The weekly Fantasy NASCAR contests at FantasySportsLive.com require some strategy adjustments from a season long contest. I will try to cover these adjustments as well as basic strategy for Weekly Fantasy NASCAR Racing Leagues in this post. First off for a weekly contest, you are not carrying your racing team for an entire season. Just for a single race. You can forget about having a balanced racing team, and simply focus on who will score the most fantasy racing points this weekend.
General Weekly Fantasy NASCAR Strategy
1) Track Type
There are four different track types used by NASCAR. Short (less than 1 mile), Intermediate (1 to 2 miles), Superspeedway (more than 2 miles) and Road Courses (left and right turns). different drivers and different race teams do better on certain track types than others. Make sure the drivers you select do well on this weekend's track type, and avoid drivers who do poorly.
2) Hot Drivers
Like all other fantasy sports you want to go with who has been doing well lately. This may be even more important for Fantasy NASCAR racing. Unlike all other fantasy sports, in Fantasy NASCAR the equipment becomes an important consideration. A hot driver may be hot because his car is dialed in and faster than the other cars. It is always good to select the drivers with the fast cars. Also you may want to look closely at the results from the previous few races. Did the driver with the fast car not finish well because of bad luck late? If the car is really there this week might be the one.
3) Hot Racing Teams
Sometimes you need some help to get the victory, and NASCAR is more of a team sport than some people realize. If a race team is doing well lately, and you can project a couple of the members to both be in a top position late, you might want to select both of those drivers. They can end up drafting, blocking and helping each other in many ways late to get the win. A single driver without teammate help late is less likely to get the win and score big fantasy points.
Sprint Cup Race plus Qualifying Leagues
In these Fantasy NASCAR racing leagues you will select 4 qualifiers and 5 drivers for a Sprint Cup race. The qualifiers and drivers are independent selection and can be the same or different. For a heads-up contest there are not many adjustments here. For a multiplayer type contest, I would suggest using the same qualifiers and drivers as much as possible. Since top qualifiers in general are better in the race than low qualifiers, you can parlay your qualifying choices by taking them in the race as well. This will help you to get a very large fantasy score if you are correct, or a very low score if you are wrong. Since it takes a bigger score normally to win a multiplayer contest you should go ahead and take the higher variance approach of selecting the same drivers for qualifying and the race. Laslty, keep in mind that some drivers are better at qualifying than others no matter how they do in the actual race. A high ranking in the Sprint Series standings does not necessarily mean the driver is a good at qualifying.
Sprint Race plus Nationwide Race Leagues
In these Fantasy NASCAR Racing Leagues, you will select 4 drivers from the Nationwide race, and 5 drivers from the Sprint race. Not all Nationwide racers will be in the Spint, and not all Sprint racers will be in the Nationwide race. Also, the two events are not correlated at all which is a pretty big difference from the other structure. Qualifying will be complete for both races prior to the start of the contest. You should go back and adjust your racing team as required based on the qualifying results. It is always wise to dump a high priced racer who qualified poorly, or add a low priced racer who qualified near the top.
Ranking Cap Leagues
The ranking cap for Fantasy NASCAR is based on the average fantasy points scored per race. We currently include all races from the 2008 season, and look back as well at the last races of 2007. Since the ranking cap represents average fantasy performance, it can be exploited by using the track type, hot drivers, hot teams ideas presented above. All of these things tend to push a driver off of the long term average for an individual race. If you can select a team of drivers who are all expected to do better than their average performance, you have done a good job with your Fantasy Racing Team.
Salary Cap Leagues
The salary cap for a Fantasy NASCAR driver is the average amount of money that they win per race. It is currently based entirely on the 2008 season. Since the way fantasy points are distributed is different than the way cash prizes are distributed the salary cap can be exploited. The fantasy points are heavily weighted towards the top finishers, while the cash payouts are more flat. The drivers are sorted in the draft interface by Ranking Cap point value. When selecting a team you should in general pick drivers near the top of the list that have lower salaries than the others at the top. You should also pick the top 2-4 projected fantasy point scorers regardless of their salaries. There will always be a few under priced racers to complete your team with if you spend a bunch on the top drivers for the weekend's race.
No Cap Leagues
Want to pick your own personal Fantasy NASCAR dream team? This is how it's done. Simply select the top fantasy scorers regardless of cap values in a no cap league. In general these selections should be from the top of the driver lists. These types of contests are won by identifying one or two drivers who are not at the top of the list who will outperform the ones at the top. If you can do this better than the others the prize is yours.
These are some general strategy considerations for Fantasy NASCAR Racing Contests. I am sure I left tons of things out, but these are some items you should definitely consider when building a top fantasy racing team.