Over in the archive at FantasyNascarPreview.com, there’s a pretty good strategy article for Yahoo! Fantasy players. Titled “Yahoo! Fantasy NASCAR Strategy,” it first explains how the Yahoo! game works, then goes into some tips and strategy. I agree with most of the author’s points, and his section on Group B strategy is really good.
I do have a couple of quibbles, though. First, while I agree that we should look for situations in which we can save a big gun’s starts for his top tracks (e.g., Jimmie Johnson on 1.5 milers), I think we should temper our start-saving aggressiveness early in a season. At this point in the 2010 season, for example, the series has run on only one short-flat track (Martinsville), and it’s not quite clear yet that the big guns and duds from last year on short-flat tracks will also be big guns and duds on those tracks this year. I’d hate to aggressively save 2010 short-flat starts for a 2009 short-flat master only to discover later this year he’s no longer a short-flat master.
Second, I completely disagree with the Momentum section down at the end of the article. You can get my take on momentum in an article I posted previously titled “Debunking the Momentum Myth.”
The Group B Worksheet
FantasyNascarPreview.com also offers a pretty neat 2010 B-List Calculator. The spreadsheet lists the drivers in Group B this year, and it has them grouped into three tiers: the top-tier drivers you anticipate starting the full nine times, the mid-tier drivers you’ll need to get some starts from, and the bottom-tier drivers you can avoid. After each race, you update the Starts Used column, and the spreadsheet automatically calculates the starts-remaining data, helping you adjust how aggressively you save starts for the top-tier drivers.
I think it’s pretty helpful, but take care when using it:
1) Before you use it, make sure you agree with the groupings and adjust them as you see fit;
2) Don’t use it to aggressively save starts early in the year when you’re not quite sure drivers will perform as they did last year; and
3) As the year goes on, adjust the groupings as necessary. For example, while I agree Dale Jr. was probably a mid-tier driver at the beginning of the year, he’s looking more and more like a top-tier driver as the season progresses—keep your eye on him and adjust the worksheet as necessary.