Loading scores...
Cap Considerations

Caps After Watkins Glen

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

Denny Hamlin was this week’s biggest gainer, but his 75 cent increase had less to do with his Watkins Glen International victory and was more attributable to the three races that preceded it. In order to be a great value, drivers need to not only run well from time to time, they should be predictable on tracks that have been traditionally kin. Hamlin is a flat track master—and while his results are typically better on the shorter versions, he also had solid results during his career at Pocono Raceway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With a three-race schedule of flat track races, he gained momentum in the form of consecutive top-10s and that helped him run well on the road course in New York. He can still be had for a relatively modest price of $24.50 that makes him the cheapest of the Joe Gibbs Racing juggernaut.

Trevor Bayne has been the class of Roush-Fenway Racing in recent weeks. He sits the highest in the points and still has a mathematical chance of overtaking Jamie McMurray to get into Chase contention. He also keeps popping up at interesting times like last week’s road course top-10. That was the third time in the past six races he finished 11th or better, and yet the No. 6 was just a little north of $19. With a 50 cent increase, he is still shy of $20—at $19.75 to be exact—and will find his way onto several rosters once the series rolls onto unrestricted, intermediate speedways.

Chris Buescher climbed to within three points of Chase contention last week and is the third driver to increase by more than a quarter. He almost certainly would have overtaken David Ragan at the Glen in the standings if he had not been swept into the same crash that collected the No. 23. When corner workers determined that his car was likely to oil down the track, they hooked it up and drug it to the garage. Buescher lost a lap and an opportunity to pass any more cars in the closing minutes, but now he needs to finish only one spot ahead of Ragan to be Chase eligible. Buescher will almost certainly make it and he is destined to be worth more than $6.75 before the playoffs begin because it was announced at the Glen that he will have full support from Roush-Fenway Racing for the remainder of the regular season.

AJ Allmendinger was this week’s biggest loser for two reasons. First, he lost the one-week, $1 bonus he received for being a road specialist and then he dropped another 50 cents to land at $14.25. Even when things were going his way at the Glen, he seemed dejected and highly stressed. He finished well, but took the blame for spinning Kyle Larson in the final turn and will not enter Bristol Motor Speedway in a very good state of mind. It will take a week or two to see if the pressure will increase or decrease now that his best opportunity to win in behind him, so fantasy owners should patiently watch.

Brian Scott continues to drop toward his natural level. He might still take a decrease or two in the coming weeks and land at the $5 mark, but for the moment it will cost $6 to roll the dice on the No. 44. In fact, Richard Petty Motorsports simply does not seem to be completely up to speed. Teammate Aric Almirola also lost 50 cents to settle in at $14.50 and will probably be cheaper after the Night Race at Bristol.

Another team that has not been overly impressive in recent weeks has been Hendrick Motorsports. Jimmie Johnson lost 50 cents this week to $24.25, Jeff Gordon lost 25 cents to settle in at $23.50, and Chase Elliott can be had for $24.50 which was also a 25 cent decrease. As the No. 88 team falls, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is also taking a hit in the salary cap and will be cheaper if, and when, he returns later in the season. The only driver in that camp who did not get a pay cut last week was Kasey Kahne and a big reason for that is he is already priced at a modest $21.25.

 

Gainers and Losers this week

Driver

Diff

 |

This Week’s Cap

Gainers

Denny Hamlin

 $     0.75

 |

 $    24.50

Trevor Bayne

 $     0.50

 |

 $    19.75

Chris Buescher

 $     0.50

 |

 $      6.75

Kyle Busch

 $     0.25

 |

 $    27.75

Joey Logano

 $     0.25

 |

 $    26.75

Martin Truex Jr.

 $     0.25

 |

 $    26.50

Kyle Larson

 $     0.25

 |

 $    23.00

Danica Patrick

 $     0.25

 |

 $    14.00

Landon Cassill

 $     0.25

 |

 $      9.50

Casey Mears

 $     0.25

 |

 $      8.50

Michael McDowell

 $     0.25

 |

 $      7.50

Michael Annett

 $     0.25

 |

 $      6.00

Josh Wise

 $     0.25

 |

 $      5.00

Losers

Kevin Harvick

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    28.00

Matt Kenseth

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    27.50

Kurt Busch

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    27.00

Carl Edwards

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    26.50

Chase Elliott

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    24.50

Jeff Gordon

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    23.50

Ryan Newman

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    22.75

Paul Menard

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    18.50

Ryan Blaney

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    16.50

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    13.00

David Ragan

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      8.50

Regan Smith

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      7.50

Matt DiBenedeto

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      4.75

Jimmie Johnson

 $    (0.50)

 |

 $    24.25

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

 $    (0.50)

 |

 $    23.50

Aric Almirola

 $    (0.50)

 |

 $    14.50

Brian Scott

 $    (1.00)

 |

 $      6.00

AJ Allmendinger

 $    (1.50)

 |

 $    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.