Yahoo Fantasy cheat sheet: Driver rankings for Dover

Chase Elliott talks to a crew member at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Chase Elliott talks to a crew member at Charlotte Motor Speedway. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Special to Yahoo Sports
By Dan Beaver

Dover International Speedway is one of NASCAR’s unique tracks and as such, fantasy players are not going to find much help comparing it to other courses. This week, concentrate on how drivers have run on this one-mile, high-banked oval in the past and also how much momentum they bring with them from the last several unrestricted speedway races.

1. Chase Elliott: Last week was one more frustrating race in a series of them for Elliott, but he knows that the poor finish was not his fault. Last year, he finished third twice at Dover.

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2. Martin Truex Jr.: In 22 starts on what he considers his home track, Truex has earned only two top-fives. Both have been victories, which makes him one of the top values again this week just like the past two.

3. Matt Kenseth: Last week’s fourth-place finish at Charlotte put Kenseth in the right frame of mind for Dover. He enters this week as the defending race winner with three consecutive results of seventh or better.

4. Jimmie Johnson: Seven of Johnson’s 10 career Dover wins have come in the past seven years, but two of his last three efforts there ended 25th or worse.

5. Kevin Harvick: NASCAR is filled with peaks and valleys. Harvick finished first and second in two Dover races in 2015; last year, he was 15th and 37th after experiencing trouble in both.

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6. Brad Keselowski: Five drivers swept the top-10 last year at Dover. Keselowski was one of them with a sixth in the spring and a fourth in the fall.

7. Kyle Larson: One day after hitting the wall and scoring his worst finish of the season at Charlotte, Larson traveled to Lawrenceburg, IN and finished second in a sprint car race. Guess which he’ll remember this Sunday?

8. Denny Hamlin: With only three top-10s in his last eight Dover starts, it will be difficult to build a roster around Hamlin. The good news is that two of those three strong runs came last year.


9. Kyle Busch: The fastest car did not win last week and that frustrated Busch, but his second-place finish in the Coke 600 was the third consecutive top-five for the No. 18.

10. Kurt Busch: A sixth-place finish at Charlotte was the fourth top-10 in the past six races for Busch. He hasn’t been in the top five since the Daytona 500, however.

11. Joey Logano: It seemed that things were beginning to turn around for Logano at Charlotte, but when he had to pit for fuel he dropped outside the top 20 for the third straight week.

12. Jamie McMurray: A 12th-place finish in the Coca-Cola 600 ended a perfect record of top-10s for McMurray on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks, but it is his 10th top-15 in the past 11 races.


13. Clint Bowyer: With a 14th at Charlotte, Bowyer extended his current top-15 streak to 11 races. He has been running on the lead lap at the end of all of those events.

14. Erik Jones: He thought he had even more in the car than a seventh-place finish showed, but Jones should be happy with the fact that he scored a career-best finish at Charlotte.

15. Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior Nation will take their good news however it can be found. Last week was the second time this season that their hero finished inside the top 10, but it is too soon to form a bandwagon for the No. 88.

16. Daniel Suarez: The rookie battle is fierce this year. Last week, Suarez missed earning his fourth top-10 of the season by a single position. Dover will be challenging, but fantasy players should expect a solid result in the teens.


17. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Last year, Stenhouse swept the top 15 at Dover. He finished eighth there in fall 2015, but he has not yet cracked the top five on this tricky track.

18. Ryan Newman: The No. 31 team has shown consistency over the past four weeks, but they have not shown speed with results of 16th through 19th.

19. Austin Dillon: Richard Childress Racing now has two drivers locked into the playoffs. Both of them achieved that honor with fuel mileage gambles, but strategy is part of the sport.

20. Kasey Kahne: An accident on lap 244 was the first DNF for Kahne in his last 12 attempts. Unfortunately, he has been uneven recently with only a handful of top-15s to his credit.


21. Chris Buescher: This team often gets overlooked, but while teammate Allmendinger struggled for several weeks, Buescher enters the AAA 400 Drive for Autism with a four-race, top-20 streak.

22. Ryan Blaney: It is time to leave Blaney in the garage for a few weeks. He has shown a lot of promise recently, but something keeps happening to relegate him outside the top 20.

23. Paul Menard: Could Menard be the next driver to stretch his mileage and win a race for Richard Childress Racing? If he takes the risk, he could earn his first ever Dover top-five.

24. Ty Dillon: A broken rear end at Charlotte snapped a 10-race streak in which Dillon was running at the end of Cup races.


25. Trevor Bayne: After finishing well down the order in his rookie season, Bayne came back last year as a sophomore and scored a 10th at Dover in the spring AAA 400.

26. Michael McDowell: Winning a NASCAR fantasy game often comes down to picking the right sleeper. McDowell enters the AAA 400 with back-to-back top-20 finishes and that should put him on your radar.

27. David Ragan: The No. 38 team needs to regroup quickly to regain momentum. Ragan entered Charlotte with three consecutive lead-lap finishes but fell three laps off the pace in NASCAR’s longest race of the season.

28. AJ Allmendinger: He entered the Coca-Cola 600 with a four-race streak of 30-something finishes, so an 18th at Charlotte must have been quite the relief.


29. Landon Cassill: With this same team last year, Cassill earned a career-best 19th at Dover in the spring. His previous best of 23rd came one year previous, so he seems to be learning where the groove is on this high-banked monster.

30. Cole Whitt: He will not earn maximum points in Yahoo’s Group C, but Whitt might fit onto a roster in another game. His last three Dover attempts ended between 26th and 28th.

31. Danica Patrick: A 25th-place finish was nothing to crow about, but after crashing in three of her last four races Patrick was happy to get to the checkers with her car running.

32. Matt DiBenedetto: In similar equipment to what he will wheel this week, DiBenedetto finished 27th in last fall’s Citizen Soldier 400. If he can repeat, he will be a provisionally good bargain.


33. Gray Gaulding: He was seven laps off the pace last week in Charlotte, but Gaulding kept his car running until the end and moved up the order as others crashed or experienced mechanical problems.

34. Jeffrey Earnhardt: Consistency has been the hallmark of Earnhardt’s two Dover runs. He started 39th and finished 35th there last spring and went from 38th on the grid to 36th last fall.

35. Ross Chastain: The No. 15 car this week will be handed over to Xfinity Series regular Chastain. The team is not prepared to finish well, but he will get some laps and experience.

36. Ryan Sieg: Dover is a good track to give racers some exposure. It’s tough, but once a rhythm is established, Sieg can learn a lot in a short period of time. He takes over the No. 83 this week.

37. Cody Ware: There will be several fresh faces at Dover this week. Ware climbs into the No. 51 to join Ross Chastain and Ryan Sieg in debuts on this track. They will be cheap, but will not earn many points.

38. Carl Long: With only 39 cars on the entry list, Long will race this weekend and try to run to the end, but that is as much as can be said for his potential.

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