), he has something to prove this week and that can be a big motivator.

Garage Pick: Daniel Suarez
With this week’s announcement that Martin Truex Jr. will be taking the seat in the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, Suarez is officially a short timer. He has intimated that he has a ride for next year, but has not yet announced it and these things are often not done until the ink if completely dry. In three starts on this track, Suarez has earned two top-10s. Like his teammate Jones, he seems to have inherited the magic that JGR has always shown on short, flat tracks and that could be good for one more top-10.

Red Flag: Brad Keselowski
This has not been a particularly good place for Keselowski in recent years. He finished fifth at Phoenix in spring 2017, but that is his only top-10 in the last five races. And while he has a few top-15s in that same span of time, that is not enough to make him a good value in the NASCAR Fantasy Live game or a salary cap contest. Keselowski should be back on the radar screen next week when the series returns to a 1.5-mile track.

 



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



Highest Searched Drivers over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Dose: KC-LAR MNF classic

    Dose: KC-LAR MNF classic
  •  
    NBA Waiver Picks

    NBA Waiver Picks
  •  
    Dose: Hilton

    Dose: Hilton's big day
  •  
    Player News: Week 11

    Player News: Week 11
  •  
    Dose: The Return of RGIII?

    Dose: The Return of RGIII?
  •  
    DFS Analysis: Lewis, Johnson

    DFS Analysis: Lewis, Johnson
  •  
    Dose: Jones Could Miss Week 11

    Dose: Jones Could Miss Week 11
  •  
    Dose: Bell Doesn

    Dose: Bell Doesn't Show