NASCAR Fantasy Live Picks, 2014 Kentucky, Quaker State 400

Congratulations to Carl Edwards for his first Sprint Cup road course victory at Sonoma. If you were unfortunate enough to pick Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, or AJ Allmendinger, you were less cheerful than the 99 team after Sunday’s race. NASCAR returns to the intermediate-sized track in Kentucky this weekend. The top drivers have dominated the first three races in Sparta. My suggestion would be to pick your top-three drivers first, then choose the best drivers with the remaining salary cap dollars.

Each of the last three years, a driver has led over 100 laps at the track. The odds are in favor of one car being dominant this weekend. If you pick the correct driver, you will be well on your way to success. My strategy is to choose the drivers with the highest probability of being the dominant driver based on their history at the track. This will provide the best chance of winning in the fantasy live league.

Kyle Busch has led the most laps of any driver at Kentucky. He has the second-best average finish in the series. Kyle Busch has been decent in 2014, but he has not been one of the elite drivers. If he is able to duplicate his historical performance, Busch has a high probability of netting fantasy points for your team. The driver with the second-most Fantasy live points at Kentucky is Jimmie Johnson. Johnson led 182 laps in last year’s race, and he has a sixth place average finish at the track. His team has seen the most success over the last six weeks and could easily be the team to dominate this race.

Matt Kenseth is the only Sprint Cup driver with a top-five average finish at Kentucky. Although he has not led as many laps as Johnson or Busch, Kenseth has shown consistency in 2014 and should not be a disappointing pick. Other drivers at the top worth your consideration include Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon, and Kurt Busch.

My picks of Johnson, Kenseth, and Kyle Busch absorb $81.25 of my $100 budget, leaving little space for the two remaining drivers. Although the price is steep, I am betting that they have the best opportunity to lead over 100 laps. David Ragan continues to be a value choice at $10.25 and usually exceeds his dollar value. With a 21st place average finish at Kentucky, you should find value with Ragan.

With only $9.50 remaining in my budget, the best options remaining are Landon Cassill, Reed Sorenson, and Travis Kvapil. Kvapil has the most points per fantasy dollar, but I do not trust his team in 2014. That leaves a toss-up between Cassill and Sorensen with the edge going to Cassill. His 28th place average finish at the track is not impressive, but still will provide enough value for his $7.50 price tag.

FANTASY NASCAR LIVE SALARY CAP

Fantasy Live on Nascar.com uses a salary cap format to prevent us from simply starting the best drivers every week. The scoring system combines laps led, fast laps, final position, and start-to-finish differential. Our formula basically determines the total number of points earned for each driver and divides that number by the salary cap figure. We can then determine how many points to expect from each fantasy dollar.

For additional clarification on the formula, we will review the details from Kurt Busch this week.

KURT BUSCH AT KENTUCKY

  • Total laps led last three years at Kentucky: 41 (17 laps per race = 8.5 points)
  • Fast Laps: Cannot be calculated with 100% accuracy
  • Average Finish Position: 11th = 33 points per race
  • Start-to-Finish Differential: Plus 4 = 4 points
  • Total points earned by race: 43.5
  • Nascar.com Fantasy Live Salary Cap Figure: $23.50
  • Points per fantasy dollar: 43.5/$23.50 equals 1.94 points per dollar

For rookies with no historical data at the track, we will use their data from all tracks in the 2014 season to provide an idea what to expect. The Fantasy Live points per dollar numbers are below with this week’s picks in bold.

GROUP A ($25.00 or higher)

  • Kyle Busch 2.94
  • Jimmie Johnson 2.50
  • Matt Kenseth 2.10
  • Brad Keselowski 1.83
  • Kasey Kahne 1.61
  • Jeff Gordon 1.47
  • Kevin Harvick 1.30
  • Joey Logano 1.23
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1.01
  • Clint Bowyer 0.85

GROUP B ($20.00 – $24.99)

  • Kurt Busch 1.94
  • Martin Truex Jr. 1.75
  • Denny Hamlin 1.55
  • Jamie McMurray 1.44
  • Aric Almirola 1.38
  • Kyle Larson 1.30
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 1.15
  • Marcus Ambrose 1.08
  • Austin Dillon 1.06
  • Tony Stewart 0.91
  • Ryan Newman 0.72
  • Paul Menard 0.69
  • Greg Biffle 0.47
  • Brian Vickers 0.18

GROUP C ($15.00 – $19.99)

  • Danica Patrick 1.77
  • Casey Mears 1.61
  • AJ Allmendinger 1.37
  • Justin Allgaier 1.27

GROUP D ($10.00 – $14.99)

  • David Ragan 2.78
  • David Gilliland 1.77
  • Cole Whitt 1.33

GROUP E ($9.99 or lower)

  • Travis Kvapil 3.59
  • Reed Sorensen 2.52
  • Michael Annett 2.21
  • Landon Cassill 2.17
  • Alex Bowman 1.49
  • JJ Yeley 1.25
  • Ryan Truex Jr. 0.88
  • Josh Wise 0.26

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