Fantasy NASCAR Picks- AAA 400 Drive for Autism at Dover
Pearce breaks down his picks for this weekend’s race below!
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Now back to the great analysis from Pearce!
Race tracks with a lot of laps require punts. There are too many hog points on the table. You need the top 3-4 fantasy scores. You’ve got to punt to squeeze them into your lineups. If a hog or hog scraper qualifies poorly, then we will consider a double punt. However, so far this year, one punt, two mid tier driver that earn a top 10, and three hogs has been the play. It usually is the play. Last spring at Dover, it was the play. When you go double punt, you know they’re not earning a top 10, so you cap your upside. If you pay a little more for a 6,000 to 7,000 driver, those drivers can earn place differential and a top 10 finish.
Kyle Larson – Awesome at Dover last year. Awesome at Bristol last year and this year. He’s #1 at the top of the board. Only a disaster in practice will adjust his position.
Kyle Busch – Have you seen this car this year? He was #2 to Larson at Bristol. He won last fall at Dover. He won last fall at Bristol. Bad luck ruined his spring races and Dover and Bristol in 2017.
Kevin Harvick – Before the Ford switch, Harvick was the best driver in NASCAR. Back then, he crushed at Dover. Now that he’s an elite driver again, he’s a threat to top 100 fantasy points, but his team needs to help him out. His pit crew killed him at Texas, Bristol, and Richmond.
Martin Truex, Jr. – Hometrack and it shows. Truex has a top 5 DFS score in each of the last 4 Dover races. He should have won the Richmond race, but the #78 team’s jackman doesn’t know how to jack. What’s his excuse. I would like to see that bum use the jack that I had on my 1996 Neon.
Brad Keselowski – The #2 car was fast at Bristol. Did it fade because it faded or did it fade because of a mechanical failure? It’s a little bit of both. BK got caught in an early race wreck at Dover n the spring. In the fall, he scored 23 hog points. That’s the hog scrape play we want from a 9,000 driver. It might not be the 3rd most points, but it’s a top 5 score, and a better point per dollar play. Unfortunately, he’s priced too high to be a hog scraper.
Chase Elliott – Dark Horse. An early race wreck at Bristol hid his potential. The other Hendrick cars seemed fine. Dover might be Elliott’s best strack. He scored the most fantasy points last fall at Dover. He’s finished with the 6th most fantasy points or better in each the last four Dover races.
Joey Logano – He’s on a roll, but Richmond and Talladega are two of Logano’s best tracks. Dover is okay, but he’s not a hog.
Denny Hamlin – He led 118 laps at Dover in 2015, but that’s his only hog performance. We can’t completely write him off because he had a fast car at Bristol, but a bad pit gun ended his chance for a top 3 finish. The #11 car has been terrible on pit road this season.
Jimmie Johnson – 11 career wins at Dover. A top 3 at Bristol. He is firmly in play this weekend. If his 30 lap run looks good, again; I won’t hesitate to pull the trigger.
Ryan Blaney – He has struggled at Dover, but he was pretty fast at Bristol before he ran into a lapper.
Kurt Busch – This was the fastest car in Bristol practice, but near the end of a 40 lap run, he wrecked. In the backup car, Busch sliced his way to the front of the field, but a loose wheel and subsequent green flag pit stop ruined his day. Last spring at Dover, Kurt was running inside the top 5 until he wrecked on lap 61. In the fall, the combination of a loose race car and a green flag penalty on lapp 332 was more than enough to render the #41 car fantasy irrelevant.
Aric Almirola – A 6th place finish at Bristol is all you need to know. This car is fast and Almirola is a good race car driver. Think about all of those years he wasted in the #43 car. Tony Stewart is looking like a genius for putting Almirola in the #10 car. The only problem that I have with Almirola is that Smithfield Foods is a Chinese owned company. Our hogs aren’t even American anymore! I give up.
Erik Jones – The last month has been disappointing, but it can be explained. Martinsville is not a track where you expect Jones to race well. He hit the wall at Bristol and that sucked out his speed. I can’t remember what happened at Richmond. I googled for a bit but couldn’t find anything. A 13th place finish isn’t out of the ordinary. His average running position at Dover last season was 12th in the fall and 10th in the spring. He was great at Bristol last fall.
Clint Bowyer – A little bit better than Almirola.
Ryan Newman – I can see him now. The last car on the lead lap or the first car one lap down playing god and picking winners by blocking the leader. I like Newman, but I hate him in slow RCR equipment. I hate that this is how he ends his career. He’s a 10th place driver in a 20th place car. If the cautions come at the right time, he can sneak away with a top 10.
