NASCAR Preview – 2017 O’Reilly Auto Parts 500

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 the first edition of our NASCAR Breakdown. This should be a fun article each week, as I have become very into NASCAR this season. In full disclosure, I am not a long time fan or anything like that. I feel necessary to disclose that in case you do not feel comfortable taking advise from a newbie.

I have been profitable every single week thus far, and have built a pretty nice model that really helps to make decisions easier. That model is not ready yet, but I will make it available as soon as I think it’s in good form. There are a few things I will make clear:

This article is merely just a starting point. It is absolutely useless to speculate anything until qualifying on Friday night, and then after final practices on Saturday. Yes, we can use our sheet as a guide for who jumps out prior to qualifying, but it really means nothing until we know the order.

To win in NASCAR DFS, you need to focus on dominator plays, which come down to place differential and laps led. The truest dominator stat is fastest lap, because you end up with a half a point for each lap you are the fastest, but it isn’t very predictable. I am going to attempt to do some research to determine any, if at all, correlation exists between practice speeds and laps led.

You will be frustrated with accidents. Jaime McMurray came is at #2 in our model last week, so I was heavy on him, but he finished last with a massive negative point total because of an accident. This really hurt, as I had the chief value play, as well as Keslowski, who won the race, Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch. On to the next one.

It is also important to note that not all tracks are the same. Each track has a different profile, and each track has drivers that perform very well, such as A.J. Allmendger at Martinsville. It is important to pay attention to things like that.

I will put out a secondary article on Saturday’s actually highlighting who we like after qualifying and practices.

With that aside, let’s focus on the race this week: The O’Reilly Auto Parts 500, held as Texas Motor Speedway.

The track is a standard 1.5 mile intermediate track, that has reportedly new turns at turn 2 and 3, so it should be interesting to see if that has any affect on how past performers have done here. Unlike many PGA courses, there isn’t a ton that we can go into for a track [or at least not that I am aware of as of now], but having that information is a great place to start your research.

Here is who our early model likes this week:


Kyle Busch – The start of the year has been bitter sweet to Kyle Busch. For starters, his recent form has been very, very good, especially in recent weeks. He led the vast majority of the race last week, but failed to close things out. It was the same story the week before as well. Busch is a good enough race car driver that we won’t be saying that about him too much longer. He has a terrific history at this track, including 2 wins, one within the last two years. He’s also finished in the top 5 all three races over the last 3 years, averaging 10.5 positions gained through the race.

Martin Truex Jr. – Number two in our model is Truex Jr. What can you really say about him? His 2017 has been very good to start things off, and he is showing absolutely no signs of slowing down. His course history isn’t as impressive as Busch’s, but we do see a guy who had 4 top -10 finishes in 4 attempts at this track in the past two years. I am willing to bet that he’ll qualify relatively high, and will be somebody that we are going to target as a possible dominator today.

Brad Keslowski – If we want to talk current form, then there are few others we should be talking about than Brad Keslowski. He’s been fantastic, pulling together two wins out of his last six races, also finishing with 5 top-5’s. That is no small feat in this day and age of talented drivers. He is a distant first glance number three from the first two, but still a guy who it wouldn’t surprise me to see qualify high and be another potential dominator.

Jimmie Johnson – OK, in case you haven’t figured it out, let me break it down: our model isn’t going to favor Reed Sorenson over Jimmie Johnson. The initial settings don’t include things like qualifying positions or practice speed, so it is just considering current form and a variety of history related stats. Saturday’s update will be more of a specific plays where you will see guys that aren’t priced near the top. With that said, Johnson hasn’t been racing well at all, but a lot, if not most, has been circumstantial. Eventually, he is going to break out of the funk that he’s been in. In his past four trips here, he’s won two races and finished top 10 in another and top 20 in the final. He’s got all the tools to take a race like this down, so I wouldn’t sleep on him this weekend.

Chase Elliott – The last guy we’ll talk about today is Chase Elliott. He’s another driver off to a hot start to the season, despite not bringing in a win. Half of the races in the last six have resulted in top 5 finishes for Elliott. In two races at this track, he has top-5 finishes. He can clearly run well here, so if he has a high position in qualifying, look out. He is the lowest priced option of these guys listed, and he’ll be a guy I can see myself owning in a number of lineups this weekend.

Hope you enjoyed! Look for our actual picks tomorrow!

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