Hello Fantasy Gods…. Can you please give me a break? For the second week in a row I had bad luck strike my team. I had Alex Bowman and Ryan Blaney as my Group B drivers and they were running No. 1 and No. 2 with six laps left. The No. 12 car had a tire coming apart and had to pit. As a result, Blaney finished 19th and my team lost 30 points. I need to ask Jeff Gordon for some of that good mojo he gave Kyle Larson last year so my luck can turn around. Fingers crossed. The Fan Shield 500 can be seen Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET on Fox.
Here are my picks for Phoenix…
Driver Group Game A Picks
Kevin Harvick: I was really hoping to use an allocation with Kyle Busch this week and save my allocations with Harvick since I already used the No. 4 car this season, but Harvick looked too good in practice to pass up. He only posted the 13th fastest speed but 7 cars who posted faster speeds were in qualifying trim while Harvick stayed in race trim. The No. 4 car was fastest on the 10-lap average speed chart, 2nd fastest on the 15-lap speed chart and 2nd fastest on the 20-lap speed chart. His car can maintain speed over the long run and that will be important this week. This is a good week to use Harvick in your lineup.
Group A Driver Rankings: 1) Kevin Harvick 2) Kyle Busch 3) Brad Keselowski 4) Chase Elliott 5) Denny Hamlin 6) Joey Logano 7) Martin Truex Jr.
Driver Group Game B Picks
Kyle Larson: Larson did not post a very fast speed in final practice so why am I using him in the race? Larson spent most of the practice trying to get his car to run the high-line in the traction compound. The No. 42 team was more concerned with finding a preferred line for Larson over finding the top speed in practice. Larson finished 3rd in the last race using this aero package and he posted the 16th fastest speed in final practice that year. I trust Larson will be up front again Sunday.
Kurt Busch: Ryan Blaney is probably a better choice this week but I have already used the No. 12 car twice this season. I need to save him for the larger tracks. Busch liked his car in practice and it had speed on the long runs. Busch posted the 12th fastest speed but 7 cars that were faster were in qualifying trim while the No. 1 team decided to stay in race trim. Busch was 10th fastest on the 9-lap speed chart, 8th fastest on the 15-lap speed chart, 8th fastest on the 20-lap speed chart and 2nd fastest on the 30-lap speed chart. He ran a lot of laps and that means they like their car. I will use my first allocation with Busch Sunday.
Group B Driver Rankings: 1) Ryan Blaney 2) Kyle Larson 3) Aric Almirola 4) Kurt Busch 5) Erik Almirola 6) William Byron 7) Alex Bowman 8) Matt DiBenedetto 9) Jimmie Johnson 10) Clint Bowyer
Driver Group Game C Picks
Ty Dillon: Phoenix is one of the best tracks for Dillon and he liked his car in practice. After fighting a tight racecar in the first practice, the No. 13 team made a lot of changes before the final practice. Dillon went out and posted the 5th fastest speed. He said on the radio, “This is the best we have ever been here.” I feel confident that the No. 13 car will finish in the top 20 Sunday.
Group C Driver Rankings: 1) Christopher Bell 2) Tyler Reddick 3) Cole Custer 4) Ty Dillon 5) Ross Chastain
Driver Group Game Team
Good luck this week!
*Stats from Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet Pro
If you need any further advice with your team, look for me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR
If you like Fantasy NASCAR, LIKE my Fantasy NASCAR Tips Page on Facebook