2016 Fantasy NASCAR / Fantasy Racing
Image Credit: NASCAR

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Dale Earnhardt Jr. is always a popular pick fantasy NASCAR pick at Talladega. With this being his final Talladega race, where his father won his final race I can imagine the story lines already. If you’re looking to get out of sync with the competition this week you probably need to simply avoid him. At Talladega Earnhardt Jr. is a 6-time winner who’s finished in the top five 35% percent of the time and in the top ten 47% percent of the time. This spring at Talladega he had a good car and had top ten potential but finished 22nd. With 15 laps to go while he was running well he pitted under green because of a wheel issue which dropped him off the lead lap. Last fall at Talladega Earnhardt Jr. missed the race because of his concussion. In spring 2016 he didn’t run well at all. He wrecked multiple times and finished 40th. In 2015 he was the best Talladega performer. Between the combined events he had a 1.5 average finish, led 128 laps and had the best driver rating by a healthy margin. 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)

Jamie McMurray – If you really want to roll the dice at plate tracks pick McMurray. He’s the ultimate high-risk/ high-reward driver on this track type. At Talladega he’s proven himself to be a hero or zero performer. Since 2009 he’s won twice, has 5 top fives and 7 top 11’s. All of his other 9 finishes are results of 19th or worse, and 7 of those are 29th or worse. This spring he had a great car and at the end of the race he made bold moves and raced his way up to a runner-up finish. Last fall McMurray finished 19th, but I will note he was slightly better than his result. With 5 laps to go Kahne spun right into the nose of McMurray. Prior to that he looked like a low to mid-teens performer. When the checkered flag waved he finished 19th, but don’t overlook his 14th place average running position and 14th best driver rating. In spring 2016 McMurray ran well. He started in 30th and finished 4th. Him starting that far back and moving forward led to him being the top DraftKings scoring driver for the race. In fall 2015 he looked like a top five contender but his engine blew up with 5 laps to go which caused him to finish 39th. In spring 2015 it looked like he would finish 20th, but on the last lap he dodged the carnage and finished 11th. (Yahoo B Driver)

Jimmie Johnson – Jimmie Johnson runs well at Talladega, but his recent track record leaves a lot to be desired. In 5 of the last 7 races at this wild card track he’s finished between 18th and 24th. This spring Johnson had a good race. He finished 8th, finished 5th in Stage #2 and earned the 5th best driver rating. Last fall Johnson didn’t have the greatest Talladega race and finished 23rd. I will note he wasn’t quite that bad. He fell back rapidly over the closing laps. Additionally from the race it should be noted he had a 13th place average running position and earned the 16th best driver rating. Last spring he showed speed at times but ultimately he was a non-factor who wrecked twice. Since the attrition rate was so high he was able to finish 22nd even though he finished 6 laps down. In fall 2015 he had a great car but finished 18th. It should be noted that result deserves an asterisk mark. Late in the race he was spun during a restart. Prior to spinning he was running in 7th. Also it should be noted he earned the 4th best driver rating, had a 7th place average running position and led 34 laps. In spring 2015 he was very strong. He finished 2nd, earned the 2nd best driver rating, had a 4th place average running position and led 50 laps. (Yahoo A Driver)

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