The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs are in full swing, and and some fantasy owners are along for the ride.
Drivers are set to compete in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway, as the quest for the Cup championship marches on. Martin Truex Jr. won at Kansas earlier this season, and currently leads the playoff standings.
But with so much on the line at this 1 1/2-mile track, drivers could try just about anything, which could make life difficult for fantasy owners. That’s where we come in, however.
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 for the first round of your NASCAR fantasy playoffs. Here are the drivers you should give seats to, and the ones you shouldn’t, for Sunday’s race at in Kansas:
Must pick: Martin Truex Jr.
If you benched Truex for Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway, we understand, as restrictor-plate races are a different animal. But now, the Furniture Row Racing driver needs to be back in your lineups.
In eight races on 1 1/2-mile tracks this season, Truex has five wins, including his triumph at Kansas. As far as A-List drivers are concerned, the New Jersey native is the safest play, by far.
Stay away: Ryan Newman
Newman can be a good sleeper pick for some races, but this is not one of them.
The 39-year-old has had success Kansas in the past, but finished dead last at the track earlier this year. Furthermore, Newman has finished outside the top 15 in seven of eight races on 1 1/2-mile ovals this year. Keep him on your bench.
Sleeper Pick: Kasey Kahne
If you’re running low, or have exhausted your B-List starts for Kyle Larson or Chase Elliott, then Kahne makes for a decent fill-in this weekend.
In his last four starts at Kansas, the Hendrick Motorsports driver has finished 16th or better, including a 15th-place finish earlier this year. Take a chance on Kahne, you might be glad you did.
Value pick: Erik Jones
Ty Dillon’s performance at Talladega on Sunday proved you don’t have to start Jones or Daniel Suarez in the C-List spot in your lineups. That said, you’d be foolish not to start Jones this weekend.
The rookie driver has looked strong on 1 1/2-mile tracks for much of the season, including two top-10s in his last four tries. Plus, Jones essentially has lived around the top 10 for the last three months. Make sure he’s in your lineup.
Thumbnail photo via Matthew O’Haren/USA TODAY Sports Images
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