This week the PGA Tour returns to Detroit Golf Club (North) which will be hosting the second edition of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. It is a 7,334-yard par 72. Last year had a surprising but great story of Nate Lashley running away with the win after being the last guy in the field. The course played possibly the easiest on tour last season. The 5-under cut line was the lowest cut on tour since 2016. It is expected that the rough will be grown out to make the course play a little more difficult this year.
The fairways will be lined with trees pretty much tee to green. With the rough being lengthened, it will be tough for players to stop the ball on relatively small quick greens. Last year, the thought was that the players would have a hard time hitting the green from the rough but players just picked this course apart. I would expect that this will come into play a little more this year. This means that hitting fairways and greens will be important this week. Look for guys who rank high in categories like Driving accuracy, SG:Tee-to-Green, SG:Approach, GIR%, and rough proximity. I would expect the champion this week to be an average or better putter but I don’t think putting will be as important this week as hitting fairways and greens.
Although it is a bit of a drop off as far as field strength, there are some big names playing this week. Amongst them are guys like: Rickie Fowler, Bryson DeChambeau, Bubba Watson, Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Reed, Jason Day, Tony Finau, and Webb Simpson.
Webb Simpson: The guy is just a stone-cold killer. Nothing flashy. Just a beautiful, fundamental, solid, all-around golfer. Accurate off the tee. Solid on approach. Great putter. There is nothing keeping me from putting him in my lineups.
Tyrrell Hatton: If Simpson is option 1A, Hatton is 1B. He has been playing so well as of late. His Tee-to-green game is almost unbeatable. Combine that with being one of the best putters on tour this season and you’ve got a recipe for a win.
Bryson DeChambeau: With as much as he has been playing since the restart, and how hard he swings it, you wonder if fatigue will catch up with him at some point. You also wonder if there will be a course that just doesn’t fit his game. So far, the answer to those questions is no. He has 6 consecutive top-10 finishes. With a weaker field this week, I’d say his chances of winning this week are the highest they’ve been since the restart. His game projects well in Detroit.
Top-End Maybes: Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Reed
Viktor Hovland: T23, T21, T11 in the 3 loaded events since the restart. Very solid from tee to green. Putting is just barely below average. Notched a T13 last year in just his second start as a pro.
JT Poston: T11 at the inaugural event last year. Was coming off consecutive top 10 finishes before just missing the cut at The Travelers. Top 10 putter who showed that when his approaches get relatively close, he can convert them into birdies in bunches.
Doc Redman: Redman’s value gets a major lift this week, probably for good reason. He has made all 3 cuts since the restart, 2 of which resulted in top 25 finishes. This week projects to be his best when you consider he placed 2nd last year after a Monday qualifier. 13th in driving accuracy and 17th in SG:approach.
Rory Sabbatini: The resurgence of Sabbatini’s career continues. He continues to place inside the top 25. He finished T3 at this event last year where he led the field in driving accuracy
Brenden Todd: It’s been 2 days since DJ raised the trophy at The Travelers and Todd is still hitting fairways. He couldn’t miss a fairway and rarely missed a green. If he could have converted on his 12 chances at birdie, his story could have been much different. I fully expect to see more fairways and greens hit this week. A few more made putts could have him in contention.
Will Gordon: The pressure is off Gordon to secure his tour status. He can play with less pressure this week. Coming off his impressive T3 at the Travelers. His last 5 starts on the PGA tour have resulted in 4 top 25s, 2 of which were top 10s. Ranks 13th in GIR%. Very cheap mid-tier play this week.
Mid-Tier Maybes: Sungjae Im, Adam Hadwin, Brandt Snedeker
Value Play Loves:
Brian Stuard: Stuard has made all 3 cuts since the resume which is quite an accomplishment considering the field strength. Coming of T20 last week. 5th in driving accuracy. T5 at 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Value Play Likes:
Cameron Tringale:T5 in 2019. 28th in SG: Approach, 37th in SG: Tee-to-Green.
Harry Higgs: 27th in rough proximity. 2 of 3 cuts made since restart. In all honesty, I think Higgs is trending up and could find himself knocking on the door of the top 50 within a year or so.
Victory Lane – Pocono 350 By Tyler Miller – @rickybobby_jr
NASCAR will race 140 laps (350 miles) at Pocono Raceway this afternoon in the second half of the double header for the Cup Series. Kevin Harvick won on Saturday and will start Sunday’s race from the 20th position. Several drivers had issues on Saturday and will start at the back of the field on Sunday which makes them valuable from a DFS perspective. I like all of the drivers I wrote up for Saturday, but we can’t ignore the potential for massive differential from guys like Erik Jones, Joey Logano, and Tyler Reddick. Finding the right balance is key. Let’s get started.
Erik Jones ($10,000/7,400) In my opinion, Erik Jones becomes the top driver for DFS on Sunday. Jones crashed on Saturday, not because his car was handling poorly but because of the circumstances created by the drivers around him. The 20 team will unload a backup car and Jones will start from the 38th position. Before this weekend, Jones finished in the top 5 in 4 of 6 races at Pocono.
Joey Logano ($12,000/9,400) Joey Logano does not have stellar numbers at Pocono. I don’t expect him to contend for the win, but you can’t ignore the potential for massive differential in a really short race. Using Fan Duel scoring, there are only 14 points available for laps led (0.1 points per lap led multiplied by 140 laps). Joey Logano could score 14 differential points just by finishing 10th. I think you have to look at playing Logano, particularly in cash games on Sunday.
Kevin Harvick ($14,000/10,700) Starting 20th, Harvick would be a no brainer for my top play if Jones and Logano weren’t starting from the back. Harvick’s salary is a bit prohibitive, particularly if you are looking to focus on differential points. I think we see a similar performance from Harvick with a top 5 finish, potentially another win.
Chase Elliott ($12,200/10,400) Similar to Logano, Chase Elliott has to be considered for Sunday’s race at Pocono. Elliott is starting in the 25th position and has the potential for a top 10 finish with +15 differential. I like Harvick over Elliott, but Elliott’s salary allows you to stay away from scraping the bottom of the barrel for a value driver.
Aric Almirola ($9,000/7,200) We saw Aric Almirola shine on Saturday, leading 61 laps and finishing 3rd. I don’t expect the same performance from Almirola on Sunday, but at his salary, starting 18th, I think this is a good play. On Fan Duel, my toughest decision is between Almirola and Tyler Reddick.
Tyler Reddick ($8,400/7,600) Reddick is starting 30th on Sunday because he was involved in the Erik Jones incident. Reddick is too cheap to pass up. I would look for Reddick to score positive differential and finishing in the range of 12th-17th which would make him a solid play with very little risk.
Ty Dillon ($6,000/7,000) Ty Dillon is a sneaky play for Sunday because he finished Saturday much worse than he was running. Dillon stayed out too long in the final pit cycle and lost a lot of track position late in the race. Dillon is starting the race 26th and has the potential to finish top 20, maybe even top 15 if he stays out of trouble and doesn’t try the same pit strategy on Sunday. Ty Dillon is as far down the sheet as I want to go for Sunday. I am not into Michael McDowell starting the race 13th, though I think that will be a popular play because of his price tag. I don’t think McDowell has the equipment to run in the top 10 all day, I think it’s more likely that McDowell and Ty Dillon finish within 5 positions of each other which would make Dillon a better play, unless you really need the extra $1k in salary.
My cash lineup will be built around Erik Jones and Joey Logano. I think you have three decisions to make. 1: between Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick, 2: between Tyler Reddick and Aric Almirola, and 3: between Ty Dillon and Michael McDowell. I think any lineup you build using those guys would be solid. I’m leaning towards Elliott, Logano, Jones, Dillon, and Reddick and adding Almirola as my 6th driver on DK. Good Luck!
Tyler Miller is a lifelong NASCAR enthusiast who spent five years as a producer on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (2008-2013). Upon meeting his wife in Washington DC, Tyler became an Army spouse and left his career to move all over the country and help raise their two children. Tyler holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sport Communication and Electronic Media Production from Ashland University and is currently pursuing a Masters’ of Science degree in Marketing: Sports Marketing and Media, from Liberty University.
The Setup – Pocono Doubleheader Race Preview By Tyler Miller
The NASCAR Cup series will race a doubleheader at Pocono Raceway this weekend with a 130 lap (325 mile) race on Saturday and a 140 lap (350 mile) race on Sunday. Unlike other races since returning from the public health crisis, this Pocono weekend was originally scheduled this way when the 2020 season schedule was announced last year. Drivers drew for starting position for race 1 and then the finishing results of the first race will determine the starting positions for the second race (top 20 invert, 21st on back will start where they finished). The drivers will race the same car for both races. If they wreck and need a backup car for Sunday they will start from the back. Unlike the Xfinity double header at Homestead, the exact same drivers will be competing both days at Pocono. Race Distance: Race 1: 130 laps (325 miles). Stage 1 ends on lap 25, Stage 2 ends on lap 77. Race 2: 140 laps (350 miles). Stage 1 ends on lap 30, Stage 2 ends on lap 85.
