NASCAR DFS Picks for DraftKings – 2017 Pure Michigan 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 cycling through the tracks now, as we head back to Michigan for the second time this year. This is one of, if not the fastest track, so it should make for an exciting race. There will definitely be accidents here, but it is not like Dayton or Talladega. I would imagine that 25 or so cars finish on the top lap, and maybe 5-8 end up finishing out of the race. Those are somewhat unpredictable, though you can predict that 1-3 jabronis from the back of the field will likely find it impossible to finish an entire race.
As far as strategy, I can go a few different ways. 200 laps yields 50 laps led points and 100 fastest laps points. There is likely to be a pretty strong correlation between laps led and fastest laps, as open air typically produces some quality time spacing. That is not to discount a guy like Jimmie Johnson who will be starting in the back and moving up through the field quickly. I would much prefer place differential where appropriate, but on these longer tracks, I do just prefer trying to figure out how things can end. If you find a guy who has a high likelihood of finishing high, and might be starting 6-8 spots from where they could finish, I think you end up finding the perfect recipe for success here. That is basically how things have gone over the last few weeks, and I am not going to be moving off that strategy this week.
Just a note: Denny Hamlin is awaiting the birth of his second child, and may leave mid race. These are HORRIBLE situations. We just avoided a Trevor Bayne bomb in the same situation earlier this year, and I do think that playing Hamlin is like playing with fire. If his wife gives birth, and he has to switch drivers, the car will almost certainly go down a lap and will then have a less experienced and quality driver behind the wheel. This does make him intriguing for tournaments, as I think many will just avoid.
To the back: Matt DiBendetto, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne
I want to take a look at my four favorite drivers this week. Some of them I like because of specific reasons at this track and others because of things going into the race.
Chase Elliott (9800) – Hello chalk. We have a situation here where Elliott has managed to finish second in three consecutive races here. At least two of the races he gave away. Clearly, this is a motivated driver coming into the week. Starting fifth, he does have some small room for place differential, but it is not much. He should be in contention throughout the day, but this is an area where I would not blame you for going underweight on him. He will see higher ownership than normal, and with some unpredictability in NASCAR, I would not be shocked to see him struggle.
Jimmie Johnson (9100) – Things have not been great for Johnson over the last few weeks, but I am not exactly ready to give up on him. He will start from the back, but be scored from the 22nd position. Will this pull some players off of him? I sure hope so. His track record here is not amazing as of late, but he has all the potential in the world to finish in the top ten, and that would give him a big score after factoring in the place differential.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (7900) – I feel like I am setting myself up for failure here, as Junior has been the most disappointing driver this year. NOTHING has gone right for him. He is starting 19th, but his car is showing a lot of speed in practice, and he likes it. He just finished ninth here earlier this year, and while he scares the hell out of me, I just do not feel like fading him is going to be the smart move. I just have my fingers crossed that he does not blow this yet again.
Daniel Suarez (7800) – To me, no one is driving better right now than Suarez. He is coming off multiple top ten placings, and he could see another one here. He has not been great at this track type, but I could care less. I will take recent form over those types of stats any day. I do believe he has a top ten car, and I think because he is not starting post 20, he will not be overly owned. This is a situation where I want to go overweight on a driver, because he is in a fast car and wants to be in the playoffs.