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Cap Considerations

Caps After Richmond (Spring)

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

There are a couple of track types that are so unique, salary cap managers have to make special adjustments for them. Restrictor-plate, superspeedways make up only four races per year and for most racers they can be completely unpredictable, but there are a few who seem to step up to the challenge. This summer, road courses will also experience one-race bumps for a handful of drivers.

Before the Daytona 500, several drivers saw increases that were intended to last only for that race. Before Atlanta Motor Speedway, they dropped back to their natural level but a few have climbed through the ranks. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was one such racer. He became one of the most expensive drivers in the field before the 500, but when he spun on his own without contact from another racer, he cost fantasy owners a lot of points. He is still one of the best drivers in the tight confines of a restrictor-plate, superspeedway draft, however, and will still be highly regarded this week at Talladega SuperSpeedway. He would have improved by 25 cents naturally, but since is one of his favorite tracks, he jumped up the roster by $1.

David Gilliland also took a momentary bump of $1 to land at $6.25. He is making a limited start in a third Front Row Motorsports ride and needs to find enough speed to make the show, but that should not be much of a problem for an organization that has some of their best showings in these wild card races. Along with Landon Cassill (who increased in value by 25 cents to $8.75) and Chris Buescher (who actually lost a little momentum in recent weeks and is priced at $5.50 in the NASCAR Fantasy Live game), this organization could be among the most valuable in terms of price per points earned.

Carl Edwards’ 50 cent increase this week had more to do with his overall strength than his ability on the plate track. After dominating the past two races in terms of average running position and winning back-to-back events, he is the hottest driver on the circuit. He can be crash-prone on plate tracks, however, and for the upcoming Geico 500 at Talladega, he is best left in the garage.

No one took huge cuts this week, although 15 racers (or nearly 40 percent of the field) needed slightly downward adjustments. Joey Logano was one of the drivers who simply is not living up to expectations based on his 2016 performance and it is time to let him find a more profitably place on the roster in order to be fantasy relevant. He slipped to $27 this week and still has some way to go before he finds a natural level closer to $26, but it is difficult to make such wild swings when he is capable of scoring a top-five on any given week.

The same is true of teammate Brad Keselowski, who dropped to $26.25 and for most of the same reasons as Logano.  

The other notable losers this week belonged to the 2016 Rookie of the Year battle. Ryan Blaney is losing ground to Chase Elliott in the freshman race. They are beginning to separate on the track and in salary cap games as well. They both have a place on fantasy rosters, but only when Blaney has reached a level that allows him to earn the same number of points per dollar as his principal rival.

Brian Scott and Chris Buescher also took 25 cent decreases this week to land at $12.75 and $5.50 respectively. So far this season, the rookie battle has not improved the three bottom contenders, but if Elliott or Blaney start to slip at all and these first-year drivers smell blood in the water, this could change in a hurry.

 

Gainers and Losers this week

Driver

Diff

 |

This week’s Cap

Gainers

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

 $     1.00

 |

 $    28.00

David Gilliland

 $     1.00

 |

 $      6.25

Carl Edwards

 $     0.50

 |

 $    28.00

Chase Elliott

 $     0.50

 |

 $    19.75

Jimmie Johnson

 $     0.25

 |

 $    27.25

Kurt Busch

 $     0.25

 |

 $    27.25

Jamie McMurray

 $     0.25

 |

 $    21.75

Trevor Bayne

 $     0.25

 |

 $    17.25

AJ Allmendinger

 $     0.25

 |

 $    14.50

Danica Patrick

 $     0.25

 |

 $    12.50

Landon Cassill

 $     0.25

 |

 $      8.75

David Ragan

 $     0.25

 |

 $      7.50

Losers

Joey Logano

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    27.00

Brad Keselowski

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    26.25

Martin Truex Jr.

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    25.75

Ryan Newman

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    21.75

Austin Dillon

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    20.75

Aric Almirola

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    19.00

Ryan Blaney

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    16.75

Clint Bowyer

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    16.50

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    13.75

Brian Scott

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    12.75

Casey Mears

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    11.75

Regan Smith

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      9.50

Michael McDowell

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      8.25

Chris Buescher

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      5.50

Ryan Ellis

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      4.75

 

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.