Dan Beaver

Fantasy Power Rankings

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Power Ranking After: Dover 2

Tuesday, October 9, 2018


Two weeks ago, the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval created havoc for the playoff contenders. Next week’s 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway has the potential to be just as disruptive. The only championship contending drivers who enter this week in relative safety are the Big 3 because of their massive points lead and Chase Elliott on the heels of his victory last week at Dover International Speedway.

And while the Big 3 are pretty safe in regard to the likelihood they will advance to Round 3 of the playoffs, they are starting to show some signs of stress. Kevin Harvick dominated last week’s race at Dover and would have been untouchable if not for a problem in the pits. Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. created their own set of issues and finished relatively poorly.

1. Kevin Harvick (Last week: 4)
Weeks in the top 10: 30
FPR #: 5.83
Kevin Harvick swept both stages of last week’s Gander 400 and was cruising toward Victory Lane until a lugnut knocked a valve stem off one of his tires. He lost a lap, made it up, and likely would have found the lead again if this was a 500-mile races like it was back in the early- to mid-1990s.

2. Chase Elliott (Last week: 3)
Weeks in the top 10: 15
FPR #: 5.95
Drivers are hesitant to say a track owes them one – but sometimes it certainly seems that way. After giving up the win last fall at Dover, Chase Elliott had unfinished business. He should not have been able to hold off the field with old tires, but the Young Gun dug deep and kept Denny Hamlin at bay in a green-white-checkered shootout.

3. Kurt Busch (Last week: 1)
Weeks in the top 10: 31
FPR #: 6.25
After struggling in back-to-back races to start Round 1 of the playoffs, Kurt Busch now has a pair of top-fives in his last two races. That gives him 10 top-10s in the last 12 races that includes a victory at Bristol Motor Speedway. Consistency matters and Busch has the third-most top-10s in the last 18 races of this season.

4. Brad Keselowski (Last week: 6)
Weeks in the top 10: 26
FPR #: 6.93
Brad Keselowski was battling for the win the Gander 400 until he was eliminated by Aric Almirola bouncing off the wall. Since the accident happened so late in the going, the damage to the No. 2 was not bad enough to cost a bunch of laps and his 14th-place result at Dover kept him from falling below the Top-12 cutline.

5. Joey Logano (Last week: 10)
Weeks in the top 10: 21
FPR #: 6.95
Joey Logano has rocketed up the grid in the past two weeks because the Gander Outdoors 400 at Pocono Raceway and Go Bowling at the Glen results have aged out of the formula. In the past 60 days, Logano has swept the top 15. Four of those efforts fell inside the top five, which makes him a rising value.

6. Kyle Larson (Last week: 2)
Weeks in the top 10: 28
FPR#: 7.34
Kyle Larson dominated practice at Dover, posting the fastest single lap, 5-lap, 10-lap, and 15-lap averages. It appeared that we would be a prohibitively favored driver entering the race, but once the green flag waved Larson fell like stone. It’s difficult to know what happened, but on the heels of his misfortune at the Charlotte Roval, fantasy owners have a right to be concerned.

7. Ryan Blaney (Last week: 7)
Weeks in the top 10: 24
FPR#: 8.15
Ryan Blaney is batting .500 in regard to top-10 finishes in the past 60 days. Four races ended in results of seventh or better. Three others were top-15s and one was a 19th. Blaney won the Bank of America Roval 400k, which means he has a strong upside and with his sweep of the top 20, he won’t cost many points.

8. Kyle Busch (Last week: 5)
Weeks in the top 10: 29
FPR#: 8.20
A lot of the shine is off the No. 18. He continues to score top-10s with six in the last eight races, but he has only two top-fives to his credit in the last 60 days. One of these was a win at Richmond Raceway that might lull fans into a false sense of security. Last week, he finished eighth but only after spending a big part of the afternoon outside the top 10.

