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    Chris Durell

    Daily Fantasy Nascar Picks
    Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500

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    Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500

    Martinsville Speedway - Ridgeway, VA
    Track Type/Length - .526 Mile Oval Short Track
    12° Banking in the Turns

    Another wild ending Sunday that involved Joey Logano. He chose the top lane on a late Green-White-Checker finish and on the restart Jimmie Johnson spun out which brought on a caution flag before the start/finish line. Even though NASCAR changed the rule to 1 attempt at a G-W-C, they issued a second attempt anyway. On the second restart Kevin Harvick had engine issues and attempted to slide up the track and out of the way. In the process he took out Trevor Bayne and caused the race ending crash. This gave Joey Logano the win, by inches, over Dale Earnhardt JR. who needed a win to advance. The race ending wreck also affected Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth who were both eliminated while Harvick will advance. This is where the conspiracy theories enter the picture. Hamlin and Kenseth both voiced their thoughts post race and they were not the only ones upset(JR. Nation!). No matter what our thoughts on the matter are, NASCAR has ruled no intent and no penalty will be issued. We now move on to the Eliminator Round where the final 8 drivers will fight for the final 4 positions and their shot at the Championship come Hometead, Miami.

    For the first race in round 3, NASCAR will head to Ridgeway, VA for a short track race at Martinsville Speedway. The track is a .526 mile short track and has been compared to and called the "Paperclip". This could be one of the most entertaining races to date in the Chase for many reasons. First, its short track racing and their is a lot of beating and banging. Add to it the fact that there could be many drivers looking for revenge with a "it was short track racing" excuse, and we could have some fireworks. Second, we are down to 8 drivers in the Chase and tensions will rise as there are 3 races to left before the season ending race at Homestead, Miami where 4 drivers will have a shot at the championship.

    For cash games this week I am going to avoid the drama of those who could possibly be seeking or receiving revenge. There is too much vulnerability in drivers like Harvick, Logano, Hamlin, Kenseth to use them in cash games. Cash games will also be difficult as the track itself makes drivers vulnerable to contact and possible wrecks. I will be limiting cash games this week and concentrating on making some boom or bust GPP lineups for the $3 Slingshot on DraftKings. Qualifying will be very important this week as track position and pit stall location is key to having a shot at a win. It is rare for drivers outside the top 20 starting positions to score top 10's at Martinsville so we will look for drivers starting in a top 10 position.

    Upper Tier Targets

    Jeff Gordon
    DraftKings - $10,300
    Fantasy Feud - $235,000
    Vegas Odds - 6.5/1
    Chase Standings – 3rd
    Practice #1 - 2nd
    Practice #2 - 16th
    Final Practice - 12th
    Qualified - 5th

    For the first time this season Jeff Gordon has made it to the top of my picks and I hope my mommy is proud(lol). It is her favorite driver and she is pretty sad he is retiring so it's the least I could do, right? In all seriousness though, the #24 team makes a great pick this week at Martinsville. First of all, he isn't involved in any controversy making him the safest choice at the top. Second, he has been extremely consistent throughout the Chase with a 14th at the opening race in Chicago being his worst finish. Don't forget about his track record here as it is the main reason he is the top pick. In the previous five races here he has a win, three top 5's, four top 10's and a 5.4 average finish(best in NASCAR last 5 years). He will be the staple to my cash lineups and highly owned across my GPP's this week.

    Joey Logano
    DraftKings - $10,500
    Fantasy Feud - $255,000
    Vegas Odds - 6.5/1
    Chase Standings – 1st
    Practice #1 - 1st
    Practice #2 - 4th
    Final Practice - 7th
    Qualified - 1st

    With Matt Kenseth still upset over the spin at Kansas, Logano will be fighting to keep the #20 away from his rear bumper all day. It is going to be hard to fade Logano this week with how well he is racing. He swept the last round, winning all 3 races and is by far carrying the most momentum into the Eliminator Round. He made it all the way to the final four at Homestead last season and is well no his way to accomplishing that 2 years in a row. He and Kevin Harvick are the only 2 drivers remaining who were in the final 4 last season. If he can avoid revenge and/or a wreck he will be up front contending for a win Sunday. Take a shot in GPP tournaments.

