Welcome back to FakePigskin’s coverage of NASCAR DFS!
The Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series returns Charlotte Motor Speedway for race one of the 2nd round of Playoffs. Charlotte Motor Speedway is the hub of NASCAR as most of the teams are based out of North Carolina. Charlotte is a 1.5 mile fast quad-oval race track that’s known for its abrasive race surface so handling is key along with keeping high speeds. With 12 drivers remaining in the playoffs, its important to begin round two with a solid finish in order to take the pressure off with the unpredictability of Talladega next week.
Just like each NASCAR DFS race, my picks are separated into three stages, my All Stars, Solid Performers, and Sleepers. Let’s start making money!
Fake Pigskin Exclusive: Join Monkey Knife Fight and Get an Instant 100% Deposit Match PLUS a Free $5 Game!
- Martin Truex Jr ($10,900): Kyle Busch has won the last two races, but last week’s win was stolen from one of my picks, Chase Elliot! MTJ wants to add to his playoff point total (comprised of Stage wins and race wins) and add another win to clinch his position in round three of the playoffs and be able to take it easy at Talladega. MTJ has averaged a fifth place finish according to driveraverages,com, in his last five races at Charlotte, including one of the biggest whippings in recent memory in May of 2016 when MTJ led 392 of 400 laps, (Fox Sports).
- Jimmie Johnson ($10,000): The 7-time champion is tough to bet against as he has 8 career wins at Charlotte, including four in a row in the mid 2000s (racingreference.com). Though having an average finish of 20th in the last five races, Johnson has always shined during the playoff run, winning all seven championships in the Chase/Playoff era.
- Denny Hamlin ($9,200): One of NASCAR’s more outspoken drivers, Hamlin stated this week on a NASCAR Sirius radio show that drivers should be paid as much as other major sports players, well this week I expect him to back up that statement. Over the last five races, Hamlin has an average finish of 10.2 and has led 115 laps in that time. Expect to see those FedEx colors up near the front all weekend.
- Kurt Busch ($8,300): Kurt Busch has been struggling as of late, not having a top 15 in his last three races, but Charlotte could not have come quick enough. Kurt has the 2nd highest average finish at Charlotte over the last 5 races with seventh and no finishes outside the top 10! Along with 119 laps led, Kurt is looking to build some momentum back after being eliminated from the playoffs.
- Erik Jones ($7,900): Jones is a risky play because of his hot and cold performances over the year. There are races where it looks Jones has a top five car, and others he gets caught up in an accident. However, I look for Jones to have another breakout race and possibly challenge for the top three this weekend. In his debut race in May, Jones finished seventh and he is a teammate to Martin Truex Jr and with Jones leaving to the 20 car, the 77 team desperately wants a win before the season’s end.
- Daniel Suarez ($7,500): Suarez just keeps putting solid finish after solid finish together and becoming a familiar face in the top 10 with three of that four races finishing in the top 10, with a worse finish of 12th! In his debut Charlotte start this past May, Suarez finished 11th in the grueling 600 mile race. While Suarez may never be multiple race winner a year, you can count on him to keep piling up top 10s and keeping the car in one piece.
- Ryan Newman ($7,100): Another week, another Newman pick. I don’t like always picking the same guys, but if they keep getting the results and the numbers back it up, let’s keep playing! Newman has the third best average finish of all drivers with two or more starts at Charlotte at 8.8 and no finishes outside of the top 20.
- Danica Patrick ($6,100): Don’t look now, but Danica has put together some top 20 finishes and has more consistent than other drivers in her salary range (Paul Menard, Chris Buescher, Michael McDowell). Danica has been in top caliber cars, but has never put it together and with her NASCAR future in doubt after this year, she has to produce in these last few races. Charlotte has quietly been one of Danica’s better tracks with an average finish of 19.6.
Good luck this week and let’s make some money before the wildness of Talladega next week! You can follow me on Twitter @ScottYoungLV and please shoot me any questions or comments.
My picks last week yielded many solid results with my All Stars running in the top three for the majority of the race:
- Chase Elliot: 2nd
- Martin Truex Jr.: 4th
- Kyle Larson: 5th
- Dale Earnhardt Jr.: 7th
- Ryan Newman: 13th
- Kasey Kahne: 14th
- Aric Almirola: 25th