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Cap Considerations

Draft Kings: iRacing Geico 70

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: April 27, 2020, 11:11 am ET

Talladega Superspeedway has never been predictable. And while fantasy players are slowly learning the stats for iRacing there are a lot of unknowns on that platform as well.

Massive crashes have been the rule in all four NASCAR Pro Invitational iRacing events this year, so the 'Big One' at Talladega is not going to alter the final standings any more than we’ve become accustomed. In all likelihood, the drivers who have been strong on the 1.5-milers of eHomestead and eTexas will score maximum points this week. The same is true for the top earners at eBristol and eRichmond.

Virtual racing takes some skill, but it is not the same hand-eye-coordination required in the real world. If Joey Logano has not figured out the subtleties of getting around the short tracks (and he hasn’t), he is not going to magically improve at Talladega.

One thing is similar this week as in the real world: Make this week’s selection based on the past four iRaces and not your heart. In case that wasn’t clear: Don’t activate Jeff Gordon.


Group A: Most Expensive (>=$10,000)

Timmy Hill ($10,800)
It’s difficult to pass on the winner of the last two iRaces and William Byron ($11,100) remains one of the top values this week. If you set multiple lineups for Talladega, he should be on half of them. But it’s equally difficult to pass on Hill. He is the only driver with a perfect record of top-10s in Pro Invitational events. In fact, he has not finished worse than third. And that is not a fluke. The field will be gunning for Byron, which may allow Hill to fly under the radar.

Group B: (Between $9,800 and $8,500)

Parker Kligerman ($9,200)
Kligerman was awarded an 11th-hour reprieve last week that allowed him to race eRichmond. He converted that into a third-place finish. He was also given a provisional at eMartinsville in the NASCAR America Short Track Challenge and finished in the top five. Combine those with his eBristol effort and Kligerman enters this weekend with a three-race streak of top-10s. In eight attempts on the iRacing platform against NASCAR competitors, he has yet to finish worse than 14th.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($9,800)
In the introduction, we said not to go with your heart. It’s going to be hard to take that advice where Earnhardt is concerned. His skill in the draft is masterful and we’ve never quite figured out exactly why. Is he lucky or good? Does he simply have better instincts than most of his competition? Whatever it is, it might carry over to the virtual platform. At the very least, he has as much of an opportunity to finish in the top 10 as anyone else at this level.

Group C: (Between $8,300 and $7,400)

Tyler Reddick ($7,400)
We’re not sure why Reddick is quite this cheap. He finished eighth at eBristol and had a good run going at eRichmond before finishing 12th. With a reset or two at his disposal, he has a chance to show the field how aggressive he can be and that might get him ahead of a late-race 'Big One'. If he shows us enough, Reddick might even become a pick for the real Talladega race once NASCAR returns to action.

Michael McDowell ($7,700)
NASCAR limited the field at eRichmond and McDowell did not get a chance to race. If he had, we suspect he would have continued a trajectory that led from the top 15 (14th) at eTexas to the top 10 (10th) at eBristol. In real life or the virtual world, McDowell has made a career of being patient and peaking at the right time. Expect him to get his second straight top-10.

Group D: (Between $7,200 and $6,100)

Chase Elliott ($6,800)
You are not going to get a chance to sign Elliott this cheaply once the series returns to action in the real world, so now is a good time to take a gamble on Elliott. The complaint about him at Daytona and Talladega is that he lacks patience. Like former Hendrick Motorsports driver Gordon, he wants to make moves on the big tracks when there is no one to go with him. That often puts him in a bad position deep in the field where he is forced to make even riskier moves. In iRacing, he has a reset button, however.  

Erik Jones ($7,200)
Jones’ luck in iRacing is a lot like his experience in the real world. He is prone to crashing, but when he gets to the checkers without incident, he is more than capable of earning a top-10. Jones was 10th in the first Pro Invitational race at eHomesead and seventh last week at eBristol. By our calculator, that gives him a 50/50 chance of getting another top-10. And those aren’t bad odds for Talladega.

Group E: (Less than or equal to $6,000)

Cole Custer ($4,900)
Custer is young and aggressive. This is his first attempt in a NASCAR Pro Invitational race, but we suspect he’s turned a few laps in video games in the past. The best thing about him is that he has one of three drivers valued under $5,000 and that may allow you to take both Hill and Byron in Group A.

 

Draft Kings Worksheet

(Since Bristol – 1st DK game)

Driver

Avg.
Rank

Total
Points
Earned

Avg.
Points

This
Week's
Cap

Points
Per K

Group

William Byron

5.0

313.5

104.5

$11,100

          9.41

A

Denny Hamlin

8.7

111.5

55.8

$10,500

          5.31

A

Timmy Hill

4.0

100.5

50.3

$10,800

          4.65

A

Garrett Smithley

10.1

63.0

31.5

$10,100

          3.12

A

 

Parker Kligerman

6.8

98.5

49.3

$9,200

          5.35

B

Kyle Busch

10.7

82.0

41.0

$9,400

          4.36

B

JH Nemechek

11.7

68.0

34.0

$8,800

          3.86

B

Landon Cassill

8.7

59.0

29.5

$8,700

          3.39

B

Ryan Preece

7.8

64.8

32.4

$9,600

          3.37

B

Matt DiBenedetto

16.2

55.5

27.8

$8,500

          3.26

B

Alex Bowman

12.7

46.5

23.3

$9,000

          2.58

B

Dale Earnhardt Jr./p>

9.7

40.0

20.0

$9,800

          2.04

B

 

Bobby Labonte

17.8

88.5

44.3

$7,500

          5.90

C

Tyler Reddick

10.7

83.0

41.5

$7,400

          5.61

C

Michael McDowell

13.2

33.0

33.0

$7,700

          4.29

C

Clint Bowyer

16.1

68.5

34.3

$8,200

          4.18

C

Christopher Bell

14.3

51.0

25.5

$8,300

          3.07

C

Joey Logano

17.8

41.5

20.8

$7,900

          2.63

C

Jeff Gordon

 

 

 

$8,000

             -  

C

 

Ross Chastain

14.9

70.0

35.0

$7,000

          5.00

D

Erik Jones

16.4

69.0

34.5

$7,200

          4.79

D

Chris Buescher

19.7

57.5

28.8

$6,400

          4.49

D

Brad Keselowski

17.7

53.0

26.5

$6,300

          4.21

D

Chase Elliott

19.4

56.8

28.4

$6,800

          4.17

D

Kurt Busch

19.3

43.0

21.5

$6,500

          3.31

D

Daniel Suarez

23.2

28.5

14.3

$6,100

          2.34

D

Kevin Harvick

28.5

3.5

3.5

$6,600

          0.53

D

 

Ty Dillon

17.6

52.5

26.3

$5,900

          4.45

E

Jimmie Johnson

21.4

44.5

22.3

$5,800

          3.84

E

Austin Dillon

18.0

34.5

17.3

$5,400

          3.19

E

Ricky Stenhouse Jr./p>

22.2

17.0

17.0

$6,000

          2.83

E

Ryan Blaney

23.3

26.0

13.0

$5,700

          2.28

E

Aric Almirola

 

 

 

$5,500

             -  

E

Joey Gase

46.0

 

 

$5,200

             -  

E

Brennan Poole

 

 

 

$5,100

             -  

E

Corey LaJoie

22.0

 

 

$5,000

             -  

E

Cole Custer

 

 

 

$4,900

             -  

E

Chad Finchum

 

 

 

$4,800

             -  

E

JJ Yeley

 

 

 

$4,700

             -  

E

 

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.