NASCAR FANTASY LIVE PICKS, 2015 DAYTONA, DAYTONA 500

NASCAR Daytona car lineup

We are a few days away from the beginning of another NASCAR season!

Compete against us on the Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet league! Details at end of article.

The Daytona 500 is one of the most anticipated races of the NASCAR schedule. For Fantasy Racing purposes, the restrictor plates and the changes in the car setup requirements will make week one very challenging. This article will indicate which drivers have a successful history at Daytona.

My suggestion is to find the drivers who qualify at the back of the field. Start-to-finish differential will be the key to success because we rarely see a dominant car leading a significant amount of laps during restrictor plate races. You can already take Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson out of your lineups.

The driver with the best average finish position over the last five races will find his way onto many fantasy lineups this weekend. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has an average finish position of 8th place during his last five Daytona races and has logged the most Fantasy Live points during the same time span. Since 2005, Junior has seven top-5 finishes and 15 top-20 finishes in his last 20 races. Junior is the best driver to choose this weekend unless he qualifies near the front of the field.

Matt Kenseth is a driver with great lap-to-lap performance data at Daytona who has finished in the middle of the pack in recent years. He has led the most laps over the last five races and ties Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the best lap-to-lap data. His fantasy points per race are low due to a negative start-to-finish differential. Kenseth has the second-best lap-to-lap performance since 2005 (behind Kyle Busch). His 14 top-20 finishes since 2005 is second only to Dale Earnhardt Jr. If Kenseth qualifies near the back of the pack, he should be considered in your lineup.

A driver who has quietly experienced recent success at the Florida track is my first bargain suggestion. Casey Mears has an average finish position of 14th over the past five races. At a $12 value, having the driver with the fourth-best average finish position is worth a shot. Since 2005, Mears has an average finish position of 21.3 and nine top-20 finishes in 17 races. In a race where many of the lower drivers are valuable, Mears stands out as one of the top bargain options.

At a $13 cap value, I anticipate Danica Patrick will find her way onto many fantasy lineups this weekend. Over her past five races at Daytona, Patrick has an average finish position of 17.5. Patrick also has two top-10 finishes in her last five Daytona races. While her numbers are not impressive enough to burn an allocation in a Yahoo league, she is an excellent selection in a salary cap league this week.

The original fifth choice on my team was Ricky Stenhouse Jr. before I realized I had enough cap room for Austin Dillon. Dillon, with a 15th place average finish position, has the fifth-best average finish position in the series over the last five races. Dillon has two top-10 finishes in three Daytona races. For all drivers, keep an eye on the qualifying order along with the value numbers below for the best chance of success.

FANTASY NASCAR LIVE SALARY CAP

Fantasy Live on NASCAR.com uses a scoring system that combines finish position, start-to-finish differential, fast laps, and laps led. In order to prevent us from simply starting the top drivers ever week, Fantasy Live uses a salary cap structure. Our formula uses the date form the last five Daytona races. For each driver, we calculate the average number of points earned. Then, we divide that number of points by the salary cap figure on Fantasy Live. The end result is a number that shows how many points to expect from each driver.

Greg Biffle has seen recent success at Daytona, but missed the cut for my roster. As a consolation prize, we will use his Daytona numbers to illustrate the formula.

GREG BIFFLE AT DAYTONA

  • Average finish position last five Daytona races: 10.8 equals 33 points per race
  • Start-to-finish differential: Negative six equals -6 points per race
  • Laps led: 52 laps = 5.2 points per race
  • Fast laps: 14 = 1.4 points per race
  • Total points per race last five Daytona races: 33.6
  • Fantasy Live Salary Cap Figure: $23.00
  • Points per race: 33.6 / 23 equals 1.46 points per fantasy dollar

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

GROUP A ($25.00 or higher)

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1.89
  • Brad Keselowski 1.77
  • Denny Hamlin 1.74
  • Jimmy Johnson 1.40
  • Jamie McMurray 1.38
  • Joey Logano 1.23
  • Matt Kenseth 1.09
  • Kyle Busch 1.01
  • Jeff Gordon 0.70
  • Kevin Harvick 0.57
  • Kasey Kahne (-0.04)
  • Kyle Larson (-0.17)

GROUP B ($20.00 – $24.99)

  • Kurt Busch 1.59
  • Ryan Newman 1.56
  • Greg Biffle 1.46
  • Aric Almirola 1.16
  • Tony Stewart 0.98
  • Clint Bowyer 0.88
  • Carl Edwards 0.77
  • Paul Menard 0.56

GROUP C ($15.00 – $19.99)

  • Austin Dillon 1.33
  • Martin Truex Jr. 1.01
  • Ryan Blaney 0.47
  • AJ Allmendinger 0.11
  • Sam Hornish Jr. (-0.34)

GROUP D ($10.00 – $14.99)

  • Bobby Labonte 4.27
  • Michael Waltrip 3.46
  • Casey Mears 3.05
  • Justin Allgaier 2.85
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 2.54
  • Danica Patrick 2.50
  • Trevor Bayne 0.75

GROUP E ($9.99 or lower)

  • JJ Yeley 8.22
  • Alex Bowman 4.88
  • Michael McDowell 4.27
  • Reed Sorenson 3.00
  • Michael Annett 3.00
  • Landon Cassill 2.97
  • Ty Dillon 2.50
  • David Ragan 2.17
  • Josh Wish 1.91
  • Brian Scott 0.87
  • David Gilliland 0.53

JOIN OUR FANTASY NASCAR LIVE LEAGUE

Play along with me and others on the Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet NASCAR Fantasy Live League! Once you are logged in to the game at nascar.com click the ‘Join A League’ link and search for us.

Here are the details:

  • LEAGUE NAME: Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet
  • LEAGUE PASSWORD: nascar

3 thoughts on “NASCAR FANTASY LIVE PICKS, 2015 DAYTONA, DAYTONA 500

  1. Drivers to consider at the back of the pack for start-to finish differential include: Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, AJ Allmendinger, Ricky Stenhouse, Ty Dillon, Labonte, Casey Mears, Aric Almirola

    My updated starting five:
    Keselowski
    Kenseth
    Hamlin
    Mears
    Ty Dillon

  2. Seems someone didn’t like one of the names I use, when I checked the results, “Mass Hole” was not in a league anymore. So I found “The gas holes” league, but did not get ranked. According to the points I would be 6th, So does that mean, I’m going to lose all my points from Daytona in that league now? Fantasy live never sent an e-mail explaining why I’m out of the original league. Do you know if I will be able to keep my points in my new league?

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