Hendrick Motorsports’ Jimmie Johnson will start in the pole position for Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 (3 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Does the seven-time champion merit a place on your lineup? We have dissected the amounts to offer a proposed lineup worthy of your Fantasy Live thought as you make roster decisions.
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Bear in mind that the garage locks at the conclusion of Stage 2. After the last stage starts, your roster is locked in.
RJ Kraft’s Fantasy Live lineup for race day in Texas:
1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Joey Logano
3. Ryan Blaney
4. Brad Keselowski
5. Chase Elliott
Garage: Kurt Busch
Going to the rear: Alex Bowman (backup car), Ryan Newman (neglected pre-race inspection twice)
RELATED: Odds for Texas | 10-lap averages from Texas | Podcast: Fantasy Fastlane
Analysis: The wealth of big names beginning outside the top 10 on Sunday makes this a little more complicated than previous weeks. Do you risk the use? Who is worth saving? It is a delicate balance where owners have to assess risk vs. reward.
I’m rolling with half of my first lineup. Logano was strong with this particular race bundle — top-two finishes at both Las Vegas and Fontana. Blaney had a solid 10-lap average, he is a hot streak with three top-five finishes in a row and has three straight top-six finishes in the repaved Texas track. Though he qualified 30th, I am sticking with Kurt Busch but putting him in my own garage. I enjoy his recent Texas outcomes a lot — four straight top 10s, like where I am on his use and I also like his results using this bundle. He qualified 25th or worse in Las Vegas and Fontana but scored just two top-six finishes and an average of 33.0 points in these races. An additional plus of rostering Kurt: He is not a particular popular play now based on ownership.
The additions to my lineup begin with the pole sitter Jimmie Johnson. Do I feel comfortable with this? Not entirely based upon the 2019 body of work so far, however I haven’t used him yet, I figure that he should be able to receive some stage points and he’s been fast all weekend highlighted by his own topping the 10-lap board in final practice. I placing Keselowski into my lineup like I go all on Penske without a surprise of a single Steve Letarte (why assess one when you are able to assess all three). He’d the fourth-best 10-lap typical in final practice and again, Penske has this bundle dialed in
Which is the reason I am quite bullish on this team.
My Final spot was between Elliott, Kyle Larson, Daniel Suarez and Denny Hamlin. Larson gets the worst starting spot of the four but had the very best 10-lap average and a powerful 15-lap average too (h/t @MikeJoy500). Suarez qualified well, but I already feel like I am taking a risk with”Seven-Time.” Hamlin has been better than all four with this package, but he is entire Texas body of work is not great, so that leaves me with Elliott. I like the beginning spot and the background he’s had at Texas — a fairly constant top-10 automobile here, so that he gets the nod.
Since I am all in on Penske, I’ll Be keeping the 2018 Big 3 trio of Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. on the sidelines as a tradeoff. Do not want to get stuck playing among the boys if they are having only an ordinary day. Busch is so good at Bristol and Richmond he will maintain my lineup in the coming months, so I think we haven’t seen the 4 team’s best yet and Truex has many good tracks coming up in another month — Richmond, Dover and Kansas.
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