Welcome back for our second week of DFS NASCAR! This article will once again focus on the rules of fantasy NASCAR on DraftKings and breakdown what’s important to pay attention to. Following that, we will dive into strategy for this week. Last week we learned a couple of things: 1. Drivers who dominate the race WILL be rewarded. The top scoring driver (Martin Truex Jr.) scored 111 fantasy points by leading 131 laps and having the “fastest lap” 62 times which accounted for over half of his point totals. Truex clearly dominated the race and although fuel strategy prevented him from winning it, he was still the top scoring driver. 2. Final position isn’t everything! This goes hand-in-hand with the last point. One DFS player had an entry with 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th and did not place. DO NOT be discouraged by this! The placing was skewed by fuel strategy in the longest race of the year. Teams took some gambles and a few paid off, including Carl Edwards’s win. Point being: Our goal is to pick the drivers who we anticipate will perform well throughout the race, regardless of where they finish. Obviously a higher finishing position will be more beneficial to us, but several other factors go into selecting drivers! Please direct any questions to @tbadger23 and I will be glad to clear up any confusion! Let’s see if we can tame the Monster Mile this week!
What’s important to know:
Final Position: This is the easy one. The higher your driver finishes, the more points you receive. A 1st place finish receives 46 PTS, while 43rd will receive 1 PT.
Fastest Laps: Each time your driver runs the fastest lap, you will receive +0.5 PTS. Your driver, while unlikely, will have the potential to earn a maximum of (0.5) X (# of laps in the race) PTS.
Laps Led: For each lap your driver leads, you will receive +0.25 PTS. It’s as simple as that.
Pass Differential: This one will be a bit tricky. For each pass your driver makes, he/she will receive +0.25 PTS. In turn, for each time your driver loses a position, he/she will lose -0.25 PTS. This will NOT be scored on a lap-by-lap basis but on a pass-by-pass basis. So, if your driver goes back and forth battling for a position multiple times during a lap, the scoring WILL account for that. I don’t see this category having a major impact on which drivers you should select, however, it’s something we have to be aware of.
Place Differential: Place differential will be determined by the difference from where your driver starts, to where he/she finishes. So, if your select driver starts 1st, he/she cannot have a positive place differential. (Example: if your driver qualifies 20th and finishes 10th, he/she will have receive +10 PTS for a positive 10 in the place differential category). Note: If your selected driver has to go to the back at the start of the race for any reason (backup car, engine change) he/she will still maintain the position he/she qualified, for fantasy purposes.
KEVIN HARVICK 7/2
JIMMIE JOHNSON 7/2
KURT BUSCH 8/1
JOEY LOGANO 10/1
MATT KENSETH 12/1
JEFF GORDON 15/1
KYLE BUSCH 15/1
MARTIN TRUEX JR 15/1
DALE EARNHARDT JR 18/1
DENNY HAMLIN 18/1
CARL EDWARDS 20/1
KASEY KAHNE 20/1
KYLE LARSON 25/1
JAMIE McMURRAY 60/1
CLINT BOWYER 75/1
GREG BIFFLE 75/1
TONY STEWART 75/1
RYAN NEWMAN 100/1
DAVID RAGAN 100/1
PAUL MENARD 100/1
AUSTIN DILLON 100/1
AJ ALLMENDINGER 300/1
ARIC ALMIROLA 300/1
DANICA PATRICK 500/1
TREVOR BAYNE 500/1
RICKY STENHOUSE JR 500/1
SAM HORNISH JR 500/1
CASEY MEARS 500/1
(Note: these odds were released prior to qualifying but should remain rather steady)
From here, we will dive into the analysis for this week’s Coca Cola 600. Drivers will be broken down by
(1) GREEN FLAG: must play in all formats
(2) YELLOW FLAG: GPP plays, come with some risk)
(3) RED FLAG: avoid these drivers
(4) WHITE FLAG: My extreme value play for the week
(5) CHECKERED FLAG: My pick to win the race.
