Dan Beaver

NASCAR Fantasy Cheat Sheet

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Overton's 400 Cheat Sheet

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Chicagoland has been predictable in the past few years with several drivers compiling three-race or longer streaks of top-10s. Several others had only one bad result in the last four years that can be discounted as anomalies. That is good news in light of the continued domination of Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, and Martin Truex Jr. because it adds to the probability they will continue to run well.

While the Big Three dominate the top spots, it is even more critical that fantasy owners choose wisely among the remainder of the field. There aren’t a lot of surprises among the top 10, but some compelling dark horses can be found between 15th and 25th that might help win a salary cap game.

1. Kevin Harvick
Until he cut a tire and pounded the wall at Charlotte, Harvick was almost perfect this year on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks with three wins and a second-place finish.

2. Kyle Busch
Busch has won the two races on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks that Harvick failed to take and it's a fair bet the battle will come down to these two drivers again in Chicago.

3. Martin Truex Jr.
If not for the dominance of Harvick and Busch, Truex would be this week's pick to win the Overton's 400 since he's won the last two Chicagoland events.

4. Kyle Larson
After a disappointing outing at Sonoma last week, Larson has something to prove. In five starts on 1.5-milers this year, he's scored two top-fives and another pair of top-10s.

5. Clint Bowyer
If Bowyer wants to be considered part of the "Big Four", he is going to need to start scoring top-fives on the similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks.

6. Chase Elliott
Elliott has been perfect in regard to top-five finishes at Chicagoland during his career, but similar stats so far this season have not yet resulted in dominant runs.

7. Brad Keselowski
Keselowski has the longest active streak of top-10s at Chicagoland among active drivers with seven. He won the 2012 and 2014 editions of this race.

8. Denny Hamlin
In the last four years, Hamlin has finished sixth or better in every Chicagoland race, but they all came in cooler fall conditions.

9. Joey Logano
While he hasn't been the strongest driver each week on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks, Logano had a perfect record of results seventh or better before Charlotte.

10. Kurt Busch
With the exception of a 35th on his home track of Vegas, Busch has finished seventh or eighth on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks this year.

11. Ryan Blaney
Blaney had an eight-race streak of top-12 finishes to his credit on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks until he crashed at Kansas and blew an engine at Charlotte.

12. Erik Jones
Jones entered the Coke 600 with four consecutive results of 11th or better on the similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks and should be able to pick up where he left off.

13. Aric Almirola
Almirola ran into trouble at Texas, but the remainder of his finishes on this track type ended between ninth and 13th.

14. Jimmie Johnson
Johnson scored a fifth in the Coke 600 to snap a six-race string of results outside the top 10 on this track type – but it's too soon to tell if that will make a lasting difference.

15. Alex Bowman
It took five races on this track type, but Bowman finally scored a top-10 for Hendrick Motorsports on a similarly-configured, 1.5-mile track with a ninth in the Coke 600.

16. Paul Menard
The Team Penske alliance has helped Menard on several occasions this year – most notably on the similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks, where he has two top-10s, a 14th, and a 17th in five starts.

17. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Roush-Fenway Racing has struggled on many tracks this season, but Stenhouse has actually been solid on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile courses with four results of 16th or better in five races.

18. Austin Dillon
Since winning last year's Coke 600 with a strategy call, Dillon has scored eight top-20s in 10 races compared to two results outside the top 25.

19. Jamie McMurray
When he has been able to stay out of trouble on the 1.5-milers, McMurray earned a third at Texas and sixth at Charlotte. The remainder of his results has been disappointing, however.

20. Kasey Kahne
Kahne has not lived up to expectations on many of the tracks this year, but he has been good enough on the 1.5-milers to garner interest. His worst finish in five starts is 21st at Atlanta and Kansas.

21. Bubba Wallace
Wallace has been one of the better values on this track type in 2018 with four of five results ending 23rd or better. Watch him closely in practice and qualification.

22. David Ragan
He is not the flashiest driver in the field, but that makes Ragan much more valuable when he finished in the top 25 on a similarly-configured, 1.5-mile track, which he's done every time.

23. Trevor Bayne
Bayne will be back behind the wheel of the No. 6 this weekend and that gives him and fantasy players a chance to evaluate how Matt Kenseth has helped the team.

24. Daniel Suarez
Last year, Suarez earned two top-10s on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks. This year, he's been lucky to get a pair of top-15s.

25. Michael McDowell 
When looking for a dark horse, McDowell should come to mind on the 1.5-milers. His last three efforts on them ended in top-20s with a best of 14th at Texas.

26. AJ Allmendinger
Allmendinger's last three results at Chicagoland have been all over the board with a 36th in 2015, 17th in 2016, and 26th last year. Your guess is as good as ours this week.

27. Chris Buescher
Buescher has been consistent at Chicagoland with a 28th in 2016 and a 27th last year. With a little luck, he could earn his first top-25 there this week.

28. Ty Dillon
If one tosses out the high and the low on this track type in 2018, Dillon is left with results of 21st through 26th - and that makes him and interesting proposition at Chicagoland.

29. Ryan Newman
Newman's last three starts on the 1.5-mile tracks have all ended outside the top 25. That does not bode well for his odds in the the Overton's 400.

30. William Byron
Byron has a top-10 to his credit on the similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks this year, but his last two efforts ended in the garage with crash damage at Kansas and Charlotte.

31. Ross Chastain
Chastain swept the top 30 in five starts on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks this year and his last two have hovered around the 25th-place mark.

32. Matt DiBenedetto
So far in 2018, DiBenedetto's season has looked like an inverted bell curve with 30-something finishes in his first and latest races on 1.5-mile tracks, but 22nds or better in the middle three.

33. Landon Cassill
In three starts on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks this season, Cassill has swept the top 30, but he's gotten progressively worse each weekend and landed at 28th in Charlotte.

34. Corey LaJoie
LaJoie has been behind the wheel of the No. 72 in the last two races on this track type. He finished 24th at Kansas and 26th at Charlotte

35. Gray Gaulding
Most of Gaulding's efforts on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks have ended outside the top 25, but he had an impressive 20th at Texas when there was heavy attrition.

36. Timmy Hill
Hill hasn't been all that bad on the unrestricted, intermediate speedways this spring with 32nd-place finishes at Kansas and Charlotte.

37. Reed Sorenson
No matter who is behind the wheel of the No. 07, the team is still likely to finish on the high side of the 30s.

38. BJ McLeod
All three of McLeod's starts this season have come on similarly-configured, 1.5- and two-mile tracks. He's finished between 33rd and 37th in them.

39. Kyle Weatherman
Weatherman has made two previous starts in the Cup series, but they came on short, flat tracks and cannot be used to adequately handicap him at Chicagoland.

Previous Cheat Sheets

Coke 600 (Charlotte) 
KC Masterpiece 400 (Kansas) 
O'Reilly 500 (Texas) 
Pennzoil 400 (Vegas) 
QuikTrip 500 (Atlanta) 

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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