They say everything is bigger in Texas, and I'm hoping that the saying also applies to fantasy racing scores after my lackluster showing at Martinsville Speedway last Sunday. I loaded up my rosters in all formats with Martinsville studs Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Denny Hamlin, and after all three qualified in the top five, I was banking on a banner day.
Biff has the goods this weekend
While Johnson delivered the goods, Gordon and Hamlin both struggled to handle the unusually aggressive tire wear and finished outside the top 10. Meanwhile, my top sleeper Jamie McMurray saw a top-10 run end badly when contact with Dale Earnhardt Jr. slammed him into the wall. To top it all off, Kurt Busch, who hadn't even had a top-five at the track since 2005, won the race.
For this weekend's Duck Commander 500, I'll be sprinkling in a few more sleeper-type picks than I have in recent weeks, especially in the leagues that have limits on the number of times you can use each driver. Keep in mind that I have leaned heavily on reliable big names to start the year while I got a better feel for which teams have the best handle on the 2014 rules package, and after six races, I have a good sample of data to work with.
Sunday's race at Texas Motor Speedway is also the second trip to a 1.5-mile track this year, and a lot of drivers tend to perform similarly at all the 1.5-mile ovals. Armed with additional information, I feel a lot more confident that I can use some sleeper options and begin to save some of my starts from the big names while still putting up big scores.
Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Auto Racing
Matt Kenseth (A): In the last 10 races at Texas, Kenseth easily has been one of the two best options at the track. His 6.0 average finish during the stretch is the best in the series, and his eight top-five finishes lead all drivers. He also ranks second in total points scored and fourth in laps led in the last 10 races at Texas.
Carl Edwards (B): He has actually been a little boom-or-bust at Texas, but there is no denying his upside. Edwards is a three-time winner at Texas, and he has finished in the top three in three of his last six starts at the track, including a third-place run last spring. The fact that he hasn't finished worse than 13th since the Daytona 500 doesn't hurt either.
Greg Biffle (B): Biffle has been the model of consistency at Texas, rattling off 11 straight finishes of 12th or better. During the stretch, Biffle has tallied seven top-five finishes and has scored more points than any other driver. He should be one of the safest plays this weekend.
Trevor Bayne (C): Bayne has been decent in his previous starts at Texas, finishing 22nd or better in five of his seven starts. He also has finished 18th or better four times. I'm hoping to get another top-20 out of Bayne this weekend while taking advantage of the fact he is in the field this weekend to save a start from C-List juggernauts Austin Dillon or Kyle Larson.
Click for picks at NASCAR.com, FOX....
About Brian Polking
Racing has been part of Brian's life ever since he can remember, and he spent his childhood at dirt tracks throughout Ohio and Kentucky watching his father race. NASCAR naturally became his favorite sport, and he has been following the Cup, Nationwide and Truck Series for most of his life. Brian majored in journalism and economics at Ohio State University and becoming a sports writer has always been his dream. Although he has covered everything from minor league baseball to the NCAA tournament, his passion has always been NASCAR. Brian has served as a NASCAR writer for a variety of sites, eventually becoming head editor of the NASCAR section for Fanball.com. His knowledge of NASCAR comes from his life-long love of racing, and he tries to add a personal touch to every article he writes. Brian is always up for talking NASCAR with anyone that wants to. Brian joined KFFL's team in 2011.
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