Dan Beaver

Fantasy Power Rankings

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Power Ranking After: Texas

Monday, April 9, 2018


The O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway was a much more chaotic affair than anyone expected. Cold weather limited practice time and abbreviated qualification, which left teams guessing as to what would be the best setup.

Mother Nature refused to let up during the race and colder than normal temperatures increased the adhesion of the track while making the tires hard and difficult to predict. Along with aggressive camber setups, the recipe for disaster was cooked up and fantasy owners saw their rosters boil over.

1. Kyle Busch
Busch is second no more. That counts both in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and in the Fantasy Power Rankings as his strong run and victory at Texas last week propelled him into the number one slot. With Bristol around the corner – a track where he’s dominated in the past – he should be able to keep this position.

2. Kevin Harvick
Harvick overcame two penalties and dodged another infraction for an uncontrolled tire that was not called last week. He charged from the back of the pack enough times that his average running position should have been counterproductive to his position in the standings, but it is a testament to his strength that he managed to climb two spots to second on this chart.

3. Martin Truex Jr.
It wasn’t his fault, but Truex cut a tire early enough in the O'Reilly 500 to hurt the team statistically. He should be able to hold his own during the next two short track races and will surge when the series rolls back onto an unrestricted, intermediate speedway.

4. Joey Logano
The Penske team has been incredibly solid everywhere this year except Ingenuity Sun Media Raceway (Phoenix) and Logano’s 19th-place finish there is becoming less of a percentage of his total as we enter the eighth week of the season. Without it, the No. 22 team has a perfect record of top-10s and an average of 5.7.

5. Ryan Blaney
No one had to overcome more adversity last week than Blaney. He sustained nose damage and had trouble in the pits, but got his bruised Ford back on the lead lap when it matter most and scored a third top-five for the season.

6. Brad Keselowski
Considering the hard hit Keselowski took in one of the several accidents last week at Texas, his position in the Fantasy Power Rankings could be a lot worse. He fell one position in the standings in part because his closest competition also had bad luck. Finishing 33rd was the second time this year he landed in the 30s.

7. Denny Hamlin
Hamlin was the biggest loser this week. On a mid-race restart, he tried to dive under a rapidly slowing Aric Almirola, got loose, and triggered a multi-car incident that sent him behind the wall and out of the race in 34th. He still has time to recover before falling further and the short tracks have been generally kind to Joe Gibbs Racing.

8. Kurt Busch
Busch continues to steadily record solid finishes. He still hasn’t cracked the top five, but five of his last six attempts ended in a narrow range of seventh to 14th and that makes him predictable. After last week’s chaotic O'Reilly 500, predictability is golden.

9. Clint Bowyer
Stewart-Haas Racing had some challenges last week, but they placed three of their drivers in the top 10. Like his teammate Busch, Bowyer has made a name for himself this year by recording consistent results that make him a place-and-hold driver.

10. Kyle Larson
Larson had a big enough lead over Erik Jones entering last week’s Texas race that his accident and retirement didn’t cause him to fall out of the top 10. He cannot afford to have very many more accidents before he gets overwhelmed by the field, however, and Bristol is fraught with danger.

Big Mover Outside The Top 10

17. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Stenhouse ultimately slapped the wall and fell more than 15 laps off the pace, but he was in a position to score a top-10 before that happened. With Austin Dillon and Jimmie Johnson both experiencing even greater problems, he managed to climb a couple of spots in the Fantasy Power Rankings and become fantasy relevant as a dark horse. 

 

This Week

Driver

Avg Finish

Last Week

Difference

1.

Kyle Busch

5.41

2

1

2.

Kevin Harvick

6.77

4

2

3.

Martin Truex Jr.

7.19

1

-2

4.

Joey Logano

7.24

6

2

5.

Ryan Blaney

8.08

7

2

6.

Brad Keselowski

8.09

5

-1

7.

Denny Hamlin

8.21

3

-4

8.

Kurt Busch

8.39

8

0

9.

Clint Bowyer

8.79

9

0

10.

Kyle Larson

11.48

10

0

 

11.

Erik Jones

12.41

12

1

12.

Chase Elliott

13.00

13

1

13.

Aric Almirola

13.70

11

-2

14.

Ryan Newman

15.76

15

1

15.

Paul Menard

16.11

14

-1

16.

Alex Bowman

16.47

16

0

17.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

18.30

19

2

18.

Jimmie Johnson

18.53

18

0

19.

Austin Dillon

18.63

17

-2

20.

Jamie McMurray

18.91

22

2

21.

Brendan Gaughan

19.80

21

0

22.

Daniel Suarez

20.06

20

-2

23.

William Byron

20.35

23

0

24.

AJ Allmendinger

21.89

24

0

25.

Trevor Bayne

22.83

26

1

26.

Kasey Kahne

22.97

25

-1

27.

Darrell Wallace Jr.

23.56

28

1

28.

Michael McDowell

23.81

27

-1

29.

Chris Buescher

23.91

30

1

30.

David Gilliland

24.60

29

-1

31.

Justin Marks

24.80

31

0

32.

David Ragan

26.94

32

0

33.

Ty Dillon

26.94

32

-1

34.

Matt DiBenedetto

28.12

34

0

35.

Cole Whitt

28.95

38

3

36.

Danica Patrick

29.20

35

-1

37.

Cole Custer

29.25

36

-1

38.

Ross Chastain

30.79

40

2

39.

JJ Yeley

31.00

37

-2

40.

Mark Thompson

31.00

39

-1

41.

DJ Kennington

32.69

41

0

42.

Gray Gaulding

33.21

43

1

43.

Jeffrey Earnhardt

33.68

42

-1

44.

Harrison Rhodes

34.08

45

1

45.

Reed Sorenson

34.50

46

1

46.

Landon Cassill

34.63

49

3

47.

Timmy Hill

34.90

44

-3

48.

Joey Gase

35.75

47

-1

49.

Corey LaJoie

36.18

48

-1

 

Power Rankings

After Martinsville 1
 
After Auto Club 
After Phoenix 1 
After Las Vegas 1 
After Atlanta 
After Daytona 1



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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