Weekly Fantasy Favorites: Talladega
Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images
Carl Edwards leads a pack of cars at Talladega Superspeedway in May of 2015.

By Zachary Lange
Staff Reporter
May 1, 2016

DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

This week, NASCAR’s rolls into the largest oval on the circuit in Talladega Superspeedway. With the almost certainty of “The Big One” and the possibility of engine failure and falling out of the draft, picking your lineup for fantasy sports may seem like a dart throw, but here are some helpful hints to get you through ‘Dega weekend.

Ryan Newman
For Richard Childress Racing’s Ryan Newman, Talladega is often a chess game. Newman opts to use the strategy of dropping back early, hoping to miss large wrecks that happen and make his move late.

Photo by Brian DeGruchy/TheRacingExperts.com

Ryan Newman at Phoenix International Raceway.

This strategy has proved largely effective, as Newman is tied for the best average finish the past five races at tenth with three top-ten finishes in that span.

Look for Newman to be a solid pick this week.
Cost: $7,500

Kevin Harvick
The man Newman was tied for best average finish the past five races? Look no further than Happy Harvick.

Harvick opted to not participate in final practice after finishing sixth in first practice. Dubbed “Mr. Where Did He Come From?” from FOX analysist Darrell Waltrip, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver often surprises late and is why you should pick Harvick this week.

Harvick has one victory in 30 starts at the track and has led at least one lap in 12 of the last 13 races.
Cost: $9,400

Trevor Bayne
Readers have seen Bayne under the low risk, high reward category. However, this week you should stay away. Among drivers who have competed in all of the last five ‘Dega races, he ranks last in average finish with a 33rd respectively.

Bayne has been known to find his way into trouble in Superspeedway races, and it’s why fantasy players shouldn’t pick the 6 this week.
Cost: $6,500

Photo by Brian DeGruchy/TheRacingExperts.com

A.J. Allmendinger's No. 47 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

A.J. Allmendinger
Allmendinger was unable to practice working in a pack to figure out the draft this weekend, which stands out as an alarming unknown going into Sunday.

His average finish is 20th, and the last three finishes all come outside 17th. Look to stay away from Allmendinger on Sunday.
Cost: $7,200

Chase Elliott
Rookies in such a hectic and close quarters race such as Talladega may be cause for concern, but in both practice sessions Elliott finished second and third.

Hendrick Motorsports has seen their fair share of success at Superspeedways, and with some of the best teammates in the sport to work with as the race progresses Chase just may find a locked in spot into the Chase for the Cup.

He comes at a modest price too, if you’re having troubles meeting your cap requirement.
Cost: $8,400

Landon Cassill
How about Front Row Motorsports’ Landon Cassill. His only top-five of his Sprint Cup career comes at Talladega in 2014. And Front Row has had their only win of the team's history come from Talladega Superspeedway in 2013 with David Ragan.

Cassill had the best proportion of races completed without accident in 2015, and also comes super cheap for fantasy players. Feeling a little Dega magic in the making? Look for Cassill on Sunday.
Cost: $8,400

Zach’s Draft Kings Lineup
No. 11 Denny Hamlin $10,000
No. 4 Kevin Harvick $9,400
No. 41 Kurt Busch $8,800
No. 24 Chase Elliott $8,400
No. 31 Ryan Newman $7,500
No. 40 Landon Cassill $5,800

Photo by Jeremy Thompson/TheRacingExperts.com

Landon Cassill at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Who will finish highest at Talladega Superspeedway?
No. 11 Denny Hamlin
No. 4 Kevin Harvick
No. 41 Kurt Busch
No. 24 Chase Elliott
No. 31 Ryan Newman
No. 40 Landon Cassill