NASCAR: 6 drivers who surprised Fantasy Live players in 2019

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DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – JULY 07: Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 American Ethanol Chevrolet (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)

From a NASCAR Fantasy Live perspective, 2019 was an eye-opening year. A lot of drivers came out of this season exceeding or falling short of expectations.

NASCAR Fantasy Live, to me, is the top racing fantasy game out there. It’s very easy to pick up and play. I started playing it when it first came out in 2011 and ever since then, I’ve made up a list in my mind of drivers who will do great at any particular track.

NASCAR Fantasy Live has evolved a lot over the years. When it started, it was on a salary cap format. You were given $100 and you chose five drivers, each costing a certain amount. The formula seemed to choose three top-tier drivers such as Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick or Jimmie Johnson and two mid-to-bottom tie-drivers such as Michael McDowell, Austin Dillon or Chris Buescher.

Once stages were introduced in 2017, Fantasy Live got a massive overhaul. The salary cap was gone and got replaced by a usage limit. You were given 10 uses per driver for the regular season. The playoffs removed the usage limit, but you had to pick two playoff drivers and two non-playoff drivers.

I’m not a huge fan of this system because it makes those mid-to-bottom-tier drivers forgettable. I feel like this season especially gave the top drivers a really heavy spotlight, while the other drivers did not seem quite as noticeable.

This season of Fantasy Live did come with some surprises, and that left an impression on me and on other players out there. A lot of things can change from year to year. It’s amazing to see drivers who once dominated at a track just a few seasons ago now just scoring top five and top finishes while other drivers gain the spotlight by surprising fans and experts.

These are six drivers who surprised Fantasy Live players in 2019, three who disappointed and three who exceeded expectations.

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