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Cap Considerations

Caps After Kansas (Fall)

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

In the past 18 races—which is a rolling half season—75 percent of the active field have scored top-10 finishes. More than half have earned top-fives in that span of time and that creates a big challenge for the salary cap manager of the NASCAR Fantasy Live game. Since everyone has the potential to run well, one often has to rely on the formula to eliminate peaks a valleys.

The formula finally accurately reflects Jimmie Johnson’s potential. There have been times this year when he has run well but has not been capable of getting the fantasy points he deserved. This came as the result of mistakes in the garage, pits, and on the track. The No. 48 team continues to have problems, but with increased speed they have been able to overcome them with greater regularity. Johnson’s victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway was a turning point and he is going to continue to get more expensive as the weeks progress. Before the Alabama 500 at Talladega SuperSpeedway he took a whopping 75 cent increase to land at $25.25.

Michael McDowell continues to be a great fantasy option so long as one manages their expectation. He is not going to earn top-10 points with much regularity, but he is so cheap that his value to players is not limited to what he adds to the total. With the addition of veteran crew chief Todd Parrott, he scored the 13th-most points at Charlotte and the 12th-most at Kansas Speedway. It is unlikely that he will keep landing in the top 20, but with a current price tag of $8.75 he really doesn’t need to. Choosing McDowell first each week opens up a world of choices at the top of the order.

AJ Allmendinger has also been on a progressive increase. He crashed at Charlotte and lost points, but he has been a generally solid value. Last week was one of his best showings. He scored the ninth-most points at Kansas in NASCAR Fantasy Live. In late August, he scored the eighth most at Michigan International Speedway and consistency has been his biggest recommendation. Allmendinger has earned top-20 points in seven of the last 10 races.

Martin Truex Jr. looked like a fit competitor to Kevin Harvick. He challenged for wins just as his rival began to experiment and lose positions. Truex has shown bursts of speed, but he has not been the most reliable driver all year. Like Johnson, mistakes have been a key contributor to his lack of consistency, but this team lacks the same level of resources as Hendrick Motorsports. That has been masked somewhat by the Furniture Row Racing affiliation with Joe Gibbs, but if that organization begins to show any crack in the armor, the No. 78 will likely suffer the most. This week, Truex had an adjustment of 50 cents to drop to $27.50, but part of that was to make room at the $27.75 mark for Kyle Busch.

Brad Keselowski also took a downward adjustment. He is still expensive at $27.25—and may just overtake Truex and Busch if he keeps earning top-10s and they struggle. Otherwise there is only so much room at the top and the difference of 25 or 50 cents could be critical in opening up options mid-cap.

Chase Elliott is a rookie. They are going to show flashes of speed and struggle through periods like he has experienced in the past two weeks. He did not take a salary cap loss last week because the wreck at Charlotte was not his fault. The team appears to have tried an experimental setup at Kansas, however, and that bit them. Elliott needed a strong run, but they could have shown a little more patience and conservation. With Keselowski’s accident in the Hollywood Casino 400 they would have been in striking distance of eighth in the points entering Talladega instead of going to that wild card track in need of a win. 

 

Gainers and Losers this week

Driver

Diff

 |

This Week’s Cap

Gainers

Jimmie Johnson

 $        0.75

 |

 $      25.25

AJ Allmendinger

 $        0.50

 |

 $      15.50

Michael McDowell

 $        0.50

 |

 $        8.75

Kevin Harvick

 $        0.25

 |

 $      28.25

Kyle Busch

 $        0.25

 |

 $      27.75

Matt Kenseth

 $        0.25

 |

 $      27.25

Joey Logano

 $        0.25

 |

 $      27.00

Carl Edwards

 $        0.25

 |

 $      26.25

Kasey Kahne

 $        0.25

 |

 $      24.25

Austin Dillon

 $        0.25

 |

 $      22.50

Ryan Newman

 $        0.25

 |

 $      21.25

Tony Stewart

 $        0.25

 |

 $      17.25

Ryan Blaney

 $        0.25

 |

 $      16.00

Danica Patrick

 $        0.25

 |

 $      15.25

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

 $        0.25

 |

 $      15.25

Chris Buescher

 $        0.25

 |

 $      11.00

Matt DiBenedetto

 $        0.25

 |

 $        5.75

Losers

Kyle Larson

 $      (0.25)

 |

 $      25.00

Chase Elliott

 $      (0.25)

 |

 $      24.75

Kurt Busch

 $      (0.25)

 |

 $      24.50

Jamie McMurray

 $      (0.25)

 |

 $      23.25

Greg Biffle

 $      (0.25)

 |

 $      17.75

Paul Menard

 $      (0.25)

 |

 $      16.00

Clint Bowyer

 $      (0.25)

 |

 $      14.25

Aric Almirola

 $      (0.25)

 |

 $      13.25

Casey Mears

 $      (0.25)

 |

 $        9.00

David Ragan

 $      (0.25)

 |

 $        6.25

Cole Whitt

 $      (0.25)

 |

 $        5.25

Michael Annett

 $      (0.25)

 |

 $        5.25

Martin Truex Jr.

 $      (0.50)

 |

 $      27.50

Brad Keselowski

 $      (0.50)

 |

 $      27.25

Trevor Bayne

 $      (0.50)

 |

 $      18.50

Landon Cassill

 $      (0.50)

 |

 $        7.75

 

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.