Brad Keselowski 2017 Fantasy NASCAR Preview
Brad Keselowski 2016 Stats : Points Finish 12th, 4 Wins, 16 Top Fives, 22 Top Tens, 11.5 Average Finish, 9.6 Average Running Position, 549 Laps Led
Strengths – Brad Keselowski is a talented driver who\’s capable of winning on nearly any Sunday. The core of the NASCAR scheduled is based around intermediate tracks, look for him to be very strong at those venues in 2017.
Weaknesses – Avoid Brad Keselowski at Sonoma. It\’s arguably his worst track on the schedule.
Track Type Fantasy Value Key = Elite > High > Medium High > Medium > Low
Intermediate Track Fantasy Value – Elite
Brad Keselowski is an elite talent at intermediate tracks. Over the last three season\’s he\’s ranked in the top five on this track type in terms of points accumulated. Last year he scored the 4th most points, in 2015 he scored the most points. On a year to year basis he\’s consistently ranked as one of the best.
In 2016 on this track type he won twice (Las Vegas and Kentucky) and tied Kevin Harvick for the best top ten finish percentage (76%). His top five finish percentage was 41%.
In 2017 on this track type I expect him to be very strong. New rules are coming into place and Penske Racing has a proven track record of adapting quickly when change is in the air. In 2016 when the current rules package was used he ranked as one of the best. In the three races where the 2017 rules package was used he had results of 1st (Kentucky), 3rd (Michigan #2) and 4th (Michigan #1).
Flat Track Fantasy Value – Elite
Brad Keselowski is an elite talent at flat tracks. Last year on this track type he scored the 8th most points. In the four previous seasons on this track type he ranked between the 2nd to 5th best driver in terms of points accumulated.
Last year on this track type he had sort of an off-year. He had 3 top fives, 3 results in the teens and one result in the twenties.
Recently his best flat track has been Pocono. He currently has three straight results in the top three. Last year he finished 2nd and 3rd.
At Indy he\’s been a solid driver. His incident free finish range there has been a result between 9th and 12th. In 4 of the last 6 races he\’s finished within that range. Last year he was going to finish around that range but he had problems late that led to his 17th place finish.
New Hampshire has been a good track for him. He\’s a recent champion and over the last 10 races he has a 6.9 average finish. Last year he finished 4th in the fall and had a misleading 15th place finish in the summer. His 15th place finish in that event marked his worst result over the 10 race stretch.
At Phoenix he\’s never been to victory lane but he has been pretty good. Last year he had results of 14th and 29th. That 29th was misleading because he was about 10th place good in that event. In the 8 Phoenix races prior to 2016 he finished in the top 11 every race and had a 6th place average finish.
Short Track Fantasy Value – Elite
I really like Brad Keselowski at short tracks. He\’s capable of winning at all three venues.
Between the three short tracks I would say Martinsville is currently his best venue. Over the last four races he\’s been in contention to win. In 3 of the last 4 races he\’s finished in the top five. Last year he had results of 2nd and 5th. If it wasn\’t for him having problems in a few races he would likely be a perfect 10 for 10 in terms of finishing in the top ten going back to 2012.
Bristol has been a great short track for him. He\’s won there twice but recently he\’s been sort of a hit or miss prospect. Last year he had problems in both races and had results of 18th and 33rd.
At Richmond he\’s a recent champion. Last year he had results of 4th and 11th. Since 2013 at RIR he\’s only once finished south of 11th and has a 7.5 average finish.
Look for Keselowski to be strong on this track type in 2017.
Plate Track Fantasy Value – Elite
Brad Keselowski is an elite talent at restrictor plate tracks. Right now on this track type I would say he\’s the best default fantasy pick you can make, at both venues. Last year on this track type he won twice and looked well on his way to reaching victory lane a third time before his engine expired in the second Talladega race. Despite his early exit in that event he still scored the 8th most points on this track type last season. In 4 of the last 5 seasons on this track type he scored between the 4th to 10th most points.
Talladega is a wild card track but he\’s been about as sure of a thing as they come there. He\’s won there a quarter of time (4 wins) and has finished in the top ten 56% percent of the time. In spring 2016 he led 46 laps and raced his way to victory lane. In the fall race he led 90 laps but his engine blew up which led to a poor finish. It should be noted his teammate Joey Logano won that race which extended Penske\’s fall Talladega win streak to three. Overall in 4 of the last 5 races at Talladega a Penske car has won.
Daytona hasn\’t been as good of a track but he\’s still a strong performer there. Last summer he had a dominant performance en route to victory lane and led 71% percent of the laps (115). In the four Daytona races prior to that he finished 18th or worse.
Road Course Track Fantasy Value – High
At road courses Brad Keselowski is an elite talent at Watkins Glen, but at Sonoma he\’s about a medium talent.
Between the two tracks it\’s a night a day difference in terms of his fantasy value. At Watkins Glen he\’s one of the best default fantasy picks you can make. At Sonoma he\’s somewhat of a \”suckers\” pick.
At Watkins Glen he\’s been a super elite talent. In 5 of the last 6 races he\’s finished in the top ten. In 4 of those 6 races he\’s finished in the top two. Last year he led 28 laps and finished 3rd. His average finish since 2011 minus brake problems in 2014 is 3.2.
At Sonoma he\’s been off in recent years. For whatever reason it doesn\’t fit his driving style nearly as well as Watkins Glen. Over the last four years he\’s finished between 15th and 22nd. Last year he finished 15th.