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    Nascar picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

    05/27/2015
    Chris Durell

    Daily Fantasy Nascar Picks
    Fedex 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks


    DFSR is proud to bring you our newest contributor Chris Durell. He'll be bringing weekly Nascar picks, analysis and breakdowns to help you cash on DraftKings. If you are new to DraftKings Nascar DFS be sure to click on the banner below.

    Fedex 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks

    Dover International Speedway – Dover, Delaware

    Welcome back to week 2 of the DFS Nascar season on Draftkings. Week 1 , for me, went pretty well overall. I cashed 2 of my lineups and ended up just above even money for the race. There is going to be a learning curve for DFS Nascar as there was for every sport when it was first introduced. First of all, realizing that every week is a different animal is key. This is my favorite part about Daily Fantasy Sports. No matter what happened yesterday you can start over today. There are plenty of DFS players out there who let yesterdays results affect today's decision making. Getting your brain trained to wipe previous results from your memory is a hard thing to do. I am currently working on a prototype memory erasing machine much like the one in the Men in Black movie. When I am done with it I will be sure to share it with you all. Another key thing to learn from Nascar Fantasy is that no matter how good a driver is at a certain track or track type anything can happen during a race that can affect ANY driver at ANY time. A great example of this happened last weekend. Jimmy Johnson was fast in practice and is dominant on 1.5 Mile tracks yet he spun twice and eventually hit wall and posted a DNF. There is no way to tell who is going to get in a wreck, blow an engine, hit the wall, etc.. This is part of the fun of watching the race! If we knew exactly what was going happen all time we wouldn't watch.

    Before diving in to this weeks race at Dover here are a few takeaways regarding DFS scoring for Nascar that I noticed. First, finishing order is way over rated. The winning lineup of the Draftkings $3 Slingshot Tournament had Biffle(2nd), Kurt Busch(10th), Elliot(18th), Kahne(12th), & Truex(5th). There were plenty of other lineups who had a better 6 driver finishing position but were not close to the top of leaderboard. Why you ask? As I stated in my opening article last week, there are more points in a drivers score than just finishing position. For instance, the top 2 drivers in Draftkings points were K. Busch(100) & Truex(111). No other driver came close to these point totals. The main reason is the bonus points awarded for Laps Led & Fastest Laps. Busch led 118 laps and had 61 fastest laps while Truex has 131 laps led & 62 fastest laps. Both drivers led around 30% of the laps. The next closest driver was Hamlin leading 13.3% of laps. My biggest takeaway from Race 1 on Draftkings is that predicting final positions as your core to making lineups is flat out wrong. If you are not diving deep into the advanced stats for each track and looking closely at practice results leading up to the race you are just not going to win. I am here to help provide you with the advanced stats and research needed to cash more often. On to this week.

    This week the drivers are gearing up(no pun intended)for the Fedex 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway. Dover is a 1 Mile Oval short track. The track is also known as "The Monster Mile". It is one of the most exciting tracks on the circuit as it is very fast for a short track, has 24 degree banking in the corners and has multiple grooves for the drivers to run creating passing lanes on both the inside and outside lanes. Jimmy Johnson will come back to Dover and look to defend his title from last year. He led 272 laps last year on route to a win here. I will again be looking for drivers who fair well here over their careers, but more importantly I will target drivers who show speed in practice and show the ability to not only win the race but possibly dominate laps led and fastest laps.

    Tier 1 Targets (DK Price $10,000-Max)

    Jimmy Johnson - $13,000
    Vegas Odds - 4/1
    Sprint Cup Standings – 5th
    Qualified - 14th
    My first pick this week will not surprise anyone who follows Nascar. Jimmy has dominated Dover in his career with 9 wins, 14 Top 5's and an average finish of 8.15. When looking at more recent data from Dover(last 6 races), Jimmy has 3 wins and 5 Top 5's. He has also led 990 laps during that 6 race period which is damn near double what any other driver has led. Jimmy has a pass differential of 206 this year so far which is #1 among all drivers. He did have trouble last week and had a DNF and I am hoping this drives his ownership down a bit this week but he will still be a high owned driver.

    Brad Keselowski - $12,100
    Vegas Odds - 7/1
    Sprint Cup Standings – 6th
    Qualified - 19th
    Next up on my list is Bad Brad. After finishing outside the top 15 at Bristol, Richmond, and Talladega, Brad has posted 2 straight Top 10's at Kansas and Charlotte and 9th in All Star Race. In his last 6 races at Dover he has 1 Win, 4 Top 5's, 4 Top 10's, and an average finish of 9.8. He has started inside the Top 10 7 of his last 9 races. Brad holds a pass differential of 106 which is 5th among all drivers. If he is fast in practice he should have a shot at getting up front and leading some laps and have a chance to win his second race of the year.