Alex Bowman – The #88 car ran inside the top 10 all day last fall. Bowman had a pretty good race car at Bristol. He’s a low ownership play with a fair amount of risk. He’s the Hendrick version of Daniel Suarez.
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. – His team played games on pit road at Dover in the spring. They didn’t pit when everyone else did, and he blew a tire and wrecked, and then wrecked again couple laps later. Well played, Wrecky. In the fall race, they gambled on pit strategy, again. They got the caution flag they needed just at the right time. This team gambles way too much. They gamble on pit strategy because they don’t have a good enough car. Every week, Stenhouse is doing the opposite of the field. The most wreck prone driver on old tires versus drivers on new tires leads to wrecks. The most wreck prone driver on new tires versus drivers on old tires leads to wrecks. This is not anecdotal; this happens every week. If you took the risk with Ricky at Bristol, it worked, but he caught several breaks. If you took the risk at Richmond, he wrecked multiple times. In DFS baseball, you can roster Joey Gallo with the upside of a homerun, but the strike outs do not count against you. Stenhouse can hit a homerun, but the strikeouts DO count against you.
Austin Dillon – His average running position at Dover over the last six races is 17th place. That sounds like Dillon. Throw out his wreck at Texas and wrecks/pit road mistakes at Martinsville, and Dillon’s average running position is 15th. That’s typical Dillon. It’s kinda sad. We’re taking out his two worst races, and he’s still only a 15th place driver. Dillon ran 77% of the Bristol race inside the top 15, but he wasn’t inside the top 10 much.
Jamie McMurray – When he doesn’t wreck or screw up on pit road, he’s a 10th-15th place car. That’s happened once. Let me repeat. That’s happened once. McMurray cheated and finished 3rd in a wreckfest at Texas. Every other week he has been burning money like the Joker. His average finish is 21st. His past Dover numbers are good (4 top 10s in the last 6), but you’ve heard that story before.
Daniel Suarez – This is another play where seemingly the numbers don’t matter. The matchup doesn’t matter. DFS NASCAR is unlike any other sport. There is so much hocus pocus and luck involved that I don’t even know why I update my spreadsheet or write these articles that sound more like a seance than strategy. If he doesn’t wreck and has a clean day on pit road, then it’s highly likely that Suarez is in the optimal GPP lineup. One mistake, and he’s not. That one mistake happens weekly. By the way, Dover has a tricky pit road.
Paul Menard – He has been a major disappointment this season, but he was pretty good at Bristol. Personally, I don’t even remember him being in the picture, but it was a Monday afternoon race, and I wasn’t 100% focused on the race. The numbers say his average running position was 9th. Logano, Keselowski, and Blaney all had speed. The Wood Brothers alliance with Penke doesn’t seem as strong as it did in the past. It’s not fractured, but it’s not strong. Blaney’s crew chief moved with him to the 12 car. Menard’s crew chief was last season’s Xfinity crew chief. Remember last season when the Penske Xfinity car was always slow no matter who was behind the wheel, that’s Menard’s crew chief. Not so fast, the one bright spot in the Xfinity series last year was Dover. Blaney won the Dover Xfinity race last fall. Menard had a fast car at Bristol. There might be something here.
William Byron – On the door bumper clear podcast a couple weeks ago, Brett Griffin mentioned that Byron is a good racer, but his car was poorly set up at Bristol. That does not bode well for him this weekend at Dover. However, the team should know what they are doing. Byron has two Dover greats to lean on (Elliott and Johnson). Not to mention, the #88 car always had a good setup for Dover. Byron has taken over Kasey Kahne’s ride. This car earned 11 top 20s in it’s 12 career races at Dover (8 top 15s, and 5 top 15s in the last 6 races).
Bubba Wallace – Dover was Bubba’s best track in the Xfinity series. If the race is filled with cautions, then he has a chance to hang around and finish inside the top 20.
Ty Dillon – A couple months ago, I presented a theory about Dillon. Last season, he finished around 20th every week. This season he is finishing around 30th every week. What changed? Cautions. He was taking wave arounds and lucky dogs last year. This season he’s getting lapped on long runs and can’t take a wave around. Sure enough the theory has been tested. Texas and Richmond were full of cautions, and guess who was able to finish inside the top 20. If you watched the Richmond race, Dillon was 3 laps down for most of the race and around 30th. At the end, it was a carnival of cautions, and through the power of the wave around, Dillon was able to finish 20th. Picking Dillon is betting on plenty of cautions. Fading him is betting the race goes green. I wouldn’t expect much from him, he had the race sponsorship conspiracy on his side last week, half of the field wreck, and he still could not earn a top 10 at Talladega. He’s 0 for life at Talladega.
