With each ranked driver in my weekly prediction article, you will find a “Risk Factor” ranking with them, as well as their fantasy information, starting position, and change in ranking from my preview article. While most of that data is pretty self-explanatory, you may be wondering what the “Risk Factor” ranking means. Here is a quick overview of each level of risk means:

  • Extreme Risk: these drivers are either going to give you a top-five finish or will crash out and disappoint you. While I don’t think it is necessary to pick those with this ranking early in the season (it’s better to play conservatively for now), if you are feeling real lucky that week, go for it. Due to the nature of the restrictor plate tracks, all drivers racing in “plate races” get this ranking.
  • High Risk: this is for the drivers that look like they have a lot of speed in their race car during that particular weekend, but are either on a very bad streak in the season or has performed very bad at that weekend’s track historically. While it is possible that they have their problems solved there, picking them is risky enough that they could easily return to their old ways and ruin your roster.
  • Medium Risk: most drivers each weekend will fall into this risk category. Either they are good at that weekend’s track and look above-average in practice, or vice versa. There’s always a chance that a mechanical failure will happen or they were just bluffing in practice, and this causes some doubt (aka risk) in fantasy racer’s minds.
  • Low Risk: this risk factor is reserved for the drivers that are historically good at one particular track and their car looks good before the race, too. It will take something happening (like a flat tire or other error) to these drivers for them to get a lower-than-average finish.
  • Virtually No Risk: very few drivers will get this ranking during the season. This ranking is reserved for Jimmie Johnson at Phoenix or Denny Hamlin at Pocono. Chances are, Johnson will receive this ranking the most over the course of the season (he’s just that good).