    Kyle Busch - $10,300
    Vegas Odds - 15/1
    Sprint Cup Standings - 41st
    Qualified - 10th
    For my final Tier 1 pick it came down to Truex and Kyle. I chose Kyle for a few reasons and none of them because he is my favorite driver(ok maybe subconsciously). In the past 6 races at Dover they both have 4 Top 10's but Kyle also has 2 Top 5's. In those same 6 races Kyle has led 563 laps(2nd best in that time) at Dover to Truex's 2 laps led. I also believe Truex, because of his hot start to year, will be higher owned than Kyle who just came back from injury. As I stated last week, I feel Kyle is extremely motivated to make it inside the top 30 and get a win to make the Chase Playoffs. Get the #18 into your lineups.

    Tier 2 Targets (DK Price $8000-$9800)

    Kyle Larson - $9500
    Vegas Odds - 26/1
    Sprint Cup Standings - 22nd
    Qualified - 3rd
    The first thing that stood out to me when looking at my cheatsheet this week was Larsons Vegas Odds of 26/1. He has the best odds in Tier 2 and the next best is McMurray at 51/1. Larson's first two races at Dover came last year in his rookie campaign and he finished 11th & 6th. He seems to have picked up on the Monster Mile early in his career and should be primed for another strong start here.

    Clint Bowyer - $9500
    Vegas Odds - 67/1
    Sprint Cup Standings - 17th
    Qualified - 20th
    I am Recommending Bowyer as a GPP only play this week as he has only tallied 2 Top 10's this year and 3 straight finishes outside the Top 20. He should be one of the lowered owned guys but definitely has some upside. I think this is the week the breaks out of the slump and posts at least a top 5. Why you say? He has 2 Top 5's and 6 Top 10's at Dover in his last 6 starts here.

    Aric Almirola - $8000
    Vegas Odds - 251/1
    Sprint Cup Standings - 12th
    Qualified - 23rd
    Almirola comes into to Dover this season rather quietly. He has 0 Top 10's but has finished inside the Top 20 11/12 races. Consistent enough to be 12th in the standings so far. He has 1 Top 10 at Dover in his last 6 here and an average finish of 17.5. Also noteworthy, Almirola has the 4th best Pass Differential this season(117). Look for another Top 20 and possibly his first Top of 2015.

    Tier 3 Targets (DK Price $7000-$7800)

    Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $7800
    Vegas Odds - 251/1
    Sprint Cup Standings - 25th
    Qualified - 9th
    Tier 3 is a wasteland of back of the pack drivers but I think sitting at the top of Tier Stenhouse Jr. provides some low end value for GPP play. He is 9th in Pass Differential(53) for the season. He has raced at Dover 5 times and posted 2 Top 15's and 4 Top 20's. He also finished 4th at Bristol which is also a short track. Oh ya and he dates the only girl in the series!

    **Update 1 - Post Qualifying**
    Practice #1 Top 10
    1. #48 Jimmie Johnson
    2. #11 Denny Hamlin
    3. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    4. #55 David Ragan
    5. #18 Kyle Busch
    6. #15 Clint Bowyer
    7. #19 Carl Edwards
    8. #4 Kevin Harvick
    9.#41 Kurt Busch
    10. #78 Martin Truex Jr.
    For a complete list click HERE

    Qualifying Top 10
    1. #11 Denny Hamlin
    2. #78 Martin Truex Jr.
    3. #42 Kyle Larson
    4. #20 Matt Kenseth
    5. #22 Joey Logano
    6. #4 Kevin Harvick
    7. #16 Greg Biffle
    8. #19 Carl Edwards
    9. #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
    10. #18 Kyle Busch
    For a complete list click HERE

    **Final Update**
    Practice #2 Top 10
    1. #11 Denny Hamlin
    2. #19 Carl Edwards
    3. #41 Kurt Busch
    4. #48 Jimmie Johnson
    5. #55 David Ragan
    6. #42 Kyle Larson
    7. #22 Joey Logano
    8. #4 Kevin Harvick
    9. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    10. #20 Matt kenseth
    For a complete list click HERE

    Practice #3 Top 10
    1. #11 Denny Hamlin
    2. #19 Carl Edwards
    3. #27 Paul Menard
    4. #20 Matt Kenseth
    5. #18 Kyle Busch
    6. #48 Jimmie Johnson
    7. #4 Kevin Harvick
    8. #1 Jamie McMurray
    9. #24 Jeff Gordon
    10. #41 Kurt Busch
    For a complete list click HERE

    Final Thoughts
    Denny Hamlin is FAST! Qualified on the pole and lead both Practice #2 and #3. He should lead some laps and also contribute some fastest laps as well. This could be the scenario like Kurt and Truex last week. I will be looking for some value in Jimmie Johnson this week as he dominates Dover. He will also be starting outside the Top 10 but was fast in all 3 practices. For a low end pick I am sticking with Ricky Stenhouse JR. as he finished up Final Practice in 12th. For any other questions going into the race tomorrow be sure to hit me up on Twitter. Good luck this week!


    Chris Durell has been playing Daily Fantasy Sports for three years and fantasy in general for more than a decade. He is active player in college football, NFL, NBA,PGA, and NASCAR. He lives in Saskatchewan, Canada with his wife and two daughters. You can follow him on Twitter at @jager_bombs9 for advice, strategy, & answers to any PGA or NASCAR questions you may have.

     

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