Welcome back for our seventh week of DFS NASCAR! Time flies when you’re having fun, right? This week, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) heads to New Hampshire. 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.
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
BRAD KESELOWSKI 6/1
JOEY LOGANO 8/1
KURT BUSCH 10/1
KYLE BUSCH 10/1
MATT KENSETH 12/1
DENNY HAMLIN 12/1
MARTIN TRUEX JR 15/1
JEFF GORDON 15/1
DALE EARNHARDT JR 20/1
KASEY KAHNE 20/1
CARL EDWARDS 20/1
KYLE LARSON 20/1
JAMIE McMURRAY 35/1
RYAN NEWMAN 60/1
CLINT BOWYER 60/1
TONY STEWART 75/1
GREG BIFFLE 100/1
PAUL MENARD 100/1
RYAN BLANEY 100/1
AUSTIN DILLON 200/1
DAVID RAGAN 200/1
AJ ALLMENDINGER 300/1
ARIC ALMIROLA 300/1
RICKY STENHOUSE JR 300/1
DANICA PATRICK 300/1
CASEY MEARS 500/1
TREVOR BAYNE 500/1
From here, we will dive into the analysis for this week’s 5-Hour Energy 301 @ New Hampshire. 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 ($10,000): Larson is looking to rebound from two rough starts where he finished 35th and 39th, respectively. He’s previous 4 finishes were 17th or better including two top 10s. He’s pretty much dominated at New Hampshire in both of his NSCS starts here as well as two XFINITY Series starts. His worst finish in those races was 14th. Otherwise, he’s got three top 5s. He’ll start 17th on Sunday and is a good bet for a positive place differential and a nice bounce back.
Trevor Bayne ($8,300): Bayne hasn’t been great by any stretch this season but he’s definitely trending in the right direction. He has 3 top 15’s in his last 5 races and a worst finish of 24th. He’s averaged an 8.25 finishing position in 4 starts in the XFINITY Series at New Hampshire and Sunday’s start will be his first here in the NSCS. There’s very little risk at his price and he has enough upside to make him a solid play in all formats.
Kevin Harvick ($14,200): Harvick is a whopping 28.4% of the salary cap, but once again the Vegas favorite this week. If you’ve played daily fantasy baseball before, you know how crucial it can be listening to Vegas on the over/under. If not, well…Vegas stays in business for a reason. I expect most people to be on Keselowski as the higher-priced option this week and an excellent GPP play this weekend. He’ll start 12th on Sunday and is a strong bet for a top 5.
Kurt Busch ($11,400): Here’s another solid GPP play this week as Kurt should fly under-the-radar. He hasn’t won here since 2008, but he’s been strong all season and has 4 top 5’s in his last five races. That’s insane. His high starting position certainly limits his upside but everything put together? He’s another fine GPP play on Sunday.
This weekend’s red flag picks will be listed in descending order by price:
Tony Stewart ($8,800)
AJ Allmendinger ($8,200)
Sam Hornish Jr. ($8,100)
David Ragan ($7,800)
Landon Cassill ($7,300)
Cole Whitt ($6,700): The minimum price keeps dropping ($6,600 this week) and Whitt is only $100 above that. There’s minimal risk with the price and his starting position of 33rd. He’s finished better than 33rd in 13 of his 18 starts this season and I like his chances for a small positive place differential.
Kevin Harvick will take the checkered flag on Sunday leading the pack.
DraftKings is paying out over $250K in guaranteed contests this Sunday including the $100K Slingshot ($3 entry) with a $10,000 top prize.
As always, a huge shoutout to Tyler Salisbury for providing the statistics for this weekend’s race. Go follow him on Twitter here: @TSals23
Good luck this weekend!