Fantasy NASCAR Picks and Points: Homestead-Miami
by Adam Ansell, RotoExperts.com
on November 19, 2010 @ 10:51:00
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ADAM ANSELL’S TOP 25 FOR HOMESTEAD-MIAMI
1. Denny Hamlin: In five starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Hamlin has one win (2009) and three Top Fives with an Average Finish of 10.6. He’s led at least one lap in three of his five starts at the site. Hamlin’s Average Start at HMS is 34th, never higher than 25th, so Fantasy owners should feel free to ignore qualifying in this case. The 2009 defending champion of this event started 38th but led 71 laps on his way to victory lane. Since the inception of Loop Data in 2005, he ranks seventh in Driver Rating and 13th in Average Running Position (14.3). Hamlin has been remarkable this season with eight wins, 14 Top Fives, 18 Top 10s and two poles. He’s up 15 points in the Series standings and simply won’t let this opportunity to dethrone Jimmie Johnson slip through his fingers.
2. Jimmie Johnson: In nine starts at the site, Johnson has three Top Fives, six Top 10s and two poles. In his 2009 fifth-place finish at the site, Johnson started from the pole and led 28 laps with a 116.0 DR and 7.1 ARP. HMS is one of four active tracks Johnson has yet to log a victory (Watkins Glen, Chicagoland, Michigan). Overall, he ranks eighth in DR (92.9) and 11th in ARP (14.0). He’s having another championship-caliber season with six wins, 16 Top Fives, 22 Top 10s and two poles with an Average Start of 9.5. No one outside the No. 48 team and Johnson’s family wants to see him five-peat so he’ll be in “us against the world” mode, making him extremely dangerous. Fantasy owners should expect an extremely tight race in which Johnson will record bonus points via qualifying and laps led, but he’ll ultimately come up just short of the Series title.
3. Carl Edwards: In six starts at the site, Edwards has one win (2008), three Top Fives, five Top 10s and one pole (2005) with an Average Finish of 6.5. He leads all competitors in DR (111.0), ARP (8.9), Fastest Laps Run (112), Average Green Flag Speed (162.769 mph) and Laps in the Top 15 (83.2 percent). Edwards has been extremely consistent this season, with 15 Top 15s in his last 18 starts. Overall, he’s logged one win (Phoenix), eight Top Fives, 18 Top 10s and three poles. He currently ranks fourth in the Chase standings. Edwards has been undervalued all season long, and is a recommended start for Fantasy owners in tiered/grouping formats looking to go in an alternative direction while trying to make one last surge to the top.
4. Kevin Harvick: In nine starts at the site, Harvick has four Top Fives and seven Top 10s with an Average Finish of 8.8. Three of those Top Fives have come in his last four starts at HMS. He’s led at least one lap in his last two starts at the site. He ranks fourth in DR (101.1) and third in ARP (10.0). No driver has performed with the kind of consistency Harvick has this season. He led the regular season Series standings for 20 of 26 races. He’s logged three wins, 15 Top Fives and a series-high 25 Top 10s. He’s 46 points behind Hamlin, an amount he’s very unlikely to overcome. Regardless, he’ll give it his all and turn in a solid Fantasy performance in all formats.
5. Matt Kenseth: In 10 starts at the site, Kenseth has one win (2007), two Top Fives and three Top 10s. He ranks second in DR (105.3) and fourth in ARP (10.8). It’s been a tumultuous season for Kenseth, who flew out of the gate with six Top 10s in his first seven starts, but couldn’t buy a Top 10 during the summer. He enters the final race of the season with six Top Fives and 14 Top 10s. He’s fought his way back to respectability by recording back-to-back Top 10s and leading at least one lap in his last three Chase starts. Kenseth’s tiered/grouping format ownership has slipped a bit, adding the right amount of value for Fantasy owners this weekend.
6. Greg Biffle: In eight starts at the site, Biffle has three wins (2004-06). His Average Finish from 2007-09 is 15th. He ranks fifth in DR (99.0) and seventh in ARP (13.0). Biffle is coming off of back-to-back Top Fives, the second time he’s done so this season. He led a season-high 224 laps two races ago at Texas. He’s had a solid season with two wins, nine Top Fives and 18 Top 10s. Biffle hasn’t just been undervalued in tiered/grouping formats – he’s been disrespected. He’s another quality option for owners looking to avoid starting Johnson or Hamlin.
7. Joey Logano: In his lone start at the site, Logano started 35th and finished 24th. He ranks 29th in DR (64.0) and 26th in ARP (21.6). Logano has been the best non-Chase driver through nine events, with three straight Top Fives and five straight Top 10s. Logano has made tremendous strides in his second full season in the Sprint Cup Series with seven Top Fives, 16 Top 10s and one pole. As hot as Logano has been, his tiered/grouping format ownership levels remain low. He’s the weekend’s top sleeper option with huge upside.
8. Clint Bowyer: In four starts at the site, Bowyer has one Top Five and two Top 10s. He ranks 11th in DR (88.5) and eighth in ARP (13.0). Bowyer has two wins, seven Top Fives and 18 Top 10s this season. Bowyer fought through a ton of adversity this season, first by dominating the three races leading up to the Chase and then by coming back strong after essentially being stripped of his win at Loudon. Bowyer proved his mettle this season and will come back even stronger in 2011.
9. Jeff Gordon: In 11 starts at the site, Gordon has five Top Fives and nine Top 10s. He ranks sixth in DR (95.1) and ARP (12.7). His winless streak has overshadowed a solid season, as he has 11 Top Fives, 17 Top 10s and one pole. An average season by Gordon’s standards, but a solid Fantasy performance nonetheless. Homestead-Miami is the one active track where Gordon is winless. Although it won’t happen this weekend, he’ll fight tooth and nail to get that one win in 112 races monkey off his back.
10. Tony Stewart: In 11 starts at the site, Stewart has two wins (1999, 2000), three Top Fives and five Top 10s with an Average Finish of 12.8. He ranks 12th in DR (88.2) and ARP (14.2). It’s been an up-and-down season for Smoke, though his two wins, nine Top Fives, 16 Top 10s and two poles look solid on paper. He has zero Top 10s since his win at Fontana a month ago, but has led at least 11 laps in his last two starts at HMS. He’ll end the season on a high note.
11. Kurt Busch: One win (2002), four Top Fives and two poles in nine starts at the site. 78.3 DR.
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About Adam Ansell, RotoExperts.com
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RotoExperts.com is a deluxe fantasy analysis and information site and content development network. Led by award-winning Fantasy veteran Scott Engel, formerly of ESPN and CBS SportsLine, the RotoExperts.com team provides distinctive and in-depth fantasy insights in all sports. RotoExperts.com is an official content provider for NFL.com, Yahoo Sports, Sports Illustrated and USA Today. RotoExperts.com was nominated for a total of eight industry awards in 2009, and won the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Award for Best Humor Article. RotoExperts.com urges you to look for the X- The Mark of Fantasy Excellence.
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