Kasey Kahne – He’s not with Hendrick anymore, so we should probably toss out the track history. This team has struggled lately. What is worse is that they have looked decent in practice and then laid an egg in the race.
A.J. Allmendinger – This team looks bad. They have two fully sponsored cars, but they suck. Allmendinger’s seat is warming up. If he does not win a road race this year, he may not be back next year. A.J. to formula E would be awesome. I would love to see JTG Daugherty try to poach Christopher Bell, but I would settle for Daniel Hemric.
Trevor Bayne – I was asked by Beyond The Flag, if Bayne had extra motivation last week. My answer was no. Bayne knew that he sucked and that he would be fired if he didn’t start racing better. Now, it’s too late. Bayne can win and it doesn’t matter. Remember what happened to Kasey Kahne? The car sucks. Blame Bayne all you want, but an average driver in a bad car cannot do anything. Roush has not won a real race since, hold on, I’ve got to look it up (road races and plate races do not count), the spring Bristol race in 2014 (Carl Edwards). They weren’t really setting the world on fire before that either. How can Roush-Yates make great engines, but terrible cars year after year?
Chris Buescher – He didn’t get better last year. He isn’t getting better this year. Time to blow this team up. Maybe, Buescher takes Bayne’s ride next year.
Michael McDowell – This is the opposite of Allen Iverson. McDowell looks great in practice, but is terrible in the race. He reminds me of so many high school basketball players. He’s 100% in in practice, and the coach loves him. He steps on the floor and picks up two fouls and a turnover in one minute.
David Ragan – Mr. Top 25. Mr. Cash Punt.
Matt DiBenedetto – The last four races has been filled with cautions. That means wave arounds, lucky dogs, and pit road penalties. I mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. The top 20 cars are racing on pit road in every aspect. DiBenedetto is strolling because he has nothing to gain. A few of the elite teams are going to make mistakes when they rush six pit stops during a race. DiBenedetto won’t. He’s finished 21st or better in the last four races because the new pit road rules (less crew members and slow pit guns) are stacked in his favor. The more pit road comes into play, the greater the advantage. DiBenedetto always runs well at Bristol, so he should run well at Dover, but that has not been the case.
Ross Chastain – Optimal lineup last spring. He ran well, but there was a giant wreck near the end of the race that collected a lot of cars.
Landon Cassill – He’s getting better each week, but bringing a second car to the track is not a smart decision. Unless Cope is going to Start & Park. He needs an extreme wreck fest (Texas and Dover) to be in play, and I do not see that happening.
Reed Sorenson – If you can’t crack the top 30 in a wreck fest, then you’re not making it into my lineups.
Corey Lajoie – La-Shwa is back in the 72 car. He finished 25th at Bristol. Remember, he was in the optimal lineup in both Bristol races last season.
Derrike Cope – Way back in 1990, Cope won a flukey Daytona 500 and a race at Dover. His only wins ever. This week, he drives for the team that he manages. Somehow, Starcom has two cars this week. They can’t build one good car, so they’ve made the wise decision to split their resources. Instead of one bad car, they will have two god awful cars. I’m not going to complain. I like it. I don’t care if Fred Flinstones is foot pedaling in 40th place 100 laps down. Give me 40 cars.
Xfinity Quick Hits
Elliott Sadler – He’s an expensive top 5 driver, but he overcomes adversity every week. He’s scored the 4th most and 3rd most fantasy points in the two non-plate, non-cup driver races.
Justin Allgaier – He’s the play every week. Hemric wrecked him at Richmond. That burned the Allgaier players and boosted the Sadler players.
Christopher Bell – He was the fastest at Bristol, but got wrecked by a lapper. He was the fastest at Richmond and won. He was disappointed by his Richmond performance. Sounds like he wants to beat Cup drivers, and racing against a watered down field shouldn’t count. This is my type of racer.
Cole Custer – He was fast in practice at Bristol and was very confident. He started on the pole and was passed before lap 2.
Tyler Reddick – The car will be fast, but can he keep it off the wall. Reddick has a win and three top 10s in his 3 Truck races at Dover.
John Hunter Nemechek – Will he wreck into Sadler for the 4th week in a row? The car is better than the driver. Please, bring the Cup drivers back.
Daniel Hemric – He was too aggressive at Richmond with $100,000 on the line. He’s not a dash 4 cash driver this week, so a safe top 5 to 10 finish seems right.
