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ADAM ANSELL'S TOP 25 FOR DOVER
1. Jimmie Johnson: Johnson burned Fantasy owners a week ago with a 25th-place finish at Loudon. He was tops in Tiered/Grouping ownership and finished second-to-last in production. Hopefully this poor showing gets his Dover International Speedway ownership levels down, because he's going to dominate the Monster Mile. In 17 starts at the site, Johnson has five wins, seven Top Fives, 11 Top 10s and two poles. He's led at least one lap in each of his last six starts at Dover, including a mind-boggling 794 of the last 1,200 laps run there. Since the inception of Loop Data in 2005, Johnson leads all competitors in Driver Rating (113.8) and ranks third in Average Running Position (9.1). Fantasy owners who have been banking Johnson starts in Tiered/Grouping formats know that now is the time to spend them.
2. Kyle Busch: Busch's all-or-nothing results at Dover may steer some Fantasy owners in a different direction. Sandwiched between his June 2008 and May 2010 dominating victories at the site are three consecutive appearances in which Busch had an Average Finish of 32nd. That includes a dead 43rd-place DNF in the 2008 Chase. Busch is a more polished, mature driver at this point in his career and with those character traits comes more consistency. Busch is an excellent option in all formats and will be in contention for every remaining Checkered Flag on the circuit. He ranks fifth in DR (101.6) and ninth in ARP (13.3).
3. Greg Biffle: Biffle has gotten no respect from Fantasy owners in terms of Tiered/Grouping format ownership, and this weekend will be no different. In 16 starts at the site, he has two wins (2005, 2008), six Top Fives, 10 Top 10s and one pole (2008). Since 2006, he's finished outside the Top Eight just once. He's qualified inside the Top Five four of the last five Dover events. He's led at least six laps in four of his last six starts at the site. Biffle ranks second in DR (112.2) and ARP (7.4). Part of the reason the Rodney Dangerfield of Fantasy NASCAR has gotten no respect is his Average Finish of 28th over his last three Cup starts. For Fantasy owners that need to make up some ground in their leagues and differentiate themselves from the leaders, Biffle is the ultimate sleeper pick.
4. Matt Kenseth: Among the most popular mid-level options in Tiered/Grouping formats for much of the season, Kenseth's ownership has finally fallen in line with his recent performances. That should be music to the ears of Fantasy owners, as Dover is one of his better tracks. In 23 starts at the site, Kenseth has one win (2006), 10 Top Fives, 15 Top 10s and one pole. He has an Average Finish of third in his last five starts at Dover, and has led at least one lap in four of those five events. He ranks third in DR (111.8) and leads all competitors in ARP (7.3). His recent performances at the site cannot be ignored, and combined with his added value in reduced ownership Kenseth is a must-start at the Monster Mile.
5. Tony Stewart: Fantasy owners may resent Stewart's fuel gamble last weekend that cost him, and everyone who started him, the Checkered Flag, but that's short-sighted. Stewart started third, led 100 of the 300 laps, and just generally dominated much of the event. But the top positive to take away is that he's not afraid to go for the win. That attitude didn't help Fantasy owners at Loudon, but it will at Dover. In 23 starts at the site, Stewart has two wins (swept 2000), 10 Top Fives and 15 Top 10s. Combine that with his drop in Tiered/Grouping format ownership levels, and "Smoke" is an excellent start. He ranks 20th in DR (73.2) and 22nd in ARP (20.7).
6. Clint Bowyer: A failed inspection of his No. 33 ride following his victory at Loudon has cost Bowyer 150 points, dropping him from second to 12th in the Chase standings. The most relevant news to come of this to Fantasy owners is that his crew chief is suspended for six races. Talk about a buzz kill. Bowyer was peaking prior to this, and it's unclear how he'll be affected by the recent developments. He could've backed into the Chase by cruising to bland Top 15s, but chose to stay aggressive and rode that momentum into the Chase. In three starts at the site, he has three Top 10s and an Average Finish of 15th. He ranks 10th in DR (89.5) and eighth in ARP (13.3). Regardless of the recent developments, Bowyer needs to be started in Tiered/Grouping formats.
7. Jeff Gordon: Gordon's winless streak reached 56 races with a sixth-place finish at Loudon, yet he remains just 75 points out of the Chase lead. In 35 starts at Dover, Gordon has four wins, 14 Top Fives, 21 Top 10s and four poles. His best Chase finish at the site is third (2004, 2006). He ranks ninth in DR (90.0) and 11th in ARP (14.0). The streak will probably motivate him rather than drag him down, and besides, more than just wins factor into Fantasy success. Gordon's consistency and experience makes him a low-risk start with unlimited upside in all formats.
8. Kevin Harvick: In 19 starts at the Monster Mile, Harvick has two Top Fives and seven Top 10s. He ranks 18th in DR (75.2) and 17th in ARP (19.4). By all accounts, Harvick didn't perform well at Loudon, evidenced by his 88.4 DR and 15.2 ARP. Yet he still finished with a Top Five. He's been the most consistent driver this season, and appears unshakable. Fantasy owners who still have Harvick starts in their back pocket in Tiered/Grouping formats should be eager to cash them in.
9. Denny Hamlin: Hamlin kicked off the 2010 Chase in style, finishing in second place a week ago at Loudon, but things may not turn out as well for him and his Fantasy owners at the Monster Mile. In nine starts at the site, Hamlin has just two Top Fives and three Top 10s. He did finish fourth in the May event, but in his five prior starts he posted an Average Finish of 35th with two DNFs. He ranks 15th in DR (77.5) and 21st in ARP (20.2). This is Fantasy crunch time, and Hamlin's less than impressive Dover resume leaves much to be desired. He's only a recommended start for Fantasy owners looking to go big or go home in an effort to make up some ground in their leagues.
10. Jeff Burton: Burton's Average Finish over his last 10 Cup starts is 10.7. In 33 starts at the site, he has one win (2006), seven Top Fives and 14 Top 10s. He ranks 11th in DR (89.3) and 10th in ARP (13.7). Burton was also caught on the wrong side of a fuel gamble at Loudon, so Fantasy owners shouldn't overreact to his 15th-place finish. He ran that race with an ARP of eighth. He should be started in all formats.
11. Carl Edwards: One win (2007), five Top Fives and eight Top 10s in 12 starts at the site. 102.2 DR.
12. Kurt Busch: Four Top Fives and six Top 10s in 20 starts at the site. 95.4 DR.
13. Ryan Newman: Has finished inside the Top 15 in his last five starts at the site with an Average Finish of 11.6 in that span. 96.8 DR.
14. Juan Pablo Montoya: Finished fourth in the September 2009 Dover event. 75.4 DR.
15. David Reutimann: Finished fifth in the May 2010 Dover event. 81.4 DR.
16. Jamie McMurray: 79.7 DR.
17. Kasey Kahne: 74.4.
18. Martin Truex Jr.: 87.5.
19. AJ Allmendinger: 66.6.
20. Joey Logano: 70.0.
21. Mark Martin
22. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
23. Brad Keselowski
24. Marcos Ambrose
25. Sam Hornish Jr.
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