After a pretty predictable race at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, you can expect more of the same on Sunday, although this time there will probably be a lot of similar lineups in all Fantasy NASCAR leagues. The reason for that, especially in this Slingshot Fantasy Auto Contest, is because we got a very clear idea of who has the best cars here at Michigan, and they’re running those same cars from Saturday’s race in Sunday’s event. For the Slingshot Fantasy Auto Contest, the true contenders are all starting outside of the top 10 thanks to the invert, and the viable options for this race are severely limited. That’s why we’ll see a lot of similar lineups in this second race.
*Please note: the picks and suggestions below are my opinions and strategy for the Slingshot Fantasy Auto Contest. These are not meant to sway your thinking in any way, but rather give you insight into the drivers I am most likely to pick on race day.*
Slingshot Fantasy Auto Contest Picks for Michigan Sunday
Denny Hamlin ($12,400) – Obviously Kevin Harvick ($13,000) has to be the top Slingshot Fantasy NASCAR option heading into Sunday, as the #4 Ford was head-and-shoulders faster than everyone else on Saturday and they’re racing the same cars in the second leg of the doubleheader. Also, Harvick has the most place differential potential of the true contenders on Sunday. However, I’ll gladly take the $600 savings and roll with Denny Hamlin in the Consumers Energy 400. Hamlin ranked 2nd in Green Flag Speed in Saturday’s race, and where have we seen that happen before? Oh, the last doubleheader weekend at Pocono, and what happened then? Hamlin went on to win the second race. Again, I’ll take the salary savings here and go with another guy who should be a lock for a top 5 finish.
Brad Keselowski ($12,000) – If I do end up going with Harvick over Hamlin on Sunday, I’m going to switch this pick to Kyle Busch ($10,300). So basically I’m deciding between those two sets for the second race this weekend. But as of Saturday night, I’m going to go with Keselowski. This #2 team is currently on a streak of three straight top 2 finishes and it wouldn’t be surprising if they made it three in a row here on Sunday. At worst, Keselowski should be a top 5 finisher. He starts back in 19th for the Consumers Energy 400 so that gives him plenty of room for place differential fantasy points. Looking at Auto Club as well as Michigan and the three tracks that have used similar tire combinations, Keselowski has the 2nd-best average finish (5.4) in the series over those five races.
Ryan Blaney ($11,200) – Ryan Blaney is ridiculously good on this tire combination. Over the four races now with the same (or nearly the same) tires as we’re running at Michigan, Blaney has an average driver rating of 117.5, and when you throw in the race at Fontana, that goes down but a little bit to a 116.5 average. Both of those are the best in the series. And good news for Young Ryan Blaney fans: he finally got a good finish on Saturday! The #12 Ford came home 4th in that race and because of that, Blaney will start from 17th on Sunday. He should put up another good Slingshot NASCAR Fantasy score, but I am a little leery of recent pit road calls from this team. Still, Blaney has one of the fastest cars on this track type and should be a contender again on Sunday.
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. ($7,700) – Stenhouse disappointed fantasy owners yet again on Saturday, but he actually had a really good car for most of the race. The #47 Chevrolet was running inside the top 15 for 77% of the race and that ranked as 10th-best in the field. Additionally, Ricky was looking toward a top 10 finish on the final restart but he ended up hitting debris and had a flat tire, relegating him to a 32nd-place result. For Sunday’s race, though, that means a lot of potential for place differential because he’ll bee racing the same car. Let’s just hope he can avoid the bad luck…
John Hunter Nemechek ($6,700) – On Saturday, John Hunter Nemechek actually wasn’t too awful, as he ran 31.7% of the race inside the top 15. And then he spun out and it all went downhill from there. On Sunday, Nemechek will be rolling out the backup car and be forced to start from the rear, but that won’t make much of a difference because he was slated to start back in 36th anyway. With that official starting spot, John Hunter is a safe fantasy option in the Slingshot Fantasy Auto Contest on Sunday and also has some potential to get a decent score. He’s definitely the safest driver priced under $7,000 for this race.