2019 Pocono 1 Winner: Kyle Busch (Started 2nd) 2019 Pocono 1 Pole Sitter: William Byron (Finished 9th) 2019 Pocono 2 Winner: Denny Hamlin (Started 9th) 2019 Pocono 2 Pole Sitter: Kevin Harvick (Finished 6th)
Prior race winners: (Pocono 1, Pocono 2) 2018: Martin Truex Jr. (4th), Kyle Busch (28th) 2017: Ryan Blaney (4th) , Kyle Busch (1st) 2016: Kurt Busch (9th), Chris Buescher (22nd) 2015: Martin Truex Jr. (3rd), Matt Kenseth (7th) 2014: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (8th), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (9th)
Talladega Recap What went right? I wrote last week that Homestead was a nightmare. Talladega might have been worse. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Ty Dillon were really good plays. Brendan Gaughan and Ryan Preece were solid, but I missed on the top end guys. I do take some solace in the fact that Logano and Elliott both led laps and there is no question that Logano and Keselowski were two of the fastest cars on the track. At the end of the day, Talladega was a big loss for me, so we move on to Pocono.
What went wrong? Elliott crashing and scoring the second fewest points really hurt my chances but Logano killed any chance I had of cashing when he couldn’t move forward after pitting under the final caution of the race. I also wrote up Keselowski, who was under a similar circumstance as Logano. DiBenedetto and Christopher Bell also failed to perform for various reasons. I’m not that disappointed in myself for missing on the top performers. I obviously wish I would have played Ryan Blaney, but I had all of his teammates and it felt a little cheap to write up every Penske driver. I thought Keselowski and Logano were better plays and that’s what I went with.
My Fan Duel lineup was Logano, Elliott, Ty Dillon, Stenhouse, and Gaughan which scored 221 and was shut out.
My Draft Kings lineup was Logano, Elliott, Ty Dillon, Stenhouse, Gaughan, and Preece which scored 225 and was also shut out.
What Vegas thinks (Opening Lines for Pocono 1 via Penn National Gaming): Kyle Busch has won 3 of the last 5 races at Pocono and is the favorite at 9-2 despite not winning a race this season. Erik Jones and William Byron make a rare appearance inside 20-1.
Kyle Busch 9-2 Kevin Harvick 7-1 Martin Truex Jr. 7-1 Chase Elliott 8-1 Denny Hamlin 8-1 Brad Keselowski 8-1 Ryan Blaney 10-1 Joey Logano 11-1 Erik Jones 16-1 Kurt Busch 20-1 William Byron 20-1
Driver Ratings for Pocono 1. Denny Hamlin 105.1 2. Erik Jones 103.6 3. Kurt Busch 100.7 4. Jimmie Johnson 99.1 5. Kevin Harvick 98.6 6. Chase Elliott 98.2 7. Kyle Busch 95.4 8. Brad Keselowski 94.7 9. Joey Logano 89.3 10. William Byron 89.0 11. Ryan Newman 88.3 12. Matt Kenseth 87.7 13. Martin Truex Jr. 87.1 14. Ryan Blaney 85.9 15. Daniel Suarez 83.9
Average Running Position for Pocono 1. Erik Jones 8.880 2. Denny Hamlin 10.288 3. Chase Elliott 11.098 4. Kurt Busch 11.553 5. Jimmie Johnson 12.012 6. William Byron 12.023 7. Kevin Harvick 12.356 8. Daniel Suarez 12.880 9. Ryan Newman 12.946 10. Brad Keselowski 13.091 11. Kyle Busch 13.133 12. Joey Logano 13.813 13. Matt Kenseth 14.126 14. Ryan Blaney 14.953 15. Martin Truex Jr. 15.735
Laps Led 1. Denny Hamlin 726 (15.1 % of laps run) 2. Kurt Busch 545 (10.8) 3. Jimmie Johnson 468 (9.0) 4. Kyle Busch 460 (8.9) 5. Joey Logano 275 (7.5) 6. Kevin Harvick 249 (4.8) 7. Martin Truex Jr. 197 (4.1) 8. Brad Keselowski 183 (5.6)
2019 Pocono 1 Top 10: 1. Kyle Busch 2. Brad Keselowski 3. Erik Jones 4. Chase Elliott 5. Clint Bowyer 6. Denny Hamlin 7. Joey Logano 8. Daniel Suarez 9. William Byron 10. Aric Almirola
2019 Pocono 2 Top 10: 1. Denny Hamlin 2. Erik Jones 3. Martin Truex Jr. 4. William Byron 5. Kyle Larson 6. Kevin Harvick 7. Daniel Hemric 8. Brad Keselowski 9. Kyle Busch 10. Ryan Blaney
2018 Pocono 1 Top 10: 1. Martin Truex Jr. 2. Kyle Larson 3. Kyle Busch 4. Kevin Harvick 5. Brad Keselowski 6. Ryan Blaney 7. Aric Almirola 8. Jimmie Johnson 9. Joey Logano 10. Chase Elliott
2018 Pocono 2 Top 10: 1. Kyle Busch 2. Daniel Suarez 3. Alex Bowman 4. Kevin Harvick 5. Erik Jones 6. William Byron 7. Chase Elliott 8. Ryan Newman 9. Kurt Busch 10. Denny Hamlin
Here are the drivers I like for Pocono 1. I will post a Victory Lane Article specific for Pocono 2 on Sunday.
Kevin Harvick ($14,000/10,100) Harvick is my top play for Saturday. Starting 9th, Harvick will move forward and compete for a top 5 position, maybe even the win at the end of the day.
Martin Truex Jr. ($12,500/9,700) I am going to propose Martin Truex Jr. as an alternate to the otherwise obvious play of Denny Hamlin at the top of the sheet. Truex is starting 11th and has been much more consistent this year compared to his JGR teammates. Hamlin and Kyle Busch certainly have strong numbers at Pocono, but in a short race where differential might matter more than laps led, I like pairing Truex with Harvick.
Erik Jones ($10,000/7,100) Jones has finished in the top 5 in 4 of 6 races at Pocono in his career. In his other two races he finished 8th and 29th, 1 lap down (in 2018). I don’t understand why Jones is priced so low on Draft Kings, $7,100 makes him a must play in that format. On Fan Duel, I like him if you can fit him in. I think Jones, Byron, and Bowyer are all in the same boat here, I like them in the order given, it all comes down to who you can fit in your lineup.
William Byron ($10,400/8,400) Pocono has been a great track for William Byron. Byron has finished in the top 10 in 3 of his 4 races at Pocono including a top 5 in the second Pocono race last year. Byron is starting this race 16th, but is priced up for the occasion. If you can fit Byron into your lineup, I like the play, but there are certainly other options.
Clint Bowyer ($9,400/9,500) Bowyer has been incredibly consistent at Pocono, finishing on the lead lap in every race since Pocono 2 of 2008. In his last 5 races, Bowyer has finished 6th, 20th, 22th,, 5th, and 11th. I think that something just outside the top 10 is realistic for Bowyer, anything inside the top 10 is great considering his price compared to Jones and Byron.
Cole Custer ($6,900/6,400) In 3 career Xfinity Series races at Pocono, Cole Custer won, finished 5th, and finished 7th. Custer is starting 25th which will deter ownership, but I like him in a multi-lineup tournament environment. I don’t think he’s safe enough for cash games, but if he finished in the top 15 and you have him at less than 10% ownership, you could do well playing Cole Custer on Saturday.
Christopher Bell ($8,000/11,100) Bell is going to be chalk on Fan Duel, but on DK he is the highest priced driver which makes this a more difficult decision. Bell starting off the year terrible but has improved. In 2 Xfinity starts at Pocono he crashed and finished 5th. In 2 truck starts at Pocono he won and finished 10th. Starting 36th, there is no reason not to play Bell on Fan Duel.
Michael McDowell ($5,000/5,500) If you start to do the math, you realize that Michael McDowell is probably a better play than guys like Daniel Suarez and Corey LaJoie as a value play. McDowell’s team is over performing in 2020 and I like him to gain a few spots from his 25th place starting position and finish somewhere in the range of 18th-22nd on the tail end of the lead lap. For an extra $1k in salary, Ty Dillon could do the same thing with a few more differential points, again, this is going to be about who fits in your lineup the best. I like both of these guys.
The only driver I’m completely sold on is Kevin Harvick. I think Christopher Bell is a must play on Fan Duel and Erik Jones is a must play on Draft Kings. Denny Hamlin is also way too cheap on DK to ignore. Good luck to all our subscribers and look for some updated content in Victory Lane for Sunday’s race.
