Weekly Fantasy Favorites: Richmond

Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images
Joey Logano leads the field past the green flag at Richmond International Raceway in September of 2015.

By Zachary Lange
Staff Reporter
April 24, 2016

DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

This week, NASCAR is racing in Virginia’s capital of Richmond. Rain forced qualifying to be set based off of first practice speeds. But come race day, the weather should be warm and sunny, leading to a slick racetrack. Here are my favorites for the 3/4th mile track this Sunday.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.
For the second straight week, Dale Jr is a go for your fantasy lineup. After a great rebound to finish second at Bristol and an XFINITY Series win on Saturday, Junior is firing on all cylinders. His last five races at Richmond has an average finish in tenth, and with Earnhardt Jr. starting in 16th, the prospect of points gained on place differential could lead to a very nice payoff for fantasy players choosing the No. 88 crew.
Cost: $9,300

Joey Logano
Among active drivers, Logano has the best average finish (7th) and most points collected in the past five races at Richmond. Starting 2nd, the Penske Ford will look to contend for the win, lead laps, and give a big points day to his team and fantasy players alike. Look for Sliced Bread when creating your lineup this week.
Cost: $10,200

Photo by Jeremy Thompson/TheRacingExperts.com

Joey Logano's No. 22 car on-track at Daytona International Raceway.

Kyle Busch
After a tough luck run at Bristol, Rowdy will look to rebound at a track that has been very kind to him in the past. Busch finished 2nd last race here in September, and has an average finish of 9th in past five races. He finished 3rd in second practice, and will roll off in the 9th position. While his cost is steep, he could easily be the driver with the most points for fantasy players. If you can afford him, play him.
Cost: $11,000

Tony Stewart
While Stewart’s return has left many fans excited, fantasy players should stay away. He starts 18th and finished a mid-pack 23rd in final practice. In his past four races, his average finish is 27th, ranking him below the likes of David Gilliland and David Ragan. Fans may look for Smoke to rise as he battles to get into the top 30 in points and win to qualify for the Chase, but don’t look here.
Cost: $6,600

(Note: Currently he is not on Draft Kings as a driver to select and it is currently under Brian Vickers’ name)

Casey Mears
The Germain Racing driver statistically has not shown strength at Richmond, with an average finish in the past five races at 25th. This weekend Mears has practically matched that, as he will start 25th and finished final practice in 21st. Even at a cheaper price, the mediocre finishes at this track will not warrant you a points day worth playing Mears this Sunday.
Cost: $6,200

Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

Tony Stewart at Richmond International Raceway.

Jamie McMurray
In the past, McMurray has produced very positive results at Richmond including three top-five finishes in the past five races. But his speed this weekend has been lacking.

McMurray will take the green flag in 27th, and finished final practice 26th. So far, his best finish is a tenth at Fontana, and McMurray has often found himself running in the 13th to 17th position. This week, he’s finish below that mark.
Cost: $7,900

Photo by Jeremy Thompson/TheRacingExperts.com

Jamie McMurray's No. 1 car on-track at Daytona International Raceway.


Trevor Bayne
After coming off of a fifth place finish at Bristol, and starting a modest 16th on Sunday, Bayne may not be a bad play for fantasy owners looking for meet the cap requirement. He sits 20th in points currently, and will be looking to run more consistently up at the front with Roush Fenway Racing beginning to show speed. It’s a stretch, but at a cheap price it may pay off quite well.
Cost: $6,100

Photo by Brian DeGruchy/TheRacingExperts.com

Ryan Blaney at Phoenix International Raceway.

Ryan Blaney
The rookie campaign has been slightly bumpy for Blaney, but coming off an 11th place finish at Bristol and continuing to improve makes the Wood Brothers Racing driver a moderately comfortable play this weekend. Blaney starts back in 29th spot, but showed speed in final practice finishing 13th. This will be his first NASCAR race at Richmond since 2014, where he finished ninth in the XFINITY Series.

But at a cheap cost, and being in Wood Brothers Racing’s home state, look for Blaney to take home a good finish and points day for fantasy owners.
Cost: $6,800

Zach’s Draft Kings Lineup
No. 4 Kevin Harvick: $10,600
No. 22 Joey Logano: $10,200
No. 41 Kurt Busch: $9,100
No. 47 AJ Allmendinger: $6,900
No. 21  Ryan Blaney: $6,800
No. 6 Trevor Bayne: $6,100
Total Cost: $49,700/$50,000

Which driver will finish highest at Richmond International Raceway?
No. 4 Kevin Harvick
No. 22 Joey Logano
No. 41 Kurt Busch
No. 47 A.J. Allmendinger
No. 21 Ryan Blaney
No. 6 Trevor Bayne