Fantasy Article

Rotoworld

Caps After Richmond (Fall)

Dan Beaver
Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Before setting the salary caps, the manger runs a script from a database that houses more than 600,000 records. Included in this script are strength-based categories provided by NASCAR Statistical Services and some unique information. Based on his recent performance, Denny Hamlin leapfrogged over Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski into the top spot.

Hamlin has momentum on his side in the form of a current eight-race streak of top-10s. Last week’s victory at Richmond International Raceway was significant because it represents a return to strength on a track type that has been traditionally kind and adds to his predictability. Hamlin has shown an increase in salary cap in each of the past seven weeks and after the last two events, these have been 50 cents or greater. This week he lands at $26.50 in the NASCAR Fantasy Live game and will continue to advance until he stumbles for more than a couple of weeks.

Kyle Larson is rapidly becoming one of the best values in the game and his salary cap is struggling to catch up. He won the Pure Michigan 400 and earned maximum points in the NASCAR Fantasy Live game as a result. In Darlington Raceway he earned the second most points and at Richmond he garnered the fourth-most. If he had not sustained crash damage at Watkins Glen International and Bristol Motor Speedway, he would have sixth or better points’ days in his seven races. He is still a value at $24.50.

Kevin Harvick continues to get a little more expensive and deserves the honor. Since the beginning of 2016—actually since last fall at Martinsville Speedway—he has scored top-10 points every week except two. Both of his failures to perform came as the result of crash damage, so he becomes more expensive to make the decision to start of part him more difficult. His current cap of $28.75 might not be the high water mark before the end of the season if he continues to perform like this.

Michael McDowell earned the second most points this summer at Daytona International Speedway, but that is a plate track that plays by its own rules. Last week at Richmond, he had the sixth-highest points’ total based on a 12th-place finish and a ton of place-differential points. The Federated Auto Parts 400 was a little unpredictable, but McDowell has earned 27th or better points in six of his last seven starts and at $7.75 he is still one of the cheapest drivers in the field—which makes a lot of room at the top.

From Atlanta Motor Speedway through Richmond’s spring race, Carl Edwards earned top-10 points in the NASCAR Fantasy Live game eight straight times. He crashed at Talladega SuperSpeedway the following week and cost players 18 points. Since then, he has earned acceptable points only five times in 17 starts. At Darlington and Richmond in the past two weeks, he has netted zero with 7 points earned in South Carolina and seven lost in Virginia. He is still expensive at $26, but might find some use on selected rosters.

For perhaps the first time this year, Chase Elliott looked like a rookie at Richmond. Ultimately crash damage marred his finish, but he was slow in practice and qualification before teammate Jeff Gordon knocked him into the wall in a four-wide battle. Even that is partially the freshman’s fault because he did not need to place himself in harm’s way at that stage of the race. He needs to make better decisions. Elliott took a 25 cent adjustment to $24.25 as a result.

Matt Kenseth’s comments after cutting a tire and slapping the wall at Richmond are part of the reason he lost 25 cents. His opinion about Brad Keselowski and Penske Racing may or may not be valid, but if he focuses on that organization like he did during last year’s Chase, he is going to cost players a lot of points while that distraction exists. He fell to $26.75 and is still expensive. Buyers beware. 

 

Gainers and Losers this week

Driver

Diff

 |

This Week’s Cap

Gainers

Denny Hamlin

 $     0.75

 |

 $    26.50

Kyle Larson

 $     0.50

 |

 $    24.50

Kevin Harvick

 $     0.25

 |

 $    28.75

Brad Keselowski

 $     0.25

 |

 $    27.75

Joey Logano

 $     0.25

 |

 $    27.00

Martin Truex Jr.

 $     0.25

 |

 $    26.50

Jamie McMurray

 $     0.25

 |

 $    24.25

Kasey Kahne

 $     0.25

 |

 $    22.00

Austin Dillon

 $     0.25

 |

 $    22.00

AJ Allmendinger

 $     0.25

 |

 $    14.75

Danica Patrick

 $     0.25

 |

 $    14.75

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

 $     0.25

 |

 $    14.00

Chris Buescher

 $     0.25

 |

 $    11.25

Casey Mears

 $     0.25

 |

 $      9.50

Regan Smith

 $     0.25

 |

 $      8.00

Michael McDowell

$     0.25

|

$      7.75

Michael Annett

 $     0.25

 |

 $      6.50

Losers

Matt Kenseth

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    26.75

Chase Elliott

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    24.25

Jimmie Johnson

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    23.50

Ryan Newman

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    21.75

Trevor Bayne

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    20.50

Paul Menard

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    17.50

Tony Stewart

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    17.00

Ryan Blaney

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    15.75

Clint Bowyer

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    15.25

Aric Almirola

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $    13.50

Landon Cassill

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      9.00

David Ragan

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      7.50

Cole Whitt

 $    (0.25)

 |

 $      6.50

Carl Edwards

 $    (0.50)

 |

 $    26.00

Jeff Gordon

 $    (0.50)

 |

 $    22.50