AJ ALLMENDINGER (JTG DAUGHERTY RACING) CHEVY
2018 DRIVER FANTASY RANKING: 27th
2017 FANTASY NASCAR RANK: 27TH
2017 RECAP: AJ Allmendinger has been with JTG Daugherty Racing for four seasons and last year was his worst. He finished 13th, 22nd and 19th in the point standings in his first three seasons with the team but was only able to finish 27th in the MENCS standing in 2017. I doubt the addition of a second car to JTG Daugherty Racing was the primary reason for Allmendinger’s decline. I think the talent level in the MENCS improved with the addition of Erik Jones, Daniel Suarez and Ty Dillon competing fulltime. He was still able to finish five races in the top 10 (Daytona, Martinsville, Daytona, Indianapolis and Watkins Glen), so the season was not a complete wash.
2018 Preview: AJ Allmendinger is signed with JTG Daugherty through the 2020 season. The team will be the same in 2018 with Ernie Cope calling the shots on top the pit box and the team running Earnhardt Childress Racing (ECR) engines.
Allmendinger is still a good driver. He has a list of tracks where he runs very well (Watkins Glen, Sonoma, Martinsville, Daytona and Homestead). Fantasy players need to make sure Allmendinger is on their team at these tracks so they can take advantage of their competition not knowing this information (most fantasy players think Allmendinger is only useful on the road courses).
INTERMEDIATE TRACK VALUE
AJ Allmendinger was a disappointment on the Intermediate tracks (1.5-mile and 2-mile ovals) last year. Allmendinger ranked 28th in fantasy value at these tracks. He finished most of the races outside the top 20 but was able to have success at Texas (finished 17th and 16th), Charlotte (finished 18th) and Homestead (finished 14th). I expect Allmendinger to bounce back and be a top 20 driver at these tracks in 2018. He proved he can run well at Texas and Homestead ranks as his second-best track. He is definitely worth a spot on your team in DraftKings and Fantasy Live when the series visits these two tracks.
SUPERSPEEDWAY TRACK VALUE
I wrote in my Daytona 500 Preview article last year that I had a sleeper pick that no one would use. AJ Allmendinger was my sleeper driver and he really won me a lot of money on DraftKings in the two races at Daytona. Allmendinger ranked 12th in fantasy value on the Superspeedways (Daytona and Talladega) last year. He finished 3rd and 8th in the two races at Daytona and 22nd and 31st at Talladega. Daytona ranks as the third-best track for Allmendinger so I recommend using him when the MENCS competes at the World Center of Racing.
FLAT TRACK VALUE
AJ Allmendinger ranked 27th in fantasy value on the flat tracks (Phoenix, Richmond, Martinsville and Loudon) but his numbers would have been a lot better with an early wreck in last race at Martinsville. Allmendinger is always good at these tracks because the races usually come down to managing your brakes. Allmendinger is one of the best in the garage at out braking the competition in the flat corners. He is especially good at Martinsville. He has finished four of the last five races at Martinsville in the top 11. He should be on all teams on the paperclip-shaped track. Allmendinger can also be considered in DraftKings for the races at Loudon and Phoenix.
STEEP TRACK VALUE
I would not recommend using AJ Allmendinger at the steep tracks (Bristol, Dover and Darlington). He ranked 29th in fantasy value at these tracks last year. His average finishing position was 26.4. There are better options for your team at these tracks.
ROAD COURSE TRACK VALUE
AJ Allmendinger is always one of the most popular drivers to use in fantasy at the two road course races (Sonoma and Watkins Glen). He is a lot better at Watkins Glen then he is at Sonoma. Actually Sonoma ranks as his worst track on the circuit. Allmendinger has only finished one of his last four races inside the top 35 at Sonoma. He is a must start driver at Watkins Glen and a must fade driver at Sonoma.
The MENCS will add a third road course to the 2018 schedule. Allmendinger was the driver NASCAR selected to test the roval course at Charlotte. He said he loved it and his practice times were faster than the drivers who tested the roval at Charlotte in October. Allmendinger should be on all teams in the second race at Charlotte this season.
Best Tracks to for AJ Allmendinger: 1) Watkins Glen, 2) Homestead, 3) Daytona, 4) Martinsville, 5) Texas
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