Loading scores...
Cap Considerations

Caps After Kansas (Spring)

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

As the season rolls toward the one-third mark, a lot of movement occurred throughout the NASCAR.com Fantasy Live game. Several of the most expensive drivers jockeyed for position and the net sum was zero from Kyle Busch’s $28.25 through Dale Earnhardt Jr. at $26.50, which relates to the relative strength and popularity of both Busch brothers, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, and Earnhardt.

These drivers are the most consistently strong racers and their ability to score top-five points in the salary cap game varies from course to course—but not so much that there is a huge rationale for increasing or decreasing them other than as a relative proposition to the others.

The biggest-named driver who experienced the greatest adjustment was Joey Logano. After going nearly two years without a failure to finish, he has crashed out of back-to-back races in the past two weeks. Neither incident was his fault, but they are also not the reason why his cap was adjusted. Logano simply has not been as solid as he was last year and fantasy owners are tired of waiting for the tide to turn. It will eventually do that—and that is one reason to be a little cautious when adjusting his cap—but currently he is not showing much more strength than either Jamie McMurray or Martin Truex Jr.. For that reason, he needed a pay cut of 50 cents to $26.25.

Denny Hamlin is also failing to live up to preseason expectations and he has taken medium-sized pay cuts along the way. This week he lost another 50 cents in value and will soon drop below the magic $25 mark that separates the marquee drivers from the provisionally strong. The key phrase in that last sentence is “provisionally strong,” however, and Hamlin will continue to be a good value on flat tracks when he stays out of trouble. On other courses, keep a close eye on him but wait for all four Joe Gibbs Racing drivers to finish with the leaders again before committing.

He keeps coming close and once he finally gets the bad luck behind him, Kyle Larson is going to win his share of races, but bad luck and mistakes are costing fantasy owners a lot. For the first time in a long while, Larson looked like the dominant racer we’ve come to expect on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks, but he was collected by Hamlin in an accident that had nothing to do with Larson’s talent. Still, if he cannot produce points, Larson is not worthy of a salary cap greater than $21 so he dropped to $20.50 this week.

Tony Stewart may have been one of the most pleasant surprises since his return to the seat of the No. 14. He did not end the 2015 season very strong and no one really expected him to start this year much better. When he suffered an injury in an off-track, preseason incident and missed eight races at the start of the year, even less was expected. His 19th-place finish at Richmond International Raceway did not turn a lot of heads and it was impossible to adjust his value after Talladega because Ty Dillon raced the car, but he finally impressed the salary cap manager at Kansas Speedway. He remained on the lead lap all afternoon and finished respectably in 12th.

Chase Elliott continues to run like a veteran and likewise continues to experience wide swings in his cap. He jumped up $1 following his eighth top-10 of the season in the GoBowling.com 400 and yet is still a great value at $21.50. If not for the fact that he is a rookie and subject to making mistakes at random times, his salary should be somewhere in the same range as Edwards and Kenseth. Given time, he will increase to greater than $25 if he continues to show this same kind of consistency to go along with his raw power.
 

Gainers and Losers this week

Driver

Diff

 |

This week’s Cap

Gainers

Chase Elliott

 $     1.00

 |

 $    21.50

Tony Stewart

 $     0.50

 |

 $    13.50

Kyle Busch

 $     0.25

 |

 $    28.25

Kevin Harvick

 $     0.25

 |

 $    27.75

Kurt Busch

 $     0.25

 |

 $    27.75

Matt Kenseth

 $     0.25

 |

 $    26.25

Trevor Bayne

 $     0.25

 |

 $    18.00

AJ Allmendinger

 $     0.25

 |

 $    15.00

Danica Patrick

 $     0.25

 |

 $    13.00

Landon Cassill

 $     0.25

 |

 $      9.25

Matt DiBenedeto

 $     0.25

 |

 $      6.75

Losers

Carl Edwards

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    27.50

Jimmie Johnson

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    26.75

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    26.50

Jamie McMurray

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    21.75

Kasey Kahne

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    20.00

Aric Almirola

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    18.50

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    13.25

Regan Smith

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      9.00

Michael McDowell

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      7.75

Michael Annett

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      5.25

Joey Logano

 $    (0.50)

 |

 $    26.25

Denny Hamlin

 $    (0.50)

 |

 $    25.25

Kyle Larson

 $    (0.50)

 |

 $    20.50

Greg Biffle

 $    (0.50)

 |

 $    19.00

Brian Scott

 $    (0.50)

 |

 $    12.00

Casey Mears

 $    (0.50)

 |

 $    10.75

Paul Menard

 $    (1.00)

 |

 $    21.00

 

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.