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Chasing the Cup

Caps After Dover

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

The rich got richer at Dover International Speedway with Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. extending long streaks of top-10s, but they were the only two who managed to keep their strings alive. Everyone else who finished 10th or better in the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks was outside that mark in the Coca-Cola 600 and most by a sizable margin.

The salary cap formula take a much longer view of drivers’ strengths and weaknesses, however, so there was still plenty of movement up and down the order. In fact this was an excellent week to make some adjustments at the very top of the cap range to realign the top-five. Harvick remains the most expensive driver in the field on the strength of nine top-two results in the first 13 races, but Jimmie Johnson leapfrogged Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano, and Brad Keselowski to become the second-most expensive driver.

Gainers

Johnson has been a little uneven in the 2015 season, but the manner in which he won the FedEx 400 at Dover was impressive. He hung around with the leaders all afternoon and never seemed to have dominant strength, but he wanted the victory more than anyone else and refused to be passed by points’ leader Harvick or any other driver with two or four tires. Johnson held off the field on old rubber at Dover, which was an impressive feat of driving.

The handicapping formula continues to take huge swipes at Truex as he continues to climb toward the $25 mark. Until he reaches the same cap level as Harvick, Johnson, Earnhardt, Logano, and Keselowski he is going to rise and that gives Players an opportunity to still lock him in while he is relatively cheap. In the past five races, he has increased in value by $2 so anyone with him on their roster from when he was in the low $20s range has been able to manipulate the bottom of their team easier than those who recently jumped on the bandwagon.

Danica Patrick is close to finding her natural level. She is approximately the 25th-most expensive driver in the game and has earned the 24th- to 27th-most points in four of the past five races. She earned a little increase this week, however, because of her performance at Dover when she banked the 12th-most points of 48. That comes after scoring top-16 points in three events from Martinsville Speedway through Bristol Motor Speedway. She is a safe bet most weeks and a solid value in the others.

Losers

Logano was the biggest loser last week, but his reduction of 50 cents was more of a correction than anything else. He missed the top 10 at Dover after employing the wrong strategy and that was his fourth sub-10th-place result in the past six races. His other efforts were top-fives, so he cannot drop too far, but to command a value of nearly $28 a driver has to either be close to perfect or trending upward.

Denny Hamlin continues to fall down the salary cap grid based on inconsistency. Four of his last six attempts ended with results worse than 20th and it is difficult to earn a lot of points when that occurs. In three of those events he was one of the seven-least earners. Last week, his problems came late enough in the event to still earn the fourth-most points, but he raw finish left fantasy owners nervous.

Since Ricky Stenhouse Jr. trimmed his mullet, it was time to trim his salary cap. There just may be something to the Samson story from the bible because he driver of the No. 17 did not look as strong as he might at Dover. He previously held steady at $12.75 for quite some time, but his average points in the last 60 days simply could not support him any longer. 

 

Gainers and Losers this week

Driver

Diff

 |

 2440 cap

Gainers

Martin Truex Jr.

 $     0.50

 |

 $    22.75

Jimmie Johnson

 $     0.25

 |

 $    27.75

Kurt Busch

 $     0.25

 |

 $    26.00

Jamie McMurray

 $     0.25

 |

 $    25.50

Clint Bowyer

 $     0.25

 |

 $    22.75

Aric Almirola

 $     0.25

 |

 $    20.50

Danica Patrick

 $     0.25

 |

 $    13.75

David Gilliland

 $     0.25

 |

 $    11.00

Cole Whitt

 $     0.25

 |

 $    10.00

Brian Scott

 $     0.25

 |

 $      8.00

Alex Bowman

 $     0.25

 |

 $      7.25

Matt DiBenedeto

 $     0.25

 |

 $      6.25

JJ Yeley

 $     0.25

 |

 $      5.75

Losers

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    27.50

Brad Keselowski

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    27.25

Matt Kenseth

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    26.00

Denny Hamlin

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    25.75

Ryan Newman

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    24.00

Greg Biffle

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    19.75

Tony Stewart

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    17.50

AJ Allmendinger

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    17.00

Austin Dillon

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    16.50

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    12.50

Casey Mears

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    12.25

Justin Allgaier

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    10.50

Brett Moffitt

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      8.25

Landon Cassill

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      8.25

Jeb Burton

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      5.25

Travis Kvapil

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      4.75

Joey Logano

 $    (0.50)

 |

 $    27.25

 

Dan Beaver
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.