CHRIS BUESCHER (JTG DAUGHERTY RACING) CHEVY
2018 DRIVER FANTASY RANKING: 28th
2017 FANTASY NASCAR RANK: 29TH
2017 RECAP: The rookie season for Chris Buescher did not go as well as the team planned. I expected a lot more from the 2015 Xfinity Series Champion. Buescher was hit or miss in most of the races and this made him a hard driver to trust on your fantasy team. Buescher had four finishes in the top 10 (Daytona, Indianapolis, Michigan and Kansas) and six finishes outside the top 30 (Daytona, Bristol, Michigan, Richmond, Dover and Phoneix). He did start to show signs of chemistry working with his veteran teammate, A.J. Allmendinger at the end of the season. This team still has a lot of work to do to be considered a valuable asset to your fantasy team.
2018 Preview: Most people thought it would be a one and done contract for Chris Buescher with JTG Daugherty Racing. Roush Fenway Racing held the rights to his contract so it was believed that Buescher would be in a Roush Fenway Racing car in 2018. That is not the case. In a rather shocking move, Buescher signed a multi-year deal to stay with JTG Daugherty Racing. He will have the same crew chief (Trent Owens) and the team will once again use Earnhardt Childress Racing Engines (ECR).
The competition in the top series of NASCAR is tough. Buescher has a lot of talent but so do 25 of the other drivers. I do not expect a sophomore slump from this team. Buescher should be slightly better than he was last year but he needs to be more consistent if he wants to be on your fantasy team.
INTERMEDIATE TRACK VALUE
Chris Buescher had some value in DraftKings and Fantasy Live last year on the intermediate tracks (1.5-mile and 2-mile oval tracks). He ranked 29th in fantasy value on these tracks but his price was so low in the two games over the summer that he was still worth a spot on most fantasy teams. He ended the season with an 18th-place finish at Charlotte, 6th at Kansas, 22nd at Texas and 20th at Homestead. He scored an average of 8 position differential points in these four races as well. As long as his price stays low Buescher will have value in DraftKings and Fantasy Live on the Intermediate tracks.
SUPERSPEEDWAY TRACK VALUE
It is hard to trust Chris Buescher on the Superspeedways (Daytona and Talladega). Buescher ranked 33rd in fantasy value at these two tracks. He was able to finish 10th in the July race at Daytona but it was his only finish inside the top 35 in his four races at these tracks. Buescher is a little better at Talladega then he is at Daytona. His average finishing position in his five races is 23rd but he also has two DNFs at the track. There are better drivers for your fantasy team at the Superspeedways then Buescher.
FLAT TRACK VALUE
Chris Buescher was not very good on the flat tracks (Phoenix, Richmond, Martinsville and Loudon) last year. Buescher ranked 28th in fantasy value at these tracks. The only track I would consider Buescher for is Martinsville. He finished 11th in the spring race and 21st in the fall. A.J. Allmendinger is also very good at Martinsville so it is no surprise that Buescher ran well at the paperclip-shaped track.
STEEP TRACK VALUE
The only steep track (Bristol, Dover and Darlington) I would recommend using Chris Buescher at is Darlington. Buescher ranked 31st in fantasy value at these tracks last year. He finished 27th and 39th in the two races at Bristol. He finished 30th and 23rd in the two races at Dover. Darlington is his second best track. He has competed twice at the Track Too Tough To Tame and he finished both of them in the 17th position. If his price is cheap enough in salary cap games I recommend taking a chance with Buescher at Darlington.
ROAD COURSE TRACK VALUE
Chris Buescher is a good sleeper pick when the series competes at the road courses (Sonoma and Watkins Glen). Buescher ranked 16th in fantasy value at these tracks last year. I followed this team a lot in the practice sessions at Sonoma and Watkins Glen. I was surprised to see how much A.J. Allmendinger was willing to help Buescher navigate these two tracks. The experience of Allmendinger on the road courses really paid off for Buescher. He finished 19th at Sonoma and 11th at Watkins Glen. I expect the two JTG Daugherty Racing cars to run well again on the road courses in 2018. Not too many people know about Bueschers’ skills on these tracks so tack advantage of it on your fantasy team.
Best Tracks to for Chris Buescher: 1) Indianapolis, 2) Darlington, 3) Watkins Glen, 4) Pocono, 5) Martinsville
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