The Setup – GEICO 500 Race Preview By Tyler Miller
The best drivers in NASCAR will race 500 miles at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday afternoon. Talladega is my favorite track and I love playing DFS twice a year at Talladega. The racing is unpredictable, anybody can win, and anybody can crash. While virtually any lineup could end up being a good lineup in a tournament, there are a few things I look for when I build a lineup, particularly for single entry contests. I like going after larger prizes with higher entry fee single entry contests compared to my typical weekend of playing cash games. Picking the winner is often not enough, as I saw in the Xfinity race on Sunday where I had Justin Haley at 10% owned and narrowly missed cashing. Luck has to be on your side at Talladega. Let’s get started.
Race Distance: 188 laps (500 miles). Stage 1 ends on lap 60, Stage 2 ends on lap 120. Lineup Lock 3:00 pm eastern Sunday
2019 Fall Winner: Ryan Blaney (Started 9th) 2019 Fall Pole Sitter: Chase Elliott (Finished 8th) 2019 Spring Winner: Chase Elliott (Started 11th) 2019 Spring Pole Sitter: Austin Dillon (Finished 14th)
Homestead Recap What went right? Homestead was a nightmare. My top two guys ran into each other on pit road (Harvick and Logano) and finished 26th and 27th. Tyler Reddick was my best play with +20 differential, 3 laps led and a 4th place finish. Christopher Bell performed even better than expectation with an 8th place finish and +28 differential. Reddick and Bell were 3rd and 4th in Fan Duel scoring. Michael McDowell also ran well with +15 and a 15th place finish. Cole Custer was solid finishing 22nd with +13 differential. My mid-tier and value guys were solid, but it couldn’t make up for Harvick and Logano.
What went wrong? Harvick and Logano destroyed my lineup but I’m really not that upset about it. Logano led 27 laps and Harvick was running in the top 10 before their issue on pit road. This was a solid lineup that didn’t work out. Playing instead of either Harvick or Logano would have made a big difference, but that’s not what I did.
My Fan Duel lineup was Harvick, Logano, Custer, Bell, and Reddick which scored 262.6 and was shut out.
My Draft Kings lineup was Harvick, Logano, Kenseth, Reddick, Custer, and McDowell which scored 188.5 and was also shut out.
What Vegas thinks (Saturday PM lines via Draft Kings Sportsbook): Chase Elliott is the favorite at +700. Keselowski and Logano are also better than 10-1 for Talladega. I’m not betting this race, but if I wanted to take a shot at a long-shot I would look at Matt DiBenedetto at +4000
Chase Elliott +700 Brad Keselowski +800 Joey Logano +900 Denny Hamlin +1000 Ryan Blaney +1100 Kyle Busch +1200 Kevin Harvick +1400 Kurt Busch +1800 Aric Almirola +2000
Driver Ratings at Talladega: 1. Chase Elliott 94.1 2. Joey Logano 90.6 3. Kurt Busch 90.4 4. Brad Keselowski 89.3 5. Ryan Blaney 89.0 6. Matt Kenseth 86.9 7. Jimmie Johnson 86.4 8. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 84.4 9. Denny Hamlin 82.8 10. Kyle Busch 82.2 11. Kevin Harvick 80.9 12. Aric Almirola 80.4 13. William Byron 78.6 14. Martin Truex Jr. 76.9 15. Clint Bowyer 76.4
Average Running Position at Talladega: 1. Chase Elliott 10.791 2. Ryan Blaney 13.097 3. Kurt Busch 13.566 4. William Byron 13.835 5. Joey Logano 14.079 6. Matt Kenseth 14.957 7. Brad Keselowski 15.276 8. Daniel Suarez 15.297 9. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 15.327 10. Jimmie Johnson 15.799 11. Kevin Harvick 17.182 12. Denny Hamlin 17.371 13. Kyle Busch 17.708 14. Aric Almirola 17.866 15. Ty Dillon 18.398
Laps Led 1. Matt Kenseth 463 (9.4% of laps run) 2. Jimmie Johnson 324 (5.7) 3. Joey Logano 319 (7.6) 4. Denny Hamlin 302 (5.7) 5. Brad Keselowski 293 (7.0) 6. Kyle Busch 245 (4.4) 7. Kevin Harvick 224 (3.9) 8. Kurt Busch 228 (4.0) 9. Chase Elliott 125 (8.2) 10. Clint Bowyer 123 (2.3)
2019 Fall Top 10: 1. Ryan Blaney 2. Ryan Newman 3. Denny Hamlin 4. Aric Almirola 5. Michael McDowell 6. Austin Dillon 7. Corey LaJoie 8. Chase Elliott 9. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 10. Ty Dillon
2019 Spring Top 10: 1. Chase Elliott 2. Alex Bowman 3. Ryan Preece 4. Joey Logano 5. Daniel Hemric 6. Kurt Busch 7. Ryan Newman 8. Brendan Gaughan 9. Aric Almirola 10. Kyle Busch
2018 Spring top 10: 1. Joey Logano 2. Kurt Busch 3. Chase Elliott 4. Kevin Harvick 5. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 6. David Ragan 7. Aric Almirola 8. Alex Bowman 9. Ryan Newman 10. Daniel Suarez
2018 Fall top 10 1. Aric Almirola 2. Clint Bowyer 3. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 4. Denny Hamlin 5. Joey Logano 6. A.J. Allmendinger 7. Jimmie Johnson 8. Erik Jones 9. Paul Menard 10. Regan Smith
Last week I said that Homestead was the most difficult race to predict since we came back from break. That was true last week and it is true again this week because Talladega is completely unpredictable. In multi-entry tournaments you will see lineups with starting positions 36-40 and all kinds of crazy combinations which is basically just someone throwing a dart. I like using 2 or 3 drivers who have the potential to lead laps and finish in the top 3 and pairing them with 2 or 3 drivers who are starting at the back of the pack and have a history of being on the lead lap at the end of the race. If you have all of your drivers (5 on Fan Duel, 6 on Draft Kings) on the lead lap with 10 laps to go, you have a chance at taking down a tournament. That’s the goal.
Since this race is so different, I will write up more drivers in each category (top-end, mid-tier, value) with less written about each. Here are the guys I like.
Top End Chase Elliott ($13,300/10,400) Chase Elliott has to be the top play for Sunday. He is the favorite to win the race, he has the highest driver rating, average running position, and average finish. Elliott also won this race last year and has led laps in 5 of 8 career races at Talladega. Starting 11th, Elliott will likely be chalk on Sunday.
Joey Logano ($13,000/10,200) and Brad Keselowski ($12,400/9,600) I grouped these two together because I like them for the same reason and I like pairing them together in lineups. Logano and Keselowski run up front at Talladega, lead laps, and are usually a factor at the end of the race. Logano had led laps in 8 of the last 9 races at Talladega. Those 9 races include 3 wins and 6 top 5 finishes. Brad Keselowski has led laps at 8 straight races at Talladega. In those 8 races, Keselowski has won twice and finshed 7th. The other 5 finishes were outside the top 10 including 4 races with finishes of 25th or worse.
Mid-Tier Ricky Stenhouse Jr.($10,100/8,400) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has led laps in 10 of his 13 career starts at Talladega. He has 1 win, 5 top 5s, 8 Top 10s, and has completed over 99% of the laps run. I have a good feeling about Stenhouse on Sunday. I am usually quite hesitant to play Stenhouse because I don’t trust him, but his career numbers at Talladega speak for themselves. Stenhouse is starting 20th so the risk is mitigated. If he can lead laps and finish in the top 10 he is a great play on Sunday.
Matt DiBenedetto ($8,100/7,200) I think Matt DiBenedetto deserves some consideration for lineups on Sunday. Playing DiBenedetto with Logano and Keselowski makes sense if you think the Fords are going to be up front at the end of the day. This is going to be the best car DiBenedetto has ever had at Talladega and I would expect to see him improve on his 23rd place starting position.
Christopher Bell ($8,900/9,700) I have not mentioned any of the Toyotas to this point and overall I am avoiding them like the plague, however, starting 35th, Christopher Bell deserves some consideration. There are only 7 Toyota’s in the field on Sunday (4 from JGR, Bell, Suarez, and Timmy Hill). For the sake of comparison, there are 15 Fords and 18 Chevys. I think the manufacturers will all work together which will put the Toyotas at a large disadvantage. I would consider Christopher Bell, but I’ll let 20-30% of my opponents play him, and I will go a different direction in single entry contests.
Value Brendan Gaughan ($5,000/7,600) I love Brendan Gaughan at this price point, starting 39th. My only hesitation is the fact that there is no practice or qualifying and this team hasn’t been at a race track since Daytona in February. If something is wrong with the car there is no way to catch it before the race starts. I think I’ll take that gamble and roll with Gaughan. He’s going to run towards the back of the pack for most of the day but I’m looking for him to make a push into the top 20 in the closing laps.
Ryan Preece ($7,200/6,200) Preece is starting 31st and I think it makes sense to pair Preece with Stenhouse, particularly on Draft Kings where you need an extra driver. Preece has had a couple memorable finishes on restrictor plate tracks including a top 10 in the 2019 Daytona 500 and a 3rd place finish in this race one year ago. Preece has also stayed out of trouble, finishing on the lead lap in both of his career races at Talladega.
