Dan Beaver

Fantasy Power Rankings

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Power Ranking After: AAA 400

Monday, May 7, 2018


The Fantasy Power Rankings takes a look at the past 60 days in order to reward drivers’ current momentum. This week, the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway drops out of the formula, but that made little difference to the top eight.

There were some notable changes further down the grid, however. Keep an eye on Hendrick Motorsports because that team is going to be on the uptick as soon as they figure out the new aerodynamic characteristics of the Chevrolet Camaro.

1. Kyle Busch (Last week: 1)
Kyle Busch knew something was wrong as soon as the AAA 400 started. He identified it as a drive train problem and managed to keep his car running long enough to record the 13th-best Average Running Position and the seventh-best Driver’s Rating. That not only protected his points’ lead, but his advantage in the Fantasy Power Rankings.

2. Kevin Harvick (LW: 2)
Kevin Harvick’s remarkable season continues with his fourth dominant win in 11 races. He has not been flawless and it is the 35th he earned at Auto Club Speedway with an unforced error that keeps him from grabbing the top spot. It would seem to be just a matter of time before he does just that, however.

3. Joey Logano (LW: 3)
Joey Logano ran a little better than he finished in the AAA 400. He finished in the top 10 in both segments and was running fifth before a problem in the pits mired him in traffic. Finishing 13th was only the second time in 11 races this year that he has failed to crack the top 10 and that points to consistent strength.

4. Brad Keselowski (LW: 4)
He is hanging onto a top-five position in the Fantasy Power Rankings, but Brad Keselowski may be living on borrowed time. His only top-five in the past 60 days came at Auto Club Speedway and that is going to age out of this formula in short order. Meanwhile, his last five efforts have netted three results outside the top 20.

5. Denny Hamlin (LW: 5)
Denny Hamlin is not setting the world on fire, but he has earned seven top-15s in eight races during the last 60 days. Two of these were top-fives that came on short, flat tracks where he was expected to excel, so fantasy players should plan on him continuing to be a predictably good value.

6. Kurt Busch (LW: 6)
Still not flashy, Kurt Busch continues to put up solid results. On the heels of his first top-five of the season at Talladega Superspeedway, the driver of the No. 41 posted a fifth at Dover and helped Stewart-Haas Racing place three drivers in the top five for the first time in their history.

7. Clint Bowyer (LW: 7)
For a little while, it appeared Clint Bowyer was going to upset his teammate Kevin Harvick and win the AAA 400. He held the No. 4 off as long as he could and settled for second. That gives him seven results of 11th or better in the eight races held in the past 60 days and points to a lot of momentum.

8. Ryan Blaney (LW: 8)
We were about to write Ryan Blaney off because he was losing ground, but he managed to stop a three-race slide of results outside the top 15. Those three disappointing results all came with crash damage, however, so if he can stay out of trouble, he should continue to be a solid value.

9. Jimmie Johnson (LW: 11)
Before last week’s race at Dover – a track on which Jimmie Johnson has 11 previous wins – the team made a point of saying winning was not the most important thing. They recognized they still have a lot of ground to make up and hoped for a solid run. Johnson got it with a ninth-place finish — his seventh top-15 in the last eight races.

10. Kyle Larson (LW: 9)
It would be easy to feel sorry for Kyle Larson after last week’s troubles, but most of it was self-inflicted. He might have been able to make up for being sent to the back, but an uncontrolled tire cost him two laps. It is not possible to win at the Cup level while making mistakes.

Dropped from the Top 10

12. Martin Truex Jr. (LW: 10)
This week’s formula dropped out the results from Las Vegas Motor, where Martin Truex Jr. finished fourth – just as he did last week at Dover. The net effect of that was a push. The difference between the two events was that the No. 78 spent much of Sunday’s race mired in heavy traffic and he did not record a great average running position.

Big Mover outside the Top 10

16. William Byron (LW: 19)
William Byron is starting to show consistent speed. With the exception of an accident at Talladega two weeks ago, he has swept the top 20 in the past 60 days. An average of 14.4 on unrestricted, intermediate speedways during that span will not anchor many rosters, but it does make him a solid salary cap play in games where he is rightly priced.

 

This
Week

Driver

Power
Avg

Last
Week

Difference

1

Kyle Busch

3.73

1

0

2

Kevin Harvick

6.22

2

0

3

Joey Logano

7.25

3

0

4

Brad Keselowski

8.42

4

0

5

Denny Hamlin

9.18

5

0

6

Kurt Busch

9.20

6

0

7

Clint Bowyer

9.41

7

0

8

Ryan Blaney

10.86

8

0

9

Jimmie Johnson

12.02

11

2

10

Kyle Larson

12.09

9

-1

 

11

Chase Elliott

12.39

12

1

12

Martin Truex Jr.

12.83

10

-2

13

Aric Almirola

14.22

13

0

14

Erik Jones

14.77

14

0

15

Alex Bowman

15.71

15

0

16

William Byron

15.90

19

3

17

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

16.20

17

0

18

Daniel Suarez

16.98

20

2

19

Ryan Newman

18.05

16

-3

20

Jamie McMurray

18.18

21

1

21

Paul Menard

18.77

18

-3

22

Austin Dillon

20.62

22

0

23

AJ Allmendinger

22.20

23

0

24

Darrell Wallace Jr.

23.39

24

0

25

Kasey Kahne

23.95

25

0

26

Brendan Gaughan

24.00

26

0

27

David Ragan

24.39

27

0

28

Chris Buescher

25.78

28

0

29

Trevor Bayne

26.08

30

1

30

Ty Dillon

26.29

29

-1

31

Matt DiBenedetto

26.92

31

0

32

Cole Whitt

27.09

33

1

33

Michael McDowell

27.32

32

-1

34

Landon Cassill

30.71

35

1

35

JJ Yeley

31.00

36

1

36

Ross Chastain

31.32

37

1

37

Timothy Peters

32.25

38

1

38

DJ Kennington

32.38

39

1

39

Gray Gaulding

33.45

41

2

40

Daniel Hemric

34.25

42

2

41

Reed Sorenson

34.27

43

2

42

Cody Ware

34.50

NA

 

43

Harrison Rhodes

34.50

44

1

44

Joey Gase

34.60

45

1

45

Corey LaJoie

34.81

40

-5

46

Chad Finchum

35.50

46

0

47

Timmy Hill

35.93

47

0

48

Jeffrey Earnhardt

36.58

48

0

49

Derrike Cope

37.25

NA

 

 

Power Rankings

After Talladega 1 
After Richmond 1 
After Texas 1 
After Martinsville 1 
After Auto Club 



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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