Unfortunately the weather prevented us from seeing carnage last week, but we did get a little taste of it at the very end. It wasn’t much, but better than nothing right? If you are looking for this race to quench your thirst for crashes, you will be disappointed as the majority of DNFs here are due to equipment failure rather than pile-ups. The unique triangle track tests the drivers making the race a sort of survival of the fittest. We want to look for skilled drivers that can handle this track, so getting super cheap punts likely isn’t too viable here.
First of all, below you can see the Draftkings scoring system that is heavily weighted on predicting top finishers, with no captain’s slot or any distinction between picks. The name of this game will be finding lower priced participants that finish well to help afford the more premium guys that are safer bets to show up around the top of the leaderboard. With a solid amount of points being given as a result of place differential, it’s important to pay attention to where racers will be starting in order to find good opportunities. This will be set right before lock so if you play this seriously, you have to be paying attention (or just play on Fanduel haha).
|Place Differential||+/- 1 Pt|
|Fastest Laps||+0.5 Pts|
|Laps Led||+0.25 Pts|
|Finishing Position Scoring|
The largest difference for Fanduel is the lack of scoring for place differential, with points for completing laps instead. This negates the lack of knowledge of where the racers will be starting until just before the contest and helps reward drivers who finish the race over those who give up or say things you probably shouldn’t on stream.
The most important source of fantasy points today is place differential due to the high likelihood of destruction, so we want to look at guys starting in the back with potential for a good finish as well.
Below we have current betting odds for each driver. These odds are as of 10:00 PM EST on 6/26 and we will look for some value plays relative to their FD & DK pricing.
|Name||Starting Position||Draftkings Salary||Fanduel Salary||William Hill Odds||Bet Online Odds|
|Martin Truex Jr||11||9700||12500||7/1||+800|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr||14||7900||7700||200/1||+10000|
|John H. Nemechek||20||6000||6500||500/1||+20000|
Due to the nature of this race, it may be smart to build more balanced lineups than risky high/low lineups that rely on punt plays moving up and top guys leading a bunch of laps. There aren’t enough lead laps available to make a huge impact and most of the guys at the bottom don’t really have the skill/equipment to move up a whole lot.
Oh boy, Christopher Bell is the most expensive driver on Draftkings today. He is in such a good spot here that you pretty much have to decide if you are starting with him or fading him when you start making a lineup. Skilled drivers have an advantage here and he is probably the most skilled driver near the back of the pack, so a top-20 is definitely in play which would make him one of the top scorers today. When we’re at Pocono, a name that immediately jumps out is Kevin Harvick. Harvick has 9 top-10s in his last 11 appearances here, including four 2nds and three 4ths, and he has some place differential potential starting 9th today. Speaking of track history, Brad Keselowski has also crushed here, with 7 top-5s in his last 9 races at Pocono, while the other 2 results were 8th and 38th due to a crash. He makes for a decent GPP pivot off Harvick, who should be higher owned, since both of them are in similar spots with similar upside. Just under those 2 is Martin Truex Jr. who provides a little more place differential upside with similar finishing potential. He has 3 top-3 finishes here in his last 5 attempts and another one today would make him a top scorer. He has been a bit inconsistent lately, putting behind the previous 2 in lineup priority, but Truex could continue his dominant Pocono form today. Finally, Clint Bowyer brings even more place differential upside, but doesn’t really have the same high finish potential of these other guys. In his last 5 races here, he has a 5th, a 6th, and two 11ths, so there is some decent upside for his starting position. He is a good option if you can afford him, as he is a bit too pricey today to be a primary target.
The first person to look at in the mid range is Erik Jones, and for good reason. Jones is basically a cheaper version of Bowyer, but with higher upside. He is starting 19th and has 4 top-5s and an 8th in 6 appearances at Pocono. Jones is likely going to be the highest owned driver today, but it’s hard to ignore him with his combination of price and potential. Much like Jones and Bowyer, William Byron is starting in the upper teens and has top-10 to even top-5 upside. Byron has 3 straight top-10s here and another would make him one of the better plays today. There aren’t a whole lot of lead laps to be had here, but Ryan Blaney should be able to get enough to put up a good score barring disaster. He has been much faster than Almirola this year and should be able to take an early lead and keep it for enough time to score well for DFS assuming he stays in the top-10. Tyler Reddick is starting a bit high today, but he has a handful of top-10s this season already and looked good here last year in the Xfinity races. He doesn’t have the same upside that the other guys around him have, but he’s shown great potential this season and should be able to contend for a top-10 finish.
If we go a little bit below the mid tier, we will find Austin Dillon who has 10 top-21s(not cherry picking) in 12 appearances at Pocono. His 17th starting position doesn’t provide the most upside, but he has done well here in the past and could contend for a top-10 at a price that lets you fit in some top guys. Starting a little further back is Chris Buescher, who has 5 top-20s, including a win, in 7 attempts at Pocono. He doesn’t really have that winning potential anymore, but another top-20 or top-15 would be perfectly fine with him starting 24th. Going down a bit, we have Michael McDowell and Ryan Preece, who both provide plenty of place differential upside starting at 26th and 30th respectively. McDowell has higher potential, finishing no worse than 25th in his last 7 races here with 6 top 20s in his last 8 races overall, but Preece could score some extra place differential points. Preece’s ceiling hasn’t been great this season but he doesn’t need to do all that much to pay off his salary since he is starting so far back.
There are always risks in NASCAR due to the nature of the sport, but these guys have a combination of highs and lows that put them in a position that could make or break your lineups. Kyle Busch is hard to overlook at Pocono with 7 straight top-10s including 3 wins, but he hasn’t looked like himself since NASCAR’s return. The lack of practice seems to have affected him and the inconsistency is hard to trust today. Still, he is great at this track and it could be the perfect place to get back in the winner’s circle. Much like Busch, Cole Custer presents good track history with bad recent performance. Custer won the Xfinity race here last year, but comes in with only a best finish of 18th in his last 6 races. He would be a better play if he was starting a bit further back, but there is an outside chance he could finish top-15 since he seems to like this track. Ty Dillon does start far enough back that he could provide a good amount of place differential points, but he has struggled at this track with a 17th place as his best finish in 8 attempts here. Cracking the top-20 would definitely make him one of the better value plays, but he hasn’t shown enough to put a lot of faith in him. Matt DiBenedetto also has poor track history, but he has back to back 17ths here after a string of terrible placements, so maybe he’s starting to figure the triangle out. DiBenedetto has decent upside starting 21st since he is one of the more skilled drivers in this range, so a top-15 at his price could pay off well.
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