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Cap Considerations

Caps After Texas

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

It is difficult to find the right price for Kevin Harvick. While he is slowly creeping up on demanding one-third of a NASCAR Fantasy Live player’s budget, he continues to be one of the better values in the game when his cap is divided by the number of points he earns. In the Duck Commander 500, 90 points was the sixth consecutive race in which he gave players the most or second-most markers. Yes, he is expensive—but yes, he is worth it.

Martin Truex Jr., David Ragan, and Chris Buescher continue to be the biggest movers for the second week in a row because their caps continue to get adjusted to find their natural level. Two pieces of information came out during the Duck Commander 500 weekend that might impact how high these drivers can go.

Erik Jones’ victory in the XFINITY race at Texas Motor Speedway have the powers-that-be looking at him as a suitable replacement for Kyle Busch in a few races this spring, while Ragan’s short contract is up following Talladega SuperSpeedway. When Ragan moves back into the No. 34, Buescher’s services will no longer be required.

The other gem of information was that Kyle Busch tweeted a picture of himself without a cast, which leaves players to believe he will return sooner than expected.

Brad Keselowski continues to inch up the grid with a 25 cent boost in cap to $27.75. His fifth-place finish at Texas earned the fifth-most points, which was the fourth consecutive race in which he has been a top-five value.

The only driver who outperformed Harvick last week was Jimmie Johnson, but he did not get a bump in salary nor did he lose any ground. The reasoning behind leaving him at $26.25 is simple; he has not been uniformly strong all season. He also scored the most points at Atlanta en route to his first victory of the year, but in back-to-back weeks at Phoenix International Raceway and Auto Club Speedway he pocketed only the ninth most. His salary cap is the sixth-highest in the game and that may yet be a little expensive unless he performs as well at Bristol Motor Speedway as he did at Texas Motor Speedway.

Matt Kenseth is on his way down the grid and could fall further if he does not become more productive. His fantasy owners pocketed only 15 points at Texas on the heels of 13 points at Auto Club and 16.5 at Phoenix. In all three instances, he was one of the 15-worst earners and simply cannot command a price tag of greater than $26. The team is strong and one does not want to overreact and make him a bargain-basement racer, but the clock is ticking and the $25 mark is looking much more reasonable.

Ryan Newman is another driver who took a hit in salary cap despite his 12th-place finish. He earned only the 20th-most points of 27 in the Duck Commander 500, which came on the heels of his 37th-best production at Martinsville on race previously and news that he will almost certainly lose several key members of the No. 31 crew for six weeks.

 

Gainers and Losers this week

Driver

Diff

 |

This weeks’ cap

Gainers

Martin Truex Jr.

 $     0.50

 |

 $    20.25

David Ragan

 $     0.50

 |

 $    12.50

Chris Buescher

 $     0.50

 |

 $      6.50

Kevin Harvick

 $     0.25

 |

 $    29.00

Brad Keselowski

 $     0.25

 |

 $    27.75

Denny Hamlin

 $     0.25

 |

 $    26.00

Kasey Kahne

 $     0.25

 |

 $    25.00

Kurt Busch

 $     0.25

 |

 $    23.75

Aric Almirola

 $     0.25

 |

 $    20.00

Casey Mears

 $     0.25

 |

 $    13.25

Danica Patrick

 $     0.25

 |

 $    13.00

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

 $     0.25

 |

 $    12.50

Trevor Bayne

 $     0.25

 |

 $    11.75

Brett Moffitt

 $     0.25

 |

 $      8.50

Michael McDowell

 $     0.25

 |

 $      7.75

Matt DiBenedeto

 $     0.25

 |

 $      5.75

Alex Kennedy

 $     0.25

 |

 $      5.50

Losers

Matt Kenseth

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    26.00

Kyle Larson

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    25.50

Ryan Newman

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    23.00

Clint Bowyer

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    22.75

Paul Menard

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    22.00

Greg Biffle

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    21.25

Tony Stewart

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    19.25

Austin Dillon

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    17.50

Justin Allgaier

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    10.00

Michael Annett

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      7.00

Alex Bowman

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      7.00

Sam Hornish Jr.

 $    (0.50)

 |

 $    15.75

Ryan Blaney

 $    (0.50)

 |

 $    13.25

 

 

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.