Welcome fellow race fans to FakePigskin’s coverage of NASCAR DFS for the 2018 season!
The “Big 3” of Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., and Kevin Harvick claimed another win last week at Chicagoland with Kyle Busch surviving a last lap duel with Kyle Larson that is one of the greatest finishes in NASCAR history! This week is a completely new story however…
For those of you not familiar with how NASCAR DFS is played, here is the basic rundown of how it works:
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- You must select five to six drivers to race, but each driver has a salary assigned to them and you must fit their salaries within a $50,000 cap, so you cannot just load up on the top five to six drivers in the points standings.
- Points are scored by a driver’s place differential (Starting position -finishing position), fastest laps posted, laps led, pass differential (amount of cars passed – times being passed), and their finishing position.
- You will need to find the balance of your front running drivers along with your sleeper drivers you can count on to out perform their salary ranking and finish in the top 15.
The Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series returns to Daytona for the Coke Zero Sugar 400, the annual Independence Day Weekend special. Daytona is one of the two Superspeedways that require the use of restrictor plates to slow the cars down. Due to the lower speeds, the cars “draft” off each other and form big packs of cars that leads to very entertaining racing. However these packs are always on the edge of control and can lead to giant wrecks involving 10+ cars. These packs allow for the smaller teams who have smaller budgets to compete with the bigger, higher budgeted teams for great finishes. Due to the racing conditions, none of my analysis contains practice or qualifying results as it truely does not matter! My analysis will contain past finishes, laps led, and the amount of did not finishes (DNFs) they have recorded.
Just like each NASCAR DFS race, my picks are separated into three stages, my All Stars, Solid Performers, and Sleepers. Drivers, let’s start making money!
Brad Keselowski ($11,000): Keselowski is the king of plate racing over the past few years, however his success leans more towards Talladega. Keslowski has led 153 laps in his last five Daytona starts and is part of the ‘Ford Brigade’ who dominated the last restrictor plate race at Talladega.
Kyle Larson ($9,400): Larson has been riding a hot streak of late, winning last weekend’s Xfinity race and nearly winning Sunday’s Cup race. Larson controversely won Friday’s Xfinity race as Justin Haley’s pass for the win was deemed illegal (more explanation on that later). Larson has averaged a 15th place finish with only one DNF in his last five Daytona starts, and is looking to carry his momentum to get Chevrolet their first win this season!
Ryan Blaney ($9,200): Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate arguably had the best car during February’s Daytona 500 and is looking to avenge his DNF. Young Ryan Blaney has averaged a 13th place finish in his last five Daytona starts and should contend for the win as long as he avoid the Big One.
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Aric Almirola ($8,700): Ryan Blaney May have had the best car in February, but Almirola had the win in the big until he was bumped, errr plowed through, by Austin Dillon for the win. Almirola has improved the performance of the 10 car immensely after Danica Patrick wasn’t renewed for that seat. Almirola’s worst finish in his last four Daytona races (missed last year’s Summer race due to injury) is 15th!
Jimmie Johnson ($8,500): Johnson’s struggle this season along with his propensity to wreck (Three DNFs), leave his value this low to the point I’m willing to roll the dice on a seven time Cup champion with 80+ wins!
Alex Bowman ($7,600): Bowman has big shoes to fill driving Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s car, at Daytona, with Dale Earnhardt Jr. commentating. The 88, even during their struggles, were always a threat at Daytona and Bowman’s qualifying results this season (a pole and 2nd) show the car has speed. As long as Bowman keeps out of trouble, the Showman will be a threat for a top 5.
Michael McDowell ($5,700): You won’t see deeper sleeper values than at the races at Daytona and Talladega due to the draft that’s let’s the smaller teams have great finishes if they can dodge all of the wrecks. McDowell has three top-10s in his last five plate races and a worst finish of 15th. After getting a raw deal being released by Leavine Family Racing, McDowell has improved the performance steadily at Front Row Motorsports.
Matt Dibenedetto ($5,400): Nascar on Reddit’s favorite driver, Matt Dibenedetto was running fourth before being wrecked out of the Daytona 500. Go Fas Racing always run in the top-10 of these races and may look to run conservatively at the beginning to ensure they miss the wrecks and have a chance at a top-10 finish.
Quick Hot Take
Justin Haley was absolutely HOSED tonight by Nascar. Haley made an amazing three-wide pass to win tonight’s Xfinity race. Nascar then ruled, because he passed Kyle Larson (42 outside) and Elliot Sadler (1 inside) below the double yellow line, his win was taken away. Below is an image that shows Haley’s (24 inside) being AHEAD of Larson and Sadler while being ON the double yellow lines. NASCAR has previously ruled this legal with Jimmie Johnson at Talladega.
What’s your take? Legal or not?
Good luck this week and let’s make some money! You can follow me on Twitter @ScottYoungLV and please shoot me any questions or comments.
*All driver stats are referenced from DriverAverages.com
*Practice and race results from Nascar.com
*Driver salaries are obtained from Draft Kings