How to Create a Fantasy Nascar League
NASCAR Racing Game
In essence all fantasy sports leagues have a very similar structure. You, the fan, are given the opportunity to assemble your own team of athletes who will compete against other fans doing the same thing. However NASCAR fantasy leagues are a tad bit different; let’s drop the green flag and head into turn one on building your own NASCAR fantasy league.
One of the primary reasons for creating your own NASCAR fantasy league, or any fantasy league really, is that you can customize it anyway you want. Typically fantasy leagues have a commissioner who oversees the day to day operations of the league, just like a professional sport. The commissioner will pre-determine the amount of people allowed to participate in the league, the amount of fantasy drivers each person can pick, how points are awarded, etc.
A Fantasy NASCAR league is operated a little bit differently than the other fantasy leagues like baseball and football. Since you only have forty-three drivers to choose from drivers can usually be selected by more than one player. In the other fantasy leagues I mentioned once a player is drafted that player cannot be selected by anyone else.
Points are awarded in a similar way that they actually are done in an actual NASCAR race. You can accumulate points by winning the race (no kidding right?), leading laps, and where you finish at the end of the race. The beauty of creating your own fantasy NASCAR league is you can tweak the point system anyway you want, just like NASCAR’s President Mike Helton. The point system we all know now isn’t even that old; NASCAR adopted it before the start of the 2011 season.
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NASCAR Fantasy Picks
As I mentioned earlier a fantasy NASCAR league isn’t run the same way as other fantasy leagues. Sure there is still strategy in which driver you are going to select for each race but luck plays a major role as well. How many times have you seen a guy absolutely dominate a race to only blow a tire in the final laps or get wrecked by someone when a victory seemed inevitable? I know luck plays a role in the other fantasy leagues too when it comes to things like injuries but NASCAR is really unpredictable.
I believe it is unpredictable because there are so many factors in selecting a driver that you feel will do well in a race. Some research might be called for to see how a driver does at the upcoming racetrack, because some drivers do better at the short tracks or a road course than another. You might also decide to select a driver because he is just doing very well in the last few races; however you go about picking your drivers you will want to have a reasonable idea of how they might do in the race.
Even if you do all of the homework and research you can possibly do there are so many factors out of yours, and the drivers, control. For example let’s say you pick a driver, who has won a handful of races at a particular track the last few years, and all of the signs are pointing to him having another great race. You have zero control over his crew making a pit stop mistake or another driver getting too close to his car and causing him to blow a tire. These unknowns add to the unpredictability of the sport. It doesn’t matter how well you are doing, the race isn’t over until the checkered flag waves.
Let’s say you are new to a fantasy NASCAR league and you aren’t sure how to get started. In my opinion there are three main fantasy leagues to choose from; Yahoo!, FoxSports.com and NASCAR.com. If you take a look at these leagues they are not setup the same way; actually they are quite different. Yahoo! makes you pick from three different groups of drivers predetermined based on some kind of formula they have created. You must select one driver from group A and group C but need to pick two from group B. In addition to these four drivers you must duplicate this effort to have a bench or group of backup drivers.
To add to the challenge you must have these drivers selected before the deadline they have imposed. This deadline will usually be more than one day before the actual race so it will fluctuate depending on when the race will occur.
FoxSports.com has a similar configuration to the Yahoo! league but here you have to pick five drivers for each race. There are no backup drivers, just the five guys you pick. You also have to appoint a captain out of the five; the captain will actually earn you double on points because they are your captain.
To prevent people from just picking the top five drivers in the league and just leaving their fantasy team you can only use one driver four times before they cannot accrue points for you anymore. This is a good rule that makes you really think when you want to use those top drivers. The schedule is also split into three different segments of a set number of races. In each segment the four race maximum rule applies. Once a new segment starts the number if races used for a driver resets back to zero for each driver.
The NASCAR.com league is more of a head to head matchup instead of trying to select a winner or a driver who will finish well in a race. Basically you are given a head to head matchup between two drivers that the website selects. There are ten of these matchups that you have to pick which driver will finish higher that the other one. To add another wrinkle to the selection process is that you have to rank your selections based on your confidence level. The higher you rank a matchup the more confidence you are exhibiting in your choice. If you are uncertain about a pick you give it a lower ranking informing the site of your uncertainty. Bonus points are awarded based on the hierarchy of your selections.
Why would you create your own league? The short answer is for the control. If you join one of the leagues available online you are at the mercy of their rules. If you create a league yourself you get free reign to alter the system anyway you want to. You can still get your friends to participate with you but you get the flexibility to modify things the way you would like them to be operated. If you do not agree 100% with the ways either of the two sites noted above have their league’s configured, change them. Remember you are the boss, and you call the shots, so change something that you do not like.
I have created fantasy leagues for fantasy baseball and football and I have to tell you it has always been very enjoyable. We usually up the point system so everyone gets a bunch of points, just because it is more fun to see those crazy fantasy numbers pile up.
It’s all for fun anyway and usually free to create a Fantasy NASCAR league. This is a big plus for me because I don’t think I would enjoy playing in a fantasy league, win or lose, if money was involved. If someone is running the risk of losing money I believe they won’t enjoy participating in it if they ultimately lose. If you and your friends enjoy gambling you can include some sort of incentive for the winner. I’m not encouraging gambling by any means but maybe the losers have to buy the winner a beer or a round of golf, maybe treat him to bowling; whatever the league decides on as a group.
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