Nascar picks Daily Fantasy Expert Advice

    Chris Durell

    Daily Fantasy Nascar Picks
    Daytona 500

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    Daytona 500

    Daytona International Speedway - Daytona Beach, Florida
    Track - 2.5 Mile Tri-Oval with 31° Banking in the Turns

    The 2016 NASCAR season has finally arrived. It has been two months since the completion of the 2015 season that was filled with so many incredible stories. Here is a quick recap of the final race at Homestead.

    As a Kyle Busch fan , I have been waiting for this moment for a long time. As with anyone who has watched a NASCAR race in their life knows, Kyle has elite talent when it comes to driving a race car. The issue has always been between the ears. After a life changing accident at this very track last year he was forced to miss a chunk of the season during rehab. It was the time away and the birth of his first child that seemed to have changed Kyle and push him to return and win his first championship. I can't wait to see what he can do next.

    The 2015 season was also the end of Jeff Gordons's incredible racing career. It was only fitting he was a part of the Final Four contending for yet another championship. He came up just short in the final race but will be remembered for the huge collection of achievements in his career. In his 24 years in the sport he has picked up 93 wins which is 3rd all time to Richard Petty(200) and David Pearson(105). He has claimed 4 Championships(Winston Cup back in the day) which is 4th all time to Richard Petty(7), Dale Earnhardt(7), and his long time teammate Jimmie Johnson(6). He has been an incredible ambassador for the sport and will never be forgotten. Below is a great little tribute video to Jeff.


    Now onto the new season and the "Great American Race". In no other sport is the opening event/game of the year the biggest and most prestigious event. It is arguably as important to some drivers as the Championship(I am assuming those drivers haven't won a championship before LOL). Daytona International Speedway is a 2.5 mile superspeedway that sees speeds of over 200 mph even with restrictor plates. The big one(multi car wreck) can happen at anytime and multiple times with the way the cars race in groups for the most part. One little mistake by one driver can ruin the day of many.

    Due to the nature of this race and the unpredictability I really concentrate on tournament play for daily fantasy. This race presents a great opportunity to take a shot with almost any driver because almost anyone in the field can win this race. To maximize your value in DFS NASCAR make sure to pay close attention to qualifying and practice. Because points for place differential play a big role in the final score it is always advantageous to grab a few guys who practice fast but are starting outside the top 20.  Another big factor is the bonus points for laps led and fastest laps. From watching the Duels last night, both of them were dominated by or two drivers. Dale Jr. led 43 laps in his and won. Kyle Busch led 35 laps in his Duel and won. In this race there are a possible 150 laps led/fastest laps bonus points available. Here is how:

    200 laps in the race x .5 (bonus point for fastest lap) = 100 Points

    200 laps in the race x .25 (bonus point for lap led) = 50 Points

    It is very likely we will see 1-3 drivers on Sunday lead the majority of the laps and finish up front. Targeting these drivers in your lineups is crucial to success in daily fantasy NASCAR. More than anything though, you need luck to get all 6 of your drivers unscathed and across the finish line. Good luck.

    I will again be selling a cheatsheet every week of the NASCAR season. It will include drivers, salaries for DraftKings and FantasyFeud, post qualifying Vegas Odds, current form(last 5 races), track history(last 5 races, and I update the cheatsheet throughout the weekend following practice and qualifying. I also write a short post qualifying update to highlight some value plays for the race.

    Upper Tier Targets

    Dale Earnhardt Jr. 
    DraftKings - $10,300
    Fantasy Feud - $260,00
    Practice #1 -
    Paractice #2 -
    Final Practice -
    Qualified - 3rd

    It has been another terrific speedweeks for Dale Jr. at Daytona International Speedway. He was fast in the practices leading up to the Can-Am Duels and went on to win Duel #1 in dominating fashion. He lead 43 laps and will start on the inside of the second row on Sunday. The #88 team has been one of the best plate racers in the sport and in his previous five races at Daytona he has two wins, three Top 5's and four Top 10's with a 5.4 average finish. While he is the most expensive driver and won't receive more than 2 possible place differential points, it is going to be hard to fade Dale Jr. this week. If he gets up front with clean air and a teammate behind him he will rack up the laps led/fastest laps bonus points this week. He has a great shot at being the highest owned and highest scoring driver this week.


    Jimmie Johnson
    DraftKings - $9,900
    Fantasy Feud - $235,000
    Practice #1 -
    Practice #2 -
    Final Practice -
    Qualified - 26th

    Staying at the top for the next upper tier target this week. First thing I like about this pick is the fact he is starting 26th leaving an elite driver with a possible 25 place differential bonus points this week. Then you look at his Daytona form and it falls very closely behind teammate Dale Jr's. In the last five Daytona races he has a win, four top 5's and a 11.0 average finish. In those five races he has also lead the most laps(183) edging out Dale Jr(182) by a single lap. I have a feeling once the second half of this race hits that we will see multiple Hendrick cars near the front, in position for the final laps.


