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AAA Texas 500
Yahoo: Top 30 Drivers
Yahoo / Fox / NASCAR: Quick Picks
The Sprint Cup Series visits Texas Motor Speedway this weekend, and while the Sprint Cup teams are busy dealing with one of the fastest tracks on the schedule, fantasy owners are stuck dealing with yet another race at a 1.5-mile oval.
It is no secret that the top drivers from the top teams tend to dominate at 1.5-mile ovals like Texas, so in the Yahoo game, you are going to want to load up your lineup with any big names who you still have at your disposal.
In the NASCAR.com game, you will want to pay up for a couple of studs starting up front, even if it means rolling the dice on some cheaper sleepers to fill out your lineup. There are 500 miles and 334 laps on tap this weekend, so there are plenty of points available in the laps led and fastest laps run categories. Meanwhile, history suggest that one or two drivers are going to lead 100 or more laps, and those drivers are likely going to start in the top 10, probably the top five.
In the FOX game, there are several appealing options starting deeper in the field who have solid resumes at Texas. As a result, I suggest building a high-upside lineup by loading up on the bigger names who qualified outside the top 15. Top 10 finishes are nice, but top 10 finishes that involved gaining 10-plus spots are much nicer in this scoring system.
Check out a complete look at my season-long fantasy NASCAR lineups, and make sure to check out the AAA Texas 500 from Texas Motor Speedway Sunday at 2:00 p.m. ET on NBC.
Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Auto Racing
Jimmie Johnson (A)
You want an A-List driver who is not only reliable but also offers a good chance at winning the race. Johnson’s 5.6 average finish at Texas over the last 10 races ranks second in the series, and he is the four-time defending winner of the fall event and a six-time winner here overall. I would say his resume checks all the boxes.
Carl Edwards (B)
I saved Edwards’ final three starts for the final three races of the season, and he has been excellent all three tracks remaining on the schedule. He is a three-time winner at Texas, and he led over 100 laps here in the spring on his way to his fourth straight top 10 at the track. He should challenge for a top five finish this weekend.
Austin Dillon (B)
I’m saving my final start for Martin Truex Jr. for Homestead, and after grabbing the pole, Dillon becomes an easy choice. He has been excellent at 1.5-mile tracks all year, routinely cracking the top 15 and showing top five upside. Dillon finished 11th at Texas last fall, and he should be able to land somewhere in the top 10 this weekend.
Chase Elliott (C)
If you have any starts left for Elliott, use one up this weekend. He has flirted with a win in two of the last three races at 1.5-mile tracks, and he finished fifth in his Texas debut earlier this year. The rookie offers race-winning potential this weekend.
NASCAR.com Fantasy Live
Kevin Harvick ($28.00)
He is probably the most consistent pick week in and week out, and Harvick should deliver another strong performance at Texas. He has finished third or better in three of his last four starts here, and starting third, he is in prime position to lead a bunch of laps and finish as one of the top scorers.
Brad Keselowski ($27.00)
Keselowski dominated the fall race here last season, leading 312 of the 334 laps. He has consistently led his share of laps at Texas, and after a top five qualifying run and strong practice times, he is a good bet to spend some time out front again and post a strong score.
Jimmie Johnson ($26.00)
He has been dominant at Texas throughout his career, winning six times and ranking first in laps led and fastest laps run. In fact, he has won the last four fall races here and three of the last four races overall. The fact that he starts 19th gives him additional value through place differential, and Johnson could be one of the top scorers simply by finishing in the top five.
Chris Buescher ($10.50)
Yes, his price tag is a big selling point, but Buescher is more than just a throwaway pick. He starts 30th, but in the last two races at 1.5-mile tracks, he has finishes of 16th and 21st, and he has gained 10 and nine spots, respectively, in those two races. He should at least finish in the top 25 and pad his score with a handful of points through place differential.
Landon Cassill ($6.75)
I need another cheap option to fit under the cap, and Cassill should be a safe, low-priced addition. He has finished 25th in each of the last two races at Texas, and starting 34th, he should finish with a positive place differential. His upside is very limited, but Cassill should provide a modest score for practically nothing.
FOX Fantasy Auto Racing
Denny Hamlin ($11,100)
While it has been a while since Hamlin was a threat to win at Texas, Hamlin’s 17th place starting spot allows him to pad his point total through place differential simply by having a solid day. He has five finishes of 13th or better in his last six starts at Texas, so a 40-point day is reasonable. Meanwhile, he is always capable of delivering a top five finish, so Hamlin’s ceiling is even higher.
Jimmie Johnson ($11,000)
A lackluster qualifying effort has him starting 19th, but Johnson should be moving forward on Sunday. After all, he won three of the last four races at Texas and four straight fall races at the track. Johnson should top 40 fantasy points with ease, and a 60-point performance isn’t out of the question.
Kyle Busch ($10,800)
A wreck in the opening practice put him behind schedule, and Busch only managed a 24th-place run in qualifying. However, the poor starting spot gives him huge potential in the place differential category, and Busch owns a series-leading 5.0 average finish in the last 10 races at Texas. He should be one of the biggest movers and top scorers in this format.
Kasey Kahne ($9,900)
On the heels of a 31st-place qualifying run, he is practically a must-start in this format. Kahne has cracked the top 15 in 10 of the last 11 races heading into Texas, and he seven finishes of 11th or better in the last 10 races at this track. A place differential of +20 or more isn’t out of the question, and Kahne has a real shot at topping 50 fantasy points.
Alex Bowman ($5,000)
Bowman doesn't have huge upside through place differential, but starting 16th, he could still gain a handful of spots while providing a solid finish. Bowman has cracked the top 10 in two of the last three races at 1.5-mile tracks, and another top 10 run Sunday will result in around 40 fantasy points for the minimum price.