The Frontstretch: Fantasy Insider: Must-Win Situations Mean Must Have On Your Roster At RIR by Mike Ravesi -- Thursday September 9, 2010

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The high banks of Richmond allow for fast racing, and the 3/4-mile length keeps the action in close quarters, making this track one of the fan favorites. Combine that with Saturday night’s event being the last chance for drivers to make the Chase, and you’ve got all the makings for one of the best shows of the season. Of course, your fantasy league isn’t going to give you a break by resetting the points after this week, so once again you’ve gotta grab five winners – not five guys wanting to run 25th and just finish. So lets take a look ahead and see who will be the looking for the win and who’s just looking to survive the night in this week’s edition of the Fantasy Insider.

Studs

This week, I am kind of going to throw stats out the window for this section. Ryan Newman HAS to win and lead the most laps. He’s got a victory here already and 11 top 10s, but you can forget about the numbers as a Chase bid hangs on the line for the No. 39 team. Simply put, he needs to dominate this race and hope for some luck to sneak by Clint Bowyer and make it in. While some drivers will try out some things prior to the Chase, some have already packed it in, and some are just riding around waiting for it to start… Newman will go to the front and win it.

Jamie McMurray may be on the outside looking in of the Chase, but if he can manage to sneak in he could be a key sleeper in the final 10 races.

Jamie McMurray is our other stud this week, since he also is in a must-win situation. He’s got four top-5s in the last seven races, and he’s in the same boat as Newman. And while the career numbers here aren’t great at Richmond, look for him to lay it all on the line. With two wins this season and his history at the Chase tracks, he could be an outside contender if he can somehow make the 12-man playoff.

Who will carry you

Last spring, I went with Brad Keselowski, Marcos Ambrose, and Sam Hornish, Jr. If you followed my advice, you had a lot of success with my first two picks as Ambrose finished ninth and Keselowski 14th. If you picked Hornish, you didn’t do quite so well as he was relegated to 36th after being caught up in an accident. So this week, we’ll stick with Ambrose and Keselowski and throw in David Reutimann. He is coming off a 15th-place effort here in the spring and has strung together five straight top-25 finishes. His career average of 19th should be easily attainable this Saturday.

Who will bury you:

He may be a Chaser, but make sure you’re staying away from Matt Kenseth. He’s ninth in points, but he’s really not been a factor at all this year and isn’t scaring anyone going into the Chase. His career average at Richmond is 17th, and he ranks 21st amongst drivers in the last three years at the short tracks. Add in that he hasn’t had a top 10 here since 2007, and you can see you’ll wanna spend your fantasy points a little more wisely this weekend.

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So there you have it, enough insight to go set your rosters with confidence for Saturday night’s main event. Check back next Thursday, as we’ll preview New Hampshire where NASCAR’s season changes to twelve guys driving for a championship… and 31 guys trying to stay as far away from them as possible so as to not ruin anyone’s title hopes.

And don’t forget to check out the Frontstretch.com’s Fantasy Racing Game Of Tomorrow and get your lineups set. NASCAR may give 11 guys enough points to make the championship interesting late in the season, but here at the Frontstretch, you’ve gotta earn your racing title!

Thursday on the Frontstretch:
Fanning the Flames: Kyle’s Pink Car, Stewart’s Momentum, And Gordon’s Mustache
Four Burning Questions: Richmond
Dialing It In: The Curious Case Of Ryan Newman
Beyond The Cockpit: Diversity Pioneer Lyn St. James

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