Fantasy NASCAR: Polking's Picks for Michigan

by Brian Polking on June 12, 2014 @ 07:01:13 PDT

 

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NASCAR.com Fantasy Live

Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($27.25): In this scoring system, the two categories where a driver can really pile up points are laps led and fastest laps run. Since NASCAR begin using scoring loops to record data, Junior ranks in the top five in both categories. Meanwhile, he has led a series-high 174 laps at MIS since 2012, leading at least 20 laps in all four races.

Jimmie Johnson ($27.25): Johnson actually owns a 20.2 average finish in his last 10 starts at Michigan, but in this format, his final results aren't all that matter. Despite a horrible run of luck at MIS, Johnson still leads all drivers in fastest laps run and laps led at the track since 2005. These two categories in particular make up a huge chunk of the scoring in this game so Johnson can still provide a ton of points even if bad luck strikes again late in the race.

Joey Logano ($26.75): The move to Team Penske has revived Logano's career, and it has made him a stud at the 2.0-mile tracks. He led 113 total laps in three starts at 2.0-mile ovals last year, including 72 in two starts at Michigan. He also won the August race at MIS. More importantly for this format, Logano led more than 20 laps in all three starts so there is a great chance he will spend some time up front this weekend. In order to score big in this game, finding drivers that can lead laps is a must.

Juan Pablo Montoya ($10.00): Montoya will make his 2014 Cup Series debut this weekend at Michigan. He will also be making his first-ever Cup start for Team Penske. Sure, Montoya was always inconsistent when he was a full-time driver, but he will have great equipment to work with, and he has by far the most upside of any driver in his price range. After all, Montoya has won a couple of Cup races and had made the Chase.

Landon Cassill ($7.75): If you look at the numbers, Cassill is a no-brainer pick in this format. He currently ranks 19th in scoring, and the next-cheapest option that is ranked in the top 20 is Austin Dillon, who carries a $21.00 price tag. Cassill is an absolute bargain as he provides plenty of cap room as well as respectable point production.

NASCAR.com Streak to the Finish

Greg Biffle: Thanks to Tony Stewart's speeding penalty, my season-long streak came to an end at Pocono. I'll start from scratch this weekend with Biffle. He has a 10.6 average finish at Michigan since 2004, and he owns a series-leading 3.8 average finish in four starts at the track on the repaved surface.

FOX Fantasy Auto Racing

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (captain): Although bad luck struck twice at Michigan for Junior last year, he also had the car to beat in both races at the track last year. Meanwhile, he finished first and fourth in two starts at MIS in 2012 and has led the most laps of any driver in the last four races at the track. I'll take my chances that bad luck doesn't strike again.

Carl Edwards: Final results are what matter most in this format, and no driver has been more reliable at Michigan than Edwards. His 8.3 average finish at the track is the best in the series, and in 19 starts, he only has two finishes outside the top 12. Meanwhile, Edwards also ranks third at MIS in average green flag speed and driver rating and second in laps in the top 15 so it's not like his solid finishes have been because of good luck.

Greg Biffle: Not only does Biffle has two wins and a series-leading 3.8 average finish in his last four starts at Michigan, but he also averages a top-10 finish at the track over the last 20 races. His consistency at MIS has stood the test of time, and he seems to have gotten even better since the track was repaved.

Joey Logano: Logano was excellent at the 2.0-mile tracks with Team Penske in 2013. He posted a 4.3 average finish in three starts overall, and at Michigan in particular, he finished ninth in the June race and won the August event while leading a race-high 51 laps.

Brian Vickers: Michigan has always been one of Vickers' best tracks. He brings a streak of seven straight top-15 finishes at MIS into Sunday's race, and during the stretch, he has logged six top-10s and compiled a 7.7 average finish. Vickers should be a safe bet for another top-15 run Sunday, making him a rock-solid option in this format.

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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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