This weekend NASCAR’s Monster Energy Series makes it’s return to Michigan International Speedway. And I must say, It’s nice to finally start revisiting some tracks that we have data on with the 2019 aero package. Not only do we have data from the first race at MIS, but we have a race on it’s sister track California, as well as Kansas and Chicago which are basically a smaller version of MIS. Those 4 races are my main focus when looking at who I want to play this week. However, there is still a touch of the unknown with the added PJ1 compound in the high grove this week. This is NASCAR’s attempt to create another line and allow cars to be wide open for longer into a run. It may allow for more exciting racing in the pack, but I still think it’s gonna be really hard to pass the leader. When we look at this season’s races on the 4 tracks from above, we see 3 out of 4 dominators started on the front row, and the 4th dominator came from SP 4. Point being, the driver that gets out front early, stays out front. This is why I will be going with the 1 dominator strategy. The second dominator has averaged 52 laps led, or about 12.5 fantasy points, makes it hard for two high priced guys to reach value. I think the slate sets up nicely to pick some solid PD options with your remaining salary.
Kevin Harvick $11800 – Happy Harvick comes in as my top ranked dominator this week. Harvick finally got his first win of the season two weeks ago at New Hampshire. He also has not only showed great speed this week, but he has the added benefit of starting on the front row. Harvick led 132 and 104 laps from the front row earlier this season at Chicagoland and Kansas. He has Top 3 finish and 100 laps led potential this week, easily paying off his price tag.
Brad Keselowski $10700 – Penske proved they had the formula here earlier in the season when Logano led 163 laps from the pole. Now his teammate, who finished 6th in that race, gets to start from the pole. There’s a great chance BK repeats the performance his teammate gave. Brad has shown great speed, and a good start with clean air could provide a great return on his $10700 price.
Joey Logano $10200 – I’m shocked to see the man that led 163 laps earlier this season, comes in this week as only the fifth highest priced driver. He hasn’t showed great speed in practice, but Penske tends to try different things with each car and settle on the best set up they find. Logano starts 8h and brings a little bit of PD upside, along with the potential to lead 100 laps.
Alex Bowman $9100 – DK has only given us 4 drivers in this price range this week and by far my favorite is Alex Bowman. Not only is he the cheapest of the 4 options, but he was 2nd fastest in final practice and starts from SP 4. There is some risk of negative PD here, but I also see him as a guy that could lead 60 laps with Top 5 finish, or even repeat his winning performance at Chicagoland!
Eric Jones $8500 – Jones has been on fire as of late. Jones now has 4 straight Top 4 finishes! He has showed up this week with another fast car as he was third in final practice. He brings some great PD potential with Top 5 Upside from SP 16. A $400 drop on price from last week makes me like him even more.
Kyle Larson $8300 – Michigan is by far Kyle’s best track. He has 3 wins in 11 career races, and this PJ1 compound may be just what he needs to get back to form. Kyle’s past successes were a result from working the high line better than anyone else. If the high line becomes the preferred grove Sunday, then look out for Larson. Starting 17th with a $8300 price tag, you only need an 8th place finish for a good return.
Clint Bowyer $8700 – It’s no secret that Bowyer had a rough stretch, but a 6th at Kentucky a few weeks ago have appeared to right the ship. They are right in the fight for a playoff spot and absolutely needs to perform this week. The team has prepared a great car as he was fastest in consecutive laps in the final practice. His speed and SP of 5th gives him the potential to lead a few laps with Top 5 Upside.
Austin Dillon $7100 – Dillon is gonna be that chalk that you are gonna have to eat this week. He provides great value. His qualifying time was disallowed, making his official SP 37th. He has shown Top 10 speed in practice, and had a top 10 at both California and Chicagoland earlier this season. Even if he finishes 20th this week he returns great value, and brings with it the potential for much more.
Ryan Newman $7900 – Newman has been a man on a mission with the playoffs approaching. He had top 10 finishes in 2 of the last 3 races before Watkins Glen. He has momentum heading to a track he had success at early this season with an 8th place finish. He starts 20th with his 7th fastest speed in final practice. Newman gives us some solid PD potential to go with his Top 10 Upside.
Chris Beuscher $7300 – If DK is gonna keep giving us The Beusch for $7300, then we are gonna just keep having to play him. Nobody has delivered more PD points than Beuscher, and he gives us that potential again this week from SP 25. He has an AVG finish of 15th at the four sample tracks this season, as well as a Top 10 at Kansas. We will gladly take a Top 15 here and the +10 PD points.
Daniel Hemric $6400 – Hemric will be in the same Chalk Boat as his RCR teammate Austin Dillon. His time was disallowed as well and Hemric will roll off from SP 38 with a Top 20 car. He was actually 4th in consecutive lap sports in final practice, and finished 12th here early this season. Kinda hard to see a scenario where he doesn’t give us the value we need at this price.
Matt Dibenedetto $6600 – Matty D continues to impress with the heater he has been on. He has Top 6’s in 2 out of the last 3 races…. yes, you read that right. He has potential from SP 27 to improve on his 21st place finish from earlier this season. Though he may not bring the same upside potential as Hemric, he would be a much lower owned option if your looking to pivot.
Thanks for reading! These are just the plays that screamed out to me, check my sheet below for my complete rankings and data!