I like using Chase Elliott with either Joey Logano or Brad Keselowski. I was not able to use all three and build a lineup that I liked. I like Brendan Gaughan as a value play on Fan Duel and on Draft Kings I like Ty Dillon and Ryan Preece as my low end plays. Stenhouse is my favorite mid-tier play on both sites and it’s really not close. Good luck, Happy Father’s Day, and enjoy Talladega!
The Setup – Dixie Vodka 400 Race Preview By Tyler Miller
Homestead-Miami Speedway will host this weekend’s Dixie Vodka 400 for the NASCAR Cup Series. Homestead will host two double-headers stating with an Xfinity-Truck double-header on Saturday and an Xfinity-Cup double-header on Sunday. If you are interested in playing Xfinity or Trucks on Draft Kings, check out the NASCAR tap on our Discord channel.
This is the first time in the 21 race history of Homestead-Miami Speedway that the track will host a race outside of November. It is the first time since 2001 that NASCAR will not finish its season at Homestead. The weather in South Florida is much different in June compared to November, that, plus the lack of practice and qualifying creates some uncertainty as we look at the track’s recent history. Before this year, Homestead was the focus and determining factor of a driver’s championship hopes. That is not the case this time and I’m not sure how that will impact what we see on Sunday. Let’s get started.
Race Distance: 267 laps (400 miles). Stage 1 ends on lap 80, Stage 2 ends on lap 160. Lineup Lock 3:00 pm eastern Sunday 2019 Winner: Kyle Busch (Started 4th) 2019 Pole Sitter: Denny Hamlin (Finished 10th) Past Winners: (starting position) 2018 Winner: Joey Logano (started 5th) 2017: Martin Truex Jr. (2nd) 2016: Jimmie Johnson (14th) 2015: Kyle Busch (3rd) 2014: Kevin Harvick (5th)
Martinsville Recap What went right? Martinsville started out terrible and looked really bad for the first 350 laps, but our guys finished strong and I was able to eek out a win on Fan Duel. Brad Keselowski led 5 laps and finished 3rd (5th in Fan Duel Scoring), Martin Truex Jr. led 132 laps and won the race (2nd in Fan Duel Scoring), Jimmie Johnson led 70 laps and finished 10th with + 11 differential (3rd in Fan Duel scoring), Ty Dillon performed close to expectation with a 22nd place finish, 3 laps down, with + 8 differential, and Michael McDowell stayed on the lead lap all night and finished the race 14th + 15 differential which is an outstanding return on his $4,000 salary.
On Fan Duel, I ended up using Hamlin, Truex, Keselowski, McDowell, and Dillon. That lineup scored 416.1 and cashed in every contest I entered.
What went wrong? Hamlin was my pick to win the race so there was no way I wasn’t going to play him. Hamlin looked awful from the beginning but fought hard to finish 24th, 3 laps down. Hamlin’s car was overheating, he couldn’t keep it at the bottom of the track in the turn, it was a really bad night for the 11 team which is a head scratcher because of how good his teammate (Truex) was. As bad as the night was for Hamlin, Austin Dillon’s race was much worse. Dillon started the race with a flat tire, went 3 laps down, tore out a crush panel, and ended up parking it after completing 399 laps.
On Draft Kings, I played Hamlin, Truex, Keselowski, Ty and Austin Dillon, and Michael McDowell. That lineup scored 255.25 and I lost money overall but did cash in a single 50/50 contest.
What Vegas thinks (Friday AM lines via Draft Kings Sportsbook): Kevin Harvick is the favorite at +450. I think the race is going to be difficult to predict a winner so I am personally sitting this one out. However, if you are looking for a long shot I like Matt Kenseth at +6600, he’s also +1600 for a top 3 and +175 for a top 10.
Kevin Harvick +450 Martin Truex Jr. +500 Kyle Busch +550 Chase Elliott +700 Joey logano +900 Denny Hamlin +1000 Brad Keselowski +1000 Ryan Blaney +1200 Alex Bowman +1400 Jimmie Johnson +2000
Driver Ratings at Homestead: 1. Kevin Harvick 108.8 2. Martin Truex Jr. 107.3 3. Matt Kenseth 105.2 4. Kyle Busch 102.3 5. Denny Hamlin 97.4 6. Joey Logano 94.2 7. Jimmie Johnson 93.7 8. Chase Elliott 91.8 9. Brad Keselowski 89.2 10. Clint Bowyer 85.9 11. Ryan Newman 85.5 12. Austin Dillon 83.0 13. Erik Jones 80.6 14. Kurt Busch 78.3 15. Ryan Blaney 72.6
Average Running Position at Homestead: 1. Kevin Harvick 7.886 2. Martin Truex Jr. 8.321 3. Matt Kenseth 8.834 4. Chase Elliott 11.296 5. Denny Hamlin 11.648 6. Joey Logano 11.829 7. Kyle Busch 11.913 8. Jimmie Johnson 12.951 9. Brad Keselowski 12.998 10. Ryan Newman 13.380 11. Austin Dillon 13.966 12. Clint Bowyer 14.469 13. Erik Jones 15.027 14. Daniel Suarez 18.408 15. Kurt Busch 18.589
Laps Led 1. Kyle Busch 463 (11.6% of laps run) 2. Matt Kenseth 449 (12.0) 3. Kevin Harvick 356 (8.9) 4. Martin Truex Jr. 312 (8.3) 5. Denny Hamlin 256 (6.4) 6. Joey Logano 158 (5.4) 7. Brad Keselowski 107 (3.3)
2019 Top 10 1. Kyle Busch 2. Martin Truex Jr. 3. Erik Jones 4. Kevin Harvick 5. Joey Logano 6. Clint Bowyer 7. Ryan Newman 8. Austin Dillon 9. Alex Bowman 10. Denny Hamlin
2018 Top 10 1. Joey Logano 2. Martin Truex Jr. 3. Kevin Harvick 4. Kyle Busch 5. Brad Keselowski 6. Matt Kenseth 7. Chase Elliott 8. Clint Bowyer 9. Aric Almirola 10. Kurt Busch
2017 Top 10 1. Martin Truex Jr. 2. Kyle Busch 3. Kyle Larson 4. Kevin Harvick 5. Chase Elliott 6. Joey Logano 7. Brad Keselowski 8. Matt Kenseth 9. Denny Hamlin 10. Ryan Newman
2016 Top 10 1. Jimmie Johnson 2. Kyle Larson 3. Kevin Harvick 4. Joey Logano 5. Jamie McMurray 6. Kyle Busch 7. Matt Kenseth 8. A.J. Allmendinger 9. Denny Hamlin 10. Michael McDowell
In my opinion, this is the most difficult race to predict since we have returned to racing. The fact that this race usually determines a champion in November and is now being run under very different circumstances in June creates a lot of uncertainty. We need to get a combination of solid consistency at the top and low hanging fruit in the mid-tier/bottom to build a solid cash lineup. Let’s get started.
Kevin Harvick ($14,500/11,800) Kevin Harvick is my top play for Sunday because he has been incredibly consistent at Homestead. Harvick hasn’t finished outside the top 10 at this track since 2007 and he is currently on a streak of 6 straight top 5s. Harvick has also been consistent this season. His 15th place finish at Martinsville is his worst finish of the year. At intermediate tracks in 2020, Harvick has finished 8th, 9th, 1st, 3rd, 5th, 10th, and 1st. Starting 7th, I think Harvick runs inside the top 10 all day and competes for a top 5 finish.
Joey Logano ($13,000/10,700) Joey Logano has also been very consistent at Homestead. Since moving to Penske in 2013, Logano has finished inside the top 10 at Homestead in 6 of 7 races included a win and top 5s in 5 of his last 6. I think we will see Logano at a lower ownership rate compared to some of the other top drivers and I think he is a really solid play for cash games on Sunday.
Tyler Reddick ($8,300/7,300) Tyler Reddick dominated Homestead-Miami Speedway in the Xfinity Series. Reddick scored 2 wins in 3 races (his other finish was 4th) en route to back-to-back Xfinity championships. I do not expect Tyler Reddick to contend for the win on Sunday, but I think he can run inside the top 10 throughout the race and compete for a top 12 finish at the end. Reddick starts the race 24th which gives you too much upside to pass up.
Matt Kenseth ($7,500/8,200) The combination of Kyle Larson’s success in the 42 car and Matt Kenseth’s success at Homestead has me taking a hard look at Kenseth on Sunday. Homestead was one of Kyle Larson’s best tracks and Kenseth finished top 10 in 8 of his last 9 races at the track (2010-2018). This included a 6th place finish in 2018 when Kenseth was driving an underperforming 6 car for Roush Fenway racing (in place of Trevor Bayne). Starting 20th, Kenseth is too cheap to be ignored. A 15th place finish would make this a good play and I think there is top 10 potential for Kenseth on Sunday.
