The first season with the Gen-7 car is in the books and wow was it a bumpy ride. The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series had an increase in cautions and 19 drivers found their way to Victory Lane. It was one of the toughest seasons to predict in Fantasy NASCAR because the new car evened the playing field.
Will the 2023 season be easier to predict? I doubt it. The teams will enter the 2023 season with more data about the Gen-7 car but it is still a work in progress. NASCAR needs to make some changes to improve the safety of the drivers. These changes could impact the aerodynamics of the car and make the data from the 2022 harder to depend on. The teams have been in the shop, working hard for three months to find whatever edge they can to be more competitive in 2023. My best advice for Fantasy NASCAR players in 2023 is to be exceptive to what happens on the track. The 2022 season saw a lot of “hot streaks” and “cold streaks” for many drivers. We MUST play the streaks because some teams will hit on a setup that works and it will take some time for the other teams to figure it out.
The best way to predict the future is to analyze the past. The trend in NASCAR has been for one organization to figure out how to generate speed and dominate the season. That was not the case with the Gen-7 car. Some teams were very good at one type of track and struggled at other types of tracks. It will be important to know which drivers were good at which types of tracks because they will likely start off the 2023 season with a speed advantage at the tracks they figured out in 2022.
I calculated each driver’s Fantasy Points by each track type. The drivers were given points for their finishing position (40 points for 1st, 35 for 2nd, 34 for 3rd, 33 for 4th and so on…), added in their Stage Points, awarded 5 bonus points for leading a lap and 10 bonus points for leading the most laps). I also including their Average Running Position Ranking and Driver Ranking to see which drivers were the best for Fantasy NASCAR in 2022. These rankings will be referred to in the “Driver Preview” articles that will be published in the days heading into the Daytona 500.
Here are the driver’s rankings for track types and other key stats in 2022….
Here are the some other key stats in 2022 to help you prepare for the 2023 season….
My Driver Ratings will start to be published tomorrow (January 18th). The Driver Rankings for the 2023 season are based on the above model. I am not using it as the Gospel for the rankings though. Some drivers changed teams and that will affect the rankings. Other drivers had horrible luck in 2022 (Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Blaney). Their bad luck should turn around in 2023. I will refer to these rankings in the preview articles and I will post a link to bring you back to this page.
DRIVERS RANKINGS 31-35
I will start positing my Top-30 Driver Rankings this week. Each day I will post two Driver Preview articles until the No. 1 driver for the 2023 Fantasy NASCAR season is reveled. The first two drivers will be FREE to give you an idea of what is included in each Driver Preview article (The rest will be behind the pay wall, because I want only the members of this site to have the Fantasy NASCAR information to help them win their leagues).
The upcoming season is loaded with talent. Usually it is tough to find 30 good drivers for your Fantasy NASCAR teams. That is not the case in 2023. There are more than 30 drivers who have some fantasy value in 2023 so here are the drivers I have ranked No. 31- No. 36…
- TODD GILLILAND (FRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS): Drivers typically do not make the jump from the Truck Series to the Cup Series without any experience in the Xfinity Series, but that is what Todd Gilliland was asked to do in 2022. The talent gap between the Truck Series and Cup Series in huge, so it was tough to expect much from Gilliland in his rookie season. He did not have any value in season-long contests (Driver Group Game and Fantasy Live), but he did have some value in DFS contests since his price was cheap and he typically started in the back and scored some place differential points. Gilliland was really good for FanDuel Contests, since the game focuses more on place differential points. Gilliland averaged the 19th-most points in FanDuel Contests last year and he will likely have the same value in 2023. Todd Gilliland scored the 28th-most points in Fantasy NASCAR last year. His best races included his fourth-place finish at the Indy Road Course and his seventh-place finish at Talladega. The best tracks for Gilliland in 2022 were the Superspeedways. That will likely be the case again in 2023.
- TY DILLON (SPIRE MOTORSPORTS): Ty Dillon will race full-time for Spire Motorsports in 2023. He will be teammates with Corey LaJoie. Dillon had his most success last year at the high-tire wear tracks when he finished 12th at Darlington and 14th at Michigan. He will still be hard to trust in Fantasy NASCAR at any tracks other than the Superspeedways. Dillon finished 11th in the Dayton 500 last year. He will be a good pick in DFS contests at the Superspeedways in 2023.
- COREY LAJOIE (SPIRE MOTORSPORTS): Corey Lajoie will return to Spire Motorsports but this year they will have two teams in their garage. It will be interesting to see how the addition of Ty Dillon to Spire Motorsports affects the team. I think it will help because it will give Spire Motorsports more data to use from the limited practices. LaJoie has his most value on the Superspeedways but he is also a good pick in DFS at any track (other than the road courses) when he qualifies deep in the field. LaJoie was the 16th-best driver last year at scoring place differential points. That is important in DFS contests, especially when the driver typically has a cheap salary.
- JIMMIE JOHNSON (LEGACY MOTOR CLUB): Jimmie Johnson purchased a portion of the Petty GMS race team (Now Legacy Motor Club) and he plans to compete in some races in 2023. It will be easy to get excited about the seven-time champion whenever we see his name on the entry list, but be careful. Johnson was not very good in his final season in the Cup Series and it will be tough for Johnson to run in the top-10 when he competes this year. He is still Jimmie Johnson though. He will be a good pick in DFS contests “if” the price is right.
- AUSTIN HILL (BEARD OIL RACING): Austin Hill will prepare for his transition to the Cup Series in 2024 by competing in six races for Beard Oil Racing in 2023. This is the same team that Brendan Gaughan and Noah Gragson competed for in the past. Hill will compete at both races at Daytona, and Talladega. Michigan and the Chicago Street Course will also be included in his schedule. His No. 62 Chevy will not have the speed to compete at Michigan or Chicago, but Hill will have some value in DFS Contests at Daytona and Talladega.
- TRACKHOUSE CAR NO. 91 (TRCKHOUSE RACING): Justin Marks, owner of Trackhouse Racing announced they will run a third car for a partial schedule in 2023. The seat in the No. 91 car will be filled by some of the top drives from other international racing series. The third Trackhouse Racing car will compete in 6-8 races in 2023. Most likely, these races will be on the road courses and Superspeedways. These drivers could have value as “punt plays” in DFS depending on who the drivers are.
Be sure to check out all of the Driver Preview articles that will be released before the Daytona 500.
*Stats from Fantasy Racing CheatSheet Pro
* Team Information from Jaysky.com
If you need any further advice with your team, look for me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR
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