Weekly Fantasy Favorites: Dover

Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images
Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin lead the field to the green at Dover International Speedway in October 2015.

By Zachary Lange
Staff Reporter
May 15, 2016

DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

This week, NASCAR’s top-three touring divisions roll into Dover, Delaware for racing at the concrete ‘Monster Mile’. Drivers will have to deal with a cold race track with temperatures on Sunday reaching only the mid 50’s, and making sure that their cars stay in the preferred lanes. Here is who you’ll want to take a look at when creating your fantasy lineup.

Jimmie Johnson 
This pick is about as blatant of a gimme as you’ll have all year. In 28 career races, Johnson has won ten and finished in the top-ten 20 times.

Qualifying was canceled, so Johnson will take the green flag starting in 21st position. You can safely bet that despite starting mid-pack, he’ll be a driver up at the front for most of the race competing for the win. The points for positive position placement could be a nice payoff too. 
Cost: $10,700

Photo by Jeremy Thompson/TheRacingExperts.com

Jimmie Johnson drives down pit road at Daytona International Speedway in February.

Denny Hamlin
For the entire weekend, Joe Gibbs Racing has been lightning fast at Dover and Hamlin has been the class of the field in practice. Hamlin will start 6th, finished 2nd in second practice and finish atop the leaderboard in final practice. Previous results at this track have been fairly decent for Hamlin with a 15th average finish the past five races. But with proven speed this weekend, look to start him. 
Cost: $8,300

Jamie McMurray
After Danica Patrick had a gear failure and spilled oil onto the track in practice, both Jamie McMurray and Tony slammed hard into non-SAFER barrier wall leaving both drivers with mangled cars. 

Something to note, Patrick said in an interview afterwards that McMurray had hurt his left elbow and video after showed McMurray holding it in pain. 

Hopefully it is not serious and all indications are McMurray will start the race, but it is best to stay clear of the No. 1 machine on Sunday. 
Cost: $7,600

Photo by Marcus Leno/TheRacingExperts.com

Jamie McMurray's No. 1 car on pit road at Auto Club Speedway in March.

Kurt Busch
This is a tough driver to gauge, because over the course of this weekend, Busch has shown good speed by finishing in the top-ten all three practice sessions. But, the past trends at Dover for the elder Busch brother are not in his favor. 

His best finish the past five races is 17th, and his average finish of 21st is one of the lowest among active drivers. If Busch was starting lower in the field I may have not put him in this category. He starts ninth, and the position differential at the finish may be a lot of negative points which is why fantasy players should skip out this week. 
Cost: $9,100

Kyle Larson 
So far, the 2016 campaign for Kyle Larson has not been friendly. He’s only finished on the lead lap in five of the eleven races, and has an average finish of 23rd. 

However, in the past four races at Dover, Larson has collected the second most points in the Sprint Cup standings and has the second best overall finish in seventh.

He was able to find speed in second practice where he finished sixth, and he starts 23rd and is a safe bet to at least do better than that.

At a moderate cost, Larson is a bit of a reach but one that history agrees with. 
Cost: $7,900

Chris Buescher
Winner of the Xfinity race at Dover in the spring of 2015, Chris Buescher may be somebody who performs on Sunday.

Buescher ran mid-20’s in practice and will start 30th on Sunday. Most weeks, he’s more of a stop gap for fantasy players who ran out of salary cap by picking higher tier drivers.

But this week he may pay off as somebody that performs decently given his cheap salary.


Photo by Jeremy Thompson/TheRacingExperts.com

Kyle Larson signs an autograph at Daytona International Speedway in February.

Zach’s Draft Kings Lineup
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson $10,700
No. 22 Joey Logano $9,600
No. 11 Denny Hamlin $8,300
No. 3 Austin Dillon $8,100
No. 42 Kyle Larson $7,900
No. 34 Chris Buescher $5,400
Total Cost: $60,000/$60,000

Which Hendrick Motorsports driver will finish the highest Sunday?
No. 5 Kasey Kahne
No. 24 Chase Elliott
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson
No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Quiz Maker