Earlier this year I asked Cliff DeJong from NASCAR Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet how he ranked the tracks according to their predictability. He sent me the following, which lists all the tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule ranked from most predictable to least:
- Watkins Glen
- Las Vegas
I think it’s worth noting these rankings reflect how predictable each track is when using DeJong’s handicapping process, the Accupredict Method. (Specifically, it reflects how well the race results at each track correlated with DeJong’s predicted race results.) A different method could conceivably return different results, though I think these rankings are pretty close regardless of the method.
So, what can fantasy NASCAR players do with this information? Well, successful fantasy NASCAR players must be good at two things. First, you must handicap each race effectively. If you don’t know who’s going to run well each week, you’re doomed to poor fantasy results over the long term.
Second, you must be adept at making strong strategic and tactical decisions to navigate your fantasy league’s rules package. In the Yahoo! Fantasy NASCAR league, for instance, you’re limited to nine starts per driver, so you must put together a solid driver-start allocation plan.
That’s where knowing track predictability comes in handy. Example: According to DeJong, Kansas is the most predictable track on the circuit (i.e., it offers the lowest standard deviation from DeJong’s predicted results). Yahoo! players should therefore lean strongly toward running their top-ranked drivers at Kansas and not worry about saving driver starts those weekends.
At tracks with relatively poor predictability, on the other hand, you should look to save starts more aggressively.