For the last time this season, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is headed for the “Wolverine State,” as drivers are set to compete in Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
After last weekend’s road race at Watkins Glen International, fantasy owners can relax and a enjoy a relatively straightforward race on the 2-mile oval in Brooklyn, Mich. Still, while some some drivers have excelled on 2-mile tracks throughout their careers, this unpredictable season has made life difficult for fantasy owners.
But that’s where we come in.
Whether you need help picking an A-List driver who has a shot at winning or an up-and-coming C-List racer who could help steal you some points, we’ve got you covered. Here are the drivers you should give seats to, and the ones you shouldn’t, for Sunday’s race at Michigan:
Must pick: Kyle Larson
With apologies to Martin Truex Jr., Larson has to be the pick this weekend.
The Chip Ganassi Racing driver has won the last two races at Michigan, and has won three straight races at 2-mile tracks. The Toyotas have been dominating lately, but we think Larson and his No. 42 Chevrolet will visit victory lane Sunday.
Stay away: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Now’s not the time to get cute.
Sure, Earnhardt’s had plenty of success in his career at Michigan, but his performance this season renders all that moot. With fantasy championships on the line, you simply can’t afford to take a flyer on Earnhardt, given the other A-List options on the table.
Sleeper pick: Jamie McMurray
If you’re running low on your Kyle Larson starts, his CGR teammate is a great fill-in option.
McMurray’s finished in the top 10 in each of his last five races on 2-mile tracks, including three at MIS. He’s enjoying one of his best seasons, and is a sneaky good option for Sunday’s race.
Value pick: Daniel Suarez
Erik Jones has been the best C-List option in the sport this season, but we’re going with Suarez on Sunday.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has logged four straight top-10s, and looked mature beyond his years at Watkins Glen last weekend. Listen, no one will fault you for going with Jones, but we actually think Suarez is the better play.
Thumbnail photo via Matthew O’Haren/USA TODAY Sports Images
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