9. Clint Bowyer (Last week: 9)
Weeks in the top 10: 24
FPR#: 9.34
Clint Bowyer has been on a rollercoaster in the last several weeks. He fell into a deep hole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to start Round 2, then took two weeks to climb out. At Dover, he fell into another hole with a 35th-place finish. His spot in the top 10 is secure because those around him are also experiencing trouble, but 10th in the Cup points standings with Talladega looming – a track on which he crashed and failed to finish in his last two starts – is a daunting proposition.

10. Martin Truex Jr. (Last week: 8)
Weeks in the top 10: 25
FPR#: 10.15
Jimmie Johnson kept Martin Truex Jr. from winning two weeks ago on the Roval. Last week, Truex was challenging for a top-five in the closing laps at Dover before getting swept into an accident. He has not always been at fault, but ultimately, Truex has finished outside the top 10 in six of his last eight races and he is threatening to fall out of the Fantasy Power Rankings Top-10.

Big Movers outside the Top 10

16. Austin Dillon (Last week: 19)
Weeks in the top 10: 1
FPR#: 14.91
Austin Dillon was in good shape in Round 1 of the playoffs until he was involved in an accident and finished 39th. He rebounded last week and scored his third result of 11th or better in the last four races. In his last 18 attempts, he has finished in the top 15 50 percent of the time.

17. Jimmie Johnson (Last week: 15)
Weeks in the top 10: 5
FPR#: 15.55
Just when we started to think it was safe to wave a green flag over Jimmie Johnson, Fate stepped up and slapped the No. 48. A broken ball joint on the pace lap insured not only that he would not win, but that he would lose contact with the Fantasy Power Rankings top 10. 

 

This Week

Driver

Avg. Finish

Last Week

Difference

1

Kevin Harvick

5.83

4

3

2

Chase Elliott

5.95

3

1

3

Kurt Busch

6.25

1

-2

4

Brad Keselowski

6.93

6

2

5

Joey Logano

6.95

10

5

6

Kyle Larson

7.34

2

-4

7

Ryan Blaney

8.15

7

0

8

Kyle Busch

8.20

5

-3

9

Clint Bowyer

9.34

9

0

10

Martin Truex Jr.

10.15

8

-2

 

11

Denny Hamlin

10.44

11

0

12

Aric Almirola

10.73

13

1

13

Erik Jones

12.33

12

-1

14

Alex Bowman

14.23

14

0

15

Ryan Newman

14.66

17

2

16

Austin Dillon

14.91

19

3

17

Jimmie Johnson

15.55

15

-2

18

Jamie McMurray

16.21

16

-2

19

Daniel Hemric

17.40

20

1

20

Daniel Suarez

17.72

18

-2

21

Paul Menard

18.34

21

0

22

Matt Kenseth

19.88

22

0

23

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

19.97

25

2

24

Trevor Bayne

20.63

24

0

25

Chris Buescher

22.45

26

1

26

William Byron

23.59

23

-3

27

David Ragan

25.45

30

3

28

Regan Smith

25.60

32

4

29

AJ Allmendinger

25.74

33

4

30

Michael McDowell

25.75

29

-1

31

Cole Custer

25.76

28

-3

32

Kasey Kahne

25.77

27

-5

33

Ty Dillon

28.13

34

1

34

Matt DiBenedetto

29.45

35

1

35

Cole Whitt

31.75

39

4

36

Ross Chastain

32.06

37

1

37

Bubba Wallace

32.16

36

-1

38

Corey LaJoie

32.81

40

2

39

Landon Cassill

33.23

41

2

40

JJ Yeley

33.26

42

2

41

Blake Jones

33.50

43

2

42

Justin Marks

33.75

44

2

43

Garrett Smithley

34.50

45

2

44

Reed Sorenson

34.75

46

2

45

Jeffrey Earnhardt

34.96

47

2

46

Kyle Weatherman

35.00

49

3

47

BJ McLeod

35.90

50

3

48

Jesse Little

36.75

51

3

49

Joey Gase

37.67

53

4

50

Timmy Hill

37.70

52

2

51

Harrison Rhodes

38.00

 

NA

52

Alon Day

38.75

54

2

53

Gray Gaulding

39.25

55

2

54

David Starr

39.75

56

2

55

Stanton Barrett

40.00

57

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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