Fantasy NASCAR Picks for Sprint Cup Series at Phoenix
This week, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads back to Phoenix International Raceway for the AdvoCare 500.
Phoenix has been a tricky race track since it was repaved in 2011. The dogleg on the backstretch leading into Turn 3 is where most of the wrecks occur. Teams who can set their cars up to navigate Turn 3 will have an advantage in the race.
The last race at Phoenix was dominated by Carl Edwards. He started the race 15th and led 122 of the 316 laps on his way to Victory Lane. A lot has happened since the second race of the season, so do not select your drivers this week based upon the last race here.
Since the NASCAR Sprint Cup season is coming to an end, it is becoming more difficult to find drivers for your fantasy NASCAR team. For those who play the Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing game, selecting your teams is more about allocations than it is about who will win the race.
Since most fantasy NASCAR teams are running low on the number of starts on the good drivers, I am ranking the drivers in Group A, Group B and Group C in Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing to help you determine who would be the best driver for your team.
Here are my selections for the race Sunday at Phoenix.
Group A is where the winner of the race should come from. As the race for the Chase comes to the end, the drivers who are fighting for the championship run at the front of the pack. That means Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth should be popular fantasy picks this week.
Jimmie Johnson has four career wins at Phoenix. He finished second in the March race and will easily be in the top five again this week.
Phoenix is not one of Kenseth’s best race tracks, but he does have one career win and he has finished the last two races at Phoenix in the top 10. Kenseth will receive the best equipment Joe Gibbs Racing has to help him finish up front.
Clint Bowyer no longer has a chance to win the championship, but he should be a popular pick this week. Bowyer is very good on the short race tracks and he finished sixth in the last race at Phoenix. If your team is out of allocations with Johnson, Gordon would be a great pick.
Denny Hamlin is my sleeper pick for Group A. He has had a horrible season, but his career stats at Phoenix are comparable to any driver in the field. This is a good week to take a chance with Hamlin.
Below are my rankings for Group A. It will be hard to go wrong with any of these drivers this week.
1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Matt Kenseth
3. Clint Bowyer
4. Brad Keselowski
5. Denny Hamlin
6. Jeff Gordon
7. Kevin Harvick
8. Kasey Kahne
There are some good picks in Group B this week, but the problem is that most fantasy teams do not have any starts left with the drivers at the top of the list.
Although Phoenix is not one of Kyle Busch’s best race tracks, he will still be a good option for Group B. Busch is still mathematically a contender for the championship and typically the contenders race up front at the end of the season. Busch will finish in the top 10 this week.
Carl Edwards does not have a chance to will the championship, but his results at Phoenix are good. He has two wins, including the last race in March and he is also a threat to win the pole. If you have any starts left with Edwards, this is the week to use it.
My sleeper pick in Group B is Ryan Newman. He finished 40th in the March race as a result of an accident. Take away that race and Newman has finished five of the last six races at Phoenix in the top five.
Below are my rankings for Group B. The top eight drivers on this list are all good choices this week.
1. Kyle Busch
2. Carl Edwards
3. Ryan Newman
4. Kurt Busch
5. Greg Biffle
6. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
7. Joey Logano
8. Juan Pablo Montoya
9. Martin Truex Jr.
10. Jeff Burton
11. Jamie McMurray
12. Aric Almirola
13. Mark Martin
14. Paul Menard
15. Marcos Ambrose
16. Bobby Labonte
Last week, Group C was loaded with decent choices for the race. Austin Dillon, Trevor Bayne and Kyle Larson all filled spots in cars which normally do not compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. That will not be the case this week.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. remains the best choice in Group C, but most fantasy players do not have any allocations left with him. If you can use Stenhouse this week, I recommend using him. He is better at Phoenix than he is at Miami.
Elliott Sadler should be on every team for the remainder of the season. He has performed well as he has filled in for Brian Vickers in the No. 55 car. He will be a popular pick once again this week.
My sleeper pick in Group C is Justin Allgaier. He will be driving the No. 51 car for Phoenix Racing. Next season he will be a full-time driver in this car, so the team will be looking to gain some experience for next year.
Below are my rankings for Group C. The top-five drivers on this list are all good choices this week.
1. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
2. Elliott Sadler
3. David Ragan
4. Justin Allgaier
5. Casey Mears
6. Danica Patrick
7. David Reutimann
8. Cole Whitt
9. Dave Blaney
10. David Gilliland
Fantasy NASCAR Selections
Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing Picks
Group A: Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon
Group B: Carl Edwards, Ryan Newman, Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch
Group C: Elliott Sadler, David Ragan
*My team is out of starts with Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., unless I would have them in my lineup.
Fantasy Live Picks
Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Elliott Sadler, Justin Allgaier
If you need any further advice with your team, look for me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR. If you like Fantasy NASCAR, "Like" my Fantasy NASCAR Tips page on Facebook.