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Cap Considerations

Caps After Talladega

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

Just as there is nothing particularly predictive that will help select a roster for Talladega SuperSpeedway or Daytona International Speedway, races on those tracks do not help a player select a fantasy team going forward. A win on either of those tracks can—but does not always—create positive momentum and an accident can—but does not always—destroy it. Players have to wait and see what the outcome will be of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s victory or Joey Logano’s crash.

Instead, the weeks following the plate races tend to allow for season-to-date adjustments. It is a good time to allow drivers to find a more natural level without the emotion or drama of one good or one bad race.

Drivers who advanced this week are ones that have been performing well for some time. Jimmie Johnson now has a streak to his credit that is similar to Kevin Harvick’s at the beginning of the season. The No. 48 finished in the top three in his past four races and so his cap is beginning to rival that of Harvick and Logano. For fantasy players who like to set their roster from the top and work down, each weekly decision is going to have to revolve around these three for some time to come.

Martin Truex Jr. continues to rise to $21 and has still not found his natural level. In terms of point production he is in the range of Brad Keselowski and Jeff Gordon. Since massive jumps or declines in value can create major problems for players who manage their lineups weekly with a high degree of granularity, gameplay demands more subtle movements. Truex’s 50 cent increase is substantial given how others at his same level performed. Expect his increases to continue in the coming weeks and plan accordingly.

Kurt Busch continues to rise, although he is beginning to get closer to a perfect amount. Several results outside the top 10 conflict with his strongest runs so that players are challenged weekly to decide which Busch is going to climb behind the wheel. Now that he has a victory under his belt from Richmond International Raceway, that somewhat erratic tendency is expected to intensify.

First time drivers are always difficult to value and handicap, but there is a lot of excitement around Erik Jones’ debut. Most often new drivers enter with a bargain basement price tag of $5, but this Young Gun is going to be in such superior equipment that he demanded a slightly higher amount. He enters the game at $7.50 and should still be one of this week’s best values unless he experiences trouble on the track. The issue with rookies is that players never know when trouble might occur.

Nearly all of the drivers who experienced a drop in value this week are strictly course corrections. Gordon has not completely shaken the bad luck that plagued him at the start of the season as was evidenced by another late-race crash at Talladega. It snapped a six-race, top-10 streak but that is not the reason for his decline. Only one of his results in that span ended in a top-five and he cannot afford a price of more than $27.

Matt Kenseth, Kyle Larson, and Kasey Kahne are other drivers in the $25-$26 range that simply needed to slip down the grid in order to allow for better fund management.

David Ragan moves from the No. 18 to the No. 55 this week for the remainder of the season and he might actually fare better with his new team. For the moment, however, he failed to produce enough points in a car that should contend for victories. Without that success, he cannot warrant his old price tag of $12.25. If he has a bad performance at Kansas, Ragan will continue to command less.

 

Gainers and Losers this week

Driver

Diff

 |

This weeks’ cap

Gainers

Jimmie Johnson

 $     0.50

 |

 $    27.50

Martin Truex Jr.

 $     0.50

 |

 $    21.00

Kurt Busch

 $     0.25

 |

 $    24.75

Ryan Newman

 $     0.25

 |

 $    23.75

Aric Almirola

 $     0.25

 |

 $    20.50

Ryan Blaney

 $     0.25

 |

 $    13.50

Cole Whitt

 $     0.25

 |

 $      9.50

Chris Buescher

 $     0.25

 |

 $      7.25

Matt DiBenedeto

 $     0.25

 |

 $      6.25

JJ Yeley

 $     0.25

 |

 $      5.50

Losers

Jeff Gordon

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    27.00

Matt Kenseth

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    26.00

Kyle Larson

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    25.25

Kasey Kahne

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    24.75

Clint Bowyer

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    22.50

Carl Edwards

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    21.00

Greg Biffle

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    20.50

Tony Stewart

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    18.75

AJ Allmendinger

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    17.50

Austin Dillon

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    17.00

Casey Mears

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    12.75

David Ragan

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    12.00

Michael Waltrip

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    10.25

Brian Scott

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      7.75

Michael Annett

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      6.50

Jeb Burton

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      6.00

 

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.