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Cap Considerations

Caps After Texas (Fall)

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

The bad news is that Michael McDowell had his worst result in the past five weeks at Texas Motor Speedway. The good news is that he finished 23rd after starting 33rd and earned the 17th most points. NASCAR.com Fantasy Live has been aggressively improving his salary cap in the past five weeks, and he has gained $2.50 since the Bad Boy 300, but he just cracked the $10 mark and is still one of the best values in the game.

Alex Bowman was another moderately-priced driver who took a big increase this week. He will close out the season in Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 and is finally getting some momentum. A 13th-place finish last week was the fourth time in his last six efforts that he landed a top-15 and it allowed him to earn the 10th-most points. With a current price tag of $17.25, he is still only the 20th-most expensive driver in the game and anything better than a top-20 is going to make him a good value. That is not guaranteed on a short, flat track, but it is certainly a good bet.

Jimmie Johnson continues to rise in cap value, but he was far from perfect last week at Texas so he only increased by 25 cents. Phoenix is a good track for him and if a player manages the bottom of the cap this week they can pair him with Kevin Harvick, who dropped just a little on back-to-back modest showings in the past two weeks. Those two should help win any salary cap game.

Kurt Busch continues to struggle overall, so he lost 50 cents in cap value this week and fell to $23.75 in Fantasy Live. The good news is that he has a current four-race, top-10 streak at Phoenix and could be worth starting if he manages to improve slightly and challenge for a top-five. He is in the same general range as Kasey Kahne and Kyle Larson, who have been more consistent recently and flashier, but this week’s success in cap games will go to the bold.

At the top of the order, Kyle Busch leapt over Harvick while a couple of other adjustments were made below them. Brad Keselowski lost 25 cents in order to give Denny Hamlin sole possession of the $27 mark on a short, flat track, while Matt Kenseth put a quarter in Johnson’s coffers.

One of the biggest downward movers this week was Greg Biffle. Roush-Fenway Racing showed a flash of speed for a few weeks, but recently they have gone back to their old ways. Based on his raw Fantasy Power Rankings number, the driver of the No. 16 should be even cheaper still. Evaluate him this week, but don’t start Biffle until maybe the Ford 400 if he shows signs of life this week at Phoenix International Raceway. 

 

Gainers and Losers this week

Driver

Diff

 |

This Week’s Cap

Gainers

Michael McDowell

 $     0.75

 |

 $    10.25

Alex Bowman

 $     0.50

 |

 $    17.25

Kyle Busch

 $     0.25

 |

 $    28.00

Denny Hamlin

 $     0.25

 |

 $    27.00

Jimmie Johnson

 $     0.25

 |

 $    26.50

Carl Edwards

 $     0.25

 |

 $    26.00

Chase Elliott

 $     0.25

 |

 $    25.50

Ryan Blaney

 $     0.25

 |

 $    16.75

AJ Allmendinger

 $     0.25

 |

 $    16.25

Danica Patrick

 $     0.25

 |

 $    15.75

Clint Bowyer

 $     0.25

 |

 $    14.50

Brian Scott

 $     0.25

 |

 $      7.00

Losers

Kevin Harvick

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    27.75

Brad Keselowski

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    26.75

Matt Kenseth

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    26.25

Kyle Larson

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    24.50

Kasey Kahne

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    23.50

Jamie McMurray

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    22.50

Trevor Bayne

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    17.50

Paul Menard

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    15.25

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    15.00

Chris Buescher

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    10.25

Casey Mears

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      8.25

Regan Smith

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      7.50

Landon Cassill

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      6.50

David Ragan

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      5.50

Kurt Busch

 $    (0.50)

 |

 $    23.75

Greg Biffle

 $    (0.50)

 |

 $    16.50

 

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.