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NASCAR Fantasy 2015: Windows 10 400 Top Drivers and Sleeper Picks

Chad Robb@@MrFantasyNASCARCorrespondent IJuly 31, 2015

LONG POND, PA - AUGUST 05:  Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 5, 2012 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series travels to Long Pond, Pennsylvania, this week for the Windows 10 400. The secret to winning your DraftKings contest will be to select the perfect combination of top drivers and add in a couple of sleeper picks at bargain prices.

The Sprint Cup Series competed at Pocono less than two months ago. A good way for fantasy players to figure out which drivers will run well on Sunday is to look at the results from the first race at the track. Martin Truex Jr. dominated the race. He qualified third and led 97 of the 160 laps on his way to Victory Lane.

NASCAR is going to be using the same rules package for this race as they used in the first race at Pocono. Fans will not see a huge spoiler on the back of the cars this week. It should not be hard for fantasy teams to figure out which drivers will run well Sunday. The highest-scoring drivers in the DraftKings contest in the first race were Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle and Truex.

Top 10 Drivers in DraftKings from June Race at Pocono
DriverPoints
Martin Truex Jr.94.75
Kevin Harvick84.5
Matt Kenseth58.25
Joey Logano54.25
Jimmie Johnson52.5
Dale Earnhardt Jr.50.0
Greg Biffle48.0
Kyle Larson45.0
Jamie McMurray42.5
Kyle Busch37.5
ifantasyrace.com

The best strategy for Pocono is to find the driver who will lead the most laps and fill in your lineup with other drivers who can gain positions throughout the race. DraftKings awards one point for every position gained in the race, .25 points for every car passed in the race and .25 points for every lap led. By using this strategy you will maximize your bonus points in your contest.

Top Drivers

Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Chevy ($11,700)

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Harvick has never won at Pocono, but that does not mean he is not one of the best choices for your contest this week. He has been the most consistent driver throughout the season. You can select Harvick for your contest and know he will run upfront in the race.

Harvick had one of the cars to beat in the June race. He qualified fifth and led 39 laps before finishing in second place. It was the second time in a row Harvick finished in the runner-up position at the Tricky Triangle.

Harvick is once again the highest-priced driver in the DraftKings contest. The good news is that his price went from $14,000 to $11,700. The bad news is DraftKings added another driver to the contest. Fantasy teams will now have to select six drivers each week. Harvick is still worth the money at Pocono.

Kevin Harvick Stats at Pocono (29 Career Races)
WinsTop 5'sTop 10'sAvg StartAvg Finish
071117.613.2
Racing-Reference.Info

The only problem with Harvick this week is that the races at Pocono usually come down to fuel mileage. Since Harvick has a secure place in the Chase, the No. 4 team will be more likely to gamble this week. It is risky to have too many drivers for your contest in this position. I think the risk is worth the reward for Harvick Sunday.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports, Chevy ($9,200)

Michael Conroy/Associated Press/Associated Press

Earnhardt Jr. is the best choice in the field this week if you want to go strictly off the numbers. Pocono is his best track. He has a series-best average finish position and a series-best driver rating in the last five races at the Tricky Triangle.

In the last race, Earnhardt was running in the top five until he had issues on a restart with only 35 laps to go. Earnhardt broke his four-race streak of top-five finishes at Pocono. The race in June was more of a fluke, so look for Earnhardt to finish in the top 10 again this week.

Earnhardt is a bargain this week at $9,200. Fantasy players usually do not get a chance to use the driver who won two of the last three races at a track for under $10,000. Earnhardt should be on your team at this price.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Stats at Pocono (31 Career Races)
WinsTop 5'sTop 10'sAvg StartAvg Finish
291314.715.2
Racing-Reference.Info

What makes Earnhardt such a good pick this week for DraftKings is his ability to earn bonus points for finishing differential. Earnhardt has improved upon his starting position in five consecutive races at Pocono. Do not be afraid to use him if he does not qualify upfront this week.

Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota ($10,800)

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Busch should not be on this list when you look at his stats at Pocono. Busch only has one finish in the top five in his last two seasons at the Tricky Triangle. He is on a tear right now and cannot be avoided in the DraftKings contest. 

Busch has won four of the last five races in the series, including three in a row. No driver has been this hot since Jimmie Johnson won four straight in 2007. Fantasy teams are taking a huge risk by leaving Busch out of their contest Sunday.   

Busch keeps winning, and his price in DraftKings keeps rising. This week Busch is $10,800. If he can continue to win races, his price will still be a bargain. Busch would be a good choice for your team at Pocono.

Kyle Busch Stats at Pocono (21 Career Races)
WinsTop 5'sTop 10'sAvg StartAvg Finish
04812.918.3
Racing-Reference.Info

The difference between Busch and the other drivers on this list is that Busch still needs points to make the Chase. The chances that he does not score enough points in the next six races are slim, but he has to finish up front until his spot is secure. It would not be a surprise to see Busch back home in Victory Lane this week.

Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, Chevy ($10,300)

Michael Conroy/Associated Press/Associated Press

Fantasy teams must consider the driver who dominated the last race whenever the series competes at a track for the second time during the season. That driver this week is Truex Jr.

