Nascar picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

    Chris Durell

    Daily Fantasy Nascar Picks
    Axalta "We Paint Winners" 400

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    Axalta "We Paint Winners" 400

    Pocono Raceway - Long Pond, PA

    The Nascar haulers have left Dover and headed north to Long Pond, Pennsylvania for this weekends Nascar Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway. The track has been nicknamed "The Tricky Triangle" as the track is a 2.5 miles with 3 completely different and unique corners. Teamwork is crucial between driver and crew chief throughout the race to make the correct changes to try and be efficient in all 3 corners which is a tall task. Pocono has kind of become the home for Hendrick Motorsports in recent years. Dale Jr. swept both races here last year, Kahne and Jimmie won the 2 races in 2013 and Jeff Gordon in the Fall of 2012. That's 5 straight wins for HMS at Pocono. Oh, and Jeff Gordon has the most career wins here with 6. WOW! With this being the 75th running of a Nascar race at Pocono Raceway you can bet Hendrick will come with all they got again and try and make it 6 straight.

    One takeaway from last week, concerning strategy, is that with the low number of choices in Nascar(43) it makes for a tremendous amount of overlapping lineups in the larger GPP tournaments. I have decided to change my initial strategy until my Nascar bankroll is to the point where I can efficiently multi enter the larger tournaments. I will be playing a cash linuep and using the same lineup in some 3 man leagues and head to heads. I will then be entering some smaller leagues with GPP only lineups and selecting 1 or 2 to enter in the larger field tournaments. We will see how this goes. I will post results in next weeks article. I am really concentrating on recording my results to find the best strategy possible.

    Now on to the picks for this week:

    Tier 1 Targets (DK Price $12,200-$14,000)

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. - $12,200
    Vegas Odds - 7.5/1
    Sprint Cup Standings – 5th
    Qualified - 20th
    How could I not have Dale Jr. in the #1 spot this week. The guy swept both races here in 2014 and finished Top 5 in both races in 2013. I his last 6 races here he has 2 wins, 4 Top 5's, 5 Top 10's, & an average finish of 8.3. When Dale has figured out a track he is close to impossible to beat. Get him in your lineups this week.

    Jimmie Johnson - $13,400
    Vegas Odds - 6/1
    Sprint Cup Standings – 3rd
    Qualified - 9th
    As I stated in the intro Hendrick Motor Sports has dominated here the past 2.5 years. In that time Jimmie has 1 win, 2 Top 5's, 3 Top 10's, & an average finish of 12.8. Not as good of track record as Jr. lately but no one is going to come close to that success on ANY track. Jimmie is coming into this race with 4 wins in 13 races this year. At this rate we could see him around the 10 win mark by the time Homestead comes around. Barring any unforeseen troubles on the track both HMS drivers in Tier 1 should post Top 5's and compete for the win.

    Tier 2 Targets (DK Price $11,000-$11,700)

    Joey Logano - $11,500
    Vegas Odds - 12/1
    Sprint Cup Standings - 4th
    Qualified - 11th
    Logano won the Daytona 500 at the start of the season and has posted 5 Top 5's, & 8 Top 10's since. His consistency is the reason why he sits 4th in the Sprint Cup Standings. He is the last "Non Hendrick Driver" to win here and in his last 6 races here has the win, 2 Top 5's, 4 Top 10's, & an average finish of 12.3. He and Penske teammate Brad Keselowski have been fast this year and have started close to the front frequently. Logano should have a good chance at finishing inside the Top 10 again and possibly getting his 2nd win this year.

    Jeff Gordon - $11,300
    Vegas Odds - 9/1
    Sprint Cup Standings - 9th
    Qualified - 4th
    Hendrick driver #3 in my picks this week. My first time writing about Mr. Gordon. This is his last year in Nascar full time as he is retiring after this season ends. He hasn't yet qualified for the Chase Playoffs and this could be one of his best chances going forward. He has the most wins all time here(6) and in his last 6 races has a win, 2 Top 5's, 4 Top 10's and an average finish of 8.0. I have never been a fan of the #24 or Hendrick in general but you have to respect their team and driver history. They are the best team in Nascar and this is one of the tracks where all 4 have success. Get them in your lineups.

    Tier 3 Targets (DK Price $9500-$10,800)

    Kyle Larson - $10,100
    Vegas Odds - 17/1
    Sprint Cup Standings - 20th
    Qualified - 15th
    If you are looking at going at a balanced lineup with some guys down the list Larson is a nice start. His first two career races here were last year and he finished 5th in the June race after starting 14th and finished 11th in the August race after capturing the pole. So far this year he has 1 Top 5 and 3 Top 10's.

