Paul Menard Is A Steal At Michigan
The fact that Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($9,300) isn’t ranked in the Top 3 for prices in DFS is appalling. In his last three MIS starts, Junior has posted Two Top 5s, three Top 7s with one lap led in each start and a place-differential of +28. He’s led at least one lap in each of his last seven Michigan appearances. Since the inception of Loop Data in 2005, Junior ranks fifth in Fastest Laps Run. Outside of restrictor-plate events, Michigan is arguably Junior’s strongest track. It’s where he busted out of a two-year plus slump in 2012, and it’s where he’s shown the most consistency. He’s a shoe in for Tiered/Grouping formats and worth the price in NASCAR Fantasy Live. And as mentioned above, he will be locked into my DFS lineup.
Paul Menard ($7,800) comes in as the sneaky good Fantasy play of the week. He’s posted three Top 5s and four Top 10s with an Average Finish of 5.0 in his last four MIS starts. In that span his place-differential comes in at +29, every race in the positives. He even has Fastest Laps Run upside, posting 24 of them over his career at the site. Menard is an excellent target in Tiered/Grouping formats and priced extremely well in DFS.
Take a guess who owns the longest Top 10 streak at any track on the circuit with nine in a row. Clint Bowyer ($7,400). Guess which track this streak belongs to. Michigan. In that nine race span, Bowyer owns an outrageous +123 place-differential, which can be attributed to his starting 11th-or-worse on the grid in each of those nine races. He’s had better years, but using the June data from MIS in which he finished 10th with a place-differential of +22 will serve Fantasy owners well. He’s as long as he continues to come in at value like this, he’s a borderline must-start option in DFS.
Aric Almirola ($7,400) has posted five Top 20s in his seven Spring Cup starts. In seven starts at Michigan, he’s only finished outside the Top 25 once. He hovers on the outskirts of the Sprint Cup points standings, and it was right around this time last season when he secured a win. While there will certainly be value here, I don’t recommend rolling Almirola outside of Salary Cap leagues.
Ryan Blaney ($7,300) finished 12th at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a race that featured the same high drag rules that will be used this weekend at Michigan. While those tracks differ, a Top 15 for someone in Blaney’s range is major upside. His price in DFS is on the high side this weekend, and my preference is to use him on Tiered/Grouping format C-Lists and Salary Cap leagues.
Danica Patrick ($7,200) will always be a solid value in NASCAR Fantasy Live Salary Cap leagues. The problem is once you lock drivers in at a great price, there’s no value in swapping them out (you’ll notice my Salary Cap lineup hasn’t changed in months). Fantasy owners who do have that flexibility should give Patrick a long look. She’s finished 18th or better in four of her five starts at Michigan, and led two laps in the June race. Her value remains high across all formats.
Greg Biffle ($7,100) is severely underpriced this weekend at Michigan International Speedway. MIS is easily one of his best tracks, evidenced by four wins including back-to-backs in 2012-13, 10 Top 5s and 15 Tops in 25 starts. He’s led a total of 593 laps at the site and owns a career Average Finish of 12.5. Now, there is a reason Biffle is severely underpriced. He’s just not what he used to be. But that doesn’t mean he’s not a valuable Fantasy asset. In seven MIS starts from 2010-13, Biffle won twice, posted four Top 5s and led at least 26 laps in every race. In three subsequent races leading us up to Sunday’s event, he’s led zero laps with just one Top 10. And for good measure he ranks second overall in Fastest Laps Run (311). Biffle is in a natural decline but does present upside at tracks like this. The DraftKings average salary per driver comes in at $8,333. Concessions will naturally have to be made, but with Biffle priced 15 percent below the average he’s a must-start DFS option. He should also be plugged into all Tiered/Grouping format B-Lists.
For Fantasy owners looking for a really low priced DFS option, Sam Hornish Jr. ($5,600) is your man. Fresh off a ninth-place finish at The Glen, Hornish Jr. gets the Rodney Dangerfield award this weekend from DraftKings for a clear lack of respect. It’s not like he’s horrible at the site. He’s led at least five laps in two of his last four MIS starts including a 12th-place finish in the August 2014 event. His place-differential is nothing special, but a Top 25 with upside for a guy priced this low is the perfect option for Fantasy owners crafting a top heavy lineup.
Here are my Fantasy NASCAR lineups for this week:
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
NASCAR Fantasy Live
|Martin Truex Jr.|
Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing
|Dale Earnhardt Jr.|
|Greg Biffle||Paul Menard||Clint Bowyer|
|C-List||Ryan Blaney||Danica Patrick|
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