Food City 500
Yahoo: Top 30 Drivers
Yahoo / Fox / NASCAR: Quick Picks
After the first off week of the 2017 season, the Monster Energy Sprint Cup Series returns to action this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. The second short track event of the season kicks off the most interesting three-race stretch of the first half of the year, and Sunday's Food City 500 will be followed by another short track event at Richmond and a restrictor-plate race at Talladega.
For fantasy owners in the Yahoo game, the next three races are going to be critical for your long-term success. The challenging part of the Yahoo format is figuring out how to maximize the production out of your lineup while adhering to the limits on how many times you can use each driver.
Over the next three races, you will have a great opportunity to build solid lineups without using the dominant drivers in each of three Yahoo tiers. By nature, short tracks and plate races tend to be more chaotic and unpredictable, and many mid-level drivers have their best runs at these types of tracks.
Finding ways to save your big names while still putting up big scores is a must in the Yahoo game. You can do just that this weekend at Bristol, and for the next three races, the sleepers and midrange drivers should be your best friends.
1. JOEY LOGANO, #22 SHELL-PENNZOIL, TEAM PENSKE [YAHOO CLASS A]
It is hard to find drivers who have been both consistent and dominant at Bristol, but Logano has been the best bet lately. He has four Top 10s in his last five starts here, including a pair of wins. Not to mention the fact that Team Penske has been fast all season long.
2. KYLE BUSCH, #18 M&M'S, JOE GIBBS RACING [YAHOO CLASS A]
While he hasn't ended up with the finishes he deserves in recent years, the five-time track winner remains one of Bristol's best. He has led 70-plus laps in three of the last five races, leading over 190 laps in two of his last three starts here. Expect Busch to have a car capable of winning Sunday.
3. BRAD KESELOWSKI, #2 MILLER LITE, TEAM PENSKE [YAHOO CLASS A]
Keselowski has been a little hit and miss at Bristol, but he has a couple of wins here, and no driver has been better in 2017. He hasn't finished worse than sixth in the six races since Daytona, and he picked up a win in the first short track event of the year. It probably won't hurt to play the hot hand.
4. MATT KENSETH, #20 DEWALT, JOE GIBBS RACING [YAHOO CLASS A]
His Bristol resume is one of the best among active drivers, and Kenseth's 14.2 average finish here ranks in the Top 5. His win in the spring race a couple of years ago was his fourth at the track, and he led 142 laps here last spring before cutting a tire. This is a good spot to use him as an A-List play.
5. KEVIN HARVICK, #4 JIMMY JOHNS, STEWART-HAAS RACING [YAHOO CLASS A]
Harvick owns the third-best average finish among active drivers at Bristol, and he has really been dialed in at the track in recent years. He has finished 11th or better in four of his last five starts, leading 75-plus laps three times in that span. Harvick picked up the win here last fall, leading 128 laps in the process.
6. KYLE LARSON, #42 TARGET, CHIP GANASSI RACING [YAHOO CLASS B]
Fast cars have been the norm for Larson at Bristol, but after starting his Cup career with three straight finishes of 12th or better at the track, he has hit a rough patch. That being said, I'm expecting one of the hottest drivers in the series to deliver a big performance at a track that is one of his favorites.
7. JIMMIE JOHNSON, #48 LOWE'S/KOBALT TOOLS, HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS [YAHOO CLASS A]
Bristol might not rank among Johnson's personal best tracks, but his numbers here hold up well against the competition. His 14.2 average finish is tied for fifth, and he has six Top 10s in his last 10 starts at Bristol, including four in his last five. Johnson should be one of the safer A-List plays.
8. DENNY HAMLIN, #11 FEDEX, JOE GIBBS RACING [YAHOO CLASS A]
Add Hamlin to the long list of drivers who has a high ceiling but struggles with consistency at Bristol. He has four finishes of sixth or better in his last nine starts here, including a win, and he has two Top 3 finishes in his last three starts.
9. CLINT BOWYER, #14 MOBIL 1, STEWART-HAAS RACING [YAHOO CLASS B]
He is one of the most underrated short track racers in the series today, and over the last 10 races at Bristol, Bowyer has just two finishes outside the Top 15. His 11.8 average finish in that span ranks third in the series, and Bowyer projects as one of the best B-List options.
10. JAMIE MCMURRAY, #1 MCDONALD'S/CESSNA, CHIP GANASSI RACING [YAHOO CLASS B]
He has quietly been one of the most consistent performers at Bristol in recent years. He has reeled off five straight Top 15s at the track, and no other driver has more than three straight Top 15s here. This is a great spot to use him as a B-List play.