Nascar picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

    Chris Durell

    Daily Fantasy Nascar Picks
    Myafibrisk.com 400

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    Want to see how these picks and more fit into lineups for the Myafibrisk.com 400? Chris is selling a cheatsheet and lineups for DraftKings & FantasyFeud for $5. Just scroll to the bottom of the picks. This is a separate service than our traditional monthly membership.


    Myafibrisk.com 400

    Chicagoland Speedway - Joliet, IL
    Track Type/Length - 1.5 Mile D Shaped Oval Intermediate Track

    Joe Gibbs Racing capped off the regular season in style on Sunday. Matt Kenseth led 352 laps and took the checkered flag with Kyle Busch as the runner up. Denny Hamlin finished 6th and Carl Edwards in 11th place. They have been really strong for the last 1-2 months and head into the Chase with all four cars looking like contenders for the championship. It's hard to imagine but Hendrick Motorsports might be going into the Chase under the radar, or at least as underdogs. Hendrick will have three cars(Dale Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon) in the Chase and all finished in the top 10 at Richmond. Another team going into the Chase on a nice run is Team Penske. Both Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano have been strong all season and have the experience in the Chase to make it to the end. Joey made it through to the Final 4 last year and Brad Keselowski won the Championship back in 2012. This far into the Chase preview and I haven't mentioned Stewart Haas teammates Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch. Harvick is the defending champ and will look to be only the 11th driver to win back to back championships. He has been the most consistent driver this year finishing top 5 in 18 of 26 races to go with 2 wins. Kurt Busch has won a championship back in 2004 so he knows how to make it happen in the 10 races down the stretch. Furniture Row Racing will send Martin Truex Jr. into the Chase with his 1 win and 17 top 10 finishes. He went through a tremendous stretch at the start of the season only finishing outside the top 10 once in his first 15 races but has only finished inside the top 10 3 times in the last 11 races. Richard Childress Racing
    will send 2 winless drivers(Ryan Newman & Paul Menard) to the Chase. Both have been extremely consistent throughout the season and were never outside looking in. Newman made it to the Final Four last year but fell short to eventual champ Kevin Harvick. This will be Paul Menards first ever Chase for Sprint Cup. Jamie McMurray will represent Chip Ganassi Racing in the Chase in his first ever appearance in the Chase playoff format. Last but not least Clint Bowyer will be seeking a Championship for Micheal Waltrip Racing in the teams final year of existence. It should be a very exciting Sprint(no pun intended) to the end. Now onto the first race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup Playoffs.

    Race #1 of the playoffs will be the myafibrsk.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. Drivers will be looking to get off to a fast start to the Chase here as they only have three races to lock in their spot in the Contender Round of 12. Any driver getting a win in the first three races will automatically advance into the next round. The pressure that a win takes off the drivers is tremendous so we should see at least the 16 Chase drivers driving very aggressively this week. When building your cash games it would be a wise idea to stay focused on the Chase drivers as they have more to race for. When entering GPP contests you can take some more chances and dive a little deeper down the salary list to be able to roster those top end drivers.

    Upper Tier Targets

    Brad Keselowski
    DraftKings - $10,400
    Fantasy Feud - $250,000
    Vegas Odds - 7/1
    Chase Standings – 9th
    Practice #1 -3rd
    Practice #2 - 5th
    Final Practice - 2nd
    Qualified - 3rd

    He comes into Chicagoland sporting nine straight top 10 finishes. He still seems under the under though, as his teammate Joey Logano has picked up two wins in that time. Not to mention JGR has been picking up top 10 finishes like crazy the past two months. He has dominated Chicago over the past five years with two wins, three top 5's and four top 10 finishes with a 6.4 average finish. Team Penske has been fast all year and I can't see anything changing in the Chase.

    Kyle Busch
    DraftKings - $10,600
    Fantasy Feud - $255,000
    Vegas Odds - 7/1
    Chase Standings – 2nd
    Practice #1 - 7th
    Practice #2 - 9th
    Final Practice - 16th
    Qualified - 7th

    It has been a remarkable season for Kyle Busch. He shattered his ankle during Daytona week back in February which forced him to miss 11 races. After five races back he went on an epic run with four wins in a five race span. He then went on to grind his way into the top 30 in the standings an ultimately another shot at a championship. As a Kyle Busch fan it makes it hard for me to pick him in the Chase as he has only 1 win in his playoff history. This year feels different. Kyle seems more mature and ready to win. He has always had the talent and now it seems he has it put together between the ears as well.

