Lock: Sébastien Bourdais
Let’s face it: unless you’ve been very conservative or unnaturally smart, your use of Will Power, Dario Franchitti, and Scott Dixon has been pretty pronounced. That’s why you should look to Bourdais this weekend. He probably hasn’t been overused yet on most fantasy teams, yet his potential at this point in the season is very good. He’s finished P6, P6, and P9 in the past three races he’s contested, and should be in line for another good finish here. This team is simply night and day from where they were earlier in the season.
Drop: Danica Patrick
Danica has finished P16 or worse here three times dating back to 2005. She always finds a way to finish a race, but this is not her sort of track. Save her start for Kentucky or Las Vegas; there are simply better options at play here, unless you just want the certainty of a driver finishing the race.
Sleeper: Mike Conway
Conway’s been a pretty dicey proposition for fantasy owners this year, but in his only start at Sonoma back in ’09, he qualified P9 and finished on the podium. Sooner or later, he’s going to have a race like he did at Long Beach, and Sonoma seems a reasonable place for it to happen.
---Zachary Houghton’s picks
Lock: Ryan Hunter-Reay
With his early season struggles behind him, Hunter-Reay has caught fire over the summer, reeling off finishes of eighth, third, seventh, third, and first in the last five races. He's got his "mojo" back back, and we all know the road courses are his specialty. Expect a good performance from him this weekend.
Drop: Gorgio Pantano
After several years in relative obscurity, Pantano returns to the big-time racing scene this weekend as a fill-in for Justin Wilson. But, don't pin your hopes on him. He hasn't been in an IndyCar since 2005 and the fluctuation of drivers going in and out of Wilson's seat could strain the team itself (they've gone from Wilson to Pagenaud and now to Pantano). This has the recipe for a long weekend for Dreyer and Reinbold.
Sleeper: Charlie Kimball
Kimball has had a tough go of it in his first season. But, after Mid-Ohio and Loudon, it appears he may be turning a corner. He held a top five at Mid-Ohio before spinning off after a mistake in the dying laps, and secured his second top ten of the season two weeks ago in Loudon. Momentum is building, confidence is building. If he can keep it up, people will start remembering this Ganassi team is actually two cars, not just one for Graham Rahal.
---Kyle Lavigne’s picks
LOCK: Will Power
The motivation factor will be through the roof for the Australian, who has now graduated to Internet meme status following his antics at Loudon. Now that he's hacked into Dario Franchitti's points lead a bit, it's critical for Power to defend his Sonoma title -- or at least make sure he's ahead of the Scotsman at the checkers. I think he'll get the job done.
DROP: Giorgio Pantano
Remember this guy? If not, you're forgiven -- we haven't seen Pantano in an IndyCar since his brief '05 run with Target Chip Ganassi Racing that saw him serve as a road course replacement for Darren Manning (Jacques Lazier was the oval replacement). He may have a solid RC background, but the goal for him and Dreyer and Reinbold Racing may just be simply surviving the weekend.
SLEEPER: Marco Andretti
Marco's had some solid efforts on the road/streets this year, with a fourth at Barber, another fourth at Toronto and a seventh at our last natural-terrain RC race in Mid-Ohio. With a good qualifying effort, he could be in contention for a nice run at the track where he took his inaugural IndyCar victory.
---Chris Estrada’s picks
Lock: Will Power
You guys, c'mon, how could you not give this one to Will after last week's "performance"? He was definitely fired up and like any respectable driver, he will be channeling that energy right into victory lane.
Drop: Takuma Sato
Nothing puts the brakes on a driver like being chastised by the great Dario Franchitti. Anymore stunts like the one Sato (accidentally) pulled last week and Sato will not be so welcomed on the track. I have a feeling he'll be on his best behavior at Infineon so as not to step on anymore toes (pun intended).
Sleeper: Oriol Servia
If anyone has a score to settle, it's Servia. He was "Paul Tracy-ed", if you will, last week and nothing lights a fire under a driver like being self-proclaimed cheated out of a win. This week he'll definitely be out to prove he has what it's takes to be the official winner.
----Kristin Slevin’s picks