The final race of the 2018 Monster Energy Cup Series season is here after 35 races and nine long months. The four drivers who made the Championship Four are most definitely deserving as they finished first through fourth in not only average finish but also laps led. Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch led the way with eight wins apiece while Martin Truex Jr. had four and Joey Logano with two wins.
As has been the case since 2002, the championship race will take place at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is a mile and a half intermediate track but is unlike others on the circuit with it’s progressive banking(18-20 degrees of banking). The bottom of the track being flatter wears the tires much quicker and as the race goes on, we will definitely see a lot of drivers running the top line. That is what makes Homestead a great championship track is the fact there are so many lines drivers can run.
For fantasy, we will be looking at dominator points once again as one driver has led 100 or more laps in five of the last six races. While Homestead is different from other intermediates, it is still very important to look at track type history this season as well as the last couple years.
In this article, I will be looking at some of the top targets in each price range looking at track history, current form, and of practice and qualifying information. To check out all of this data, be sure to grab a copy of my DFS NASCAR Cheatsheet. You can also jump into the RotoPros Community Chat if you have any questions. Let's get into the picks.
Top Tier Targets
Kyle Busch(DK - $11,800 FD - $13,500)
It is very close for me this week between Busch and Harvick but I lean Busch for a couple reasons starting with the fact he is cheaper on both sites. Both struggled in the final two practices ranking outside the Top 10 in both but Kyle got his long run speed dialed up in Happy Hour ranking 3rd behind Logano and Truex. Busch has also been extremely consistent on the mile and half tracks this season with three wins and a series-best 5.4 average finish with 572 laps led. He will start from the #2 position and will have a good shot at being the top dominator and winning the race. What I will likely do this week is make a lineup with Harvick who is more expensive then duplicate that lineup with Busch to have close to equal exposure to both drivers.
Joey Logano(DK - $10,600 FD - $13,500)
If you are looking to build a more balanced lineup on DraftKings, Joey Logano is driver to build around. He has finished 6th or better here in three straight years and has also been consistent on the mile and half tracks this season with Top 10’s in 10 of the 11 races with four Top 5’s. The #1 thing that stands out about Logano this week is the speed he has shown. After unloading and ranking 16th in first practice, he qualified 5th then led both of the final practices in one-lap and 10-lap averages. All he has to do is avoid the revenge of Martin Truex Jr. on the closing laps of the race as he looks like he has the car to beat on Sunday.
Also Consider: Kyle Larson as a non playoff spoiler as he has three straight Top 5 finishes here at Homestead
Mid Tier Targets
Erik Jones(DK - $8,200 FD - $9,800)
Since being eliminated from the playoffs in the first round, Jones has been consistent with a 10.5 average finish proving he is ready to compete with the big boys. He was also consistent on the mile and half tracks in 2018 with eight Top 10’s in the 11 races with a 10.5 average finish. He will start 7th this weekend which makes him a better value on FanDuel but he has also shown a ton of speed ranking Top 5 in both final practices with the 2nd and 5th fastest 10-lap averages. GPP only on DraftKings but an excellent play in all formats on FanDuel.
Jamie McMurray(DK - $7,100 FD - $8,000)
In likely his final career race, Jamie McMurray is one of my top value plays of the week on both sites. He will start 21st on Sunday but showed better speed in the final practices ranking 18th and 16th and has finished Top 15 here at Homestead in four straight races including two Top 5’s. At these prices and his recent success here, he is a great play in all formats.
Also Consdier: Aric Almirola
David Ragan(DK - $6,300 FD - $6,000)
Ragan hasn’t been terrific at this track with just three Top 20 finishes in 11 career races but not a whole lot stands out in the sub $7K range this week. I will start 25th on Sunday and the good news is that he did show better speed than that starting spot ranking 12th and 23rd in the final two practices. He is obviously a GPP only play but has upside for his price and helps you get multiple top tier drivers in a lineup mixed with some mid tier drivers.