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Cap Considerations

Caps After Dover (Spring)

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Picking the driver who will get to the checkered flag first often has less to do with winning or losing in Fantasy NASCAR than finding that perfect bargain basement driver who will allow a player to take two or three marquee racers. For the past 60 days, that pick has been Cole Whitt.

Whitt has earned more points in the past 60 days in NASCAR Fantasy Live than several drivers at twice his price. In his last five unrestricted track races, he has earned more than 19 points on three occasions and ranked in the top half of the field twice. That means on average, he has outperformed Danica Patrick, AJ Allmendinger, and Paul Menard. Moreover, with an extremely cheap salary cap of $5.25 entering last week’s AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway, he freed up a lot of room to negotiate for the high-priced drivers, so he earned a 50 cent bump.

Daniel Suarez was the other big gainer this week. He has become a weekly threat to earn top-10s, like his sixth last week. That was the fourth time in the past five races that he finished 12th or better. He has a current seven-race, top-20 streak to his credit and will probably climb above the $20 mark in the coming weeks unless he hits a spate of bad luck. Suarez and Whitt both have to be approached with some caution, however, because of the relative inexperience at the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series level.

There was not a lot of movement at the top of the order, but after back-to-back weeks in which he crashed early, Brad Keselowski swapped positions with Kyle Larson. Kez did nothing wrong in either instance. He rammed the back of a rapidly slowing Chase Elliott at Charlotte Motor Speedway and was collected by a loose Kurt Busch at Dover, but luck is part of this sport and cannot be overlooked. He dropped to $27.25 with Larson advancing to $27.50.

Last week was Larson’s race to lose. He admits to being bad on restarts and showed as much during NASCAR’s overtime. A second-place finish still earned the most points last week (213). In the last five races on unrestricted tracks, he also earned the most points (168) at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has had two decent runs this year, but they are not carrying his average. He earned the fifth-most points at Texas Motor Speedway in April and the 10th-most at Charlotte, but his average ranking in the past 60 days is closer to 23rd. He is simply not supporting a price tag that is in the shadow of the $20 mark, so he dropped 50 cents this week to $19.50 and will keep getting cheaper unless he is able to start challenging for top-10s.

Ryan Blaney also took a significant hit last week, dropping 50 cents to $19.75. He has shown more promise than Junior this year, but he and/or the crew has made some critical mistakes in the last six races. Last week was his second broken axle in that span and his fourth 30-something finish. He will normalize in the coming weeks and if he can reverse his fortune, he will probably rise again. Fantasy players should take him off their roster at the moment and reactivate him in a few weeks.

 

Gainers and Losers this week

Driver

Diff

 |

This Week’s Cap

Gainers

Daniel Suarez

 $     0.75

 |

 $    18.50

Cole Whitt

 $     0.50

 |

 $      5.75

Kyle Larson

 $     0.25

 |

 $    27.50

Jimmie Johnson

 $     0.25

 |

 $    27.00

Denny Hamlin

 $     0.25

 |

 $    26.25

Matt Kenseth

 $     0.25

 |

 $    24.75

Jamie McMurray

 $     0.25

 |

 $    23.25

Austin Dillon

 $     0.25

 |

 $    20.25

Erik Jones

 $     0.25

 |

 $    20.00

Ryan Newman

 $     0.25

 |

 $    20.00

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

 $     0.25

 |

 $    16.50

Ty Dillon

 $     0.25

 |

 $    14.75

Chris Buescher

 $     0.25

 |

 $    10.75

Michael McDowell

 $     0.25

 |

 $    10.00

Losers

Brad Keselowski

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    27.25

Joey Logano

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    26.75

Kurt Busch

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    21.00

AJ Allmendinger

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    14.00

Paul Menard

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    14.00

Matt DiBenedetto

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      5.75

Kasey Kahne

 $    (0.50)

 |

 $    20.50

Ryan Blaney

 $    (0.50)

 |

 $    19.75

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

 $    (0.50)

 |

 $    19.00

Landon Cassill

 $    (0.50)

 |

 $      7.00

 

Dan Beaver

Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 20 years with a little help from his >650,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.