1) Brad Keselowski (Starting – 3rd)
Talladega Fantasy Spin – Brad Keselowski is an elite performer at Talladega who’ll be tough to beat. When it comes to the art of drafting he ranks as one of the premiere performers. He knows how to make big moves in the draft and once he gets out front, he’s very hard to get around. Recently at Talladega Penske Racing has owned the place. They’ve won 4 of the last 5 races and I don’t see them slowing down on Sunday. Look for Brad Keselowski to finish in the top five and compete for the win.
Talladega Track History – Talladega is a great track for Brad Keselowski and it ranks among his best. In his career at this wild card track he’s won a quarter of the time (4 wins), and has finished in the top ten in 56% percent of his starts. Recently he’s been very strong here having finished in the top four in 3 of the last 5 races. Last fall he had a very strong car that I would contend was the best (PROS Rankings), but after he led 90 laps his engine blew up which led to his Asterisk Mark result. In spring 2016 he had a stellar car and raced his way to victory lane. Additionally in the race he earned the best driver rating, led the most laps (46) and had a 5th place average running position. In fall 2015 he had a strong showing finishing 4th and earning the 3rd best driver rating. In spring 2015 he also had a strong car but finished 22nd after getting out of line late. In fall 2014 he had a clutch performance racing his way to victory lane and the next round of the playoffs.
Yahoo A Driver / DraftKings $10,500
2) Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Starting – 2nd)
Talladega Fantasy Spin – Don’t count out Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Talladega. He’s had a tough season to date but if he can bounce back at any place its Talladega. It’s a great track for him and ranks as one of his best. On Sunday I expect him to be very competitive. In this year‘s Daytona 500 he looked very strong but was caught up in an accident while leading.
Talladega Track History – Dale Earnhardt Jr. has run very well at Talladega. He’s a six-time winner who’s finished in the top ten 48% percent of the time. Last fall he missed the race but Alex Bowman who drove in his place had top five potential until he was caught up in a late wreck. In spring 2016 Earnhardt Jr. had a really bad car. He wrecked twice and his second incident led to a 40th place finish. In 2015 nobody was better than him at Talladega. That season he swept the top 2 and had the best driver rating. In fall 2015 he had a great chance to win but a pit penalty while leading really hurt him. He was able to rally up to 2nd but didn’t really get a chance to challenge for the win late because of how the race ended. In that race it should be noted he earned the best driver rating and led the most laps (61). In spring 2015 nobody really had anything for him. He led the most laps, finished first, earned the best driver rating and had a 4th place average running position.
Yahoo A Driver / DraftKings $9,400
3) Kevin Harvick (Starting – 6th)
Talladega Fantasy Spin – Kevin Harvick is always a popular fantasy NASCAR option at plate tracks, as he should be. On Sunday I expect Harvick to run well and wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a factor to win. He’s an elite plate racer who’s consistently run well here in recent seasons. In this year’s Daytona 500 Harvick arguably had the best car but damage in a wreck derailed his afternoon. On Sunday that car will be returning to the track and his crew chief tweeted his excitement about it so you know he should be good.
Talladega Track History – Kevin Harvick has run well at Talladega. He’s a past champion who’s been one of the most consistent drivers in recent seasons. Currently at this “Wild Card” track he has 7 straight results in the top 15. Over this stretch he has a 10.4 average finish and the 5th best driver rating. Last fall he ran well and was strong at the end. When the checkered flag waved he finished 7th and earned the 6th best driver rating. In spring 2016 he was involved in two wrecks but since the attrition rate was so high he still finished 15th. In fall 2015 he had an ailing engine late but caused a “Big One” which allowed him to finish 15th. In the three Talladega races prior to that he had results of 7th, 8th and 9th.
Yahoo A Driver / DraftKings $9,300