We have another 1.5 mile track and a ton of laps today, changing up our strategy a bit for this slate. There are 334 laps today, making laps led and fastest laps very important since these drivers can rack up a ton of points from them. We will want to get at least 2 top guys to take advantage of these bonuses as enough fast/lead laps can offset negative place differential if they drop a few spots. There is some great value today as well so a top/bottom build is probably the best way to go.
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.
Below we have current betting odds for each driver. These odds are as of 10:00 PM EST on 7/18 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||10||10400||13000||17/2||+750|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr||13||7200||6000||125/1||+12500|
|John H. Nemechek||28||6000||6000||750/1||+50000|
As usual, we see Kevin Harvick at the top of the slate, and it’s hard not to go to him every week now. Harvick has won here in 3 of his last 5 appearances, with a 2nd and an 8th as well, and he has been on a tear recently with 5 straight top-4s including 2 wins. His starting position is a bit worrying since it will be tough for him to lead early which is important this week, but a top-3 finish is likely, and necessary for his price, so he is in play once again. Whenever we’re at a 1.5 mile track, Martin Truex Jr. always sticks out. Truex has 8 top-10s in his last 10 appearances here and another one would be great at his 10th starting position. Truex had to start at the rear last week despite winning the pole, and he still clawed his way back to a 4th top-10 in 5 races. Another top-10 is likely here and a top-5 is definitely in play as well. Ryan Blaney is starting 2nd and there’s a good chance he can take the early lead and rack up those bonus points. Blaney has finished in the top-8 in 4 of his last 5 tries here and he has the speed to stay in the top-5 and get enough lead laps and fast laps to put up a great score. If you have been playing NASCAR DFS recently, you will notice that Christopher Bell has seen a pretty big price drop, but for seemingly no reason. Bell has 3 straight top-12s and seems to have the highest floor for DFS every week barring disaster. A top-20 to top-15 result is very likely for him if he avoids trouble and from his 33rd starting position, that would make him one of the top plays of the slate once again.
Our pole sitter, Aric Almirola, finds himself in the middle of the pack for fantasy today at a track where it is difficult for cars to pass each other. This makes Almirola a solid play assuming he can keep the lead for a good amount of time and accumulate enough lead laps to make up for the likely negative place differential points. Although he has only finished 9, 20, 8 in his last 3, Almirola had 5 straight top-5s before that and has been one of the best drivers this season. He has 3 straight top-8s here and should be able to extend that streak today barring disaster. Much like Christopher Bell, Erik Jones has a very high floor starting 23rd, but he hasn’t been as consistent recently. In his last 5 races here, Jones has 2 10th place finishes with a trio of 4th places in between, and another one would make him the top scorer of the day. He has huge upside every week but he always seems to find some sort of trouble, so maybe don’t go completely overboard today though. Speaking of huge upside, Tyler Reddick is starting just behind Jones and he is looking for his 4th top-10 finish in a row. Another top-10 here would put him up there among the top scorers of the day and he comes in at a nice discount from the other options in this range.
There are a couple of solid value options today that will be necessary to fit in the top options. Michael McDowell is basically a poor man’s Christopher Bell right now with huge place differential upside and a pretty high floor. McDowell has 2 7th place finishes in his last 3 races and all he really needs is a top-25 to pay off his low price. A top-20 is definitely in play for him, making McDowell a great value play today. Just above McDowell is Ty Dillon who has never finished worse than 24th in 7 appearances here. His 30th starting position gives him a ton of upside as well and if he can get a 4th straight top-20 today, Ty will easily pay off his price. Just under those 2 is John Hunter Nemechek who has finished in the top-20 in 5 of his last 7 races and is starting back at 28th. He doesn’t have the same upside as the other drivers here, but he has a solid floor/ceiling combo for his cheap price that allows you to fit multiple top tier drivers in.
There are a few risky plays this week that have great history here but haven’t been very consistent this year. Jimmie Johnson won 5 times in 8 races here a few years ago, but he only has 1 top-5 in his last 5 tries since. He is starting far enough back that he only really needs a top-10 to pay off which is definitely possible, but he hasn’t been the most consistent recently. The Busch brothers are starting 3rd and 4th today, but neither of them has shown enough to make them appealing options. Kyle has multiple wins here and Kurt has 6 top-10s in a row here, but they are both starting too high to be reliable today. Still, Kyle and Kurt Busch are both decent contrarian plays if you really want to be different today.
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