Dan Beaver

Cap Considerations

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DFS: Kentucky

Friday, July 7, 2017


Draft Kings

The good news is that last week—as predicted—it was possible to select a perfect roster with thousands of dollars left over. The bad news was that it would have taken a crystal ball to accurately forecast the top six.

This week, predictability is back as NASCAR heads to another similarly-configured, 1.5-mile track, but the salary cap makers at Draft Kings know that as well and the drivers with the four best average points earned in the past three years at Kentucky Speedway are all listed well above the midline. It is going to take some astute maneuvering and a lot of risk to pick an optimal lineup.

It is difficult to know where to start selections this week because one can either start at the top or the bottom and have some of the same concerns. A fantasy player should pick that one driver they think will dominate build the lineup around them.

Occasionally you have to ignore the statistics. Because of crash damage, Kyle Larson finished significantly lower than he started his first two Kentucky races and that has contributed to his having one of the worst averages in the field. He is not cheap with a price tag of $10,000, but he has been one of the top bargains all season on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks. Better still, he failed to post a time in qualification for the third time this season and will start dead last. He is going to earn positive place-differential points this week to the tune of 30 plus and that makes him a must-have.

Now one has to look for a cheaper option. With Larson on the lineup, the average spend on the remaining five drivers is $8,000 and luckily one of the go-to rookies is priced just under that barrier. Erik Jones has been strong on several occasions on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks with three top-15s in five races. He finally earned a top-10 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the most recent event on this course type and should be a good value at $7,900.

That fails to move the needle much, so a player who wants another marquee driver is going to have to take a risk on a bargain. In what may be his last race in the No. 43 if Aric Almirola’s recuperation is faster than anticipated, Darrell Wallace Jr. is determined to go out with a bang. He was fast in practice, qualified 17th and should have a good points-to-dollars ratio at $6,300.

Because Kentucky is relatively new, hosts only one race per season, and was recently repaved, Young Guns tend to run well there. This week is a good time to take some wide swings. With Friday’s announcement that Matt Kenseth will probably not return to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2018, the organization is making a statement about the future of their organization. Daniel Suarez is here to stay and resources are being allocated to him. He can be signed this week for $7,100.

Now, there is a lot more room to maneuver.

Joey Logano fell out of playoff contention last week with his wreck in Daytona. He desperately needs to get an unencumbered win in order to be part of the conversation again and this is a track that has been kind to Team Penske in the past. Brad Keselowski has had more success on this track, but he is also priced $1,100 more than Logano’s $9,000 so we are going to lean toward the Cinderella Story.

Chase Elliott rounds out our top six this week. The racing world is still waiting on him to get his first win and even if that does not happen this week, he should be able to earn top-10 points. Elliott is priced at $9,500. For a few dollars more, a player can sign Jimmie Johnson and still meet the cap requirements, but the sophomore driver has been more consistent than his veteran teammate. 

Driver

Avg. Points

Maximum

Minimum

Kentucky Cap

Brad Keselowski

102.83

145.25

72.75

$10,100

Kyle Busch

81.33

122.25

38.5

$10,200

Kevin Harvick

54.50

81

39

$9,800

Matt Kenseth

50.67

56

43.5

$9,100

Ryan Newman

44.33

52

30.5

$7,300

Trevor Bayne

42.75

46

39.5

$6,900

Martin Truex Jr./p>

39.17

77

15.5

$10,400

Kurt Busch

36.83

42.5

29

$8,100

Dale Earnhardt Jr./p>

36.50

65.5

12.5

$8,200

Kasey Kahne

32.33

54

9

$7,700

Paul Menard

29.00

32

27

$6,800

David Ragan

27.50

33

18

$5,400

Jeffrey Earnhardt

26.00

26

26

$4,700

Jimmie Johnson

25.67

53.5

-9.5

$9,700

Joey Logano

25.67

60.75

-30

$9,000

Ty Dillon

24.75

24.75

24.75

$6,700

Clint Bowyer

23.00

36

10

$8,400

Austin Dillon

21.75

32.25

5

$7,600

Reed Sorenson

21.42

29

14.25

$5,000

Cole Whitt

19.67

38

3

$5,300

Landon Cassill

18.67

24

15

$5,500

Danica Patrick

16.17

37.5

-1

$6,000

Jamie McMurray

15.83

46

-21.5

$8,500

Denny Hamlin

15.75

58.25

-36

$9,200

Ricky Stenhouse Jr./p>

13.33

40

-15

$7,400

AJ Allmendinger

7.50

16

-9

$6,500

Chris Buescher

4.00

4

4

$6,400

Matt DiBenedetto

1.00

3

-1

$5,600

Kyle Larson

-9.33

27

-30

$10,000

Ryan Blaney

-9.50

-9.5

-9.5

$8,700

Chase Elliott

-10.00

-10

-10

$9,500

Joey Gase

 

 

 

$4,600

Gray Gaulding

 

 

 

$4,500

Erik Jones

 

 

 

$7,900

Michael McDowell

 

 

 

$5,900

Daniel Suarez

 

 

 

$7,100

Darrell Wallace Jr./p>

 

 

 

$6,300

 



Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 12 years with a little help from his >500,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.
Email :Dan Beaver



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