Christopher Bell ($6,600/9,300) Christopher Bell has a large price discrepancy between Fan Duel and Draft Kings this week. Starting 36th, Bell has the potential for +20 differential which makes him an option, even at his high price on Draft Kings. Unlike Martinsville, I don’t mind using rookies at Homestead. Bell was solid at Homestead in Xfinity and Trucks but not outstanding. I think Bell is a lock on Fan Duel and needs to be strongly considered for DK lineups as well, even at his elevated price.
Cole Custer ($6,400/6,000) In the Xfinity Series, Cole Custer has 3 top 2 finishes in 4 races at Homestead. He also finished 10th in his only truck race at the track. I like Cole Custer, particularly on Draft Kings, as an alternate to Christopher Bell. Custer is starting this race 35th and could easially outscore Bell on Sunday. I also like pairing the two of them together.
Michael McDowell ($5,000/5,200) There will be a lot of focus on Bell and Custer and a lot of people might overlook Michael McDowell. McDowell has exceeded expectations this season with finishes inside the top 25 in 10 of 11 races. McDowell finished 24th at Atlanta, 18th and 25th in the two races at Charlotte, 23rd and 17th in two races at Darlington, and 22nd at Fontana earlier this year. His only bad finish this season was at Las Vegas where he was 36th, 22 laps down. McDowell would need to beat Bell and Custer by 5-6 spots to score more points than them, but he also comes at a much lower price tag which might help a lineup fit together. Don’t ignore McDowell on Sunday.
The obvious Fan Duel cash lineup that I like is Harvick, Logano, Reddick, Custer, and Bell. That lineup doesn’t work on Draft Kings but you can work in McDowell and Kenseth. Good luck to all our subscribers this weekend!
I have always taken great pride in my writing. I have also taken great pride in my relationships with my readers. When I sat down to write my most recent article, Dynasty Assets I wanted to take the idea of fantasy assets and value to another level. I’m aware of the very thin line between discussing asset vs. value.
In terms of fantasy football we all have our own ideas and thoughts. We also share some of the same ideals and fandom. Since day one my idea was to always engage readers and spark unique ideas and conversation. Push our limits and boundaries when discussing our ideas.
When it comes to fantasy football every body wants their opinion heard. Some more than others. Along the way we must learn to respect everyone regardless of the situation. Treat everyone with a positive attitude and with an outlook of optimism.
Let’s get back to the topic at hand. Dynasty asset vs. fantasy value. I tried my best in the opening of my previous article to explain it. I think it best to explain further. Just know I’ve heard all the comments and spirited opinions in relation to the idea.
The best way for me to put it is an excerpt from Dynasty Assets, “For example, when you scroll down and get to the Baltimore Ravens the obvious choice is Lamar Jackson right?Yes and no. He is far and away the best fantasy asset to own in BAL but there is absolutely no value there due to his ADP and trade value.” Let me elaborate please. Lamar Jackson is the unquestioned starting quarterback in Baltimore. The reigning NFL MVP. He is also the biggest fantasy asset for the Ravens.
When we get into the value portion of Lamar Jackson I mentioned the fact he has no value due to his ADP and trade value. I also mentioned the same fact for a few other NFL players such as Christian McCaffery. Here’s my thought process about that. If you own a player of CMC, Mahomes and/or Jackson’s caliber and receive a trade offer would you accept? I know what you’re think now. Depends on what the offer is. Is there truly an offer on this Earth that you’d accept to trade away any of these men? The mistake I made in this process was thinking my idea would be universally accepted. I see the error in that now.
Moving on, I’d like to clear the air and given a more definite dynasty asset article. Clean cut, precise and to the point!
Kyler Murray is the dynasty must have in the Cardinals organization. Of course they now have DeAndre Hopkins and with the temperance of Kenyan Drake last season we could all mildly argue this topic but why? How many of you have either seen or heard where Kyler is going is super flex drafts? Pretty high right?
The Atlanta Falcons boast a deep and rich offense. Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Hayden Hurst, Jake Matthews and now newly signed Todd Gurley. Yet the dynasty must have in Atlanta is Calvin Ridley. Most fantasy players are extremely excited about his 2020 season. Rightfully so given his age and past seasons success.
If you were to ask a casual NFL fan they’d say, “Wow Baltimore has a good team!” For people like us, in-depth fantasy football players, we’d say, “Holy crap this team is loaded with young stud talent from top to bottom!” With that being said think I speak for all of us when I say Lamar Jackson is the biggest dynasty must have in Baltimore.
I’ve always said the NFL is more fun when the Bills and/or Cincinnati is good. That being said, Buffalo is primed and looking to win the AFC East in 2020. The team currently has a number of young, talented and hungry kids. Their quarter back, Josh Allen, leading the charge. Josh Allen finds himself as a top-10 fantasy QB headed into the 2020 season and I couldn’t agree more. Allen is the must have dynasty asset in Buffalo. This decision was made easier given all the confusion about the RB position. Singletary or Moss? Moss or Singletary?
Would it be lazy of me if I just copied and pasted what I wrote about Carolina in my last article? What you call lazy I call efficient! Regardless, I’m not going to. The Panthers must have fantasy asset is Christian McCaffery. It’s that simple. Moving on, next!
The Chicago Bears have long been a thorn in the side of the Detroit Lions. There has been a lot of talk about CHI and their starting QB situation. Is Mitchell really the guy there? Chicago brought in Nick Foles but for what? To light a fire under Trubisky? Or to take over the starting QB gig? There are no answers at this time. Only thing I can say for certain is 2nd year RB David Montgomery is the dynasty asset to own in Chicago. Another guy people have been wishy-washy about on social media. I firmly believe D-Mont breaks out in 2020 after the Bears finally figure out how to use him! Early and often!
As a Detroit Lions fan, feel as if I’m allowed to feel pain for other historically bad NFL franchises. Cincinnati has had some glory days and I believe they are on the upswing. Number one overall draft selection Joe Burrow should be the man for many years. That being said, Joe Mixon is the dynasty asset to own in CIN. He’s an RB1 and makes for a great fit in any format!
As I’ve said before and what I’ve gathered from all of you the Browns are an odd bunch. Does anyone remember this time last year? All the hype and excitement surrounded Cleveland? Well we all know how that worked out. 3rd in the AFC North at 6-10. Baker Mayfield had an awful season. Let’s fast forward to the 2020 season shall we? There is little to no chatter about the Browns yet they still have the same team. So where do we turn for the biggest fantasy asset? Baker? Odell? Landry? Hunt? All could and should be great fantasy assets in 2020 but there can only be one stud fantasy asset. That player is Nick Chubb! On the heels of 1,400+ rushing yard season Chubb enters the season as strong top-10 RB and I don’t expect that to change much!
This is where it gets fun! On paper the Dallas Cowboys offense looks mighty good! On the field it should be even better! In terms of a dynasty asset we want young upside kids right? Along the lines of CeeDee Lamb. Of course but there’s no getting around Ezekiel Elliot here. No way no how! Zeke is still very young! Only 24 years old as he enters his 5th season as the Dallas running back. Not trying to get ahead of myself but it’s quite clear he’s a lock for 1,200 all purpose yards and 7 total touchdowns. He will turn 25 in late July but that’s not issue for me and shouldn’t be for you. Zeke Elliot is the Dallas Cowboys biggest dynasty asset and a top-10 dynasty asset overall.
Personally speaking the Denver Broncos are in a good spot! Their first two picks in the 2020 draft were wide receivers. Jerry Jeudy 15th overall followed by K.J. Hamler in the 2nd round, 46th overall. Just a quick recap! So as we look up and down the Denver roster there are a lot of bright spots. Drew Lock has hit a wave of hype this spring. Melvin Gordon III and Philip Lindsay will team up in the backfield. No matter where I look or what I do I’m always brought back to Jerry Jeudy. The 6’1 15th overall pick is going to shine in the Mile High city. I’m not one to argue or cause problems but don’t think I’ll have any issues telling you all Jerry Jeudy is the fantasy asset to own in Denver!
I just going to say it. Kenny Golladay is the biggest asset to own in dynasty. If you remember I mentioned D’Andre Swift as the Lions biggest asset last month. Since then I’ve noticed Swift climbing draft boards while Kenny G’s value has remained the same. In some cases it’s dropped a little bit. My thought process here is the fact you have two kids to choose from. One was just drafted while the other lead the league in TD receptions last season. I’m sorry I’m not sorry but I’m going to side with the guy who has done well and quite frankly, still has room to grow. Maybe this is a different story next year but let’s cross that bridge when we come to it!
