MATT TIFFT (FRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS) FORD
2019 DRIVER FANTASY RANKING: 30TH
2018 FANTASY NASCAR RANK: N/A
2018 RECAP: Matt Tift began his NASCAR career driving the No. 19 car for Joe Gibbs Racing in the 2017 Xfinity Series. He finished 7th in the points standings, with 13 finishes in the top 10 and 2 in the top five. Last year Tifft moved to Richard Childress Racing to drive the No. 2 car in the Xfinity Series. Most people thought the move from JGR to RCR would hurt the young driver. That was not the case. Tifft improved his numbers to 19 finishes in the top 10 and 6 finishes in the top 5. Tifft made it to the Round of Eight in the playoffs before being eliminated.
2019 Preview: Front Row Motorsports decided to expand to three teams for the 2019 season. Matt Tifft will join veteran drivers, David Ragan and Michael McDowell at Front Row Motorsports. The team will have cars provided by Roush-Fenway Racing and engines from Roush-Yates. This team started to improve midway through the 2018 season once the team formed an alliance with Roush-Fenway Racing. Having the offseason for the two teams to work together should improve the performance of the Front Row Motorsports cars.
Matt Tift is a talented driver. The move to the Cup Series will be difficult for the young driver (22 years old), so I would expect him to start out slow. Having two veteran teammates who are more than willing to help him out should give him a chance to finish a handful of races in the top 20. Fantasy players will have to keep an eye on Tifft during the season. He could have some value in Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and salary cap games if the price is right.
Front Row Motorsports: Matt Tifft Video
INTERMEDIATE TRACK VALUE
Matt Tifft will not be a good pick at the intermediate tracks. He has the talent but will likely lack the car with the speed to finish in the top 25. His average finishing position on the intermediate tracks in the Xfinity Series last season was 9.6 and that was in very good cars. I doubt Tifft will finish any of the intermediate track races in the Cup Series inside the top 20.
SUPERSPEEDWAY TRACK VALUE
Matt Tift could be worth a dart throw at the Superspeedway tracks (Daytona and Talladega). Any driver who starts the race has a realistic chance of finishing in the top 15. Tifft has competed in five races in the Xfinity Series at Daytona with an average finishing position of 17.8. He also competed in three races at Talladega with an average finishing position of 13th. I would prefer his teammates (David Ragan or Michael McDowell) at these tracks, but Tifft could be a good pick at Talladega in a One & Done game.
FLAT TRACK VALUE
The flat tracks (Phoenix, Richmond, Martinsville and Loudon) are the second-best type of tracks for Matt Tifft in the Xfinity Series. He finished 5th at Loudon, 3rd and 7th at Phoenix, 4th and 5th at Richmond (The Xfinity Series does not compete at Martinsville). The competition will be a lot tougher in the Cup Series so I would not expect any finishes inside the top 20 for Tifft at these tracks in 2019. He could have some value in DFS and salary cap games as a cheap option to allow you to elect the higher-priced drivers.
STEEP TRACK VALUE
Matt Tifft was good but not great at the steep tracks (Bristol, Dover and Darlington) in the Xfinity Series. He finished 10th and 35th at Bristol, 8th and 15th at Dover and 8th at Darlington. Usually rookies have a hard time in their first Cup Series races at the steep tracks. Finishing on the lead lap will be an accomplishment for Tifft in these races in 2019.
ROAD COURSE TRACK VALUE
If Matt Tifft is going to have any success in 2019, it will be on the road courses. He is a good sleeper pick at these tracks. Tifft finished 2nd at Road America, 4th at Mid-Ohio, 6th on the Charlotte Roval and 37th at Watkins Glen (Tifft was running 5th when he was spun out). If you are going to use Tifft in a One & Done game, I would use him at the Charlotte Roval. He has the talent to finish in the top 20 on the road courses and aerodynamics do not play a part in these races so Front Row Motorsports should be able to compete. I would also take a look at him in DFS at these tracks. If he qualifies deep enough in the field, he could score enough points to win you some money.
Best Tracks to for Matt Tifft: 1) Charlotte Roval, 2) Watkins Glen, 3) Loudon, 4) Phoenix, 5) Richmond
* Team Information from Jaysky.com
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