The Fantasy Live picks were cruising right along, outscoring 99% of the entries on the site and then Atlanta happened. Marcus Smith (track promoter for Atlanta) wanted another Superspeedway race and he got it. I did not expect the wrecks to be worse than Daytona and Talladega though. Well, that mess is behind us. Now the Cup Series will compete at a much more predictable race when they travel to COTA. This should be a great race. The Echopark Texas Grand Prix can be seen Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX.
FANTASY LIVE STRATEGY
My strategy entering the 2022 season was to only use the top-12 drivers at the oval tracks and take some chances with some mid-tier drivers at the road courses and Superspeedways. Some of the drivers I had classified as “mid-tier drivers” are now the elite drivers in the Cup Series. I did not think I would use Tyler Reddick, Ross Chastain and Chase Briscoe 10 times this year, but that could be the case. Since my strategy changed, I have more top drivers to use at the road courses. The only drivers I saving this week are Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano. I used them too much this week so I will take a chance with some of the young drivers Sunday.
Here are my picks for the Echopark Texas Grand Prix…
FANTASY LIVE LINEUP
Chase Elliott (9): Do I really need to convince you to select Elliott for your team this week? All he has done is won six of the last 12 road course races. He has finished in the top-two in nine of the last 12 road course races. Elliott is the safest pick in the field. Elliott should easily finish in the top-10 and most likely finish in the top-five.
Austin Cindric (9): You almost have to have the No. 2 car in your lineup this week. Cindric looked like he was going to run away with the race last year at COTA. He qualified third and immediately took the lead. Cindric was in another zip code when the rain caused him to slide off the track and end his race. Cindric is going to have a good chance to score Stage Points and finish in the top-10.
Chase Briscoe (9): Briscoe is one of the better road course drivers in the Cup Series and he is definitely worth starting in Group B. Briscoe looked fast in practice and he finished sixth at COTA last year. He also finished sixth at Road America and ninth at Watkins Glen. Briscoe is running well this year and he should finish in the top-10 Sunday.
Tyler Reddick (7): The No 8 car has had a lot of speed this year. Reddick was also good in the road course races last year. Reddick finished ninth at COTA last year. He also finished eighth at Road America, 10th at Watkins Glen and second at the Charlotte Roval. Reddick posted the fifth-fastest speed in practice and he qualified fourth. I would not be surprised if Reddick got his first win in the Cup Series Sunday.
AJ Allmendinger (10): Allmendinger will be back in the No. 16 car for Kaulig Racing. Allmendinger will have a great chance to win the race Sunday. COTA was made for sports car racing and that is Allmendinger’s background. He proved he can win in the Cup Series when he won the Indianapolis Road Course race last year. Kaulig racing has better cars in 2022 than they had last year. It will also help Allmendinger that he will get some extra track time since he will compete in the Xfinity Series race Saturday. It is a good idea to use Allmendinger at the rod courses and save your other drivers for the oval tracks.
Garage Driver: Kyle Busch (10): I have had no luck with Busch this year but I am willing to go back to him this week. Unlike his teammate (Denny Hamlin), Busch’s problems haven’t been his fault. The No. 19 car has had the most speed from the Joe Gibbs Racing garage. Busch has also been very good at the road courses. He dominated the Xfinity Series race at COTA last year and Rowdy finished five of the seven road course races in the top-10. Busch should be a good insurance policy to have in the Garage Sunday.
Fantasy Live has a new Bonus Picks section this year. Instead of selecting the winning team or manufacturer, we will earn 10 bonus points for selecting the driver who finishes the best in a Head-to-Head matchup. Here are my picks for the matchups…
AJ Allmendinger vs. Chase Elliott (My Pick: Chase Elliott)
William Byron vs. Kyle Larson (My pick is Kyle Larson)
Austin Cindric vs. Martin Truex Jr. (My pick is Austin Cindric)
Kyle Busch vs. Denny Hamlin (My pick is Kyle Busch)
Good Luck this week!
*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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