After taking last weekend off, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is back as drivers are set to compete in Sunday’s Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The 2017 season is nearing the quarter pole, and it’s been pretty unpredictable, to say the least. Fantasy owners have watched young drivers surge and veterans slump, which has made it difficult to set lineups with confidence.
However, we’re here to help provide some clarity.
You might have a budget, or you might have a limit to the amount of times you can pick a given driver. Whatever your league’s format, we’ve got you covered in determining which drivers to give seats to Sunday, and which ones to stay away from.
Must pick: Joey Logano
Despite not making a trip victory lane yet this season, Logano has been one of the most impressive drivers in the field, as he’s finished in the top six in six of seven races. More importantly, Logano always has raced well at Bristol, including two wins since 2014 at the track. Make sure he’s in your lineups Sunday.
Stay away: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Earnhardt had his best finish of the season April 9 at Texas Motor Speedway, but we don’t expect him to carry the success into Sunday’s race. For one, he only has won once at this track, and it came back in 2004. Also, he’s never really had a lot of success at Bristol, for one reason or another.
Earnhardt might be worth starting at some point this season, but this isn’t the time.
Sleeper pick: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
If Stenhouse wasn’t so inconsistent, we’d probably have him as our top pick this week. The Roush Fenway Racing driver has the best average finishing position at Bristol of any driver on the series, including a victory at the track last August. Furthermore, he’s finished in the top six in four of his last six races at the track.
For the most part, Stenhouse has raced well this season, and has earned the right to, at the very least, be considered as a fantasy play.
Value pick: Erik Jones
Jones has been one of the best value plays in fantasy all season long, and we expect that to continue Sunday. He’s never competed in a Cup race at Bristol, but the the Furniture Row Racing driver has earned three poles in four Xfinity Series races at the track. Start him with confidence Sunday.
Thumbnail photo via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images