NASCAR Fantasy Live Picks, 2014 Michigan, Quicken Loans 400

By passing Brad Keselowski in the final laps at Pocono, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has officially punched his ticket to the chase. Similar to last week’s race, there is not a historically dominant driver to pick this week at Michigan. This week, there are several viable options to choose from for salary cap racing. You will need luck on your side this week as we dive into the numbers at Michigan.

With many solid choices at the top, the strategy for this article is to find the potential sleepers first. Juan Pablo Montoya is crossing over from open-wheel racing this week and provides excellent value at $10. At first, Montoya seemed risky because of a concern about driving in an unreliable vehicle. Knowing that he is driving on the Penske team reduces this risk. Montoya is a bargain-pick who should be in your lineup.

Danica Patrick is the second-best sleeper option. Although she has been inconsistent in 2014, she passed twenty-four cars en route to a 13th place finish last June. She may not be able to duplicate her 55 points from last spring, but you should get value out of her $14.75 price tag. Other value drivers to consider include Landon Cassill and Travis Kvapil.

With the two sleeper choices identified, we can focus on the top choices. The driver with the most fantasy live points over the last five years is Carl Edwards. Edwards has only led 47 total laps during this time span. The 99 car is a consistent finisher at Michigan with a 6th place average over the last ten years.

Greg Biffle is a close second to Edwards in total fantasy live points. Biffle has led the most laps in June races since 2009 with 196 laps led. He has led 40 laps or more in four of the last five years, showing his consistency at the track. Biflle also boasts a 7th place average finish over the last five years.

With $25 remaining, the final salary car pick will go to Tony Stewart. Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth are expected to do well, but carry too high of a price. Smoke has improved since the summer races began with solid runs at Pocono and Dover. Stewart has averaged a fifth-place finish over the last five years.

FANTASY NASCAR LIVE SALARY CAP

Fantasy Live on Nascar.com uses a salary cap format for each race in order to prevent us from simply choosing the top drivers every week. Their scoring system combines laps led, fast laps, finish position, and start-to-finish differential. This formula calculates the total number of points each driver accumulates for a given race over the past five years. Once the point total is determined, we divide this figure by the salary cap total on fantasy live. We can then determine the number of points to expect from each salary cap dollar.

For further clarification, see the Michigan details for Greg Biffle below:

GREG BIFFLE AT MICHIGAN

  • Total laps led last five June races: 196 (19.6 points per race)
  • Final position: Average position of 6.8 = 38 points per race
  • Fast laps: Cannot be calculated with 100% accuracy
  • Start to finish differential: Plus 6 = 6 points per race
  • Total points per race: 63.60
  • Fantasy Live Salary Cap Figure: $23.25
  • Fantasy points per dollar: 63.6/23.25 = 2.74

We will use 2014 totals for drivers with no historical data at the track. The points per fantasy dollar for each driver are below. Suggested drivers this week are in bold:

GROUP A ($25.00 or higher)

  • Carl Edwards 2.06
  • Clint Bowyer 1.69
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1.65
  • Matt Kenseth 1.57
  • Kevin Harvick 1.39
  • Brad Keselowski 1.34
  • Jimmie Johnson 1.32
  • Jeff Gordon 1.13
  • Kyle Busch 1.12
  • Joey Logano 0.82

GROUP B ($20.00 – $24.75)

  • Greg Biffle 2.31
  • Tony Stewart 1.99
  • Denny Hamlin 1.79
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr 1.32
  • Marcus Ambrose 1.30
  • Brian Vickers 1.26
  • Kyle Larson 1.21
  • Austin Dillon 1.14
  • Jamie McMurray 1.10
  • Paul Menard 1.02
  • Martin Truex Jr. 0.99
  • Ryan Newman 0.98
  • Aric Almirola 0.93
  • Kurt Busch 0.60
  • Kasey Kahne 0.12

GROUP C ($15.00 – $19.75)

  • AJ Allmendinger 1.46
  • Justin Allgaier 1.23
  • Casey Mears 1.09

GROUP D ($10.00 – $14.75)

  • Danica Patrick 3.73
  • David Ragan 2.19
  • David Gilliland 1.61
  • Cole Whitt 1.56

GROUP E ($10.00 or lower)

  • Travis Kvapil 3.54
  • Landon Cassill 3.23
  • Juan Pablo Montoya 2.94
  • Reed Sorenson 2.52
  • JJ Yeley 2.15
  • Michael Annett 1.73
  • Alex Bowman 1.41
  • Ryan Truex 0.76
  • Trevor Bayne 0.56
  • Josh Wise (-0.53)

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