Fantasy NASCAR: Austin Dillon keeps getting better at Loudon
I won’t go too deep on Jeff Gordon ($8,600) seeing as he’s shown up in this column more than half the time. Call it sentimentality. Call it nostalgia. But the only thing it really should be called is value. In the July event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Gordon finished ninth with two laps led and a place-differential of +14. Since the inception of Loop Data in 2005, Gordon leads all drivers in Fastest Laps Run (462). This hasn’t been the swan song year Gordon (or his fans) had hoped for, and with Gordon hanging on by just three points in the Chase standings, that swan song could end sooner rather than later. I’d advise rolling Gordon at his current value while there’s still something to race for. He should be in all DFS lineups with the intention of keeping it well rounded and balanced.
Moving down the rung to the more modestly priced value plays, Ryan Newman ($7,400) is a clear standout. He won the July 2011 event at NHMS from the pole with 119 laps led. He’s actually captured the pole three times in his last nine starts. In his last three starts at the site, Newman boasts a +25 place-differential with a fifth-place finish (July 2014). This is the time of year Newman caught fire last season, and given tracks on the Chase slate, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities he does it again. As has been the case all season, I can’t recommend Newman as an A-List option in Tiered/Grouping formats, but he makes a lot of sense in Salary Cap leagues and is a serious value play in DFS.
Austin Dillon ($7,200) may be a friend to RotoExperts.com and he may be a personal favorite of mine, but neither are the reason he shows up in this column just about every week. He shows up in this column every week because he’s a consistent source of Fantasy production and continues to be undervalued on a weekly basis. Dillon is constantly improving, and Loudon is the perfect embodiment of his outlook. In Dillon’s three starts at the site, he’s finished 14th (July 2014), 11th (September 2014) and eighth (July 2015). Even more impressive is that he’s posted a positive place-differential in all three starts, totaling +34. Dillon is worth the price across all three major Fantasy formats and provides an incredible amount of consistency and upside to trust in this crucial week.
I swore I’d stop writing about Tony Stewart ($6,900), and then DraftKings goes out and actually prices him [semi] accordingly. He’s not quite as cheap as he should be, but at sub-$7,000 asking price he’s worth a closer look. He finished 20th in the July race with a +5 place-differential. He did win in September 2011 and has led at least one lap in 11 of his last 15 NHMS starts, but he clearly doesn’t have the equipment to get out front. The only reason to really roll Smoke this weekend is if you think he’s in line to race to a Top 15. In my expert (!) opinion, that is in the realm of possibility.
It feels like Aric Almirola ($6,600) got really hot (in relation to his value) and no one’s really talking about it. In his last seven Cup starts, he hasn’t finished worse than 18th and he’s posted a Top 5 (Richmond) and two Top 10s in his last two Cup starts. In his last two starts at Loudon, he has one Top 10 (sixth) and two Top 15s with a place-differential of +29. He’s simply too hot to leave out of Fantasy lineups and will bring immense value to owners savvy enough to ride out No. 43 drivers hot streak.
By all accounts, A.J. Allmendinger ($6,000) has had a down season after making the Chase in 2014. He’s posted just three Top 10s this season, and there was a lull from March 8 to August 2 between said Top 10s. That said, there is a tinge of hope here for Allmendinger and Fantasy owners hunting for value. In the July event, he led 13 laps and in his last two starts at the site he’s finished in 13th-place. Not bad for bargain basement. He’s not a Tiered/Grouping format option, but poses interesting value to Fantasy owners in DFS and Salary Cap leagues.
As has been the case for a majority of the season, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($5,600) is woefully underpriced and therefore a key component of any top heavy DFS lineup. In his last four Cup starts, he’s posted two Top 20s and three Top 25s. That’s consistency Fantasy owners are unlikely to uncover in the scrap heap of other drivers listed below $6,000 in DraftKings.
Here are my Fantasy NASCAR lineups for this week:
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.|
NASCAR Fantasy Live
|Martin Truex Jr.|
Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing
|Kyle Busch||Joey Logano|
|B-List||Austin Dillon||Aric Almirola||Carl Edwards|
|C-List||Danica Patrick||David Gilliland|
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