NASCAR FANTASY LIVE PICKS, 2015 HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY, FORD ECOBOOST 400

After a rain-soaked Phoenix race, we are now in the Championship Round of the Sprint Cup Series. The four remaining drivers have all seen a degree of success in Homestead and should be a competitive race between the contenders. For the final week of Fantasy NASCAR, my advice is to start three of the Championship drivers in your lineup. Not only will they have the most to gain from winning the race, but having them in your lineup should make the race more entertaining. If you are in a position to take risks, then take off-the-wall suggestions and hope that the chaos that is fantasy racing works in your favor.

Of the remaining drivers, I feel that Kevin Harvick offers the best chance for victory. Harvick barely had the opportunity to be in this stage and needed a controversial finish at Talladega to help advance to the final round. Harvick was in the same position in 2014 and needed to win for the championship. Over the last five races at this track, Harvick has finished in the top-10 in every race with a 6th place average finish position. At similarly configured tracks, Harvick has two wins and five top-5 finishes. His 816 laps led on steep tracks in 2015 is 564 more laps led than the 2nd best driver. With 22 top-5 finishes in 2015, Harvick has found the consistency to be a contender all season and is a great choice for your lineup this week.

Another championship favorite this week comes from a one-car team. Though they appear to be underdogs to the more established teams, Martin Truex Jr. will be racing at one of his best tracks this weekend. Over the last five Homestead races, Truex Jr. has an 8th place average finish position. During the same time span, he has spent 84% of his laps inside the top-15. This figure is 2nd best in the series. My biggest concern with Truex Jr. is that he only has a 14th place average in similar track types. With a championship on the line, I expect the team with 23 top-10 finishes in 2015 to be a useful addition to your fantasy lineup.

The next roster spot was a close pick between Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch. My pick may come down to qualifying. For now, I am going with the retiring driver because he has found more consistency at the track. Kyle Busch has not been as consistent and narrowly misses my lineup. With the 2nd most laps led over the last five Homestead races and three top-10 finishes, Gordon has seen success at Homestead. I had written this team off in all occasions only a couple of months ago, but they have found consistency once the Chase started. Like Truex, Gordon has been underwhelming in similarly configured tracks and only has a 13th place average. Gordon will be a fan favorite to bow out of the NASCAR series with a championship in his last race. He is the less risky pick, but should be helpful to your lineup as well.

With three Championship eligible drivers eating up the majority of my budget, I need to go with budget options for the last two roster spots. Justin Allgaier has a great chance to outperform his salary cap figure this week. Allgaier finished in 15th place last year with 18% of his laps inside the top-15 during the race. His average finish of 25th on steep tracks in 2015 is not overly impressive, but even that should provide some value from his roster spot. Ty Dillon has a 22nd place average finish in limited action this season and has provided adequate fantasy value. He will be the final roster spot unless something stands out in qualifying.

FANTASY NASCAR LIVE SALARY CAP

Fantasy Live on nascar.com uses a scoring system that combines fast laps, laps led, finish position, and start-to-finish differential. In order to prevent us from starting the best drivers each week, Fantasy Live uses a salary cap format. Our formula calculates the average number of Fantasy Live points earned by each driver over the last five Homestead races. Next, we divide that number by the Fantasy Live salary cap figure. The end result is a number that predicts which drivers have a good chance to provide value this week. Since Kyle Busch is the odd man out of the championship drivers this week, we will use his numbers to further illustrate this formula.

KYLE BUSCH AT MIAMI-HOMESTEAD

  • Average finish position last five Homestead races: 21st equals 23 Fantasy Live points
  • Start-to-finish differential: Negative 5.4 equals negative 5.4 Fantasy Live points
  • Laps led: 207 equals 20.7 Fantasy Live points
  • Fast laps: 100 equals 10 Fantasy Live points
  • Average Fantasy Live points per race: 48.3
  • Fantasy Live Salary Cap Figure: $27.75
  • Fantasy Live points per dollar: 48.3 divided by $27.75 equals 1.74 points per dollar

Below you will see the Fantasy Live points per salary cap dollar for each driver this week. We will use the 2015 numbers for rookies with no track history. I hope that your teams found success in the 2015 season. Daytona will be around the corner before we know it!

GROUP A ($25.00 or higher)

  • Carl Edwards 2.79
  • Jeff Gordon 2.32
  • Kevin Harvick 2.21
  • Matt Kenseth 2.21
  • Denny Hamlin 2.16
  • Kyle Busch 1.74
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1.61
  • Brad Keselowski 1.24
  • Joey Logano 0.69
  • Kurt Busch 0.67

GROUP B ($20.00 – $24.99)

  • Martin Truex Jr. 2.29
  • Clint Bowyer 2.16
  • Ryan Newman 2.05
  • Kyle Larson 1.94
  • Aric Almirola 1.85
  • Paul Menard 1.24
  • Jamie McMurray 1.11
  • Jimmie Johnson 1.07

GROUP C ($15.00 – $19.99)

  • Kasey Kahne 1.86
  • Austin Dillon 1.16
  • Greg Biffle 0.85

GROUP D ($10.00 – $14.99)

  • Tony Stewart 3.99
  • Justin Allgaier 2.73
  • Danica Patrick 2.72
  • Casey Mears 1.68
  • Cole Whitt 1.43
  • AJ Allmendinger 1.33
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 0.67
  • Ryan Blaney 0.28 *
  • Trevor Bayne 0.23

GROUP E ($9.99 or lower)

  • Reed Sorenson 6.74
  • Ty Dillon 3.20 *
  • Alex Bowman 3.04
  • Michael Annett 2.57
  • David Gilliland 2.34
  • Brett Moffitt 2.22
  • Matt DiBenedetto 2.07 *
  • Jeb Buron 2.00 *
  • Ryan Preece 2.00 *
  • Landon Cassill 1.63
  • David Ragan 0.98
  • Josh Wise 0.88
  • Michael McDowell 0.40
  • JJ Yeley 0.27

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

One thought on “NASCAR FANTASY LIVE PICKS, 2015 HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY, FORD ECOBOOST 400

  1. No major changes in the lineup after qualifying. I enjoyed helping you with your lineups this season and hope it helped you in your league.

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