WEEKLY FANTASY PICKS: Should you put Smoke on your team this week?

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By Steve Young – @Stevietpfl

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Bristol was by far my favorite race of the season, and it felt like there was always something going on. I was so close to a major fantasy day, but Larson had a fluke issue. This weekend we have another short track at Richmond, and qualifying was rained out on Friday. Using the first practice times for setting the lineup, we have some really great plays for fantasy NASCAR. This weekend I will be targeting picks I like for 50/50s and double up games.

Kevin Harvick – $10,600 – Harvick has been all over the place for qualifying this season, but gets to start on the pole this weekend. He has the second highest driver rating here, and an average finish of 8.6 in his career. If that’s not enough to sell you on Harvick, he has the highest average running position among active drivers. Harvick was the second fastest over the 10-lap time on Saturday, and I like his chances to lead a lot of laps in this race on Sunday.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – $9,300 – I like to give out picks per tier, but I easily could have put Jimmie Johnson in this spot. Jr’s Hendricks teammate ran the fastest 10-lap run in final practice. Jr has struggled a lot with qualifying this season, and continues to be a solid place differential play every weekend. He doesn’t offer laps led upside here, but he does have positive place differential in six straight races here at Richmond.

Martin Truex Jr. – $8,500 – He’s been really bad here at Richmond, and only has one top ten in his last ten races. I think he’s in a great spot for place differential this weekend. Starting 22nd is just too good to pass on for me here, and he was 11th in final practice over a 10-lap run. I see him moving up in this race, and he’s been really solid this season. I like his chances for a top ten this weekend, and he’s a guy I like for cash games.

Jamie McMurray – $7,900 – Like I mentioned at the opening, we have some really solid plays because of practice being rained out. McMurray has finished in the top five in three of the last five races here at Richmond. On top of that hot streak, McMurray has finished 27th or better in 14 straight races here. The 10-lap times are concerning for me, but I’m going with track history this weekend with McMurray. He was one of the first guys that instantly stood out to me after first practice.

Ryan Blaney – $6,800 – Blaney is my top play in this price range, and it’s really not close for me. He is a really safe option starting 29th, and he has only finished worse than 29th, once this season. He’s finished in the top ten in all four XFINITY races here. Blaney was tenth fastest in final practice over a 10-lap run, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he picks up his fourth top ten finish this weekend. You can also look at Menard and Almirola in this price range.

As always, if you have any questions, hit me up on twitter @Stevietpfl.

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