Fantasy Update: Last-minute lineup, props advice for Texas
Hendrick Motorsports’ Jimmie Johnson will start in the pole position for Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 (3 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Does the seven-time champion merit a place in your lineup? We have dissected the numbers to offer you a proposed lineup worthy of your Fantasy Live thought as you make roster decisions.
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Bear in mind that the garage locks in the end of Stage 2. Once the last stage begins, your roster is secured in.
RJ Kraft’s Fantasy Live lineup for race day in Texas:
1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Joey Logano
3. Ryan Blaney
4. Brad Keselowski
5. Chase Elliott
Garage: Kurt Busch
Visiting the rear: Alex Bowman (backup car), Ryan Newman (neglected pre-race inspection twice)
RELATED: Odds for Texas | 10-lap averages from Texas | Podcast: Fantasy Fastlane
Analysis: The wealth of big names starting out of the top 10 on Sunday makes this a bit more complicated than previous weeks. Can you risk the use? Who is worth saving? It is a delicate balance where owners have to assess risk vs. reward.
I’m rolling with half my original lineup. Logano has been strong with this particular race package — top-two finishes at both Las Vegas and Fontana. Blaney had a solid 10-lap average, he’s a hot streak with three top-five finishes in a row and contains three consecutive top-six finishes at the repaved Texas track. Even though he capable 30th, I am sticking with Kurt Busch but placing him in my garage. I like his current Texas results a lot — four straight top 10s, like where I’m on his use and I also like his results using this package. He qualified 25th or worse in Las Vegas and Fontana but scored just two top-six endings along with an average of 33.0 points in these races. An additional plus of rostering Kurt: He is not a particular popular play right now based on ownership.
The additions to my lineup start with the pole sitter Jimmie Johnson. Do I feel comfortable with this? Not entirely based upon the 2019 body of work thus far, however I haven’t used him yet, I guess he should be able to receive some stage points and he has been fast all weekend highlighted by his topping the 10-lap plank in closing practice. I placing Keselowski into my lineup as I move all on Penske without a surprise of a single Steve Letarte (why assess one when you can assess all three). He had the fourth-best 10-lap typical in final clinic and , Penske has this bundle dialed in
Which explains the reason I am quite bullish on this team.
My Final place was between Elliott, Kyle Larson, Daniel Suarez and Denny Hamlin. Larson gets the worst starting spot of the four but had the best 10-lap average and a powerful 15-lap average as well (h/t @MikeJoy500). Suarez qualified nicely, but I feel like I am taking a risk with”Seven-Time.” Hamlin has been better than most four using this bundle, but he’s overall Texas body of work is not good, so that leaves me with Elliott. I like the beginning spot and the background he’s had at Texas — a pretty consistent top-10 car here, so he gets the nod.
Because I am all in on Penske, I will be keeping the 2018 Large 3 trio of Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. on the sidelines as a tradeoff. Don’t want to be stuck playing one of those big boys if they’re having only an average day. Busch is so good at Bristol and Richmond he will be in my lineup in the coming weeks, I think we have not seen the 4 team’s best yet and Truex has many very good tracks coming up in another month — Richmond, Dover and Kansas.
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