Welcome back for our fourth 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. Our goal is to pick the drivers who we anticipate will perform strong, regardless of where they finish. Please direct any questions to @tbadger23 and I will be glad to clear up any confusion! Let’s get started!
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 6/1
KURT BUSCH 8/1
MARTIN TRUEX JR 10/1
DALE EARNHARDT JR 10/1
BRAD KESELOWSKI 12/1
JOEY LOGANO 12/1
MATT KENSETH 12/1
JEFF GORDON 12/1
KYLE BUSCH 15/1
DENNY HAMLIN 15/1
KASEY KAHNE 15/1
CARL EDWARDS 18/1
KYLE LARSON 20/1
JAMIE McMURRAY 30/1
PAUL MENARD 40/1
RYAN NEWMAN 60/1
GREG BIFFLE 60/1
TONY STEWART 60/1
RYAN BLANEY 100/1
CLINT BOWYER 200/1
AUSTIN DILLON 200/1
DAVID RAGAN 300/1
ARIC ALMIROLA 300/1
RICKY STENHOUSE JR 300/1
DANICA PATRICK 300/1
AJ ALLMENDINGER 500/1
TREVOR BAYNE 500/1
TY DILLON 500/1
From here, we will dive into the analysis for this week’s Quicken Loans 400. 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.
Kyle Larson ($10,100): Larson makes his 2nd straight appearance in the article and it’s for good reason. Larson will start 16th at the drop of the green flag on Sunday but his final two practice runs are what makes me most excited for him this week. He was 3rd quick in practice #2 and 4th quick in final practice, and comes into this race confident, after finishing 3rd in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race. He’s only had 2 cup starts here where he struggled, but I’m not paying them much attention. In three Xfinity races, he’s finished in the top 10 ALL THREE TIMES with top 5s in two of those finishes. Larson is cheap enough to still fit a more expensive driver or two and I absolutely love the spot he is in Sunday.
Kevin Harvick ($13,900): Let’s make this plain and simple: Harvick is the best driver on the circuit right now. He’s finished outside of the top 10 just ONCE all season. He’s in this spot because of his price. It’s hard to pay up for a driver when you want to surround him with other top options but the fact is? You can’t afford to fade Harvick. He was quickest in the first two practices and 5th in final practice. His last 4 races here? He’s finished in the top 5 every single time. He’s yellow because of his price, but in my book, he’s a green flag play, especially if you only plan to submit a single entry.
Kasey Kahne ($10,800): If you’re new to DFS NASCAR, you’ll quickly realize how valuable leading laps can be. Kahne is in a prime position to lead a few laps, but the question is: how many will he lead? In 22 career NSCS races here, he’s led only 66 laps out of roughly 4,400. That’s a percentage of… 0.015. I’m rolling on numbers and percentages here and going to say that Kahne leads very few laps and therefore gets shuffled back, ultimately finishing with a negative place differential and not enough positives to overcome his negative point totals. However, I’m not perfect, and he could get out front early and lead several laps, putting his value through the roof. He was 11th or better in all three practices, and is a GPP play this Sunday. He won’t make my roster, but perhaps making yours is what puts you to the top of the leader-board on Sunday.
Ryan Blaney ($9,100): Let’s start here: Ryan Blaney is young, and will someday be a very good driver when given the right equipment (in fact, he’s already got the talent, but hear me out). I believe some individuals will jump at the fact that he’s priced at $9,100 and starting in the top 5. Blaney saw his speed decrease from the start of the weekend, posting slower times in consecutive practices. This is Blaney’s first ever start at Michigan and he should not be trusted this Sunday.
Kurt Busch ($12,300): The older of the Busch brothers seems in a prime position this Sunday, starting back in the field in 24th. I’m always looking for positive place differential, but in this instance, I’m extremely hesitant. In 28 career NSCS at MIS, Busch only has 9 top 10s and an average finish of 21.29. There’s no reason to pay up for Busch this weekend. There’s some potential for success but past history tells us to stay away, and that’s what I’ll be doing.
Matt DiBenedetto ($7,100): The value pick came easy this week. DiBendetto starts dead last, meaning he cannot finish with negative points. The good news is this: His worst finish is 42nd. His 2nd worst? 35th. Taking away that 42nd, we’re looking at a good chance for a positive place differential of 8 or higher. For $100 below minimum, you can’t go wrong with DiBendetto. He’s definitely the top value option available.
Well, I was close last week, picking Harvick who finished 2nd. My pick for this Sunday is… Jeff Gordon! He’s won here 3 times and has more experience than anyone else in the field.
DraftKings is paying out almost $200K in guaranteed contests this Sunday including the $75K Main Event ($100 entry), $40K Checkered Flag ($10 entry), and $20K Happy Hour ($1 entry) all of which are part of the special Summer Games promotion!
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 and enjoy your Sunday!! (Please note: there is rain in the forecast for Sunday’s race. In the event that the race cannot be completed, expect it to be continued Monday afternoon, with your contests carrying over to Monday.)
Best of luck,