Yahoo Fantasy Racing and NASCAR Fantasy Live

Several people have asked me for analysis on various fantasy racing formats. In an effort to provide my look at each week’s projections through the lens of fantasy racing, I plan to provide analysis for Yahoo Fantasy Racing and NASCAR Fantasy Live racing formats in addition to my other projections.

Since NASCAR Fantasy Live allows for fantasy owners to set their lineups up to 5 minutes prior to race start, I plan to provide a pre-qualification projection on Wednesdays (when driver values are adjusted) and follow-up with an updated projection after qualifying. I plan to provide analysis for Yahoo on Thursday.

Yahoo Fantasy Racing uses a simple point’s structure that focuses on finishing position, qualifying in the top 4, and lap leading. It’s a simple system that allows owners to have a decent idea of how well their drivers are doing just by watching the race. Another aspect in Yahoo that owners need to keep in mind is that each owner can only use a driver 9 times in the season.

The most notable difference between Yahoo and NASCAR Fantasy Live is the way finishing position is weighted. Yahoo places a greater emphasis on finishing than NASCAR Fantasy Live.  For example, a driver who qualifies in the top 5, but slips to the mid 20s during the race and never recovers can have a negative point total in NASCAR Fantasy Live. Alternatively, in Yahoo’s format that driver would likely have around 50 points or about 50% of the points that the race winner would likely have. Another difference between the two formats is that Yahoo requires owners to lock in their drivers before qualifying.

NASCAR Fantasy Live places a strong emphasis on place differential. It is important to understand the upside and downside risk that starting position affects. For example, the average points for position differential when starting 1st are -11.6. Conversely, starting 43rd has an average of +9.2 for position differential.

Another important point scoring category is passing differential. This category is strongly correlated to who the driver is than it is to starting position. While finishing points are typically the largest point contributor to total points in NASCAR Fantasy Live, place and passing differentials collectively can often provide a driver with more points than simply finishing 1st.

Both formats have interesting aspects that can enhance NASCAR fans’ experience with the sport.

A description of the NASCAR Fantasy Live scoring system can be found here.

A description of Yahoo Fantasy Racing’s scoring system can be found here.

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