    Brad Keselowski
    DraftKings - $9,400
    Fantasy Feud - $200,000
    Vegas Odds - 12/1
    Chase Standings – 5th
    Practice #1 - 3rd
    Practice #2 - 18th
    Final Practice - 3rd
    Qualified - 11th

    He was a bit under the radar in the last round as he wasn't involved in any of the shenanigans that went on. He was, however, very consistent scoring top 10's in all 3 races. He comes back to Martinsville with two top 5's and three top 10 finishes. If he can remain focused on the task at hand and not get caught up in all the other stuff going on, he will have a shot at a win on Sunday and a second championship in his young career.

    Middle Tier Targets

    Kurt Busch
    DraftKings - $8,600
    Fantasy Feud - $185,000
    Vegas Odds - 19/1
    Chase Standings – 4th
    Practice #1 - 22nd
    Practice #2 - 15th
    Final Practice - 19th
    Qualified - 15th

    Much like Keselowsi, Kurt has kept his nose out of trouble and focused on the Chase. He finished 5th, 6th, and 10th in the last round and will be looking to carry that over into the Eliminator Round. His win at Martinsville in March 2014 was his first top 10 at the track since 2005 so I would only recommend for GPP lineups this week.

    Clint Bowyer
    DraftKings - $7,300
    Fantasy Feud - $140,000
    Vegas Odds - 101/1
    Chase Standings – NOT IN CHASE
    Practice #1 - 9th
    Practice #2 - 22nd
    Final Practice - 11th
    Qualified - 17th

    He enters the final four races in the #15 for Micheal Waltrip Racing as the team will cease operations following this season. He will be looking to finish on a high note and comes back to a track where he has had success in the past. In the previous five races at Martinsville, Bowyer has two top 5's, four top 10's and a 8.4 average finish. He is coming off an 8th at Talladega and at a salary under $7,500 this week he makes a nice cash game play.

    Low End Target

    Greg Biffle
    DraftKings - $5,700
    Fantasy Feud - $100,000
    Vegas Odds - 76/1
    Chase Standings – Not in Chase
    Practice #1 - 19th
    Practice #2 - 10th
    Final Practice - 17th
    Qualified - 25th

    Comes in as the 31st ranked driver in salary on DraftKings and makes a great play in any format. He has been inconsistent all year but at this price a top 15 or even top 20 will be enough to pay off. I believe he has even higher upside here at Martinsville where he has two top 10's in his previous five races here with a 14.0 average finish(8th best last 5 years). His Vegas odds sit at 151-1 to win the race and he sits just above guys in salary that are 1001-1. Get him in your lineups this week.

    Post Practice & Qualifying Update

    Qualifying Top 10:
    1. #22 Joey Logano
    2. #78 Martin Truex Jr.
    3. #47 AJ Allmendinger
    4. #1 Jamie McMurray
    5. #24 Jeff Gordon
    6. #18 Kyle Busch
    7. #31 Ryan Newman
    8. #43 Aric Almirola
    9. #42 Kyle Larson
    10. #11 Denny Hamlin

    The hot streak continues for Joey Logano as he picked up the Coors Lite Pole Award and will be starting up front for the race Sunday. He makes a nice GPP option this week as he presents some risk of being dumped by Kenseth, who is still cranky from 2 weeks ago. Go away Kenseth! Martin Truex Jr. will be starting on the front row beside the #22 and showed consistent speed through the final two practices and will have a shot at some laps led and a possible win if he can stay out of trouble. Starting 2nd takes him out of consideration for cash games as he won't pickup any place differential points this week. Another notable driver for Sunday will be Jimmie Johnson looking for another Grandfather Clock on Sunday(trophy for winning the race). He qualified 21st but showed top speed in final practice and was also at the top of the board on consecutive 10 lap average in final practice. He has been great throughout his career here and with no pressure of the Chase, look for Jimmie to work his way forward and contend for the win while picking up bonus points along the way. On the low end Greg Biffle and Paul Menard present some value starting 25th & 26th respectively. Both were top 15 cars in the final two practices and should be able to pick up some spots and place differential bonus points.

    Want to see how these picks and more fit into lineups for the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500? 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.


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