Martin Truex Jr. ($10,200):
I made the mistake of not putting Truex Jr. here last week and I won’t be making that mistake again. In 12 starts this season, Truex has 11 top 10s. He’s still searching for his first win of the 2015 season after coming SO close last week at Charlotte. Truex has been the most consistent driver on the circuit this season and in 18 Sprint Cup starts at Dover, he’s averaged a 16th place finish with a win coming back in 2007 (his first NSCS win). Dover is considered his “home track,” located 2 hours away from his home in New Jersey. Does he win this Sunday? I’d say no. BUT, I will say this: If he can get out front early, he very well could be the highest scoring driver of the day. Overall, his price is still too low as he is only the 12th highest priced driver on the board. He’s a very safe CASH GAME play and is expected to have a high ownership rate in GPP’s.
Paul Menard ($8,400):
Menard has been another consistent driver this year, finishing outside the top 25 just once all season. Menard is coming on strong of late as he’s finished 15th or better in 4 of his last 5 starts. He’s averaged a 19th place finish in 15 starts with 2 top 10s at Dover but I’m banking on his consistency here. Starting 18th should give him a little room for a positive place differential and he’ll save you a lot of salary at just under 17% of the $50,000 cap. I like Menard to finish in the top 15 once again this week in his Menard’s #27 Chevrolet.
Jeff Gordon ($11,700):
Everyone loves a feel-good story, and Jeff Gordon is looking for his first win in his final season at a track he’s won at 5 times. His average finish is 11.43 in 44 starts. Yes, FORTY-FOUR. That’s incredible. I feel like a lot of people will look at other options due to Gordon’s price tag but let’s keep in mind, he is starting back in 22nd leaving him a great chance for a positive place differential. We will discuss value options later on in the article to help you fit drivers like Gordon. I see him as an excellent GPP play this Sunday.
Denny Hamlin ($10,800):
Before we dive into Hamlin, a little disclaimer: I’m not putting Hamlin here to discourage you away from using him, just to be cautious. Hamlin is starting on the pole position for Sunday’s race but has struggled at Dover in his career with an average finish of 19th in 18 starts with just 3 top 5s. Here’s the difficulty with this pick: If Hamlin can stay out in front early, he could rack up points quickly with laps led, and potentially running several quickest laps being out front in clean air. However, if he gets shuffled back early, he easily could become a bust. He’s definitely a GPP ONLY play today in my book and if I’m only entering one team? I’m fading Hamlin Sunday.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($7,800)
Stenhouse Jr. starts 9th and at first glance looks like a great value play at $7,800. Think again. His last four finishes look like this: 28th, 26th, 24th, and 37th last weekend. His average finish in 5 NSCS races at Dover is 20.40. Stenhouse Jr. is destined for a negative place differential here and I’d be shocked if he was able to keep the top 10 position he starts in. AVOID him in ALL FORMATS.
Kurt Busch ($12,500)
This red-flag pick is mostly due to price. At 25% of the salary cap, I see no reason to pay up for the older Busch brother today. He’s had some success at Dover in his career with a win and 6 top 5s in 29 races, but in his last four starts here, he hasn’t cracked a top 10. Busch is an easy fade for me on Sunday.
J.J. Yeley ($7,400)
I nearly went back to Brett Moffitt this week, but he’s not the same driver in lesser equipment. This pick is “extreme value” for a reason and I’m going to go with experience here. J.J. Yeley has 16 NSCS starts at Dover in his career and has decent equipment in the #23 Dr. Pepper Toyota. He’s had zero success here, but again, the experience is there AND he should finish with a positive place differential. If you need salary relief, J.J. is your guy. Temper your expectations but positive points are better than negative!
And we’ve reached the checkered flag once again! My pick to win this week is… Jeff Gordon! Going against Vegas again but hey, anyone can look at the odds right? 🙂 Get him in your lineups!
DraftKings is shelling out over $150K in guaranteed contests this Sunday including the $50K Victory Lane ($27 entry), $50K Slingshot ($3 entry), and $30K High-Line ($300 entry) so hurry and enter before they fill up!
I hope you all enjoyed the article this week. If you have any questions/feedback please tweet me @tbadger23. PLEASE enter NASCAR contests if you are able so we can keep seeing more contests with more guaranteed money each week! Thanks for reading!!
Best of luck,