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 Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, in what will be the penultimate race of the 2017 NASCAR season. All eyes will be on Martin Truex Jr., who finished second at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, and still sits first in the standings with a 50-point advantage over second-place Kyle Busch.
But with so much on the line at this mile-long track, drivers could try just about anything, which could make life difficult for fantasy owners.
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 second-to-last 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 Arizona:
Must pick: Kyle Busch
No one will fault you for giving your A-List start to Martin Truex Jr., but Busch is the better play Sunday.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has finished in the top five in four consecutive races at Phoenix, including a third-place finish in March. He also has seven top-10s in his last nine starts at the track. Make sure he’s in your lineup.
Stay away: Trevor Bayne
Bayne occasionally makes for a good streaming B-List option, but we’d advice staying away from him for this race.
In five races at PIR, the Roush Fenway Racing driver’s average finish is an unimpressive 26.4. That includes a 19th-place finish in March, the best of his career at Phoenix. Keep him on your bench.
Sleeper Pick: Ryan Newman
Newman won at Phoenix in March, and we think he could be in line for another good race Sunday.
In seven of his last eight starts at this track, Newman has finished 12th or better. The Richard Childress Racing driver doesn’t carry the upside of some of the premier B-List options, such as Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott, but he’s still worth a start.
Value pick: Erik Jones
At this point in the season, you have to go with the safest options. And, as far as C-List drivers concerned, there’s no safer play than Jones.
The rookie driver finished eight at Phoenix in March, and we think another top-10 could be in the cards Sunday. He’s shown that type of speed throughout the past few months.
Thumbnail photo via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images