Tag Archives: site recommendation

Fantasy NASCAR 101: Handicapping Comes First

Fantasy racing trophies screenshot.

If you want to bring home a fantasy racing trophy, you must handicap, handicap, handicap.

Fantasy NASCAR success requires sound tactics and strategy regardless of the game, no doubt about it. But for each race, before you even think about saving starts, running off sequence, finding value, etc., you must know each driver’s predicted finish. If you don’t, you risk missing out on driver value. That may not kill you for a race or two, but consistently missing value over the course of a season will sink your ship.

So, either you must handicap the field each week, or you must rely on an outside handicapper. I certainly understand the allure of home-spun handicapping—I do it myself. Before you commit to that endeavor, however, know that successful handicapping takes a lot of time and significant knowledge and skills.

If you don’t want to commit to the weekly handicapping grind and/or question your handicapping skills, you have options. At the very least, you can check the betting lines at online sportsbooks such as Las Vegas Sports Betting or 5Dimes. I don’t know who’s creating those lines or how they’re doing it, but because they’re playing for money, I figure they’re motivated to do a decent job. And when I check sportsbook lines, they do generally seem to be in the ballpark. Bottom line: Sportsbook lines can give you a solid starting point each week. Oh, and they’re free.

Non-sportsbook handicappers can provide good driver rankings each week as well. I provide rankings for free, of course, as does TimersSports. If you don’t mind paying a little, you can also find weekly rankings by the guys at FantasyNASCARPreview.com, Cliff Dejong’s Accupredict at FantasyRacingCheatsheet.com, the guys at ifantasyrace.com and others.

Some handicappers are better than others, so you should probably spend some time figuring out who you prefer by comparing different driver rankings, evaluating their methods, etc.

Whichever way you go, consistently start each race week with a solid set of driver rankings, week in and week out. Because if you begin making moves without first handicapping the field, you’re throwing darts in the dark.

NASCAR on Twitter

This screenshot shows a portion of the article.

I recently stumbled across an online article that features a big list of clickable links to the Twitter accounts of a lot of NASCAR drivers and teams, and the Twitter accounts of bloggers/media, sponsors, NASCAR, racetracks, and various wives/girlfriends/family. If you’re into NASCAR and Twitter, it’s a good collection to visit just for fun. For fantasy NASCAR players and handicappers, I think there’s some value in checking driver accounts if you’re on the fence when evaluating a driver for a certain race.

For example, it was unclear how many laps Denny Hamlin would run at Phoenix this spring due to his recent knee surgery, or how effective he’d be in the car. Hamlin posted a few updates on Twitter suggesting his knee was bothering him a great deal, and that info was fairly valuable to fantasy NASCAR players debating whether to start him and handicappers debating whether to bet him.

The article appears on the site The Final Lap, and is titled 2010 NASCAR Twitter Guide Directory.

Blog Recommendation: IFantasyRace.com

Here's a screenshot of part of today's post on IFantasyRace.com.

I just learned of a blog called IFantasyRace.com. Run by Ryan Rantz, the blog features Rantz’ own race previews and other prediction-related articles for NASCAR fantasy players, and each week he also compiles links to a bunch of race preview-type articles written by folks around the Internet (including yours truly). If you’re in the mood to do a lot of race-preview reading, check it out.

Here’s the link to the link-compilation he posted today: Fantasy NASCAR from Around the Net: Texas.