Fantasy NASCAR Preview #7: Kyle Larson

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KYLE LARSON (CHIP GANASSI RACING) CHEVY

2019 DRIVER FANTASY RANKING: 7TH   

2018 FANTASY NASCAR RANK: 2ND        

 

2018 RECAP: As you can see from my 2018 rankings, I really expected a lot from Kyle Larson in 2018. I did not expect the Chevy teams to struggle as much as they did with the new Chevy Camaro ZL1 car. Larson had a lot of good races last year but his inability to be consistent is what hurt him the most. You cannot have six finishes outside the top 25 and hope to win the championship. After winning four races in 2017, Larson failed to get to Victory Lane in 2018. He did finish 12 races in the top five (33% of the races), 19 races in the top 10 (52%), led 782 laps (5th best in the Cup Series) and won three poles. Larson should be more consistent in 2019 and that should lead to more success for your fantasy team. (Kyle Larson ranked 7th in fantasy points scored in 2018)

Year in Review: Kyle Larson Video

 

2019 Preview: Most everything will be the same this season for the No. 42 team. Chad Johnston will serve as the crew chief and CreditOne will be the primary sponsor. The team is looking to fill the sponsorship left by DC Solar (they have major legal troubles) for four races. They should have no problem finding someone to put their name on the car.

Larson will have a new teammate in 2019. Kurt Busch will replace Jamie McMurray in the No. 1 car. It is no secret that Larson and McMurray did not work well together. They wanted to crash each other in the Richmond race last year. I expect Larson to work much better with Busch and the two should finish a lot of races in the top 10. It will also help that the Chevy teams had an offseason to straighten out the Camaro ZL1 car. I would not be surprised if Larson made it to the final four at Homestead. If he does, the other three drivers could be in big trouble.

 

INTERMEDIATE TRACK VALUE

Kyle Larson had a really good season on the intermediate tracks last year. He finished nine of the 11 races in the top 10. He also had six finishes in the top five at the tracks. Larson must be on all fantasy teams at Auto Club and Michigan. No driver in the field runs the top of the track as well as Larson. He is also a must start at Las Vegas and Chicago. Larson has finished 2nd, 2nd and 3rd in his last three races in Las Vegas. He finished 2nd, 5th, 7th, 3rd and 18th in his five career races in Chicago. (Kyle Larson ranked 6th in fantasy points scored on the intermediate tracks in 2018)

 

SUPERSPEEDWAY TRACK VALUE

Kyle Larson has not had a lot of success on the Superspeedways (Daytona and Talladega). His average starting position at Daytona is 17.2 and his average finishing position is 17.8. He only has two finishes in the top 10 in his 10 career starts at the track. Larson has been worse at Talladega. His average starting position at Talladega is 24.4 and his average finishing position is 20.3. There are better drivers for your fantasy team when the Cup Series competes at the Superspeedways. (Kyle Larson ranked 28th in fantasy points scored on the Superspeedways in 2018)

 

FLAT TRACK VALUE

Kyle Larson has been good at Loudon and Richmond but I would fade him at Phoenix and Martinsville. Larson finished 2nd, 2nd and 12th in his last three races at the Magic Mile. He should be one of the drivers you highly consider for your fantasy team when the Cup Series travels to New Hampshire. His last three finishes at Richmond have been 1st, 7th and 7th. He will have a lot of value in Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) at Richmond because most people overlook him at this track. Larson has been too inconsistent at Phoenix to use on your fantasy team. Martinsville ranks as his worst track. His average finishing position at the paper-clip shaped track is 24.2. You can find a much better driver for your team at Martinsville. (Kyle Larson ranked 11th in fantasy points scored on the flat tracks in 2018)

 

STEEP TRACK VALUE

Kyle Larson is awesome on the steep tracks (Bristol, Dover and Darlington). Larson finished second in both races at Bristol last year. He also won the pole for the fall race and led 200 laps in the spring race in Thunder Valley. Larson must be on all fantasy teams when the Cup Series competes at Bristol. His success at Dover was good. Larson has a 7.2 average finishing position in his last four races at the Monster Mile. He has also led 378 laps at these tracks. He is a better pick in DFS than he is in the Driver Group Game when the series travels to Delaware. Larson is not scared of the Track Too Tough to Tame. He has finished 3rd in two of his last three races at the track. No driver can run up against the wall better than Larson at the Lady in Black. (Kyle Larson ranked 5th in fantasy points scored on the steep tracks in 2018)

 

ROAD COURSE TRACK VALUE

Kyle Larson is not a very good road course driver. His best track is Watkins Glen. Larson has a 7.6 average starting position and a 14.8 average finishing position in upstate New York. Larson won the pole for the last two races at Sonoma but he has never finished in the top 10 at the track. Even if he wins the pole at Sonoma this season, we must avoid using him in our fantasy lineups. Larson was running well in the inaugural Charlotte Roval race but he decided to follow Brad Keselowski into the wall. It was amazing to watch him limp his car to the finish line to keep his playoff hopes alive. I would still avoid Larson on all road courses. (Kyle Larson ranked 11th in fantasy points scored on the road courses in 2018)

 

Best Tracks to for Kyle Larson: 1) Auto Club, 2) Michigan, 3) Homestead, 4) Las Vegas, 5) Chicago

 

 

*Stats from FantasyRacingCheatSheet.com,  Driveraverages.com and career stats from Racing-Reference.Info

* Team Information from Jaysky.com

 

If you need any further advice with your team, look for me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR

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