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Kevin Harvick
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Cap Considerations

Draft Kings: Firekeepers Casino 400

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: June 7, 2019, 10:49 pm ET

The race package for Michigan International Speedway is incredible. With pra

ctice in the books, one thing is certain – and that is the Firekeepers Casino 400 should be one of the most competitive we’ve seen in quite some time. That is a double-edged sword; fantasy owners want the excitement, but not at the expense of predictability.

Handicapping the race is going to be difficult. And if the draft becomes a major factor in the closing laps, a surprise winner could emerge.

One other thing we saw in practice was just how fast the Fords were. Last year Team Penske swept the top 10 with all three of their drivers. In the Firekeepers Casino 400, Stewart-Haas has the potential to do that, which is going to make them extremely attractive this week.


Group A: 5 Most Expensive (>=$10,000)

Kevin Harvick ($10,700)
Harvick will eventually stop making mistakes and when he does, he will have a dominant race. Once he gets one of those under his belt, many more will follow, but fantasy players want to be on the right side of the curve and take advantage of him before a bandwagon forms. Unfortunately Draft Kings has not lost confidence in the driver and he is the third-most expensive racer in the field. He will take a huge chunk from your salary cap and leave you with an average of $7,860 to spend. Tough decisions need to be made in the bottom two levels, but it could be hard to win without him at Michigan.

Chase Elliott ($10,000)
Elliott was not all that impressive in practice, but we have not lost faith in him. With five consecutive top-fives this season and three runner-up finishes in his first starts at Michigan, it is difficult to believe he will not find a way into the top five this week. As the least expensive driver in Group A, he would free up $700-800 over Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski. Hendrick Motorsports has been strong on this track in the past and they’re poised to challenge for wins again.

Group B: (Between $9,700 and $8,500)

Clint Bowyer ($8,700)
Bowyer is the defending winner of this race, but since that came with the aid of weather it would not normally make him one of these week’s favorites. He finished 12th in the summer race on this track and was 11th last year in the Auto Club 400. One of the reasons we like him at Michigan is because he has some momentum on his side with a third-place finish at Kansas Speedway a few weeks ago and a fifth at Pocono Raceway just last weekend. He was part of the SHR juggernaut in Friday’s practice and should qualify near the front and race well.

Kurt Busch ($9,300)
Busch was quick in both of Friday’s practice sessions with the second-best 10-lap average speed of 186.733 mph in Practice 1 and the sixth-best of 186.334 mph in Happy Hour. One of the notable facts in final practice is that three of the SHR drivers we expect to dominate landed above him on the chart and that could make Busch the best in class. The No. 1 team has not stumbled very many times this year. Consistency is extremely attractive.

Group C: (Between $8,300 and $7,300)

Daniel Suarez ($7,700)
We are going to ride the SHR train this week. By his Michigan numbers, Suarez should not be highly regarded. In four starts there, he has not cracked the top 10 and has only one top-20 to his credit. He was 13th this spring on the other 2-mile track of Auto Club Speedway. But he was fast in both Friday sessions and even had the quickest 10-lap average in Happy Hour. That gives him a good combination of speed and durability that is hard to find in the Group C salary cap level.

Aric Almirola ($8,100)
Almirola is another driver with consistency on his side. On the 2-mile tracks he enters the weekend with five consecutive top-12 finishes and a best of seventh in last summer’s Consumers Energy 400. That was his first top-10 on this track. With a little luck, he could get a career-best top-five and it will not break the bank to roll the dice on the entire Stewart-Haas Racing organization.

Group D: (Between $7,200 and $6,300)

Paul Menard ($7,100)
The 2-mile tracks were once a favorite stomping ground for Menard. From summer 2013 through spring 2016 he scored six top-10s and swept the top 15. He has not been as strong lately with one top-15 and a sweep of the top 20 in the past two seasons on this track type, however. The good news is that he finished fifth in this race last year. With Penske support on the Wood Brothers No. 21, he could challenge for a top-15 at least. Menard had the fifth-quickest 10-lap average in the first practice session.

