Loading scores...
Ryan Blaney
Getty Images
Fantasy Power Rankings

Power Ranking After: Kansas 2

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: October 21, 2019, 3:12 pm ET

No one dropped out of the Fantasy Power Rankings top 10, but there was a lot of movement this week as the points in the bottom half of the grid tightened up. Understandably dominated by drivers still in playoff contention, this group underscores the strength of the drivers we see at the head of the pack every week.

The Power Rankings shows something else as well: None of the 10 drivers below have a perfect record of top-10s in the past 45 days that encompasses the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway through last week’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. NASCAR’s search for parity is paying dividends with a much wider variety of challengers for top-10s on a given week than ever before.

The period determining this week’s rankings is among the most eclectic of the season with a 2.5-mile flat track (Indy), a pair of similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks (Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Kansas), a short track (Richmond Raceway), a road course (the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval), a aero-restricted superspeedway (Talladega Superspeedway), and a high-banked concrete 1-mile track (Dover International Speedway), which makes this a highly representative group.


1. Kevin Harvick (last week: 1)
Playoff Rank: 5
Weeks in the top 10: 32
FPR#: 5.19

While he did not rebound as far as we expected on a track he once dominated, Harvick did manage to earn another top-10 last week at Kansas. He is the only driver in the past 45 days with top-10s in all but one race and that consistency is keeping him at the top of the Fantasy Power Rankings grid. He needs a strong run at Martinsville Speedway this week, however, because his dominant victory at Indy is about to age out of this formula.

2. Denny Hamlin (last week: 6) +4
Playoff Rank: 3
Weeks in the top 10: 25
FPR#: 8.27

Is Hamlin the favorite to win the championship after his victory last week at Kansas? It’s hard to bet against him, but there is still a lot of racing to be done. And while he has been strong, Hamlin has not been perfect in the past 45 days with a 15th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and a 19th on the Charlotte Roval. Four of his last five races ended in top-fives, however, and Martinsville is one of his best tracks.

3. Ryan Blaney (last week: 2) -1
Playoff Rank: 8
Weeks in the top 10: 24
FPR#: 9.37

Blaney has to be extremely grateful for his Talladega Superspeedway victory; his other two results in the Round of 12 ended outside the top 20 and he would not be a playoff hopeful without that win. Even though he finished 21st last week in Kansas, he ran with the leaders long enough to have the fifth-best Average Running Position before he shredded a tire late in the going.

4. Chase Elliott (last week: 8) +4
Playoff Rank: 6
Weeks in the top 10: 22
FPR#: 10.00

Desperation can either supercharge a driver or drain him. Last week it seemed to do both for Elliott. He was not very strong in practice and struggled through portions of the race. At the end of the Hollywood Casino 400, Brad Keselowski waxed and waned, giving Elliott and opportunity to advance to the Round of 8. Elliott had several of the best restarts of his career in the closing laps.

5. Martin Truex Jr. (last week: 9) +4
Playoff Rank: 2
Weeks in the top 10: 29
FPR#: 10.31

Truex did not have a lot to gain or lose last week, so his sixth-place finish doesn’t reveal much about his strength. His greatest recommendation came through the praise of his teammate Hamlin who acknowledged that the key to his victory was when he passed Truex on the track because that driver is the class of the Joe Gibbs Racing organization on 1.5-mile tracks.

6. Clint Bowyer (last week: 5) -1
Playoff Rank: NA
Weeks in the top 10: 9
FPR#: 10.48

Bowyer had a steep hill to climb in the playoffs without any bonus points. Last week he was eliminated from contention, but one should not lose sight of the fact that seven of his last nine attempts ended in top-10s. Consistency is hard to maintain in Modern Day NASCAR with its emphasis on parity, so a pair of 20-something results during the playoffs have not dropped the No. 14 from this list.

7. William Byron (last week: 10) +3
Playoff Rank: NA
Weeks in the top 10: 17
FPR#: 10.49

We keep waiting for Byron to fall and not recover. That would be normal for a driver of his depth of experience, but he keeps surprising us. The No. 24 team believed they had an opportunity to win last week and there were times when many of the experts seemed to agree with them. A fifth-place finish in the Hollywood Casino 400 was remarkable and it came after earning top-10 marks in all of the strength-based categories we track.

