NASCAR Fantasy Live Picks, 2014 Texas, AAA Texas 500

Jimmie Johnson celebrates in victory lane at Texas Motor Speedway

There are only three weeks remaining in the NASCAR season. With Dale Earnhardt Jr’s surprise win at Martinsville, this leaves one more open spot for consistent drivers like Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth for the championship. They may attempt a conservative approach in order to secure their ticket. Other drivers, like Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski, need to take risks to advance to the final rounds. Your lineup should reflect your status in your league: conservative or risky. There are plenty of options this week because we do not see completely dominant drivers. I would suggest choosing your three favorite drivers and fill the final two spots with the best budget options available.

The first pick for my roster is the most consistent driver at Texas. Matt Kenseth has 12 Top-5 finishes in his last 19 starts and has not finished outside the Top 20 in the last ten years. With 79% of his laps in the Top 15 and an average running position of 9.4 since 2005, Kenseth is the best in the series in lap-to-lap performance. Matt Kenseth has been solid all this season and he should be a productive choice for your roster.

I am suspicious of my second roster choice because he has burned me multiple times throughout the 2014 season. Kyle Busch has been running more consistently lately with the exception of being caught up in an early wreck at Talladega. With 7 Top-5 finishes in his last 18 Texas races, Kyle Busch has shown upside in Fort Worth. He is third best in the series in lap-to-lap consistency, and I expect a solid finish this week.

Greg Biffle was tempting for my third pick, but I had enough cap room to upgrade to Jeff Gordon. While Biffle has better track data, Gordon is decent in Texas and is a more consistent driver in 2014. He is also the best driver in the championship standings after a second place finish at Martinsville. I am expecting a conservative approach that will appeal to those on top of the standings.

With the top drivers taking up most of my budget, I am left to fill the remaining two spots with budget drivers. David Ragan is often a decent value based on his low salary cap number. He has middle-of-the-road lap-to-lap numbers in Texas. If he finishes in the middle, then he will be a valuable choice. Landon Cassill, with a 17th place average over the last month, is slowly raising his salary cap number. He should still be worth the value.

FANTASY NASCAR LIVE SALARY CAP

Fantasy Live on NASCAR.com has a scoring system that combines fast laps, laps led, finish position, and start-to-finish differential. In order to prevent us from starting the five best drivers every week, Fantasy Live uses a salary cap format. Our formula calculates the average number of Fantasy Live points earned over the past five Texas races for each driver and divides that number by the salary cap figure. The end result is a number that indicates how many points to expect from each fantasy dollar. Greg Biffle is on my yahoo roster, but I left him off of my Fantasy Live roster in favor of Jeff Gordon. As a consolation prize, we will use his Texas numbers to demonstrate our formula.

GREG BIFFLE AT TEXAS

  • Total Laps Led Last Five Texas Races: 91 laps equals 9.1 points per race
  • Fast Laps: Cannot be calculated
  • Average Finish Position: 6th place average equals 38 points per race
  • Start to Finish Differential: Plus 6 equals 6 points per race
  • Total Points Per Race: 53.1
  • Fantasy Live Salary Cap Figure: $23.00
  • Fantasy Points Per Dollar: 53.1 divided by 23 equals 2.31 points per dollar

See this week’s fantasy live points per dollar numbers below with highlighted picks in bold. Good luck with your picks for Texas.

GROUP A ($25.00 or higher)

  • Jimmie Johnson 3.55
  • Kyle Busch 2.69
  • Joey Logano 1.89
  • Matt Kenseth 1.78
  • Brad Keselowski 1.60
  • Clint Bowyer 1.57
  • Ryan Newman 1.44
  • Kevin Harvick 1.05
  • Carl Edwards 1.01
  • Jeff Gordon 0.95
  • Dale Earnhardt 0.79

GROUP B ($20.00 – $24.99)

  • Martin Truex Jr. 2.53
  • Brian Vickers 2.32
  • Greg Biffle 2.31
  • Kyle Larson 1.80
  • Tony Stewart 1.61
  • Denny Hamlin 1.60
  • Kasey Kahne 1.53
  • Aric Almirola 1.27
  • Paul Menard 1.07
  • Marcus Ambrose 1.04
  • Jamie McMurray 0.94
  • Kurt Busch 0.72
  • Austin Dillon 0.57
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 0.45

GROUP C ($15.00 – $19.99)

  • Danica Patrick 1.38
  • Justin Allgaier 1.18
  • Casey Mears 0.64

GROUP D ($10.00 – $14.99)

  • Trevor Bayne 1.48
  • David Gilliland 1.05
  • David Ragan 0.81
  • Cole Whitt 0.17

GROUP E ($9.99 or lower)

  • Landon Cassill 2.30
  • Michael Annett 1.44
  • Reed Sorenson 1.26
  • Josh Wise 1.14
  • Alex Bowman 0.97
  • Michael McDowell 0.01

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