A.J. Allmendinger is one of those drivers where, at the end of a handful of races throughout the season, you’ll say “where did he come from?” He typically grabs one or two top 5 finishes a year along with four or five top 10s. A.J. is coming off of a 27th-place points finish in 2017, though–his worst result ever over the course of a full season–despite the fact that the JTG Daugherty organization has made some gains over the last couple of years (in large part due to Chris Buescher). Still, Allmendinger is signed through 2020, so his job seems to be pretty secure driving the #47 Chevrolet.
Cup Series History
Overall, A.J. Allmendinger is what you would call “average” in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. His career average finish is 21.1 while his career average starting spot it 20.3. Of course, he has had some seasons better than that–most recently in 2016, where A.J. posted nine top 10s and an average result of 17.8–but you pretty much know what you’re going to get when it comes to Allmendinger.
Predictions for the Upcoming Season
The thing that gets A.J. Allmendinger into the most trouble is his temper; he’s one of those drivers that doesn’t like to take the blame for his on-track performance, and while the JTG Daugherty cars aren’t the best Chevrolets in the field, it’s not like A.J. is out there in some start-and-park equipment. The real strength for Allmendinger lies on road course venues, but even then he can be a risky pick, as those races require near perfection on every lap–especially if you want to contend for the win.
Overall Expectations: A.J. Allmendinger’s 2016 season was more of an anomaly than anything else, and there’s no reason to think that he’s suddenly going to get back into that form this year. The fact of the matter is that Allmendinger is a 20th-place average finisher, and a big part of that is because of his demeanor behind the wheel. Throw in the fact that he’s in mid-tier equipment and it’s definitely not a recipe for a whole lot of success.
Can A.J. Allmendinger win a Cup Series race in 2018? Allmendinger’s strength is on the road course venues, so the good news for him is that NASCAR is adding a third to the Cup Series schedule in 2018. A.J. has posted one win in his career thus far, and that was at Watkins Glen back in 2014. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been a contender there for a couple of years, and he’s had equipment issues at Sonoma in more races than he hasn’t. Allmendinger’s definitely someone to keep an eye on in the Charlotte roval race in September, though.
A.J. Allmendinger as a Fantasy Option in 2018
DraftKings: Allmendinger has a tendency to qualify better than he finishes–he’s done that for three of the last four years–and that’s not a good thing when it comes to DraftKings, especially since he doesn’t get many dominator points. There will definitely be races where The Dinger will be a good DraftKings play in 2018–he was a great one at both Daytona races last year–but he’ll definitely pretty much only be a GPP play, simply because of the risk associated with picking him.
Season-Long Salary Cap Games: For the most part, Allmendinger is going to be one of the lower-priced drivers in season-long salary cap games, and then it all comes down to whether or not you want to take the risk of having a driver with limited potential on your roster. A.J. has had just one season with an average finish inside the top 20 in the last six years.