Nascar picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

    Chris Durell

    Daily Fantasy Nascar Picks
    AAA Texas 500

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    AAA Texas 500

    Texas Motor Speedway - Fort Worth, TX
    Track Type/Length - 1.5 Mile Quad Oval Paved Intermediate Track
    24° Banking in the Turns
    The Goody's Headache Relief 500 at Martinsville was another great race and again finished with some hurt feelings. Joey Logano and teammate Brad Keselowski combined to lead 350 laps but both were involved in late race contact with Matt Kenseth and finished outside the top 30. It's too bad that Matt Kenseth wrecking Joey Logano while he leading the race has over shadowed one of the best wins of the year. Jeff Gordon, in his final season in NASCAR, picked up his 93rd career win at Martinsville. It was his first win of the 2015 season, and no better time than in the Chase where he is now locked into the final four at Homestead. For me, even as a Kyle Busch fan, it was the best moment of the NASCAR season seeing Jeff Gordon win that race and act like a teenager in Victory Lane. I am also a big fan of narrative street and seeing Jeff Gordon win the Championship in his final season would be a Hollywood script.

    Race #2 in the Eliminator Round takes us to Fort Worth, Texas for the AAA Texas 500 on Sunday. Texas Motor Speedway is 1.5 Mile Intermediate track with 24 degree banking in the corners. It is one of the fastest non Superspeedway tracks in NASCAR and always produces good racing for the fans. Track position in qualifying won't be as crucial this week as there has been at least five drivers who have finished inside the top 10 each of the last five races who started outside the top 10. We will really want to concentrate on selecting drivers who are showing speed in practice and have nice consecutive 10 lap averages. As of writing this Matt Kenseth as been suspended for two races for wrecking Joey Logano. There will still be an appeal process so be sure to check the news leading up to the race for all the information. Now on to a few picks in each tier this week.

    Upper Tier Targets

    Joey Logano
    DraftKings - $10,800
    Fantasy Feud - $255,000
    Vegas Odds - 5.5/1
    Chase Standings - 8th
    Practice #1 - 5th
    Final Practice - Cancelled
    Qualified - 4th

    He lead 207 laps at Martinsville and looked to be on his way to a 4th straight win. That was until Matt Kenseth decided to take some revenge and wreck Logano. To some drivers that may have been season ending but Logano has been extremely fast over the past month and will have a great shot at a win in each of the next two races. I can see Logano using last weekend as motivation and winning this Sunday. Logano's track record here at Texas has been excellent with a win, four top 5's and an average finish of 5.0 in the last five races here.

    Kyle Busch
    DraftKings - $10,400
    Fantasy Feud - $230,000
    Vegas Odds - 7.5/1
    Chase Standings – 2nd
    Practice #1 - 11th
    Final Practice - Cancelled
    Qualified - 3rd

    He missed the Spring race here due to being injured but in the last four races here Kyle has a win, three top 5's and a 5.3 average finish. He is in strong contention to make it inside the final four at Homestead with a chance at a championship. Since returning from the leg injury, Kyle seems to have changed his ways somewhat and better prepares himself to finish a race rather than try and lead every single lap. This bodes well for his championship chances as patience and selective aggressiveness is what is needed to win the whole thing.

    Jimmie Johnson
    DraftKings - $10,500
    Fantasy Feud - $240,000
    Vegas Odds - 6/1
    Chase Standings – Not In Chase
    Practice #1 - 14th
    Final Practice - Cancelled
    Qualified - 8th

    If you are talking Texas, you can't not mention Jimmie Johnson. He has dominated this track recently with three wins and four top 10 finishes in the last five races at Texas Motor Speedway. He has also led more than double the laps than any other driver in that time. The #48 team is no longer in Chase contention so there will be no pressure and you can be sure they want to grab another win before seasons end.

