Hendrick Motorsports’ Jimmie Johnson will start from 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 winner merit a spot on your lineup? We’ve dissected the amounts to offer a proposed lineup worthy of your Fantasy Live consideration as you make roster decisions.
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Bear in mind that the garage locks in the end of Stage 2. After the last stage begins, 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
Toilet: Kurt Busch
Going to the back: 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 prosperity of names beginning out of the top 10 on Sunday makes this a bit more complex than previous weeks. Do you risk the use? Who’s worth saving? It is a delicate balance where owners have to evaluate risk vs. reward.
I’m rolling with half of my original lineup. Logano was strong with this race bundle — top-two finishes at 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’m sticking with Kurt Busch but putting him in my garage. I like his current Texas outcomes a whole lot — four straight top 10s, such as where I’m on his use and I also like his results using this package. He qualified 25th or worse at Las Vegas and Fontana but scored two top-six endings and an average of 33.0 points in these races. An added benefit of rostering Kurt: He is not a distinct popular play now based on possession.
The developments to my lineup start with the pole sitter Jimmie Johnson. Can I feel comfortable with this? Not entirely based upon the 2019 body of work so far, but I haven’t used him yet, I guess that he ought to be able to get some stage points and he’s been fast all weekend emphasized by his own topping the 10-lap plank in final practice. I putting Keselowski in my lineup like I move all in on Penske to no real surprise of a single Steve Letarte (why assess one when you can assess all three). He had the fourth-best 10-lap typical in final clinic and again, Penske has this bundle dialed in
Which explains the reason I am quite bullish on this team.
My last spot was between Elliott, Kyle Larson, Daniel Suarez and Denny Hamlin. Larson gets the worst starting spot of the four but had the best 10-lap average along with a strong 15-lap average as well (h/t @MikeJoy500). Suarez qualified nicely, but I already feel like I am taking a risk with”Seven-Time.” Hamlin is better than all four using this bundle, but he is overall 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 he gets the nod.
Since I’m all in on Penske, I will be keeping the 2018 Large 3 trio of Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. on the sidelines as a tradeoff. Don’t want to be stuck playing among the big boys if they’re having only an ordinary day. Busch is so very good at Bristol and Richmond he will maintain my lineup in the coming months, so I think we haven’t seen the 4 group’s best yet and Truex has many very good tracks coming up within another month — Richmond, Dover and Kansas.