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Cap Considerations

Caps After Phoenix (Spring)

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

Cap managers evaluate a lot of factors at the beginning of a season. They look at last year’s statistics, changes among key team members, and the resources of each team in the field. Despite that, there is no substitute for this season’s results when determining current salary caps. Inevitably drivers need to be adjusted early in the year—and some by significant sums. This week, 18 drivers increased in value; 15 decreased.

Austin Dillon is easily one of the most pleasant surprises early in 2016. He has swept the top-15 in his first four starts and earned top-10 points in the NASCAR Fantasy Live game three times. Atlanta was not one of his better showings overall since he banked just the 16th-most points, so it took strong performances at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway to really get one’s attention. Following those two races, he jumped $1 and now rests at $20 on the chart. He is probably going to be slightly more expensive next week so now is a good time to lock him in.

The other biggest gainer this week was Ryan Blaney. He increased his cap by 50 cents to $17 on the back of consecutive top-10s at Las Vegas and Phoenix. He has not been quite as productive at Dillon, but he is also considerably cheaper and his 33 points last week narrowly missed making him a top-10 value. He scored the fifth-most points at Vegas, however.

Last week we talked about the impact of the rookie battle on the caps and despite a poor finish by Chase Elliott, he did not lose any ground because he scored top-10 points. This week he was even stronger and earned the fifth-most in the NASCAR Fantasy Live game, so he crept up the grid. Fantasy owners need to pony up $17.25 to have him on their team, but with three consecutive top-10 points’ finishes he is well worth the expense.

Matt DiBenedetto is one of the least expensive drivers in the game, but occasionally one needs a sub-$7 driver to make room for the studs at the top of the order. Scoring an impressive top-20 last week earned the No. 83 team the 16th-most points, which could have been the difference between winning a losing in some cases.

HScott Motorsports came into 2016 with high expectations. They moved Justin Allgaier out of the car to make room for Clint Bowyer in hopes that he would improve their performance. So far, Bowyer has not only failed to live up to his potential, he has struggled to fill Allgaier’s shoes and is going to keep dropping down the cap grid until he can earn consecutive top-15s. With the exception of Vegas, he has been well in the back of the pack in NASCAR.com’s game and even with a price tag of $18.75 he is a little too expensive.

Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano have not been terrible, but there is only so much room at the top. With Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. exceeding expectations, they required adjustments of 50 cent losses apiece. Neither of them became bargain basement values exactly and it will take $27 to acquire them, but if these teams continue to make mistakes, they will keep losing ground. 

 

Gainers and Losers this week

Driver

Diff

 |

This week’s Cap

Gainers

Austin Dillon

 $     0.50

 |

 $    20.00

Ryan Blaney

 $     0.50

 |

 $    17.00

Kevin Harvick

 $     0.25

 |

 $    28.00

Kurt Busch

 $     0.25

 |

 $    27.50

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

 $     0.25

 |

 $    27.25

Denny Hamlin

 $     0.25

 |

 $    26.50

Carl Edwards

 $     0.25

 |

 $    26.25

Aric Almirola

 $     0.25

 |

 $    22.25

Kyle Larson

 $     0.25

 |

 $    21.00

Chase Elliott

 $     0.25

 |

 $    17.25

AJ Allmendinger

 $     0.25

 |

 $    13.25

Ty Dillon

 $     0.25

 |

 $    12.50

Danica Patrick

 $     0.25

 |

 $    11.75

Regan Smith

 $     0.25

 |

 $    10.00

Michael McDowell

 $     0.25

 |

 $      7.75

Landon Cassill

 $     0.25

 |

 $      7.50

David Ragan

 $     0.25

 |

 $      7.25

Matt DiBenedeto

 $     0.25

 |

 $      6.25

Losers

Jimmie Johnson

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    26.75

Ryan Newman

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    22.50

Jamie McMurray

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    22.25

Kasey Kahne

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    22.00

Paul Menard

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    22.00

Greg Biffle

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    21.25

Trevor Bayne

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    17.50

Brian Scott

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    14.50

Casey Mears

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    12.75

Chris Buescher

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      7.00

Jeffrey Earnhardt

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      5.25

Joey Logano

 $    (0.50)

 |

 $    27.00

Brad Keselowski

 $    (0.50)

 |

 $    27.00

Clint Bowyer

 $    (0.50)

 |

 $    18.75

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

 $    (0.50)

 |

 $    14.25

 

 

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.