8. Joey Logano (last week: 8) -1
Playoff Rank: 4
Weeks in the top 10: 30
FPR#: 10.78

After what may have been the sloppiest three-race span of his career, Logano narrowly advanced to the Round of 8. The reason he remains among the top 10 is because with the exception of Dover International Speedway, he ran uniformly well before finishing badly. In the last six races, Logano has finished outside the top 10 on four occasions, however, and he’s living on borrowed time.

9. Kyle Larson (last week: 4) -5
Playoff Rank: 7
Weeks in the top 10: 18
FPR#: 10.96

Larson fell five spots this week, but fantasy owners want to take a look at the Fantasy Power Rankings numbers from fifth through ninth. Only .65 points separate those positions once an average is taken of the drivers’ finishing results, Average Running Position, Driver Rating, Laps in the Top 15, and performance in the Stages. Larson can rebound next week, but he’s going to have to challenge for a top-10, which is something he’s earned only once in the last four weeks.

10. Brad Keselowski (last week: 3) -7
Playoff Rank: NA
Weeks in the top 10: 26
FPR#: 11.43

Keselowski peaked at the wrong time. His pair of top-fives in the last three races of the regular season and his sweep of the top five in the Round of 16 was great, but in the Round of 12 he failed to score a single top-10 and that kept Keselowski from advancing in the playoffs. The good news is Martinsville has been kind to him recently with seven top-fives and a 10th in the last nine races.

Dropped from the Top 10

No one fell out of the top 10 this week.

Notable

11. Kyle Busch (last week: 11)
Playoff Rank: 1
Weeks in the top 10: 28
FPR#: 12.49

Busch finished third last week and showed glimpses of the dominance often associated with the No. 18. The fact remains, however, that he has not posted back-to-back top-10s since Darlington Raceway. It is almost inconceivable that he won’t snap that negative slide this week, however, because he hasn’t finished outside the top five at Martinsville since 2015 – a streak of eight consecutive races.

 

This
Week

Driver

Power
Avg.

Last
Week

Difference

1.

Kevin Harvick

5.19

1

0

2.

Denny Hamlin

8.27

6

4

3.

Ryan Blaney

9.37

2

-1

4.

Chase Elliott

10.00

8

4

5.

Martin Truex Jr.

10.31

9

4

6.

Clint Bowyer

10.48

5

-1

7.

William Byron

10.49

10

3

8.

Joey Logano

10.78

7

-1

9.

Kyle Larson

10.96

4

-5

10.

Brad Keselowski

11.43

3

-7

 

11.

Kyle Busch

12.49

11

0

12.

Aric Almirola

13.26

12

0

13.

Jimmie Johnson

14.34

13

0

14.

Alex Bowman

14.85

15

1

15.

Daniel Suarez

15.09

14

-1

16.

Matt DiBenedetto

15.84

16

0

17.

Kurt Busch

16.29

17

0

18.

Austin Dillon

16.92

19

1

19.

Paul Menard

17.05

20

1

20.

Ryan Newman

17.74

18

-2

21.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

18.76

22

1

22.

Ty Dillon

20.22

21

-1

23.

Chris Buescher

20.89

23

0

24.

Michael McDowell

21.32

26

2

25.

Bubba Wallace

21.97

25

0

26.

Erik Jones

22.05

24

-2

27.

Ryan Preece

23.83

27

0

28.

Daniel Hemric

24.39

28

0

29.

Matt Tifft

25.50

31

2

30.

Brendan Gaughan

26.00

32

2

31.

David Ragan

26.25

30

-1

32.

Parker Kligerman

26.95

29

-3

33.

Corey LaJoie

27.22

33

0

34.

Ryan Sieg

28.80

34

0

35.

Ross Chastain

29.44

36

1

36.

Landon Cassill

30.22

35

-1

37.

BJ McLeod

32.00

40

3

38.

JJ Yeley

32.38

38

0

39.

Reed Sorenson

33.56

39

0

40.

Joe Nemechek

33.60

41

1

41.

Austin Theriault

33.91

42

1

42.

Timmy Hill

34.45

37

-5

43.

Garrett Smithley

34.80

45

2

44.

Blake Jones

35.00

44

0

45.

Joey Gase

35.31

43

-2

46.

Quin Houff

36.00

47

1

47.

Josh Bilicki

36.00

46

-1

48.

Spencer Boyd

36.67

48

0

 

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.