There are tracks on which drivers occasionally stand out to a high degree. Matt Kenseth is such a racer at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Since 2013, he has scored three wins and earned another second-place finish. Eight of the last nine races have ended in top-10s and only one of those was worse than sixth. Kenseth has something to prove and he is going to do that this week. His price tag of $9,400 is above the midline, but he is still one of this week’s best values and has the distinction of being our anchor for the ISM Connect 300.
There are some other outstanding values with long streaks of top-fives, but they are all expensive. For that reason, we are going to drop down and look for our bargain basement racers at this stage.
Putting Kenseth on the roster first changed the average cost-per-driver to $8,120 so we start by looking under that mark. Conveniently priced at $7,500, Daniel Suarez fits neatly onto the roster. He has been getting progressively better this season. During the summer running of the Overton's 301, he barely missed the top five in sixth.
Erik Jones is priced in that same range at $7,800. He did not fare well this summer on this flat one-miler with crash damage. That was one of two incidents that marred an otherwise solid string of races during which he scored eight top-10s in 10 weekends. That streak came to an end last week at Chicagoland Speedway with a mechanical issue that caused him to lose multiple laps. He should quickly rebound.
Unfortunately, that does not move the needle enough that fantasy players don’t have to worry about their marquee racer. We are going to jump down to one of our favorite dark horses for two reasons. He finished 16th in the most recent event on a short, flat track at Richmond International Raceway and that was only two weeks ago. The No. 95 Levine Family Racing team has been improving steadily for the past season and a half and that gave Kasey Kahne the confidence to join them. This could be the beginning of a turnaround like Furniture Row experience when Martin Truex Jr. joined them.
Now, we have some wiggle room on the roster and can start to look at the expensive drivers again. That brings us to Kevin Harvick with a price tag of $10,100. He won this race last year as part of a current three-race, top-five streak on this track. Five of his last six races have ended that well and he is going to add one more on Sunday.
That leaves $9,200 to spend and a decision to make. If a player wants to go with recent momentum, Chase Elliott is priced at $9,100, but has not scored a top-10 on this track in three previous starts. Joey Logano has two previous wins at New Hampshire—in 2009 due to strategy and 2014 on speed—but he struggled this summer and finished 37th. It is best to wait for qualification to be completed before making a decision on these two drivers, but with value of $8,700, Logano has the preliminary advantage.