Pocono is a hard track for crew chiefs to find the perfect setup for their cars. Cole Pearn provided a great car for Truex in the last race, and the team should be in the best position to be fast Sunday. Truex is a safe pick to run upfront this week.

Truex is priced right at $10,300. DraftKings probably could have priced the No. 78 team a little higher since they won the last race, but Truex has not done much since. He is still a good choice for your team at this price.

Martin Truex Jr. Stats at Pocono (19 Career Races)
WinsTop 5'sTop 10'sAvg StartAvg Finish
13717.915.1
Racing-Reference.Info

Truex slowed down after getting off to a hot start this season. He finished 14 of the first 15 races in the top 10. Since the last race at Pocono, Truex has only finished two of the six races in the top 10. After a fourth-placed finish at Indianapolis, look for Truex to start a new top-10 streak this week.

Sleepers

Carl Edwards, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota ($8,500)

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JULY 26:  Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Phot
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Edwards did not have a good race at Pocono in June if you only look at his finishing position. Edwards qualified on the front row, led the first 14 laps and finished 15th. He had problems in the pits and had a hard time recovering. Edwards has won two races at the Tricky Triangle, so he knows his way around the track.

Edwards is a good choice for $8,500. He ran well in June, but the breaks did not go his way. Edwards could have easily finished in the top 10 and his price would be well over $9,000.

Carl Edwards Stats at Pocono (21 Career Races)
WinsTop 5'sTop 10'sAvg StartAvg Finish
25816.515.5
Racing-Reference.Info

Edwards has been running a lot better than he was going into the last race at Pocono. He only had two top-10 finishes before the June race. Since then, Edwards has won two poles and finished four of the six races in the top 13. Many people will write Edwards off this week, but that could be a mistake.

Jamie McMurray, Chip Ganassi Racing, Chevy ($8,100)

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JULY 26:  Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald's/Cessna Chevrolet, races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, I
Jerry Markland/Getty Images

McMurray is one of the most underrated drivers at Pocono. He has been one of the best performers on the track since it was repaved seven races ago. He has finished four of the races in the top 10, including three in a row.

McMurray ran well at the track in June. He qualified 14th and finished seventh. McMurray ran most of the last 100 laps of the race in the top 10. He should finish upfront again this week.

When fantasy teams can get a driver who is as consistent as McMurray for only $8,100, you have to take him. McMurray will not win the race, but he will finish in the top 15 this week. That would be a good result for a driver at his price.

Jamie McMurray Stats at Pocono (25 Career Races)
WinsTop 5'sTop 10'sAvg StartAvg Finish
00716.419.3
Racing-Reference.Info

McMurray is a risky pick because he is so inconsistent. He is the type of driver who either finishes in the top 10 or outside the top 20. If McMurray runs well in Happy Hour practice, he will be a good sleeper pick for your team.

Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing, Chevy ($8,300)

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JULY 24:  Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motorspeedway on July 24, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Pho
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Larson is a good pick this week for your contest. He has competed at the track in three races and finished all in the top 11. In the last race he started 15th and finished eighth. I was thinking about replacing Larson as a sleeper, but after his solid run at Indianapolis, he will be safe to use for your contest Sunday.

Larson is a bit of a risk at $8,300, but if he runs as well as he did in the last race at Pocono, he will be a steal. Watch how he performs in Happy Hour Practice before you select him for your team.

Kyle Larson Stats at Pocono (3 Career Races)
WinsTop 5'sTop 10'sAvg StartAvg Finish
01210.08.0
Racing-Reference.Info

Larson currently sits 21st in the point standings. He will more than likely need a win to make the Chase. Pocono and Bristol are his best chances to get to Victory Lane. The No. 42 team may gamble this week to ensure their car finishes upfront Sunday.

Greg Biffle, Roush Fenway Racing, Ford ($7,100)

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JULY 03: Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 Cheez-It Ford, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 3, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Pocono is one of Biffle’s best tracks. Even when he is having a bad year Biffle finds a way to run well at the Tricky Triangle. He has the sixth-best average finish position in the last five races at the track.

Biffle qualified 27th and finished 12th in the race two months ago. His finish provided 15 bonus points in the DraftKings contest for finishing differential. These points are the difference between winning and losing your contest. Biffle is the perfect sleeper pick this week.

Usually Biffle is overpriced in DraftKings, but this week he is a bargain at $7,100. He is the 21st highest-priced driver in the contest this week. He should finish in the top 15, making him a great pick for Pocono.

Greg Biffle Stats at Pocono (25 Career Race)
WinsTop 5'sTop 10'sAvg StartAvg Finish
14717.715.8
Racing-Reference.Info

Using Biffle in your contest is not always a good idea. He only has two finishes in the top 10 this season, but he has finished every race since the track was repaved in the top 16. This is the type of consistency fantasy teams need from their sleeper picks.

DraftKings Picks for Pocono

Driver 1: Kurt Busch ($10,100)

Driver 2: Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($9,200)

Driver 3: Joey Logano ($9,400)

Driver 4: Ryan Newman ($7,600)

Driver 5: Greg Biffle ($7,100)

Driver 6: Aric Almirola ($6,300)

Advanced stats courtesy Racing-Reference.info

If you need any further advice with your team, look for me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR

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