GREEN BAY PACKERS
You might think of Green Bay as vanilla and boring for fantasy purposes. I agree to a certain extent but they have a handful of guys that are lights out. Correct me if I’m wrong but all I’ve heard this spring is how Aaron Jones will quickly be replaced by rookie RB A.J. Dillon. I’ve mentioned this a time or two and have made my opinion clear. In terms of the biggest fantasy asset to own in Green Bay it’s wide-receiver Davante Adams. Adams is easily a top-10 WR and is hovering in that top-10/15 overall territory. 2019 was up and down due to a turf toe issue and fell shy of 1,000 receiving yards. That being said he’s being under valued in some fantasy circles. Don’t make that mistake! Davante is a lock for 120 targets and I fully expect 150+ targets. Big season ahead for Davante!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you know DeAndre Hopkins is gone. Houston has added David Johnson and Brandin Cooks but how excited are we for them? Meh right? This is Deshaun Watson’s team. Make no mistake about it. Unless Bill O’Brien finds away to screw it up and trade him away too. Highly doubt it but for the sake of my writing thought it’d be funny to mention. Deshaun Watson is the must have asset on this team! Plain and simple!
I apologize for getting this far into the article and not mentioning an IDP! If you’re reading this then you know how into IDP I am! Maybe it’s taken me this long to mention an individual defensive player for two reasons. One, IDP is nowhere close to as popular as a SF league. Two, realistically who is going to assign and/or keep an IDP over an offensive player? Both true statements but also not many defensive players are as good as Colts LB Darius Leonard! The must have dynasty must have on this team is no doubt rookie RB Jonathon Taylor. Leonard is no slouch either! Just wanted that to be know! An honorable mention if you will!
Jacksonville is a perplexing situation for fantasy purposes. There are many cases to be made for a few of their offensive players. Minshew, Fournette, Chark, Westbrook and rookie WR Laviska Shenault. In any case the most must-have asset in Jacksonville is D.J. Chark!
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
The defending 2019 Super Bowl Champions boast one heck of a returning roster in 2020! Their offense is absolutely loaded. Yet the must-have dynasty asset is as simple as it gets! Patrick Mahomes Kansas City’s QB is set up for many years of real life success and in turn, fantasy football dominance! Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and rookie draft darling Clyde Edwards-Helaire are all on my radar here but this choice is a no-brainer. No argument number one choice.
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
I created a social media poll as part of research for this article in regards to this very organization. Josh Jacobs vs. Henry Ruggs! It was a blowout in Jacobs favor. Rightfully so! Josh is 22yrs-117 days old. While Ruggs is 21yrs-135 days old. There is a very small difference in age while Jacobs has already had a fantastic season under his belt. Josh’s rookie season was outstanding (1,150yds & 8 TD’s). There is no doubt in my mind and there should be none in yours wither. Josh Jacobs is the dynasty must-have in Vegas.
LOS ANGELES RAMS
What side of the fence are you on when it comes to Cam Akers vs. Darrell Henderson? As it stands now hopefully you know my stance on all this rookie RB hype. It has been out of control but I get it. All sports have been suspended and we’ve all had too much time on our hands. Back to LAC and their offensive situation. Goff, Woods and Cooper Kupp are the vets and mainstays in this Ram’s offense. Talking dynasty it’s always out with the old and in with the new. Meaning, Cam Akers is the dynasty darling and must-have Rams player!
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
Word on the street and in the fantasy community is that LAC are a mess and in disarray. They let Phil Rivers walk and now plan on using QB Tyrod Taylor to open the season. Melvin Gordon III is gone and in Denver. Meaning, it’s Austin Eklers backfield. Keenan Allen is still their WR1, so I disagree slightly when saying the Chargers are a mess. The biggest take here with LAC is the QB they drafted in April. 6’6 kid from Oregon, Justin Herbert! He is the dynasty must-have on the Chargers. I’ve had a few great conversations with followers on social media about the timeline and development of Herbert. It’s all speculation and personal preference but I do firmly believe Justin starts a handful of games later in the season and doesn’t look back!
The Dolphins are trending up. They had a fantastic 2020 Draft and as of now they have a whopping 11 draft picks in 2021. This time next year they should be bursting at the seems with young stud talent. With QB Tua Tagovailoa leading the charge. Let’s not spend too much time on this one. I know, you know and we all know Tua is the must-have dynasty asset on this team. I’m excited to see what he can do. If he does what he’s supposed to then Howard, Breida, Parker and Gesicki should all benefit and become better! Really looking forward to the future roster of this team!
With the recent news of Dalvin Cook holding out where do we go with our rankings, projections and must own advice? I’m so lost and freaking out! NOT! Wouldn’t it be awful if I actually lived like that? I’m not a mind reader and I don’t have a crystal ball so I have no answer to the Cook situation. Until told otherwise there is little to no change in my belief Dalvin Cook is the must-have dynasty asset in MIN. I could see a setting where rookie WR Justin Jefferson gets into this conversation. Maybe a year or two from now. Just know he’s on the radar!
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Feel as if I could copy and paste what I wrote for New England in my last article. Really though, what does life look like in New England after Tom Brady. Should we now refer to their seasons as ATB? After Tom Brady? So this season will be 2020 ATB. Is that offensive? Who knows, just know it’s a joke. Lets get back on track here. Honestly I’m excited to find out who the most must-have dynasty asset is in New England. Am I able to show love to IDP here? Sure I am! It’s my article! Stephon Gilmore is the must-have dynasty asset for those of you who play IDP. I love it, it makes sense but it’s rude to all of you don’t. I’ve been going back and forth between Damien Harris and Jarrett Stidham. I’m going to give the edge to Stidham here seeing how he should be their starting QB in 2020. For all of you, “Tom Brady was a system quarterback” people this one should make you make you happy. If Bill and Robert Kraft made Tom Brady star then what’s stopping them from making Jarret one?
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
New Orleans heads into 2020 as one of the favorites in the NFC. Rightfully so. Long as Drew Brees is their QB it will be that way. Hopefully NO has started to look ahead into the future at the QB position. That’s a topic for another day and time. In terms of a must-have dynasty asset lets discuss this. On the table here is RB1 Alvin Kamara and WR1 Michael Thomas. I decided to ask social media. This is what I received!
@Odinbn said, “Kamara, he can create for himself.” He went on to say, “MT will only go as far as Brees can take him.” https://twitter.com/Odinbn
@acenydet said, “Give me Kamara. 3 down backs that can catch are harder to find then superstar wide receivers.” https://twitter.com/acenydet
@ChrisMo2413 chimed in with, “Michael Thomas. Now that everyone and their uncles are sharing touchdowns scored in New Orleans. It really does limit Kamara’s upside as a fantasy asset. Borderline top-5 instead of the unanimous 1 like MT.” https://twitter.com/ChrisMo2413
Thanks to everyone to replied and gave their thoughts!
NEW YORK GIANTS
Hear me out here, just for a sentence or two. Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley right? Really the only two guys that you could even mention here. We all know the importance teams place on a stud QB while a young stud RB’s gets the shaft. A la Le’Veon Bell, Melvin Gordon and now Dalvin Cook. Seeing how Danny Dimes and Saquon were drafted a season apart it makes sense they are the same age. Only separated by 118 days Saquon is a tad older and the must-have dynasty asset on the Giants roster! I had you for a minute! Did you think I was going to give the nod to Danny Jones? Nah, you know me better than that!
NEW YORK JETS
Another team that’s been down a while, the New York Jets. Yet another team on the rise. Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe I’m stupid? Maybe I think outside the box? I’ll choose the latter option and tell you how excited I am for the Jets and Sam Darnold. The decision to draft massive Louisville OT Mekhi Becton 11th overall followed by Baylor WR Denzel Mims at 59th overall is very telling. You know what it told me specifically? The Jets organizations commitment to Sam Darnold. I implore you to make that same commitment on your dynasty fantasy football teams. Darnold is the must-have dynasty asset on the New York Jets. J-E-T-S JETS! JETS! JETS!
If you remember correctly in my last article Dynasty Assets I mentioned Jalen Hurts as the Eagles biggest fantasy asset. I caught some heat for it but navigated around it cause it was a logical case. This is one of the reasons why I wanted to write another article explaining my case and the difference I have between asset/value. So on the flip side who do you think the biggest must-have dynasty player the Eagles have? Jalen Reagor maybe? I’m sure we could all argue that but I’m not looking to fight and it doesn’t make sense given the fact Carson Wentz in the Eagles QB. I’ve long expressed my distain for Wentz but that’s my problem, not yours. I’m not in the business of giving crap advice thus hurting your research and fantasy teams. Carson Wentz is the must-have dynasty asset in Philadelphia for now. I’m aware of the massive contract he signed (4yrs $128 million) but does anyone else think he’s on thin ice? Woah woah woah! Easy now! Never said I felt that way! Just a thought I had! Worth a thought!
