Fantasy NASCAR Raceday: Talladega

By lamarcolyer
Marvin Gentry-US Presswire

Well, it could only be avoided for so long.

The Chase picks up for Round Four, better known as wildcard weekend, at Talladega Superspeedway.

Talladega is the one race in the Chase that can make or break a driver’s championship hopes.

So many different scenarios will be intact come Sunday.  There will be some drivers who are trying to protect their position in points; there will be some who gamble because they have to make up ground.  The rest, simply put, just don’t have anything to lose.

The point is, Talladega is all about survival.  This is the one track in the Chase where every Chaser will be glad to pick up a top ten finish cause at some point, the inevitable “Big One” will occur.

Plate races are so difficult to predict.  It’s not a fib when drivers and analysts say anyone can win one.  So as far as setting your fantasy lineups, anybody will do.  When it is all said and done, just hope the drivers you picked survived the whole race.

The Elite

Brad Keselowski

Keselowski is the point leader after winning two of the first three Chase races.  Talladega has been very courteous to him.  He has two wins and five top ten finishes in seven races.  Here’s a telling stat: Keselowski has an average finish of 7.3 in three Dega fall race appearances.  What should also justify choosing him is that since he’s protecting, he will more than likely make it to the finish.  I’ve seen numerous drivers survive the race knowing they’re playing defense.  It always seemed to work for Jimmie Johnson.  He starts 22nd.

Fantasy NASCAR Cost: $28.00

Clint Bowyer

Bowyer is perhaps the most underrated plate racer in NASCAR.  He is the winner of the last two Talladega fall races. It’s pretty peculiar to hear that he is the one driver looking forward to this weekend.  As difficult as it is to foresee who will be out front often, Bowyer would be a candidate who would choose to do so.  He starts third.

Fantasy NASCAR Cost: $27.00

Greg Biffle

He is an unlikely candidate, but seeing as though how strong the Roush cars have been on plate tracks, this selection is justifiable.  He, and teammate Matt Kenseth, have put on a clinic in all three plate races.  Considering Biffle’s struggles at Dover, this is truly his last hurrah as far as his title hopes are concerned.  He might be the driver who leads the most laps.  Just think about it: Edwards isn’t in the Chase, and Kenseth is pretty much eliminated.  He’s the only one with a chance, albeit a minuscule one.  Biffle starts fifth.

Fantasy NASCAR Cost: $25.75

The Fillers

Bobby Labonte

Get used to seeing him on this list, as he is arguably the best filler driver in fantasy.  Labonte is starting 40th, deep in the field.  At least if he’s in a wreck, owners will hardly be affected by it.

Fantasy NASCAR Cost: $10.75

Terry Labonte

If you have one, might as well go with the other.  Elder Labonte has raced in three races this year, all being restrictor plates.  His average finish is 22.3.  That’s overachieving for a filler.  He starts 31st.

Fantasy NASCAR Cost: $5.00

As aforementioned, all drivers are on the same level of performance in these type of races.  In fact, the term ‘heavy-hitter,’ or even ‘elite,’ really shouldn’t be used.  Drivers have to be at the right place, at the right time.  So just as Talladega can make or break Chasers’ title hopes, it can just as well be easily said for Fantasy owners, too.

For more news and thoughts on the sports world, follow on Twitter @MidwayLC

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