Dan Beaver

Cap Considerations

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Caps After Richmond (Fall)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017


NASCAR dropped the special designation and now just calls the final 10 races of the year the playoffs, but it is still a significant period. Drivers behave differently in these events whether they have a shot at the championship or are on the outside looking in—because for those drivers, pride is on the line.

Through it all, however, NASCAR remains a zero-sum game. One driver will win; one driver will finish last, and fantasy points are rewarded or lost for each of those efforts.

This week, there was a lot of movement among the top five. The salary caps are a way to reward drivers for their effort both in regard to finishing position, but also how they accumulate points in the NASCAR Fantasy Live game.

It appeared Kyle Busch was going to be on a winning streak after his dominant performance at Bristol Motor Speedway and his second-place finish at Darlington Raceway. That put him over the $28 mark for a little bit. And while he did not have a terrible performance at Richmond International Raceway, his ninth-place finish was not enough to allow him to stay 25 cents above that high water mark. He dropped slightly this week to $28.

Since he fell, Martin Truex Jr. was also adjusted down 25 cents. Truex had a great car and earned a lot of points at Richmond, but the accident at the end of the Federated Auto Parts 400 hurt fantasy owners. True, that was not of his making, but it factors into the decision nevertheless. Truex has so much momentum for now that there is a little concern he will not be able to sustain it. He does not need to perform particularly well in the first two rounds because of his massive points’ lead. That could cause the team to be a little conservative, so he fell to $27.75.

Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick swapped positions last week. Hamlin took a 25 cent increase to $27.75 while Harvick fell 25 cents to $27.50. It’s not much, but it does signal a change in the relative strength of the two organizations. Hamlin has been one of the hottest drivers in the past couple of months with wins at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Darlington, plus five top-fives in his last six attempts.

On the other hand, Harvick has only one top-five in the past four races and an average finish of 10.7. If he does not rally soon, he is going to fall even further, so the No. 4 is one of the teams fantasy owners want to keep an eye on and renegotiate their salary if they fall further.

Kyle Larson was the final driver among the top five to experience an adjustment. His Federated Auto Parts 400 victory was the second win in the past four races and it caused us to advance him 25 cents to $27.50. He could—perhaps should—be among the three most expensive drivers in the game, but he also has a ninth and 14th in the past several events, plus three results outside the top 20 in three races prior.

Erik Jones continues to be one of the most improved drivers in the field. He missed getting a four-race, top-five streak last week by one spot, but his sixth was the sixth straight time that he finished among the top 10. That dates back to Pocono Raceway and includes strong runs on a wide variety of tracks. At $24, he is still a steal. 

 

Driver

Diff

 |

This Week’s Cap

Gainers

Erik Jones

 $     0.50

 |

 $     24.00

Ryan Newman

 $     0.50

 |

 $     23.25

Kurt Busch

 $     0.50

 |

 $     20.50

Danica Patrick

 $     0.50

 |

 $     12.25

Denny Hamlin

 $     0.25

 |

 $     27.75

Kyle Larson

 $     0.25

 |

 $     27.50

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

 $     0.25

 |

 $     19.50

Ty Dillon

 $     0.25

 |

 $     16.75

Chris Buescher

 $     0.25

 |

 $     14.75

Michael McDowell

 $     0.25

 |

 $     10.25

Landon Cassill

 $     0.25

 |

 $       5.25

Losers

Kyle Busch

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $     28.00

Martin Truex Jr.

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $     27.75

Kevin Harvick

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $     27.50

Chase Elliott

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $     25.50

Clint Bowyer

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $     25.00

Jimmie Johnson

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $     23.50

Austin Dillon

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $     21.50

Trevor Bayne

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $     18.25

Ryan Blaney

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $     17.00

Paul Menard

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $     13.25

Aric Almirola

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $     11.75

AJ Allmendinger

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $     11.75

Kasey Kahne

 $    (0.50)

 |

 $     14.50

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

 $    (0.50)

 |

 $     13.25

 



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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