NASCAR Fantasy Live Picks, 2014 New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Sylvania 300

NASCAR Fantasy Live for New Hampshire Motor Speedway

We have completed one race of the new NASCAR playoff format and the only driver who is safe to advance is Brad Keselowski. He earned the win threading Kyle Larson and Jeff Gordon in an exciting Chicago finish. This week, we head back north to Loudon, a short flat track that will benefit most of the top drivers in the series. For Fantasy NASCAR enthusiasts, we have one less week to hold a lead or gain on our competition. My suggested strategy this week is the same as most races: Choose your three favorite drivers and fill in the remaining salary cap with the best possible budget drivers for the final two spots.

Two drivers from the Hendrick team are on the top of my list this week. Images are dashing through my head of Jimmie Johnson flat tires, but he remains one the most consistent drivers at New Hampshire. Since 2005, Johnson has the most fast laps and the second-most laps led. Johnson has finished in the Top Ten for 20 of his last 27 races. While running in the Top 15 for 82% of his laps since 2005, Johnson is a consistent driver and has a high probability for success.

Johnson’s teammate, Jeff Gordon, is the second choice for this week’s team. Like Johnson, Gordon has shown consistency at the track with a series-best 86% of his laps in the Top 15 since 2005. Gordon is second in the series in fast laps during this same time span. Gordon is one of the best drivers in the Sprint Cup in 2014, and expectations are high for him.

Last week, I suggested starting Keselowski because Brad Keselowski with an average history at a track is a recipe for success in 2014. Keselowski can run at New Hampshire with the fifth-best average finish position since 2005. His team has four victories already in 2014, and he is a frontrunner for a win every week.

Choosing three of the top drivers in the series leaves little salary cap room for the final two drivers. Reed Sorenson is at a budget value of $7.50 and has seen moderate success at the track. With Top 20 finishes in 6 of his 18 starts, he has proven the ability to be competitive. I am not anticipating a Top 20 finish out of Sorenson, but even a 30th place finish would provide value for him. I was between two rookies for the final spot on my roster. Alex Bowman actually had six fast laps earlier this year, but he is so risky that I am leaning towards a safer rookie. Michael Annett keeps me under the salary cap and has not disappointed me this year when he has been on my roster.


Fantasy Live on has a scoring system that combines fast laps, laps led, final position, and start-to-finish differential. In order to prevent us from simply selecting a super team, Fantasy Live uses a salary cap format. In order to locate potential value, our formula calculates the average number of Fantasy Live points earned by each driver and divides that number by the salary cap figure. The end result is a number to give you an idea how many Fantasy Live points to expect for each of your fantasy dollars. Denny Hamlin has a great history of success at New Hampshire. I wanted him on my roster, but unfortunately he missed the cut for the drivers listed above. As a consolation prize, we will use Hamlin’s historical data at New Hampshire to illustrate this formula.


  • Total laps led last five September New Hampshire races: 215 laps equals 21.5 points per race
  • Fast laps: cannot be calculated with 100% accuracy
  • Average finish position last five years: 9th place equals 35 points per race
  • Start-to-finish differential: Plus 4 differential equals four points per race
  • Total Fantasy Live points per race: 60.5
  • Denny Hamlin Fantasy Live salary cap figure: $23.00
  • Points per fantasy dollar: 60.5 / $23 = 2.63 points per dollar

Please see each driver’s points per dollar below. For rookies, we are using their numbers from the race earlier this year to give you an idea what to expect from them. This week’s suggested picks are in bold.

GROUP A ($25.00 or higher)

  • Clint Bowyer 2.18
  • Matt Kenseth 1.86
  • Jeff Gordon 1.68
  • Jimmie Johnson 1.57
  • Brad Keselowski 1.43
  • Kyle Busch 1.38
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1.27
  • Carl Edwards 1.22
  • Kevin Harvick 0.98
  • Joey Logano 0.97
  • Kasey Kahne 0.86

GROUP B ($20.00 – $24.99)

  • Denny Hamlin 2.63
  • Kyle Larson 2.29
  • Tony Stewart 2.09
  • Austin Dillon 1.86
  • Brian Vickers 1.70
  • Martin Truex Jr. 1.62
  • Greg Biffle 1.58
  • Ryan Newman 1.35
  • Jamie McMurray 1.31
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 1.13
  • Kurt Busch 1.06
  • Aric Almirola 1.05
  • Marcus Ambrose 0.93
  • Paul Menard 0.61

GROUP C ($15.00 – $19.99)

  • AJ Allmendinger 1.60
  • Danica Patrick 1.59
  • Casey Mears 0.60
  • Justin Allgaier (-0.33)

GROUP D ($10.00 – $14.99)

  • David Ragan 1.91
  • David Gilliland 1.04

GROUP E ($9.99 or lower)

  • Ryan Truex 2.42
  • Cole Whitt 2.14
  • Alex Bowman 2.12
  • Michael Annett 2.05
  • Landon Cassill 0.93
  • Reed Sorenson 0.67
  • Joe Nemecheck 0.13

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