Matt Tifft – He’s not a quite elite, but he’s around a top 5 driver. In his 3 Xfinity Dover races, Tifft has 3 top 10s.
Noah Gragson – A monkey could driver the #18 car.
Ryan Reed – I’m not interested in overpaying for a 10th place finish.
Johnny Sauter – In the Gallagher ride. I have no idea what to expect. I cannot remember the last time he was in a non-plate race in a Xfinity or Cup car. Truck practice and the race should help prepare him for Saturday.
Ryan Truex – 10th to 15th place car. Hometrack boost.
Brandon Jones – The track history isn’t very good, but he’s a different driver. He studies now, and he drives a JGR Toyota. A lot depends on qualifying position.
Austin Cindric – The #22 car is fast and with each race, Cindric gains experience. He was running around 5th place before Tyler Reddick wrecked him on the last lap at Bristol. Cindric finished 5th at Richmond and ran the 5th most fast laps (4.5 points). In one Dover Truck race, he earned a top 5.
Michael Annett – If he doesn’t make a mistake, he can race from around 20th to 10th. That’s the dream, but it rarely happens.
Kaz Grala – He’s cooled off, but he finished 2nd last fall at Dover in the Truck series.
Ty Majeski – He’s wrecked in 3 of his 5 Xfinity races. In the two where he didn’t wreck he finished 16th and 10th. It’s like a pitcher with a sky high BABIP.
Jeb Burton – I’m sorry, but the no cup drivers gimmick is a joke. What fan is getting excited about Jeb Burton and Shane Lee driving the #3 car? Jeb-broni had an average running position of 15th at Richmond, Jeremy Clements outraced him in a jalopy.
Ross Chastain – This is one of his best tracks and the no cup bump puts him around 10-15th.
Ryan Sieg – We’re doing this. Dover is Sieg’s best track (8 races, 8 top 20s). He raced well at Bristol in J.J. Yeley’s emergency ride. Sieg is in the Dash 4 Cash this week.
Garrett Smithley – 25th-ly.
J.J. Yeley – I’m writing this before his salary is released. Yeley planned on running laps at Bristol, but he couldn’t when Sieg wrecked in qualifying. The second RSS car looked good at Bristol, it should be good for a 20th place finish this week. It all depends on Yeley’s price and starting position.
Alex Labbe – His best finish this season was an 11th place finish at Bristol.
Dylan Lupton – His season has been all over the place. Practice laps are important for Lupton this week, but he’s very cheap.
Vinnie Miller – If he starts last maybe.
Jeremy Clements – I’m going back to the well. A rare wreck and a rare failure on the two weeks when he becomes a great play because of the lack of Cup drivers, you can’t make this stuff up. The other week, he won DFS players a GPP at Richmond.
Joey Gase – He’s still underpriced. Seven straight top 25s.
Joe Nemechek – I would expect around a 25th place finish similar to Richmond.
Brandon Brown – Why is he so cheap again? A Mario Gosselin car below $6K has been a lock all season. Brown earned a top 25 in both Dover races last season racing for Gosselin.
David Starr – If he starts close to last. West coast swing engine problems are an ancient memory.
B.J. Mcleod – His average start this season is 27th. His average finish is 26th. That’s not a very good play.
Stephen Leicht – I don’t understand this price. He’s in play if he starts last.
Josh Bilicki – Bilicki Glitch, if he starts last.
Spencer Boyd – Like Bilicki, he will try to run all of the laps. Unlike Bilicki, he might crack the top 30.
Timmy Hill – In 8 races, Timmy Hill has earned 34 points in the standings. In one race, Jeb Burton has earned 32 points.
Carl Long – He has Start and Parked 103 of his 117 career Xfinity races (there might be a crash in there, but it was a lot of red on racing reference).
Ray Black, Jr. – He’s in the #8 car this week. Sorry, Tommy Jo. Scubalife has sponsored Black before. If you’ve got a sponsor, you’ve got a ride. I’m not excited about Ray Black, but it’s the #8 car priced under 5k. This is the punt this week. Black has raced in the last four Dover Xfinity races, and he’s earned a top 25 in each race. Black & Brown and you can stack studs.
Chad Finchum – He snapped the DNF streak at Richmond, but he finished 34th and 12 laps down. He started another DNF streak at Talladega.
Mike Harmon – Why mess around with him when you can take Ray Black? At a non-plate race, his best finish was 15 laps down.
Jeff Green – S&P.
Morgan Shepherd – S&P.