Fantasy Update: Last-minute Texas Fantasy advice

first_imgWith lightning shortening Friday’s Busch Pole Award Qualifying to one round, opening round leader Kurt Busch will start Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 (2 p.m. ET, FS1, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) from the pole position. After three practice sessions for this race were in the books, we’ve dissected the numbers and 10-lap averages to offer a suggested lineup worthy of your Fantasy Live consideration as you go to make roster decisions for the seventh Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race of 2018.PLAY NOW: Set your Fantasy Live lineup | How the new Fantasy Live worksMORE: Fantasy analysis for Texas | Driver stats | Full lineup | 10-lap averagesJessica Ruffin’s revised Fantasy Live lineup following practices and the lineup being set:1: Kevin Harvick2: Martin Truex Jr.3: Kurt Busch4: Erik Jones5: Ryan BlaneyGarage: Kyle LarsonAnalysis: Kevin Harvick was a must-pick for me heading into the weekend and he’s still at the top of my list after one shortened qualifying session and three practice sessions — the final practice cut short by rain, as well. Not only has he shown speed in all three practice sessions, he’s also starting second, which could result in additional bonus points for stage wins if he were to get out front. I’m also taking his teammate and pole-sitter Kurt Busch.Truex was also a must-pick for Steve Letarte and I earlier this week and I’m standing my ground on that; while he’s never won at the Fort Worth track, his Texas consistency — both in past races and during practice — show me that he’s a solid play that could contend for the win on Sunday. Couple that with the fact that he’s the mile-and-a-half ace, and you’ve got a winner.If you’re playing veterans like Truex and Harvick, I would pay special attention to your garage driver; burning a Truex or Harvick pick for a top-15 finish isn’t ideal when both of these drivers are win contenders on a consistent basis. That brings me to my new garage pick; Kyle Larson. He’s starting in the top 10 and his strong 10-lap averages lead me to believe that he’ll stay there. He’s also a good backup option if your must-starters have an issue. I substituted Larson for my original garage pick Chase Elliott because the No. 9 hasn’t been quite as fast as I would have liked this weekend at Texas.Erik Jones and Ryan Blaney are both strong, under-the-radar picks for me. Jones nearly matched Harvick in 10-lap average speeds during the final practice. Even though he’s starting 21st, I think that speed that he’s shown all weekend will get him to the front quickly. Blaney, on the other hand, has a strong starting spot (fourth) to go with speed in his No. 12 Ford. He led 148 laps in this race last year and I see no reason why the No. 12 will have issues running up front come Sunday.last_img

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