Kyle Busch will lead the field to green for Sunday’s Gander Outdoors 400 (2 p.m. ET on NBCSN/NBC Sports App, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). There were two practice sessions this weekend, giving players plenty to digest. We’ve dissected the numbers to offer a suggested lineup worthy of your Fantasy Live consideration as you make roster decisions.
Remember that the garage locks at the end of Stage 2. Also, your garage play can only be swapped for a driver of similar classification. (A playoff garage driver can only be swapped for a playoff driver in your lineup; a non-playoff garage driver can only be swapped for a non-playoff driver in your lineup.)
Cars to the rear: Bubba Wallace (failed pre-race inspection three times)
RJ Kraft’s Fantasy Live lineup for race-day at Dover:
Playoff driver 1: Kevin Harvick
Playoff driver 2: Kyle Larson
Non-playoff driver 1: Jimmie Johnson
Non-playoff driver 2: Erik Jones
Garage: Martin Truex Jr.
Analysis: The Fantasy Live Playoff Game is in Week 4! These five drivers made up my original lineup and I am sticking with them. Larson topped both practice sessions and led the way in the 5, 10 and 15-lap boards in the final session (h/t @SteveLetarte). He’s been very fast all weekend and has a strong Dover history, so I like staying with him. Harvick has been strong on the long run and dominated this race in the spring. I favor Truex’s recent Dover history — four straight top-four finishes over the Jekyll and Hyde nature of Kyle Busch’s recent Dover record — three top-two finishes but also four finishes outside the top 15 over the past seven races at the “Monster Mile” — so, I am keeping the defending champion in the lineup, but moving him to the garage.
For the non-playoff plays, hard to argue against the 11-time Dover winner Jimmie Johnson. Even more so, when he’s fourth on the 15-lap board and looking for redemption after last week’s final-turn mistake cost him a shot at advancing. Erik Jones has the most upside of any non-playoff driver and while his Dover numbers are pedestrian (a 15.0 average finish in three starts), I like the speed he’s had there.
For the bonus picks, I’m taking Harvick for Stage 1 and 2 with Larson for the win. The driver of the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet seems primed to make the most of his second life in the playoffs.