Another sticky situation when it comes picking the right guy here. So lets talk it out! Lets cut to the chase shall we? Juju Smith-Schuster or James Connor? Hate to say this but who had the worst season in 2019? Lets recap what each did in 2018 real quick. Juju, 1,426 receiving yards and 7 total TD’s. James Connor 973 rushing yards and 13 total TD’s. In 2019 Juju started 12 games and had 552 yards and 3 TD’s. While Connor only started 10 games and produced 464 yards with 4 total TD’s. Safe to say they both had forgettable 2019 seasons right? Personally I think Juju was the bigger let down. After Antonio Brown freaked out and left the fantasy community was excited to see Juju as Pittsburgh’s WR1. That didn’t happen. So where do we turn for the biggest must-have on the Steelers team? In terms of IDP value this team is loaded with talent but I do believe James Connor is still the biggest must-have in Pittsburgh. There’s been a ton of buzz around rookie RB Anthony MacFarland and even speedster WR Dionate Johnson but again, James Connor is still the guy to own in Pittsburgh!
SAN FRANCISCO 49ers
The defending NFC Champions are loaded with talent. I expect them to compete for another Super Bowl spot in 2020. When it comes to a fantasy must-have talent only one guy comes to mind. George Kittle! Almost positive no one is going to argue me here. It’s that simple right?
In my last article I mentioned Russell Wilson being the biggest fantasy asset on the Seahawks. So again you may ask, “what’s the difference between biggest fantasy asset vs. must-have dynasty asset?” I explained myself in the opening but to elaborate a little it can all be explained with the format of your league. Re-draft vs. dynasty. Dynasty is long term, multiple seasons and beyond compared to re-draft just one season. Dynasty owners can be very fickle and with Russ being 31 years old some people don’t want to buy as much as others. It’s crazy right? Now enter D.K. Melcalf, the 6’4 229lb 22 year old stud. DK had a fantastic rookie season and dynasty owners are licking their chops thinking about his future stat lines. Consider me one of those dynasty owners! DK Metcalf is the must-have dynasty asset to have from the Seattle Seahawks!
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
As the days fly by and summer approaches the excitement/hype for the Buccaneers grows. I think it’s well warranted. Don’t you? They just added arguably the best QB of all time to pair with two stud WR’s. So it’s pretty to easy for me to tell you that Chris Godwin is the must-have dynasty asset in Tampa.
Took some heat recently for my assessment of the Titans in my previous article for not mentioning A.J. Brown. I’ll admit, I left him out completely. Wasn’t the right time to mention him. I did that on purpose due to the thought process in my past article. Now we fast forward a week and I’m giving must own dynasty assets. Enter A.J.Brown! The Titans played in the AFC Championship last season and were given credit for destroying the New England Patriots dynasty! This team is much more than some Cinderella story. They have become dangerous and dynamic. If they can continue to mold and gel with each other expect another deep playoff run in 2020 and expect A.J. Brown to anchor fantasy teams at WR for years to come!
I’ve always been honest with all of you. So why stop now? If you missed what I said about the Redskins in my last article here it is! I have a secret to tell all of you. As a little boy in Detroit the Redskins were my second favorite team. I only say that as a diversion due to the fact I have no idea where to start with this team and it’s fantasy prospects. I’m not a fan of Dwanye Haskins. Derrius Guice can’t stay healthy to save his soul. So right off the bat two guys I think we need to see prove something before we’re all in on them right? So as of right now I’ve taken you through 31 professional football teams and I’ve given you an asset and a lot of value. Yet here we are with Washington and I have nothing to give you. Is that my fault for not doing my job or the Redskins organization for not doing theirs? So continuing on with secrets and honesty here’s another secret. I’m fully aware Terry McLaurin is the biggest dynasty stud/must-have on the Redskins team. I was trying to funny and witty with my comments here. A few people took me too serious and here we are! Scary Terry aka F1 aka Terry Mclaurin is the must-have dynasty asset in Washington! Happy now?
WE’RE BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! After what seems like a lifetime, we are finally going to see an official PGA Tour event this week. While the Driving Relief and The Match 2 were fun to watch, it just isn’t the same. I think the tour is well aware of the excitement for the return for golf. It is very apparent they want to capitalize on this opportunity when you look at the featured groups they have lined up.
• McIlroy • Rahm • Koepka
• Fowler • Spieth • Thomas
• DeChambeau • D. Johnson • Rose
• Mickelson • Na • Woodland
While the Charles Schwab Challenge typically has a solid field from year to year, this year might be the strongest it has ever had. It is an invitational format which usually results in smaller fields, but the field was expanded this year to 144 players to make up for lost time. All of the top 5 and 15 of the top 20 players in the world will be in the field. It will also include 17 of the top 20 in the FedEx Cup rankings. This is likely due to guys chomping at the bit to get back into competitive form. This makes the golf exciting to watch, but it can make predicting the results a little difficult. There will more talented players competing this week, and most of them haven’t played much over the past few months, so they will be shaking off some rust. We don’t have the luxury of knowing who has been playing well and who has been struggling. Before you just go ahead and pick guys like Rory McIlroy or Justin Thomas, it’s important to consider that neither one has ever played in the Charles Schwab Challenge.
Colonial Country Club is a familiar site. It is the longest running host of any non-major event. It’s a par 70 course which has some challenging aspects, including some lengthy par 3s and the “Horrible Horseshoe.” However, the winning score will be pretty low, likely better than -10. The bentgrass greens usually run around a 12 on the Stimpmeter which gives average putters a chance at winning. Usually the guys who are successful here are the good ball strikers who can find fairways and greens-in-regulation. Kevin Na lead the field in GIR last year and ended up winning by 4 strokes.
Let’s break down the guys who have the best chance at winning this week:
Top-End Pick: Webb Simpson
Simpson fits the mold of the typical winner at Colonial. Winners tend to have several appearances in this event (but not more than 7) and tend to be between the age of 30 and 35. His ranking of 7th in Greens-in-Regulation sets him up for success. Finished T3 in 2016 and 5th in 2017. He was as hot as anyone before the hiatus.
Top-End Likes: Jon Rahm: A very surprising missed cut last year after an opening round 75. Don’t expect that to happen in back to back years. He’s proved to be too good on this course. T2 finish in 2017 in his debut. Also finished T5 in 2018. Rory McIlroy: While a debutant has not won this event since Sergio in 2001, if anyone can do it, it would be McIlroy. His absolute dominance this season could carry over to a course that he is seeing for the first time. 7 consecutive top 5 finishes. 18th in GIR.
Others to consider: Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas
Mid-Tier Pick: Kevin Na
Na has played 14 tour events at Colonial and has 5 top ten finishes to show for it. 4th in 2018 and is the defending champion. He also has a 61 and a couple 62s under his belt on this course in just the last 2 years so he has the ability to make a lot of birdies here.
Other mid-tier guys I like: Tony Finau: Only 1 win in his PGA Tour career, but Finau is the type of player who can adapt pretty well to every course he plays. He consistently makes cuts and finishes well. He has yet to miss a cut at Colonial. He finished in 2nd place last year. Ryan Palmer: Palmer is a member at Colonial which likely makes him more comfortable here than anyone. This might be a bigger advantage this week under unique circumstances. He has yet to win this event, but has 4 top 10 finishes.
Others to consider: Harris English, Kevin Kisner, Jordan Spieth
Value Play: Russell Knox
In 4 starts at Colonial with all 4 resulting in top 25 finishes. 2019 was his best finish (8th). 15th in GIR.
Other guys I like: Emiliano Grillo: Grillo is a solid player from tee to green. When he gets to the putting surface, he can struggle at times. This course is less about the driver and putter and more about shot making into greens. This venue suits him well. He hasn’t missed a cut in 4 appearances. He also has a 3rd place finish in 2018.
Others to consider: Jim Furyk, Nick Watney
If you are unsure of why I like a guy in the “others to consider” category, reach out to me on twitter @DerekHillGolf. I would love to share my thoughts.
The Setup – Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 By Tyler Miller
Martinsville Speedway will host its first ever night race in the NASCAR Cup Series on Wednesday night. Martinsville is a flat, half-mile race track in Southwestern Virginia; a favorite for close racing, high intensity, and drama. Recently, Martinsville has not had the action up front, with race winners leading as many as 464 of 500 laps (Truex in 2019). Drafting drivers who can lead hundreds of laps will be key. Laps Led will be much more important than differential for this race. Let’s get started.
Race Distance: 500 laps (263 miles). Stage 1 ends on lap 130, Stage 2 ends on lap 260. Lineup Lock 7:00 pm eastern Wednesday
2019 Spring Winner Brad Keselowski (Started 3rd) 2019 Fall Winner Martin Truex Jr. (Started 3rd) 2019 Spring Pole Sitter Joey Logano (Finished 19th) 2019 Fall Pole Sitter Denny Hamlin (Finished 4th)
Atlanta Recap What went right? I was really happy with the Victory Lane article from Atlanta. Kevin Harvick was my number 1 play, he lead the most laps and won the race. Brad Keselowski was solid, leading 5 laps and finishing 9th (11th in Fan Duel scoring). Kurt Busch led a lap and finished 6th (6th on Fan Duel). Jimmie Johnson finished 7th (7th on Fan Duel). Chase Elliott finished 8th (10th on Fan Duel). Christopher Bell finished 18th, exactly as projected, and Ryan Preece did ok with + 3 differential 1 lap down.