    Kyle Busch
    DraftKings - $9,100
    Fantasy Feud - $205,000
    Practice #1 -
    Practice #2 -
    Final Practice -
    Qualified - 4th

    If you watched the Duels on Thursday night then you seen how dominating Joe Gibbs Racing was when they all got together. It was the 18, 20, & 19 running up front the entire race. I am leaning Kyle in the top tier this week as his price is just too low. He is coming off his first Sprint Cup championship and will enter 2016 with tons of momentum looking for his first Daytona 500 win. I flip flop on what his expected ownership will be in GPP's. On one hand he is the champ and won the 2nd Duel last night but on the other hand many people just don't like him. I know this personally as a die hard #18 fan. I am also hoping that his poor track record here pushes his ownership down as well because I feel he can run up front and win.

    Middle Tier Targets

    Denny Hamlin
    DraftKings - $8,600
    Fantasy Feud - $185,000
    Practice #1 -
    Practice #2 -
    Final Practice -
    Qualified - 11th

    He is a terrific value in the mid $8K range this week with a great track record at Dayonta. In his last five races here he has three Top 5's, four Top 10's and a 10.2 average finish. He ran in the first Duel on Thursday while all three of his teammates ran the second Duel so he had minimal help leaving him with a 11th starting position right behind his teammate Carl Edwards. Look for the Joe Gibbs racing team to be right up there with the Hendrick cars Sunday battling for the win. Even with his track record here Denny is the cheapest JGR driver this week. Get him in your lineups.


    Austin Dillon
    DraftKings - $7,600
    Fantasy Feud - $135,00
    Practice #1 -
    Practice #2 -
    Final Practice -
    Qualified - 21st

    When looking at the $7k range this week Dillon really stands. In his four career races at Daytona he has picked up a Top 5, three Top 10's and a 8.8 average finish. He has also finished inside the Top 15 in both of his Daytona 500 races. He will be starting 21st for the race which presents some value for place differential. There are some other strong options in this range so he may even come in under owned for tournaments.

    Low End Targets

    Casey Mears
    DraftKings - $6,500
    Fantasy Feud - $80,000
    Practice #1 -
    Practice #2 -
    Final Practice -
    Qualified - 32nd

    He will be my #1 value play for the week. He has finished inside the Top 10 in both of his previous Daytona 500's and has an impressive 8.0 average finish over his previous 5 Daytona races overall. He will be starting near the back in 32nd and if he can continue his excellent run here at Daytona he will pickup a nice chunk of place differential points this week at a very low price.


    Post Practice & Qualifying Update

    Qualifying Top 10:

    1. #24 Chase Elliott
    2. #20 Matt Kenseth
    3. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    4. #18 Kyle Busch
    5. #22 Joey Logano
    6. #1 Jamie McMurray
    7. #21 Ryan Blaney
    8. #41 Kurt Busch
    9. #4 Kevin Harvick
    10. #19 Carl Edwards


    Daytona 500 Update Thread

    It is almost time.....


    Tell me that doesn't send chills up your spine. I am recording Practice #2 data from this afternoon and will be updating the cheatsheet shortly. As you may have noticed there is no cash game lineups this week. This track, more than any, is not safe. There are tons of wrecks at restrictor plate races due to pack racing and drafting. It is a great opportunity to multi enter some GPP tournaments.

    If you have been playing other sports on DraftKings you have probably noticed the new 3 entry limit GPP's. Awesome! If you don't have time to enter 5+ lineups to compete against the multiple people playing 100+ lineups these new tournaments are perfect.

    Good Luck everyone!

    Want to see how these picks and more fit into lineups for the Daytona 500? Chris is selling lineups only $5. He covers DraftKings and FantasyFeud Cash Games & Tournaments. Fill out the form below or click here to purchase using PayPal. This is a separate service than our traditional monthly membership.

    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

    • NASCAR Daytona Auto Racing: (AP Photo/John Raoux)

    8 Visitor Comments

    1. Post any lineup or driver questions here if you have any. I will be checking in frequently throughout tomorrow and Sunday leading up to the race.

      • Since kenseth is qualified 2nd but starting in the back, do points still get awarded for passing or is his draft kings start 2nd place since that is the official nascar. So he should start with-39 points so at 1 per place

    2. You’re a busy guy Chris. Kyle bush is your favourite right? Mine is Danica. I’m a huge nascar fan. My brother even more. He was a bill Elliot fan now chase Elliot. I’m gonna try some nascar on DK this weekend. Looking forward to Daytona. It’s an awesome track for gpp style. Anyone can win

    3. Ya no cash games at all for me this week. Daytona is definitely on my NASCAR bucket list. And of course Bristol where my boy Rowdy loves to bump and bang.

    4. Buckets . But I’m going with gilliland In a couple huge gpps. Meats and him together in one

    5. I meant to say Vick ers but it’s a crap shoot. Darn it gilliland isn’t in it. Gotta go with a dark horse near the back.

    Post a Reply




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