NASCAR DFS Picks for DraftKings – 2017 Overton’s 301
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!
Welcome to Loudon and New Hampshire! This 301 lap race will certainly be exciting this week, and there is quite a bit to discuss involving this weeks race.
First, let’s talk about the track. It is a one mile track that sits rather flat and doesn’t have much banking to it. I don’t think you are nearly as likely to see accidents here as some of the other tracks, so we stand a pretty good chance of a cleaner race, with really the only issues likely to come down to mechanical failures. Surely, none of that (accidents or failures) are predictable.
One mile tracks can be tough on the leader as well, as lap traffic can cause quite a bit of strife for the driver in the lead. If they are not able to navigate the traffic patterns well enough, they can lose position on surging drivers. It hasn’t been a great track for those on the pole anyway. It is important to remember when looking through stats, though, that we aren’t going to disqualify the pole sitter because one hasn’t been dominant. Really, the only truly dominant performance recently was Kevin Harvick in the fall of 2015 where he led 210+ laps. At that point, you have 50+ points just in laps led, and likely have collected another 20+ points in fastest laps.
That makes a good point to talk about how to approach lineup construction. With 301 laps in the race, laps led is probably the key stat we are looking at this week. If you can dominate in laps led, you are likely to have a top overall score. Fastest laps are next, but I find these to be far less predictable. Because they are double the points of laps led though, it is something to keep in consideration. Finally, place differential, being a full point, would normally be a major consideration, but based on the track and how qualifying set up, I’m not so sure that is how you want to weigh things this week.
Before I get into the picks, we have to talk Kyle Larson. He swept all three rounds of qualifying, having by far the quickest car, but was disqualified because of a failed inspection and now has to move to the back of the field. Essentially what this means (or at least I’m 99.9% sure) is that Larson will start the race with a massive negative. 1st to 39th is -38 points, and even though he’s a great driver, that’s such a huge hole to climb out from. Additionally, his performances at mile long tracks hasn’t been great. He sets up as a pretty solid tournament option, though, as he could still win here, and can pick up a ton of fastest laps on the way, so I wouldn’t completely write him off. He just makes a highly volatile play. UPDATE: Nope, I’m wrong. NASCAR will score him from 39th. Doesn’t make any sense, but since it wasn’t an equipment change, it will allow him to be 50%+ owned and maybe more this week.
4 Drivers I Am Playing:
Martin Truex Jr. (10300) – Truex was our top play last week and he had a dominant race where he could just do no wrong. There is not a car faster on the long runs this year than Truex, and it really doesn’t matter what track he is on. His finishes here haven’t been spectacular, but he’s been the best driver in NASCAR this year, so it’s really hard to look past him this week. For cash games, he’s unquestionably the first driver that goes into your lineups. It’s just not even close. He has the potential to lead triple digit laps, and even if he doesn’t win, barring something out of his control happening, he’s a good bet to finish in the top 5. There is no reason he won’t close in on 100 fantasy points this weekend and he’s going to be one of those drivers you’ll regret hitting fade on. His ownership should be 50%+.
Kevin Harvick (10000) – There are a few others I like, such as Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano, but they have been running so poorly over the past few weeks/months that I feel like the safety of Harvick is the way to go. In 14 races here, he has 4 wins, as well as 11 top ten finishes, with nine of those being in the top 5. He’s led the most laps of anyone driving at this track as well. He’s starting 12th, and he’s the perfect combination of place differential/laps led/fastest laps potential that he makes a strong play in either format.
Austin Dillon (7000) – There are not a ton of drivers that I really like this week, but Dillon is one of them. He’s starting 26th, and is sitting at an average finish of 14th at this track. That is really good upside for the young driver. His range of outcomes has been 8th-22nd, so that means literally all of his finishes have been above his current starting position. If he is able to race like we know he can at this track, there is no reason that he can’t crack the top 12 here and that would give him a nice total point score at the end of the race.
Paul Menard (6500) – I really liked both Menard and Danica here. They are starting 29th and 30th, and I can’t fault you for playing either one. In fact, there will be a good amount of lineups where I will probably have both of them going together. In the past three years worth of racing, their profiles look eerily similar: Menard has finishes of 25/18/15/25/15/19 and Danica 18/14/40/24/19/22. Obviously, the outlier with Danica is that 40th finish, but they’ve both consistently finished above where they are going to start here, as much as 15-16 positions. Menard is one of those underowned drivers because he falls in this price range where there are still a dozen or more drivers priced below him, and when people make boom/bust lineups, he doesn’t fall in, nor does he really fall into normal lineup construction outside of restrictor plate tracks because he’s Paul Menard and that doesn’t carry a ton of weight right now. His ownership is likely to be in the teens, and it wouldn’t shock me to see him and/or Danica roll out with a top 15 this week.