Austin Dillon ($6,800)
Because of some recent setbacks, Austin Dillon is incredibly cheap this week. Richard Childress Racing has been strong at Michigan in the past, however, and the No. 3 team should easily be able to contend for a top-15 finish. Considering that his salary cap is the 23rd-most expensive and only $100 more than his brother Ty Dillon who races for a less dominant team, Austin could be one of this week’s best values.

Group E: (Less than or equal to $6,200)

Daniel Hemric ($6,000)
Last week Hemric earned the second top-15 of his rookie season, but that did not greatly impact his salary cap. Hemric jumped $200 and the last time he commanded this amount, he scored 25 points at Kansas. He will not make or break your team at Michigan, but RCR is solid enough to risk taking the rookie on the off chance that his strategy places him in the top 20 once again.

 

Draft Kings points earned
last 45 days

Driver

Avg.
Rank

Total
Points
Earned

Avg.
Points

This
Week's
Cap

Points
Per K

Group

Chase Elliott

2.00

376.50

75.30

$10,000

          7.53

A

Martin Truex Jr.

14.40

321.75

64.35

$10,400

          6.19

A

Kyle Busch

10.00

289.00

57.80

$11,800

          4.90

A

Brad Keselowski

8.80

246.50

49.30

$11,200

          4.40

A

Kevin Harvick

17.00

179.25

35.85

$10,700

          3.35

A

 

Alex Bowman

7.60

275.00

55.00

$8,500

          6.47

B

Joey Logano

7.60

245.25

49.05

$9,700

          5.06

B

Kurt Busch

15.20

179.25

35.85

$9,300

          3.85

B

Kyle Larson

19.00

163.00

32.60

$9,500

          3.43

B

Ryan Blaney

20.60

131.00

26.20

$9,100

          2.88

B

Clint Bowyer

21.40

119.00

23.80

$8,700

          2.74

B

Denny Hamlin

21.20

118.50

23.70

$8,900

          2.66

B

 

Daniel Suarez

12.80

202.50

40.50

$7,700

          5.26

C

Ryan Newman

15.20

168.50

33.70

$7,500

          4.49

C

Aric Almirola

14.80

177.75

35.55

$8,100

          4.39

C

William Byron

17.40

151.75

30.35

$7,600

          3.99

C

Erik Jones

14.80

164.00

32.80

$8,300

          3.95

C

Jimmie Johnson

19.60

135.50

27.10

$7,900

          3.43

C

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

26.40

88.75

17.75

$7,300

          2.43

C

 

Chris Buescher

14.60

184.50

36.90

$7,200

          5.13

D

Ryan Preece

21.20

137.00

27.40

$6,900

          3.97

D

Paul Menard

20.20

125.00

25.00

$7,100

          3.52

D

Ty Dillon

21.80

117.25

23.45

$6,700

          3.50

D

David Ragan

24.40

107.25

21.45

$6,300

          3.40

D

Matt DiBenedetto

28.40

55.25

11.05

$6,500

          1.70

D

Austin Dillon

28.60

28.00

5.60

$6,800

          0.82

D

 

Daniel Hemric

18.20

143.50

28.70

$6,000

          4.78

E

Corey LaJoie

19.80

145.50

29.10

$5,700

          5.11

E

Quin Houff

28.50

57.00

14.25

$5,200

          2.74

E

Michael McDowell

23.40

84.75

16.95

$6,200

          2.73

E

Matt Tifft

27.60

67.25

13.45

$5,500

          2.45

E

Bubba Wallace

29.00

55.50

11.10

$5,800

          1.91

E

Landon Cassill

31.60

44.50

8.90

$5,300

          1.68

E

Kyle Weatherman

 

 

 

$5,100

             -  

E

Garrett Smithley

 

 

 

$5,000

             -  

E

Josh Bilicki

 

 

 

$4,900

             -  

E

 

Dan Beaver

Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 15 years with a little help from his >600,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.