What went wrong? Alex Bowman ended up being the fly in my ointment. Bowman ran inside the top 5 for a brief time on Sunday but ended up with a 12th place finish and -4 differential. That doesn’t sound that bad, but when you consider that I pivoted off of Kurt Busch and went to Alex Bowman due to Kurt’s pre-race penalties (which included a pass through pit lane under green to start the race) it was a major mistake. Erik Jones also had two late issues that he was unable to recover from and finished the race 28th in Quinn Houff territory.
I missed on Truex, which was frustrating because he was cheaper than Keselowski. I also somehow missed the fact that Michael McDowell started the race 36th and was the chalk value play. I really needed Preece to outscore McDowell, which he didn’t.
My Fan Duel lineup ended up being Harvick, Keselowski, Bowman, Bell, and Preece which scored 326.2 and lost money. If I had stayed with my initial lineup (Kurt Busch instead of Bowman) I would have scored 337.4 and cashed in every contest. If I had kept Kurt Busch and been smart enough to realize that I needed to play Michael McDowell instead of Ryan Preece I would have scored an additional 6.6 points and scored 344.
My Draft Kings lineup was the same as Fan Duel with the addition of Erik Jones, so it did even worse. I scored 254.0 and was completely shut out.
What Vegas thinks (Tuesday morning lines via Draft Kings Sportsbook) Kyle Busch is the favorite at +450 with Keselowski and Truex right behind at +550. Despite Jimmie Johnson’s strong record at Martinsville, he is +2000. Without practice or qualifying, there is no reason to wait on placing a bet. Since I live in New Jersey, I grabbed Denny Hamlin Monday for +900, he is now down to +650.
Kyle Busch +450 Brad Keselowski +550 Martin Truex Jr. +550 Denny Hamlin +650 Chase Elliott +900 Joey Logano +900 Ryan Blaney +1000 Kevin Harvick +1100 Clint Bowyer +2000 Jimmie Johnson +2000
Driver Ratings at Martinsville 1. Jimmie Johnson 109.8 2. Denny Hamlin 107.2 3. Kyle Busch 104.1 4. Brad Keselowski 99.7 5. Joey Logano 94.7 6. Ryan Blaney 94.2 7. Kevin Harvick 94.2 8. Clint Bowyer 91.6 9. Matt Kenseth 87.9 10. Chase Elliott 87.4 11. Ryan Newman 84.3 12. Martin Truex Jr. 82.2 13. Kurt Busch 80.6 14. Austin Dillon 71.7 15. Daniel Suarez 80.9
Average Running Position 1. Denny Hamlin 9.148 2. Jimmie Johnson 9.413 3. Ryan Blaney 10.430 4. Kyle Busch 10.441 5. Brad Keselowski 11.283 6. Joey Logano 11.679 7. Kevin Harvick 12.696 8. Clint Bowyer 13.419 9. Matt Kenseth 14.230 10. Chase Elliott 15.112 11. Ryan Newman 15.271 12. Kurt Busch 16.322 13. Martin Truex Jr. 16.822 14. Daniel Suarez 18.262 15. Erik Jones 19.244
Laps Led 1. Jimmie Johnson 2691 (17.9 percent of laps run) 2. Denny Hamlin 1566 (11.2) 3. Kyle Busch 1424 (9.8) 4. Brad Keselowski 883 (8.8) 5. Joey Logano 830 (7.5) 6. Martin Truex Jr. 726 (5.2) 7. Matt Kenseth 602 (4.4) 8. Clint Bowyer 572 (4.1) 9. Kevin Harvick 481 (3.2) 10. Chase Elliott 192 (4.3)
2019 Spring Top 10 1. Brad Keselowski 2. Chase Elliott 3. Kyle Busch 4. Ryan Blaney 5. Denny Hamlin 6. Kevin Harvick 7. Clint Bowyer 8. Martin Truex Jr. 9. Aric Almirola 10. Daniel Suarez
2019 Fall Top 10 1. Martin Truex Jr. 2. William Byron 3. Brad Keselowski 4. Denny Hamlin 5. Ryan Blaney 6. Kurt Busch 7. Kevin Harvick 8. Joey Logano 9. Kyle Larson 10. Ryan Newman
2018 Spring top 10: 1. Clint Bowyer 2. Kyle Busch 3. Ryan Blaney 4. Martin Truex Jr. 5. Kevin Harvick 6. Joey Logano 7. Alex Bowman 8. A.J. Allmendinger 9. Chase Elliott 10. Brad Keselowski
2018 Fall top 10 1. Joey Logano 2. Denny Hamlin 3. Martin Truex. Jr. 4. Kyle Busch 5. Brad Keselowski 6. Kurt Busch 7. Chase Elliott 8. Ryan Newman 9. Daniel Suarez 10. Kevin Harvick
This is a 500 lap race. It is important to give yourself every opportunity to roster drivers who can lead 100+ laps. I like having 3 top contenders in a lineup if possible. This race is also about being lucky and having all of your drivers run every lap. On Fan Duel, there are 50 points available for running 500 laps. That makes a driver who finishes 25th on the lead lap immensely more valuable than a driver who finishes 29th and crashes out on lap 30.
Denny Hamlin ($12,000/11,900) Starting in the 12th position, Denny Hamlin is my top pick this weekend. He has 5 wins at Martinsville and is running well enough to be right behind Jimmie Johnson in career driver rating. Hamlin has 28 career starts at Martinsville with 5 wins, 15 top 5s (over 50%), 21 top 10s (75%), and has led laps in 21 of those races.
Brad Keselowski ($13,500/9,500) I was burned a little bit by Brad Keselowski at Atlanta on Sunday, but I’m right back on board for Martinsville. Since 2016, Keselowski has only 1 finish outside the top 5 at Martinsville and that’s a 10th place finish in the spring race of 2018. Keselowski led 446 laps en route to the win in this race last year. Keselowski starts the race 6th.
Martin Truex Jr. ($14,000/10,300) Martin Truex Jr. dominated the fall race at Martinsville last year leading 464 of 500 laps and winning the race. Truex is on a streak of 5 straight finishes of 8th or better including a win, a 2nd, a 3rd, and a 4th. If you look at career stats for Martin Truex Jr., they will always be misleading because of the equipment he was running for the first half of his career. His driver rating and average running position are nothing special, but his recent strength at Martinsville make him a top driver for Wednesday night.
Jimmie Johnson ($10,200/12,500) Jimmie Johnson has outstanding career numbers at Martinsville Speedway. In 36 races he has 9 wins and 24 top 10 finishes. Johnson has the best driver rating, 2nd in average running position, and the most laps led of any active driver. However, Johnson has 6 straight finishes outside the top 10. In fact, he has finished outside the top 10 in 9 of his past 11 races (the other 2 were a win and a 9th place finish). Johnson is worth mentioning because of his strong career numbers. He is starting 21st which might make some people chase differential points, but overall I’m not in on Jimmie Johnson because I think the right lineup build will have 3 drivers who can dominate and win the race and Johnson does not fit that mold.
Ty Dillon ($5,000/6,200) I really like Ty Dillon in this race. In 6 career races, Ty Dillon has finished better than he started 5 times. His career finishes are 22nd, 30th, 22nd, 15th, 13th, and 24th. If Ty can finish 20th or better he would be an outstanding play on Wednesday night, his price is way too low. People are going to be tempted to play Cole Custer and Christopher Bell because of their price and starting position but remember that the Xfinity series does not run at Martinsville Speedway and this is the first cup start at the track for both rookies. Martinsville has a reputation of destroying the hopes and dreams of rookie drivers (see Elliott, Chase). I think Ty Dillon is a good alternate to the rookie drivers on Wednesday night.
Austin Dillon ($7,300/6,100) Austin Dillon has quietly been on a hot streak recently with 4 straight finishes of 14th or better. If he can finish in the top 15 at Martinsville he is a solid play at his salary, starting from the 22nd position. Martinsville has been a mixed bag for Dillon in his career with a couple of top 5s back in 2016 and 2017 but he has been 20th or worse in 3 of his last 4. It’s worth noting that Austin Dillon is on “baby watch” as his wife is pregnant with their first child. If Whitney Dillon goes into labor before the race, AJ Allmendinger will be standing by to fill in.
Michael McDowell ($4,000/5,100) Michael McDowell is not going to light the world on fire at Martinsville. At minimum price, starting 29th, McDowell provides a little bit of stability as a value play given the fact that he has been running at the finish of the past 8 races at Martinsville. I think its possible that McDowell could finish in the top 20, but realistically you are looking at a finish of 22nd-26th, 2-3 laps down. Playing Michael McDowell only makes sense if you are using him to fit Hamlin, Keselowski, and Truex in your lineup.
My core lineup for Martinsville includes Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, and Ty Dillon. If you add Truex to that core you are going to need a low priced value driver. If you want to stay with mid-range guys you can look at a combination of Johnson, Austin Dillon, and a driver starting in the top 3 and hope they get out to a lead and nobody can pass them.