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Aric Almirola
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NASCAR Fantasy Cheat Sheet

Ford 400 Cheat Sheet

by Dan Beaver

And then there was one.

Thirty-five races in the 2018 schedule boil down to one last opportunity to make up ground on the competition – and there is good news and bad news.

The good news is that this has been one of the most predictable races throughout the years. The bad news is also that this race has been predictable and there is not a lot of opportunity to make ground on the competition.

1. Kevin Harvick
The only time Harvick finished outside the top 10 at Homestead in its current configuration was 2007 when he was 19th. His last four races all ended with top-fives, including a win in 2014.

2. Kyle Busch
Busch does not have the same consistency as Harvick, but he finished first in 2015 and was second last year to prove he is worthy to be this week's top challenger.

3. Joey Logano
Logano has not yet won at Homestead, but he has been in the hunt during the past three seasons with results of fourth through sixth.

4. Chase Elliott
Last year, Elliott was hesitant to get in the middle of the playoff battle and settled for fifth in the final Ford 400 rundown. This year, he says he won't be as polite.

5. Kyle Larson
Larson enters the weekend with a three-race streak of top-fives at Homestead that includes a second in 2016 and third in 2017.

6. Brad Keselowski
Before finishing 12th in the Texas 500, Keselowski was riding a five-race, top-10 streak on 1.5-mile tracks. Four of his last five attempts at Homestead also ended in top-10s.

7. Martin Truex Jr.
Truex won Homestead last year, but that is his only top-10 in the last four races on this track. He's been good, but less dominant than Harvick or Busch on 1.5-milers so far in 2018.


8. Kurt Busch
Six of Busch's 10 1.5-mile runs this year ended in top-10s, but none of them have been top-fives. With this likely being his final run with Stewart-Haas Racing, he could just as easily finish outside the top 15.

9. Aric Almirola
In his first five races on 1.5-mile tracks, Almirola had four top-15s (with a best of ninth). His last four attempts on them ended in a streak of top-10s.

10. Ryan Blaney
Blaney did not get off to a great start on the 1.5-milers this year with four results worse than 10th in the first six races. His last four have netted three top-fives and another top-10, however.

11. Erik Jones
All but two of Jones' attempts on 1.5-milers this year ended in results of 11th or better. Now that he is no longer in the playoffs, he is flying under the radar.

12. Austin Dillon
For the first time in 2018, Dillon enters a race with back-to-back top-10s. On the 1.5-mile tracks, he has three straight results of 11th or 10th.

13. Matt Kenseth
Now that he has found his way into the top 10, Kenseth could repeat. Seven of his last eight Homestead races ended in top-10s, including his last five consecutive.

14. Jamie McMurray
In the last four years, McMurray has alternated results of fifth and 13th. If the pattern holds, he is set to score a fifth this year.

15. Denny Hamlin
Hamlin had a spate of top-10s on 1.5-milers in the middle of the season, but he has only one top-15 (a 14th at Kansas) in his last four starts.

16. Ryan Newman
Newman is about to embark on the next stage of his career. His Homestead handicap is uncertain because he scored top-10s in about every other race since 2009.

17. Paul Menard
Menard could be one of this week's top differentiators with three top-10s and four more top-15s in 10 starts on 1.5-mile tracks this year.

18. Clint Bowyer
A big part of the reason Bowyer did not make it to the Championship 4 was a modest effort on 1.5-mile tracks. He has only three top-10s in 10 starts, including a 26th at Texas in his last outing.

19. Alex Bowman
Bowman has improved on 1.5-milers in 2018. Three of his last six attempts on them ended in top-10s with one more top-15 thrown in for good measure.

20. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Stenhouse has only one top-10 on a 1.5-mile track this year, but he came close on two other occasions with an 11th - including this fall at Texas.

21. Jimmie Johnson
The similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks were once Johnson's playground. This year, he has only one top-10 on them – a fifth in the Coke 600.

22. Daniel Suarez
Since finishing eighth at Vegas, Suarez has struggled. He was 24th at Kansas and 28th at Texas in his last two starts on this track type.

23. Regan Smith
In 10 starts since he took over the No. 95, Smith has scored one top-10, three top-15s, and six results of 22nd or better.

24. Chris Buescher
With four results of either 15th or 16th, Buescher has been one of the most surprisingly good values on 1.5-mile tracks in 2018 and he's finished outside the top 30 only once.

25. AJ Allmendinger
With the road courses and flat tracks behind him, Allmendinger's chance to shine is all but gone. Seven of his last eight 1.5-mile attempts ended in top-25s, however.

26. David Ragan
Ragan had a solid performance on this track last year with a 17th-place result. That does not quite offset the previous five efforts that ended between 27th and 31st.

27. Michael McDowell
Only one of McDowell's 10 attempts on 1.5-mile tracks this year ended outside the top 30.

28. William Byron
Now that he has clinched the 2018 Rookie honors, the pressure to perform might be off Byron's shoulders. That's a good thing because he's failed to finish four of 10 races on 1.5-milers this year.

29. Ty Dillon
Watch Dillon closely in practice because his 25th at Kansas and 22nd at Texas in the last two races on this track type could make him a hidden gem.

30. Bubba Wallace
One of Wallace's three career top-10s came on a 1.5-mile track. He finished eighth this spring at Texas in a race with heavy attrition.

31. Matt DiBenedetto
Homestead is not configured the same as the doglegged 1.5-milers, but many of the same strengths are needed. DiBenedetto has an average finish of 27.9 on them this year.

32. Landon Cassill
Cassill has three top-25s in eight races on 1.5-mile tracks this year. Unfortunately, he also has a pair of results 35th or worse.

33. Ross Chastain
Chastain has been uneven in his last 10 races, but he has six results in the 20s to recommend him. His best effort was a 20th on another 1.5-mile track in Las Vegas.

34. Corey LaJoie
LaJoie has made all of the 1.5-mile starts since Kansas this spring. He finished 24th in that race and had a best result of 16th at Vegas this fall.

35. Kyle Weatherman
Weatherman has actually been a decent value on a couple of occasions in the second half of the season with a pair of 31sts at Pocono and New Hampshire plus a 26th on the 1.5-miler in Vegas.

36. BJ McLeod
Since the traditional halfway point of the season at Daytona, McLeod has made 10 of 18 starts with an average finish of 33.5.

37. JJ Yeley
Yeley has not cracked the top 30 in his last six starts this year and his last two attempts ended in a 36th at Texas and 38th at Phoenix.

38. Timmy Hill
In six starts on 1.5-mile tracks, Hill has finished 32nd or 33rd three times. That could make him a decent value if he qualifies at the very back of the pack.

39. Tanner Berryhill
Berryhill's 2018 debut last week was less than auspicious, but he gets another opportunity this week in the season finale.

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.