Will Bryan Craig (‘GH’) or Freddie Smith (‘Days’) win Daytime Emmy with Chandler Massey out of the way?

This year’s Daytime Emmy pre-nominees for Best Younger Actor must be breathing a sigh of relief now that Chandler Massey (“Days of Our Lives“) is no longer in contention.

Massey won the category for the last three years in a row, which was historic in multiple ways. He was only the second actor ever to win the category three times (former “General Hospital” star Jonathan Jackson previously pulled off a hat trick in the 1990s). Massey was also the first to do so in consecutive years. And he’s the only “Days” actor ever to win three times.

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But Massey left “Days” at the beginning of 2014, so he’s out of the race. That’s good news for the eight actors on this year’s longlist, including three past nominees who have been flattened by the Massey juggernaut in recent years. In fact, this is the only acting contest that is guaranteed to have a first-time winner this year.

Bryan Craig was nominated last year for his role as Morgan Corinthos on “GH.” He’s one of two pre-nominees from the ABC soap, along with Tequan Richmond, who has yet to be nominated.

Even without Massey in contention, “Days” dominates this field with four candidates. Only one is a previous nominee: Freddie Smith, who plays Sonny Kiriakis, the love interest of Massey’s former character, Will Horton, who is now played by Guy Wilson. Smith was nominated in 2013, when Massey picked up his second Emmy.

Smith’s three “Days” co-stars are looking for their first nominations: 21-year-old Casey Moss and pre-teens Connor Kalopsis and Terrell Ransom Jr. No pre-teen actor has been nominated for this award since Bryant Jones, who was nominated three times for “The Young and the Restless” between 1998 and 2000 when he was six, seven, and eight-years-old.

“Y&R” has two actors in the running. One is Max Ehrich, who has been nominated for the last two years as Fenmore Baldwin. The other is Max Page, the youngest pre-nominee at age 10.

Who do you think will win now that Massey isn’t an option? Use our drag-and-drop menu below to make your predictions. Click here to enter your picks in eight other drama races.

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