    Middle Tier Targets

    Martin Truex Jr.
    DraftKings - $9,200
    Fantasy Feud - $190,000
    Vegas Odds - 13/1
    Chase Standings – 3rd
    Practice #1 - 20th
    Final Practice - Cancelled
    Qualified - 23rd

    He is another of those consistent stretches like he was in early in the season. For weeks we waited for him to break through and pick up that first win of the year. He eventually did and it feels similar this time. He hasn't picked up a win here at Texas in his career but in the last five races he has a top 5 and two top 10's with a 12.0 average finish. He has three top 7 finishes in his last five races and will look to carry that momentum into this weekend and the rest of the Chase.

    Ryan Newman
    DraftKings - $7,200
    Fantasy Feud - $135,000
    Vegas Odds - 101/1
    Chase Standings – NOT IN CHASE
    Practice #1 - 21st
    Final Practice - Cancelled
    Qualified - 19th

    He makes an excellent cash game play at his current salary. He has not finished outside the top 20 since early August and is coming off four straight top 15 finishes. He has two top 10's and a 12.0 average finish in his last five races at Texas. I will be watching closely to where Newman qualifies as he will be a must play if outside the top 15 positions.

    Low End Target

    Paul Menard
    DraftKings - $6,700
    Fantasy Feud - $120,000
    Vegas Odds - 151/1
    Chase Standings – Not in Chase
    Practice #1 - 26th
    Final Practice - Cancelled
    Qualified - 20th

    Another great option for cash games. At his low salary it allows you to fit a few top drivers in your cash game lineups. He has a top 10 and a 20.0 average finish in the last five races at Texas. He has also been consistent recently with three straight top 20 finishes with a 6th place finish two weeks ago. He will be a high volume play for me this week if he qualifies outside the top 20.

    Brian Scott
    DraftKings - $5,500
    Fantasy Feud - $65,000
    Vegas Odds - 101/1
    Chase Standings – Not in Chase
    Practice #1 - 30th
    Final Practice - Cancelled
    Qualified - 21st

    If you are looking for an extremely cheap option for Stars & Scrubs lineups, Scott makes a great choice. He is making his first career start at Texas Motor Speedway in the Sprint Cup Series and will be driving the #33 car on Sunday. It is the same car he drove back at Kansas where he had a career best 12th place finish. He has also picked up a 13th a Vegas, and 22nd at Chicagoland this season, which are also mile and a half tracks. The future is bright for this young star and he can make another impression this weekend with another top 20 or better. At this salary this is all we are looking for.

    Post Practice & Qualifying Update

    Qualifying Top 10:
    1. #2 Brad Keselowski
    2. #4 Kevin Harvick
    3. #18 Kyle Busch
    4. #22 Joey Logano
    5. #42 Kyle Larson
    6. #20 Erik Jones
    7. #41 Kurt Busch
    8. #48 Jimmie Johnson
    9. #11 Denny Hamlin
    10. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.

    Drivers and teams were only able to get the first practice and qualifying sessions in on Friday afternoon. The schedule was shaken up on Saturday as rain fell in the morning and NASCAR couldn't get the track dry enough for practice or Xfinity Series qualifying. This gives us minimal data to use to predict the fast cars for the race tomorrow. We can look a bit into Practice #1 but don't solely use that data as most teams spend the majority of that practice in qualifying trim to attempt to make a solid qualifying run. We will definitely want to target drivers who have had success here in the past. We can find value in for our lineups by targeting some drivers starting outside the top 15 who have an opportunity to pick up some bonus pass differential points.

    Brad Keselowski was fastest in the first practice and won the pole and will start out front on Sunday in Texas. Kevin Harvick who was 2nd in practice #1 will start alongside Logano. Both or at least one of these drivers will lead a bunch of laps and needed in GPP's to maximize your upside. Some targets for place differential bonus are:
    1. #78 Martin Truex Jr. - starting 23rd(lowest qualifying Chase driver)
    2. #1 Jamie McMurray - Starting 27th(one top 5 & two top 10's in last 5 races at Texas)
    3. #9 Sam Hornish Jr. - Starting 32nd(3 top 20's in last five races)

    If you have purchased the cheatsheet and lineups be sure to go download the updated version as DraftKings lineups have changed!!

    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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