The 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular season is in the books, and the playoffs will begin this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with the South Point 400. Kyle Busch claimed the regular season crown, but 16 drivers will have a shot at taking home the top prize in the sport over the final 10 races.
Historically, the drivers who make the playoffs tend to extend their advantage on the competition during the final 10 races, in large part because the non-playoff drivers don’t want to become a story by ruining someone’s championship hopes.
With that in mind, I like to unload all the starts I have been saving from the top options in the season-long fantasy games, particularly the Driver Group Game. Things are a little different in for NASCAR Fantasy Live because for the first time, there is a playoff-exclusive content that is going to force owners to roster both championship-eligible drivers and non-playoff drivers.
Regardless of the format, you can expect a strong showing from the usual suspects this weekend at Las Vegas. I have said all year that the top drivers dominate at the mile-and-a-half tracks, and through the first seven races, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. have earned the most points at these tracks. It is no coincidence that these same drivers have been nicknamed the Big 3 and enter the playoffs as the title favorites.
If you have been budgeting your starts carefully all year in the Driver Group Game, now is the time to cash them in. The final push to the title begins this weekend at Las Vegas.
- Kevin Harvick, Jimmy Johns/Busch Beer
Harvick crushed the competition at Las Vegas earlier this year, leading 214 laps on his way to the win. He has now won two of the last four races at Vegas, and this year, his six Top 5s and 600 laps led in the seven races at the 1.5-mile tracks are both the most in the series.
- Kyle Busch, M&M’s
He has three Top 5s in the last five races at Las Vegas, including a runner-up finish earlier this year, and no driver has been more dependable at the mile-and-a-half tracks in 2018. Busch is the only driver who has cracked the Top 10 in all seven races at 1.5-mile ovals, and his 3.7 average finish is by far the best of any driver.
- Martin Truex, Jr., Furniture Row
Truex picked up a win at Las Vegas in 2017, and his fourth-place finish at the track back in March was his third Top 5 in the last four races here. No, he hasn’t been quite as dominant at the 1.5-mile tracks this year as he was in 2017, but he is still tied for the series lead with six Top 5s in the seven races so far.
- Kyle Larson, CreditOne/DC Solar
He has come on strong at Las Vegas the last two years, finishing second in 2017 and third earlier this year. Larson has been solid at the 1.5-mile tracks overall this season, logging three Top 5s and six Top 10s in the seven races. After the Big 3, Larson is probably your best bet for a Top 5.
- Brad Keselowski, Miller Lite/Discount Tires
Keselowski is peaking at the perfect time and has been on a roll at Las Vegas, finishing seventh or better in his last six starts and picking up a couple of wins during that stretch. He has finished sixth at Vegas back in March, and he has five Top 10s in the seven races at mile-and-a-half tracks.
CLICK HERE to check out our Fantasy Draft lobby! Compete in a Scout Fantasy Sports contest, anywhere from our $35 Starter League to our $299 Online Championship, and of course in the Main Event! We are the home of the best players and payouts in the world!