Dan Beaver

Fantasy Power Rankings

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Power Ranking After: KC 400

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


The KC Masterpiece 400 at Kansas Speedway epitomizes the need for the Fantasy Power Rankings. Most of the race ran green and then, a switch flipped. Several drivers at the front of the pack… well, quite frankly, lost their minds. 

Drivers like Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, and Kyle Busch did not have the finishes they deserved, but the addition of Average Running Position, Driver Rating, and other strength-based stats into the formula keep them from losing ground and help the handicapper make intelligent choices.

1. Kyle Busch (Last week: 1)
Weeks in the top 10: 11
Kyle Busch maintains the top spot for yet another week, but fantasy players will want to keep an eye on him. The Fantasy Power Rankings looks primarily at the past 60 days and some of Busch’s best runs – including his three wins – are about to age out of this formula.

2. Joey Logano (Last week: 3)
Weeks in the top 10: 13
A third-place finish last week at Kansas came largely because Joey Logano stayed out on old tires, but nevertheless it was his sixth top-10 in seven races during the past 60 days. His worst finish was a 13th at Dover International Speedway, which makes him a place-and-hold driver.

3. Kevin Harvick (Last week: 2)
Weeks in the top 10: 12
How could Kevin Harvick drop a position after his performance last week? That is because his three-race streak of victories from Atlanta Motor Speedway through Phoenix International Raceway have aged out of his Fantasy Power Rankings average and while he was dominant at Kansas, he has not been quite as strong in some of his performances during the past 60 days.

4. Brad Keselowski (Last week: 4)
Weeks in the top 10: 12
Brad Keselowski is an example of a driver who has been racing better than he finished in the last 60 days. He has only three top-10s in that period versus three results outside the top 20, but he has been on the cusp of breaking through. Fantasy players with a long view of the game should have him in reserve.

5. Kurt Busch (Last week: 6)
Weeks in the top 10: 13
By comparison, Kurt Busch is a driver who finishes better than he runs. In his last seven races during the past 60 days, he’s finished worse than 11th only once. He might put some gray hairs on his fantasy players’ heads, but when the majority of points are tallied at the end of the day, he deserves a spot on the roster.

6. Denny Hamlin (Last week: 5)
Weeks in the top 10: 13
It has been well documented how often Denny Hamlin sustains penalties and that it has cost him a lot during the middle stage of races. As a result, he has only one stage win and 57 total segment points, which is 10th best for the season.

7. Clint Bowyer (Last week: 7)
Weeks in the top 10: 11
It has been easy to overlook some drivers while Harvick and Kyle Busch have dominated races. But that means drivers who have consistently earned top-15s should also be permanent fixtures on your roster. Clint Bowyer has six top-15s in the last seven races and the only time he failed to finish that well was in the wild card Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

8. Ryan Blaney (Last week: 8)
Weeks in the top 10: 13
Blaney has been part of the Fantasy Power 10 since the first week of the season, but he’s slowly slipped down the grid. He is one of the least consistent drivers among the Level One contenders and could fall at any moment. Last week’s 37th-place finish in the KC Masterpiece 400 came after he spent the majority of the race contending for a top-five, however, so that is not going to count against him as much as one might think.

9. Kyle Larson (Last week: 10)
Weeks in the top 10: 11
Kansas was Larson’s race to lose. He was jumped on a late-race restart by Harvick and then dumped by Blaney, but leading the most laps and achieving the best average running position does a lot for a driver’s Fantasy Power Ranking score.

10. Jimmie Johnson (Last week: 9)
Weeks in the top 10: 13
Just when you thought it was safe to regard Jimmie Johnson, he was back to running mid-pack in the KC Masterpiece 400. As modest as his results have seemed, however, he still has five top-15s in the last seven races and that makes him a good value in games where he is rightly priced.

Big Mover outside the Top 10

24. David Ragan (Last week: 27)
Weeks in the top 10: 0
Fantasy players need to be aware of how drivers are running even if they are not among the top 10. Last week’s 13th-place finish for David Ragan was his third top-15 in the last five races and he should be watched closely to see if his upward trend continues.

Notable

38. Matt Kenseth (Last week: NA)
Weeks in the top 10: 0
Matt Kenseth might not have admitted to any expectations in his return to NASCAR, but one has to believe he anticipated more than what he got. One thing is certain, he has no place to go but up and it is a fair bet that he gets showcased as the Biggest Mover outside the top 10 next week.

 

This
Week

Driver

Avg.
Finish

Last
Week

Difference

1

Kyle Busch

4.93

1

0

2

Joey Logano

6.26

3

1

3

Kevin Harvick

6.55

2

-1

4

Brad Keselowski

9.23

4

0

5

Kurt Busch

9.24

6

1

6

Denny Hamlin

9.40

5

-1

7

Clint Bowyer

9.71

7

0

8

Ryan Blaney

10.98

8

0

9

Kyle Larson

11.80

10

1

10

Jimmie Johnson

12.62

9

-1

 

11

Martin Truex Jr.

12.80

12

1

12

Aric Almirola

13.15

13

1

13

Chase Elliott

13.38

11

-2

14

Alex Bowman

15.09

15

1

15

Erik Jones

15.63

14

-1

16

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

16.13

17

1

17

William Byron

17.15

16

-1

18

Daniel Suarez

17.62

18

0

19

Paul Menard

17.64

21

2

20

Jamie McMurray

19.23

20

0

21

Ryan Newman

19.73

19

-2

22

Austin Dillon

20.98

22

0

23

AJ Allmendinger

21.20

23

0

24

David Ragan

22.93

27

3

25

Darrell Wallace Jr.

23.42

24

-1

26

Kasey Kahne

23.50

25

-1

27

Brendan Gaughan

24.00

26

-1

28

Chris Buescher

24.70

28

0

29

Matt DiBenedetto

26.19

31

2

30

Trevor Bayne

26.38

29

-1

31

Ty Dillon

26.52

30

-1

32

Michael McDowell

26.52

33

1

33

Cole Whitt

27.19

32

-1

34

Landon Cassill

30.45

34

0

35

JJ Yeley

31.00

35

0

36

Ross Chastain

31.02

36

0

37

DJ Kennington

32.18

38

1

38

Matt Kenseth

32.20

NA

 

39

Timothy Peters

32.25

37

-2

40

Gray Gaulding

32.65

39

-1

41

Corey LaJoie

32.72

45

4

42

Reed Sorenson

33.37

41

-1

43

Joey Gase

34.00

44

1

44

Daniel Hemric

34.25

40

-4

45

Harrison Rhodes

34.26

43

-2

46

Cody Ware

34.50

42

-4

47

Timmy Hill

34.82

47

0

48

Chad Finchum

35.50

46

-2

49

Jeffrey Earnhardt

36.86

48

-1

50

BJ McLeod

37.25

NA

 

51

Derrike Cope

37.25

49

-2

 



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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