Track position reigns supreme at Pocono Raceway with the low downforce package, and because of that, qualifying up front is more important than ever at “The Tricky Triangle.” If you look back to the race here last month, all of the drivers that qualified 7th or better ended up finishing inside the top 10, and chances are that’s what is going to happen today at Pocono as well. In addition to that, NASCAR did same-day qualifying this weekend, so teams only have a couple of hours to get ready for the race, as opposed to the normal full day. Because of that, this FOX Fantasy Auto article is going to be shortened by a significant amount compared to normal, as all Fantasy NASCAR players–myself included–will be in a major time crunch trying to get rosters in before the Overton’s 400 goes green.
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My team points last week (Pocono 2): 200
Overall team standings: 165th
Total team points for the season: 3,628
FOX Fantasy Auto Picks for the 2017 Watkins Glen Race
Kevin Harvick ($12,200) – I’m not sure what happened to Kevin Harvick during qualifying today, but he’s going to start from back in 20th at a track where he has finished inside the top 10 in half of his sixteen career starts. So despite Harvick being priced as high as he is in FOX Fantasy Auto, he’s probably going to be the highest-scoring driver in this Fantasy NASCAR game, so it’s going to be a good idea to have him in your lineup. Harvick won at Sonoma earlier this year after qualifying 12th and should be at least top 10 good here at Watkins Glen today.
Brad Keselowski ($10,700) – Brad Keselowski comes at a great price for today’s race and has a shot at getting some decent place differential points as well after qualifying 8th. Watkins Glen is one of the best tracks on the circuit for BK despite the fact that he has never won a Cup Series race here. Still, Brad has ended up 2nd or 3rd in four of his seven career starts here and has a 7th-place finish to his credit, too. He wound up finishing 3rd at Sonoma earlier this year and should be a contender today as well.
Matt Kenseth ($10,600) – Here’s a nice off-sequence pick in FOX Fantasy Auto for today’s race at Watkins Glen. Matt Kenseth actually has a pretty good record here at The Glen, with three straight top 10 finishes as well as nine results of 15th or better in the last ten races here. This #20 team has a little bit of momentum, too, as they now have three straight top 10s after their 9th-place effort at Pocono last weekend. Kenseth qualified 15th for today’s race but should have a shot at a top 10.
Kurt Busch ($9,000) – Kurt Busch was very under-priced heading into this weekend, and after his 18th-place qualifying effort earlier today, he’s basically a must-own in FOX Fantasy Auto. It is true that this #41 team does not have a lot of momentum right now, but road course races are different than ‘normal’ races, and Kurt is one of the better road course racers in the field. Here at The Glen, Busch hasn’t finished worse than 11th since the 2012 season, and that’s when he was driving for under-funded Phoenix Racing.
Other viable options: Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex, Jr., Joey Logano, A.J. Allmendinger, Chase Elliott
FOX Fantasy Auto Fade Option
Kyle Busch ($11,400) – The #18 Toyota is on the pole once again this weekend, and while I definitely think he has the best shot at getting to victory lane today, that doesn’t make him the best option in FOX Fantasy Auto. Even if Rowdy goes out and leads the most laps and gets his second win in a row today, that’s only going to be 45 points in this FOX game. That score would be worth it for someone priced around $10,000, but $11,400 is a bit too high this week. The real reason for the fade, though, is because of his ownership percentage: as of 1:45 pm ET, over 60% of FOX teams had Kyle Busch on their roster. If he would happen to wreck or have some kind of issue, that’s a huge advantage for someone that doesn’t have him on their team.