NASCAR Preview – 2017 Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway
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!
It’s been two exciting finishes in a row that saw Austin Dillon and Jimmie Johnson take the checkered flag for the win, and now we head over to Pocono and “The Tricky Triangle”. This is a fun race that has seen Kurt Busch and Chris Beuscher [in a weather shortened race] go to victory lane. This is a 2.5 mile intermediate course, so it’s a pretty big one. As a result, there are only 160 laps in this race.
Looking through the history at this event, about half the time in the last three years, someone lead around 100 laps. That equates to 25 points, which is considerable. However, since we are dealing with 160 laps on this track, I don’t think an emphasis should be on those who can lead laps. The other half of those races saw drivers who accumulated roughly ten extra fantasy points in laps led points. To me, that just isn’t enough. That isn’t to say that I won’t be looking at some of the faster cars driving in the front, but I think this sets up like Talladega and Daytona where your focus is on those who can end up with high place differential totals.
We’ll be back on the weekend with another article highlighting full strategy and picks, but for now, here are some drivers that could see success at this track.
Brad Keselowski – This list is going to be top heavy, because DraftKings has been pretty consistent in ensuring that track history plays a part in how they price drivers. Keselowski has been very good both at Pocono, as well as at 2.5 mile intermediate tracks in general. In 14 races, he has a win, 6 top 5’s, 7 top 10’s and 11 top 20’s. He’s had horrible luck over the past two weeks, but he’s far too good of a driver to not be considered. If he’s starting in the top 3 or below 12, I’ll have a significant ownership stake in him this weekend.
Jimmie Johnson – Johnson is just too good. Even though his qualifying position was 14th, he started from the back of the field and finished the race last week as the winner. He’s been dominant at Pocono, winning three times, gaining 11 top 5’s, 19 top 10’s and 27 top 20’s in 30 appearances. The only thing that takes Johnson out of races are things beyond his control, so there is definitely a need to have some exposure to him in your lineups this weekend.
Denny Hamlin – It’s amazing to think that no one has more wins at this track, in terms of drivers in this field, than Hamlin. All things considered, he’s fairly cheap for the level of success he’s achieved. In 22 appearances, he’s won 4 times, with 9 top 5’s, 14 top 10’s and 17 top 20’s. He’s been racing very well as of late to boot, so it will be interesting to see where he starts. He is going to be someone that I could see DFS players having high ownership on because of the success and where the price is at.
Kurt Busch – Busch broke my heart last week, wrecking out of the race very early and taking Brad Keselowski with him. There is no reason to not consider him this week, though, especially considering his history. He’s got three wins here, and his recent form at this track is very good as well. My favorite thing about Busch is that he’s always in the middle tier of pricing and doesn’t carry a lot of ownership, despite finishing favorably in a lot of races this year.
A.J. Allmendinger- Allmendinger hasn’t been incredibly active in the outcome of races for while, and I am still super sour about him wrecking himself, Chase Elliott and about ten others at Talladega. Nonetheless, he’s priced affordably, and does have a pretty solid track record here and at this type of track. If he manages to start outside the top 20, he could be in for a big day in terms of place differential points.
Hope you enjoyed! Look for our actual picks tomorrow!