NASCAR FANTASY LIVE PICKS, 2015 DAYTONA, COKE ZERO 400

As the NASCAR summer series continues for the 17th race of the season in Daytona, we are already nearing the half-way point of the NASCAR season. Restrictor plate tracks are the most difficult to predict in the season, but provides an opportunity to gain points on your competition.

The nature of the restrictor plates makes passing easy, and also darts drivers from the front to the back of the field. My lineup early in the week will be a number of drivers who are typically successful at Daytona, but who I choose will be strongly influenced by qualifying position. My suggestion would be to find drivers in the back of the field and take advantage of start-to-finish differential. Generally, you will not benefit greatly from laps led or fast laps this week.

Usually track history is one of the most important statistics to determine my lineup on a week-to-week basis. My first lineup choice this week has nothing to do with track success, but Kevin Harvick has found success almost everywhere this year. His numbers are adequate in Daytona, but not overly impressive. He has two top-5 finishes in his last five Daytona races, including a second-place finish earlier this season. Since 2005, Harvick has the sixth-best average finish position for active drivers in the series. He has also seen nine top-10 finishes in his last 21 Daytona races. All these numbers are not enough evidence to start Harvick. Combining decent track numbers with dominant 2015 numbers, Harvick is a good choice for your lineup this week.

This is a good week to save a roster spot for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Junior has found success at restrictor plate tracks. Over his last five races at Daytona, Junior has an average finish position of 5.6. With three top-5 finishes in five races and 73% of his laps running in the top-15, Junior has proven to be a dependable option on a track where finding dependable drivers is a challenge. Since 2005, the #88 team has eight top-5 finishes at Daytona, the third-most laps led of any active driver, and the best average finish position of any driver. The only thing to keep Junior from my lineup this week would be a high qualifying position.

Most weeks I suggest to front-load your lineup with the three best drivers and fill the remaining spots with value picks. Because there is a low likelihood of a driver dominating in fast laps and laps led this week, I am only choosing two top-tier drivers in order to have higher quality drivers at the bottom of my roster. For the early-week suggestions, I am advising mid-tier drivers who have seen decent success at the track. Casey Mears has an average finish position of 11.6 in his last five Daytona races including four top-10 finishes. His lap-to-lap numbers are not as impressive, but he is worth the risk. Austin Dillon has enjoyed two top-10 finishes in four attempts at the track and a 16th place average finish position. Danica Patrick has two top-10 finishes and an average finish position of 18.2. This strategy enables my lineup to have five drivers who have seen success in Daytona. This lineup is subject to change based on where the drivers qualify. There are many drivers under $10 who provide excellent value.

FANTASY NASCAR LIVE SALARY CAP

Fantasy Live on nascar.com uses a scoring system that combines fast laps, laps led, average finish position, and start-to-finish differential. In order to prevent us from simply starting the top drivers every week, Fantasy Live uses a salary cap format to encourage us to strategically arrange our lineup. Our formula calculates the number of Fantasy Live points earned by each driver over the last five Daytona races. Next, we calculate that number by the driver’s salary cap figure to show which drivers are expected to provide value this week. Although he does not get the restrictor plate attention of his teammate, Jimmie Johnson has led the most Daytona laps of any driver over the last five Daytona races. He missed my lineup, but we will use his Daytona statistics to further illustrate the formula.

JIMMIE JOHNSON AT DAYTONA

  • Average finish position last five Daytona races: 10.8 equals 33.2 Fantasy Live points
  • Start-to-finish differential: 0.4 equals 0.4 Fantasy Live points per race
  • Laps Led: 165 laps equals 16.5 Fantasy Live points per race
  • Fast laps: 13 equals 1.3 Fantasy Live points per race
  • Total points per race: 51.40
  • Salary cap figure: $27.75
  • Fantasy Live points per salary cap dollar: 51.4 divided by 27.75 = 1.85 Points per dollar

Below you will find the figures for all drivers this week. For rookie drivers with no Daytona history, we will use their 2015 numbers. We had three DNFs with last week’s suggested Sonoma lineup. All drivers were running well, but mechanical issues and Gilliland’s wreck made for a bad week for my team. I am hoping my suggestions see better success this week. Keep a close eye on qualifying this week and try to find the top drivers who qualify at the back of the field. Feel free to include your roster in the comments below and good luck navigating the restrictor plate track this week.

GROUP A ($25.00 or higher)

  • Denny Hamlin 2.21
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1.98
  • Jimmie Johnson 1.85
  • Kurt Busch 1.57
  • Brad Keselowski 1.52
  • Joey Logano 1.32
  • Kyle Busch 1.00
  • Jeff Gordon 0.93
  • Kevin Harvick 0.82
  • Matt Kenseth 0.54
  • Martin Truex Jr. 0.28

GROUP B ($20.00 – $24.99)

  • Clint Bowyer 1.39
  • Aric Almirola 1.35
  • Ryan Newman 1.26
  • Carl Edwards 0.50
  • Paul Menard 0.38
  • Kyle Larson 0.02
  • Kasey Kahne (-0.05)

GROUP C ($15.00 – $19.99)

  • Austin Dillon 2.09
  • Greg Biffle 1.64
  • Aj Allmendinger 0.70
  • Tony Stewart (-0.33)

GROUP D ($10.00 – $14.99)

  • Sam Hornish Jr. 4.17
  • Casey Mears 3.93
  • Bobby Labonte 2.91
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 2.58
  • David Ragan 2.10
  • Danica Patrick 1.98
  • David Gilliland 1.05
  • Trevor Bayne 1.00
  • Cole Whitt 0.77
  • Ryan Blaney (-1.58)

GROUP E ($9.99 or lower)

  • JJ Yeley 6.70
  • Alex Bowman 5.87
  • Michael Annett 5.19
  • Matt DiBenedetto 3.23*
  • Josh Wise 2.83
  • Brett Moffitt 2.18*
  • Jeb Burton 2.00*
  • Brendan Gaughan 2.00*
  • Justin Allgaier 1.86
  • Landon Cassill 1.33
  • Brian Scott 1.06

* Driver has no track data, and we are using his 2015 numbers.

One thought on “NASCAR FANTASY LIVE PICKS, 2015 DAYTONA, COKE ZERO 400

  1. With the rained out qualifying, the practice results from the first session will determine the running order. Many top drivers will be good picks from the back of the field. Updated suggested lineup to include Harvick, Keselowski, Logano, DiBenedetto, and Alex Bowman. Also consider Denny Hamlin, Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch on the top end. Brendan Gaughan and Josh Wise are the bottom two qualifiers.

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