NASCAR DFS Picks for DraftKings – 2017 Coke Zero 400
Welcome to another edition of ResearchFantasy’s NASCAR Breakdown. These picks are what I consider to be the best play of the day, relative to their price. One of the most important things we must consider in daily fantasy is how many points a player gets per dollar. It helps us identify value plays to pair with studs that we know will produce in order to maximize our potential points in lineups. I also try to identify plays that can be used in either cash games or tournaments. Typically, when I build my cash games, I am looking for players that have the best floor combined with good upside. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let us know!
We are starting to repeat the circuit, so this weekend’s race will take us back to where 2017 all started: Daytona.
If you are newer to NASCAR and haven’t played at Daytona and Talladega, get ready for huge swings. These restrictor plate tracks have seen up to half the field knocked out by the end of the race, and with accidents being unpredictable, it can make playing strictly cash games this weekend a bit tough. Some might disagree with me on that, and I respect their opinions, but ultimately, you cannot just say “play this driver because he doesn’t get into accidents.”
With that said, let’s talk strategy. First, there are only 161 laps, so laps led isn’t exactly something that should make a huge impact. However, four of the last five races have seen a driver lead at least 80 laps, and I believe Jeff Gordon was the only one to do it with the pole. It’s very tricky to identify who could come through and get those extra 20 points. Even if someone does take the lead for that amount of time, I am skeptical that it ends up being a huge differentiator when it comes to the final outcome.
Rather, the restrictor plate tracks are all about place differential. This is definitely a track where you are going to look to guys like Cole Whitt and Brendan Gaughan because they can get you 20+ place differential points if they don’t wreck. Qualifying position means everything here, so we will see how things go there.
I wrote the above before qualifying, and it’s about to start, so I’ll be back to update with my four favorite drivers when qualifying wraps up tonight.
4 Guys I Am Playing:
Joey Logano (10000) – Logano really isn’t a huge place differential play, which definitely contradicts what I said the focus should be earlier, but I can legitimately see him winning this race (he’s actually 4th in Vegas odds, behind Keselowski, Dale and Hamlin), and with that does come laps led and place differential play. I know that when it comes to high dollar plays, the field could move to Martin Truex Jr., who is starting 25th and has nothing but upside. He just has not done well on these tracks. While I’ll have some exposure to Truex, I just far prefer Logano, who has won three of the last ten restrictor plate races and has been showing speed all week.
Austin Dillon (7900) – Austin Dillon is another driver who likes these types of tracks, as he shockingly has 8 top 10 finishes out of 10 races at this track type. That is astonishing to me. He’s starting at 19th, and his average finish is around 11. Sure, that isn’t a lot of place differential points, but the place he could finish at is pretty high. Honestly, I would not be shocked to see Dillon finish near the top, and he is one of my sleeper picks to win this race this weekend.
Elliott Sadler (6300) – Sadler is another vet of these types of tracks. He’s starting 33rd, and he is definitely someone who I could certainly see with top 15 upside. No, I don’t see top ten upside, but let’s be honest: this is Daytona, and anything can happen here. I am expecting him to be a highly owned driver this week, and the upside makes him a great play in all formats.
Ty Dillon (6400) – Even though he only has three races here, he has typically qualified on average at 20. This week, he’ll be starting at 34th, which is a really attractive starting spot for someone who looks better than a lot of the other guys starting back there. The risk is definitely there, as he has typically finished further back than he’s started, and if he doesn’t crack the top 40, he isn’t going to be a high upside play. Fortunately, this is Daytona, and with the risk of accidents, he could finish in the top 20 with no effort on his part.