    Jimmie Johnson
    DraftKings - $9,200
    Fantasy Feud - $200,000
    Vegas Odds - 13/1
    Chase Standings – 1st
    Practice #1 -12th
    Practice #2 -6th
    Final Practice - 6th
    Qualified - 11th

    My #1 value play of the week. It seems this situation arises every year. The #48 team picks up wins early in the year and locks their spot into the playoffs and goes into a "slump" near the end of the regular season. I am not buying it. It seems more like they prepare for the playoffs while trying new strategies throughout the races leading up to the Chase. In his previous five races here at Chicago he has two top 5's, three top 10's with a 10.8 average finish. When it comes to mile and half(cookie cutter) tracks, Jimmie dominates. At this price he is a must play on both sites.

    Also Consider - Carl Edwards($9,600) & Joey Logano ($10,200)

    Middle Tier Targets

    Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    DraftKings - $8,300
    Fantasy Feud - $165,000
    Chase Standings – 6th
    Practice #1 - 20th
    Practice #2 - 17th
    Final Practice - 21st
    Qualified - 19th

    He enters the Chase with some momentum after four straight top 10 finishes. Hendrick Motorsports has been starting to come alive lately and you can be sure they will be ready to push for another championship. He has one top 5 and two top 10 finishes with a 16.0 average finish in his previous five races at Chicago. With a $8,300 price tag he makes a great play in cash games this week.

    Ryan Newman
    DraftKings - $7,700
    Fantasy Feud - $135,000
    Vegas Odds - 51/1
    Chase Standings – 14th
    Practice #1 - 6th
    Practice #2 -18th
    Final Practice - 10th
    Qualified - 6th

    He is entering the Chase for a second year without a win. That didn't stop him from being the dark horse last year and making it all the way to the Final Four. In this Chase format there will always be a way for a driver without a win to take home a championship. Why not Newman? He has been extremely consistent this year with only four finishes outside the top 20 and ten top 10 finishes. He also has a nice track record at Chicago recently with one top 5, three top 10's and a 12.0 average finish. He will be another core pick for my cash games this weekend.

    Low End Target

    Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
    DraftKings - $6,400
    Fantasy Feud - $105,000
    Vegas Odds - 501/1
    Chase Standings – Not in Chase
    Practice #1 - 28th
    Practice #2 - 27th
    Final Practice - 28th
    Qualified - 27th

    There isn't a whole lot below $7,200 this week that makes me feel warm and fuzzy for fantasy. One thing that stuck out to me when looking at the low end drivers was that Stenhouse Jr. was the only one with a top 10 finish in any of the previous five races here at Chicagoland. He has only raced here twice and has a 12.5 average finish. He makes one of the safest picks at the sub $7,200 price point and could pay off nicely with a top 20 finish.

    Also Consider - David Ragan($6,900)

    ***Post Practice & Qualifying Update***
    Qualifying was rained out on Friday which means the field was set by the first practice session rankings Friday morning. Kevin Harvick was fastest in that first session and will lead the field to the green flag on Sunday joined by Joey Logano in the front row. I had Martin Truex Jr. listed as a GPP play this week and still loving the play. He qualified 4th and was first in both final practices. Jimmie Johnson looks to be a strong play as he should pick some bonus points as he will be starting 11th and should be running with a top 5 car. Matt Kenseth(starting 12th) and Carl Edwards(starting 14th) should provide some nice fantasy points as well as they were 3rd and 4th in final practice. Also, my favorite value play after qualifying will be Deny Hamlin who wills tart back in the 29th position. He was 2nd and 7th in the final two practices so it shouldn't take him long to work his way through the field. On the low end I really like what David Ragan provides in value at $6,900. He is starting 28th and was 15th and 20th in the final two practices. For all the drivers practice times and information be sure to check out my cheatsheet.

    ***Lineup Change***
    If you purchased the cheatsheet and lineups this week be sure to go check out the changes to the DraftKings lineups. Good luck this week!

    Want to see how these picks and more fit into lineups for the Myafibrisk.com 400? Chris is selling a cheatsheet and lineups for DraftKings and FantasyFeud for $5. This is a separate service than our traditional monthly membership. Head over to our PayPal payment page, if that's more your bag.

    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 of course 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 NASCAR questions or how he copes with the winters up north.


    image sources

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

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