    Ryan Newman - $9500
    Vegas Odds - 67/1
    Sprint Cup Standings - 13th
    Qualified - 13th
    Newman comes into this race holding the best average finish(7.0) of any driver over the past 6 races here. In that time he has 2 Top 5's, 5 Top 10's, and has finished inside the Top 15 all 6 races. Newman has been rolling along nicely this season with 4 |Top 5's and 8 Top 10's. He is another Cash Game pick I will be using this week.

    Tier 4 Target (DK Pricing $8000-$9200)

    Clint Bowyer - $9200
    Vegas Odds - 76/1
    Sprint Cup Standings - 17th
    Qualified - 23rd
    Just $300 cheaper than Newman and similar success at the Pocono. Bowyer, in his last 6 races here, has 1 Top 5, 3 Top 10's, and is the only other driver outside Newman to finish each of the last 6 races inside the Top 15. He has an average finish of 9.7 in that time. His 2015 season hasn't been great with just 3 Top 10's, but after a 9th last weekend he should come into one of his best tracks with some confidence.

    Tier 5 Target (DK Pricing $7000-$7900)

    Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $7900
    Vegas Odds - 501/1
    Sprint Cup Standings - 27th
    Qualified - 17th
    Going back to the well with Stenhouse this week after he disappointed last week. He has raced here 4 times in his career and has 1 Top 15 and 2 Top 20's with an average finish of 23.3. He has finished 37th two weeks in a row now and its time he breaks out and gets a Top 20 or better.

    *** Post Practice & Qualifying Update***
    Practice #1 Top 10
    1. #4 Kevin Harvick
    2. #18 Kyle Busch
    3. #19 Carl Edwards
    4. #88 Dale Jr.
    5. #3 Austin Dillon
    6. #11 Denny Hamlin
    7. #2 Brad Keselowski
    8. #78 Martin Truex Jr.
    9. #48 Jimmie Johnson
    10. #24 Jeff Gordon

    Qualifying Order Top 10
    1. #41 Kurt Busch
    2. #19 Carl Edwards
    3. #78 Martin Truex Jr.
    4. #24 Jeff Gordon
    5. #4 Kevin Harvick
    6. #3 Austin Dillon
    7. #2 Brad Keselowski
    8. #11 Denny Hamlin
    9. #48 Jimmie Johnson
    10. #18 Kyle Busch

    Practice #2 Top 10
    1. #4 Kevin Harvick
    2. #88 Dale Jr.
    3. #19 Carl Edwards
    4. #78 Martin Truex Jr.
    5. #11 Denny Hamlin
    6. #20 Matt Kenseth
    7. #5 Kasey Kahne
    8. #42 Kyle Larson
    9. #41 Kurt Busch
    10. #18 Kyle Busch

    Final Practice Top 10
    1. #4 Kevin Harvick
    2. #42 Kyle Larson
    3. #5 Kasey Kahne
    4. #19 Carl Edwards
    5. #41 Kurt Busch
    6. #78 Martin Truex Jr.
    7. #24 Jeff Gordon
    8. #20 Matt Kenseth
    9. #88 Dale Jr.
    10. #1 Jamie McMurray

    Final Thoughts
    Well Stewart-Haas Racing driver Kevin Harvick is bad fast! He lead all 3 practices and Qualified 5th for Sunday's race. He is the most expensive Draftkings driver but I will definitely be rostering him in a few GPP's. Dale Jr. finished final practice 8th and when looking at all 3 practices combined he averaged 3rd best. He was complaining in final practice about his car so you can bet there will be more changes to get Junior to the front quickly. Jimmie Johnson finished final practice 19th and averaged 13th best through all 3 practices. Don't fear though, the #48 will have the car adjusted quickly during the race and be there.

    As for some values that I noticed going into the race, Larson & Dale Jr. top my list. Larson qualified 15th and was 2nd fastest in final practice and averaged 6th through all practices. I feel he will have a top 5 car which will lead to some place differential and pass differential points, and he should also see some fastest laps points as well. Dale Jr. starting 20th is also a fast car this week. He should also see plenty of bonus points in all categories as he works his way to the front to give Harvick a run. Also consider Bowyer(starting 23rd), Biffle(starting 27th), Kenseth(19th).

    Good luck this week everyone!


    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 and of course PGA. 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 questions and how he copes with the winters up north.


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    image sources

    • 2048px-NASCAR_practice: By U.S. Air Force photo by Larry McTighe [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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