Welcome back for another 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.
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 4-1
JIMMIE JOHNSON 7-1
KURT BUSCH 10-1
BRAD KESELOWSKI 12-1
JOEY LOGANO 12-1
MATT KENSETH 10-1
KYLE BUSCH 10-1
MARTIN TRUEX JR 8-1
JEFF GORDON 12-1
DALE EARNHARDT JR 10-1
DENNY HAMLIN 18-1
KASEY KAHNE 18-1
CARL EDWARDS 18-1
KYLE LARSON 20-1
JAMIE McMURRAY 30-1
RYAN NEWMAN 50-1
DAVID RAGAN 100-1
CLINT BOWYER 100-1
TONY STEWART 60-1
GREG BIFFLE 100-1
PAUL MENARD 75-1
AUSTIN DILLON 100-1
AJ ALLMENDINGER 300-1
ARIC ALMIROLA 300-1
RYAN BLANEY 100-1
DANICA PATRICK 300-1
CASEY MEARS 300-1
CHASE ELLIOTT 100-1
SAM HORNISH JR 100-1
TOP DRIVER AVERAGES OVER THE LAST 5 RACES
AVERAGE PLACE DIFFERENTIAL
From here, we will dive into the analysis for this week
(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 Busch ($11,800): No driver has been hotter than Kyle Busch lately, winning 3 of his last 4. He has had speed at Indy all week long and ended up 6th in final practice. In his last 5 races here KB has finished in the top 10 in ever race, and the top 5 twice. Look for Kyle to keep his hot streak going this week; in my opinion Kyle is one of the best drivers, if not the best driver in the field and this new Aero package suits him well.
Jimmie Johnson ($12,400): Jimmie Johnson is doing what Jimmie Johnson (And all of Hendrick Motorsports) does best at Indy, go fast. He has been 2nd, 11th, and 4th in the 3 practices. No one has been more consistent in practice this week than Jimmie. In the last 5 races he has finished in the top 20 4 times, top 10 twice, top 5 twice, and has 1 win. Out of all drivers in the last 5 races no one has led more laps compared to Jimmie Johnson.
Green Flag Bonus: Stacks
Hendrick Motorsports: We all know the power and speed that these Hendrick boys have, especially at Indy. All the Hendrick cars have had speed all weekend long, and I don’t see that stopping on Sunday by any means. I could go on and on with the stats, but there is really no need to. Just look at what Hendrick and their Chevy power has done here over the years, it’s tough to be sold on just one, but it is tough to argue against saying one of the Hendrick cars won’t be in victory lane on Sunday. As a team they average a finish of 10.5 over the last 5.
Joe Gibbs Racing: These JGR cars have really been getting it going lately, especially Kyle Busch. Edwards starts on the pole and has had a lot of speed all weekend, I expect Carl to lead a bunch of laps on Sunday if he can get the jump and stay out front (Clean air will be big), Matt Kenseth starts 23rd but has finished in the top 15 in 4 of those 5, and inside the top 5 in 3 of those 5. I already highlighted Kyle Busch above, but he is a must play in all formats. As a team they average a finish of 11.4 over the last 5.
(2) YELLOW FLAG: GPP plays, come with some risk)
Kyle Larson ($10,000): I was almost tempted to put Larson as a Red flag for this week, but I just can’t. He had finished outside of the top 30 in each of the last 3 races, a pit road penalty at New Hampshire last week destroyed what looked like a very promising day. In his only appearance at Indy, Larson finished 7th from the 15th starting position. Kyle has been near or on the top of the speed charts all weekend, Finishing 4th and 3rd in the final 2 practices respectively. He was almost a mile per hour faster than everyone in final practice until Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick came out to make qualifying runs late in practice. Like KB, this new aero package suits Larson’s driving style very well. Look for him to have a very strong performance on Sunday as he needs a strong run to get his season back on track. He is only listed as Yellow flag due to his starting spot towards the front, not leaving a lot of room for a positive place differential.
Ryan Newman ($9,300): THIS IS A HIGH RISK PLAY, ONLY RECOMMEND FOR GPP! Newman had had qualifying time disallowed after the competing a lap without the right side window, forcing him to move to the back of the field and start 43rd. Newman has been mid pack all weekend in practice but has shown signs of some speed as he was 11th overall in final practice. If Newman can keep his nose clean and run a good race he has a chance to gain a lot of points and have a huge place differential. All that being said, he may be highly owned due to the fact that he starts 43rd.
(3) RED FLAG: avoid these drivers
David Ragan ($8,100): While it is tempting to look at Ragan because of his price, we also need to take a look at the stats. In 4 races here, Ragan has never finished inside the top 20. While he has some speed in the earlier practices, he was 34th overall in the last practice. He starts 3rd on Sunday and I fully expect him to go backwards.
(4) BLACK FLAG: Dark horse pick, not a stud, and not a value pick. Someone who may give you the edge to win.
Tony Stewart ($9,000): Tony is obviously having a rough year, and has not found a way to pull himself out of this slump yet. I think this week is the week he turns it all around, he’s coming back to his home track where he has had great success in the past. His average finish in the last 5 races here in 15.6 which is good for 11th overall out of all active drivers. In those 5 races he has never finished out of the top 20; he has recorded 4 top 15’s, 4 top 10’s, and 2 top 5’s. His average place differential over the last 5 races is 7.2 and he spends a little over 50% of his time in the top 15. Tony is a super solid bet to finish in the top 10 and produce a great score. He was 5th, 16th, and 10th in the 3 practices. Tony has speed this weekend and look for him to show it on Sunday.
(5) WHITE FLAG: My extreme value play for the week
Cole Whitt ($6,700): Cole starts 41st on Sunday, and I expect him to move forward and gain some spots and a nice positive place differential. In his only start here he started 39th and ran 32nd. Cole had been averaging 16.5 fppr and has had some decent runs the last few weeks.
(6) CHECKERED FLAG: My pick to win the race.
Jeff Gordon ($11,000): Jeff is going into his last race ever at Indy, which is going to be a very emotional weekend for everyone involved. He won the inaugural race here and has won 4 more times since then. In the last 5 races he has recorded 4 top 10’s, 3 top 5’s, and 1 win. In the first 2 practices he was 4th and 6th, he was a little slower in final practice but that doesn’t worry me at all. Jeff will be swinging for the fences and the win harder than anyone this week. He’s had a slow year but this is a place he can get back on track, pick up a win, and lock himself into the chase; and I think he will do just that this weekend. While he starts 19th and passing may be at a premium, if anyone can pull off this type of win at Indy it’s Jeff.