The 2023 DFS season already began with the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum, the Duel Races at Daytona, the Truck Series Race and the Xfinity Series Race. Now it is time for the real season to start with the Daytona 500. My DFS picks have had a lot of success at the Superspeedways because this race comes down to using the correct strategy for your driver selection and most people do not understand it. This race is 70% luck and 30% skill, so I will provide the strategy and hopefully we can get some luck to win some cash our lineups Sunday.



The Daytona 500 is scheduled for 200 laps (but we all know there is going to be a caution at the end of the races that will cause a green-white-checker). There will be 50 points available for leading laps and 90 points available for fastest laps (140 dominator points) in DraftKings contests. There will only be 20 dominator points available in FanDuel Contests.

I looked at the trend dating back six years to help predict the dominator points for the race Sunday. The trend in those races is for one driver to lead 72 laps and three other drivers to lead between 25-30 laps. The fastest laps are typically scored by the drivers who run further in the pack since they benefit from being in the draft. That means the top dominator will score roughly 18 dominator points and the other dominator scores 6.5 dominator points. That is not enough dominator points to chase Sunday.

The drivers are getting smarter when it comes to Superspeedway racing. The trend is for the first two Stages to be calm and then the action heats up in the final 30 laps. I expect the same type of race to play out Sunday.

My strategy for Cash Contests has been successful for many years. I typically select drivers who start outside the top-20 (sometimes outside the top-30) and wait for the wrecks. The drivers in my lineup are usually so far back that they are able to avoid the wreck and score positive place differential points.

My strategy for Tournament Contests is similar to the Cash Contest strategy but ownership is important. We want the drivers who start outside the top-15 but we can take some chances with some drivers who start at the back end of the top-10. I plan to completely fade the top-six. Just do not use more than one driver who starts in the top-10 in your lineups. Most of your drivers should start outside the top-15.





PUNT PLAYS: TY GIBBS ($5.8 FDK $5.8K), JUSTIN HALEY ($5.6K FD $6.5K), TY DILLON ($4.8K FD $4.8K)




KYLE BUSCH ($9,600): Busch had one of the best cars in the field before Daniel Saurez saw enough of his bumper and sent Rowdy into the wall. Now Busch starts 36th. That makes him a lock for all Cash Contests. Busch said following practice Friday, “I am so proud of the work my team did on this backup car. It feels just as fast as the primary. They did a great job.” Rowdy should be good enough to move up 20-25 spots and score 47-57 DK Points.

AUSTIN DILLON ($8,000): Dillon has not looked like Austin Dillon so far during Speedweeks. Dillon is typically one of the best drivers at the Daytona 500, but his car has not had the speed they usually do. I am not worried about it. The No. 3 team dialed it in a bit during practice and they have 500 miles Sunday to work on it. Dillon has an average finishing position of 12th in his last eight races at Daytona. He will score 46 DK Points if he can finish near his average Sunday. I expect Dillon to work with his teammate (Kyle Busch) to get to the front in this race.

JIMMIE JOHNSON ($7,700): I really do not know what to expect from Johnson in the Daytona 500. He starts 39th so he is all upside and no downside during the race. I do not need Johnson to win the race. I just need him to finish in the top-25. Johnson will score 31 DK Points if he simply finishes 25th. Anything above that is gravy. I think “Seven-Time” can do that. He had the fastest car in Friday’s practice if that means anything to you.

 CHASE BRISCOE ($7,400): I have a good friend who is a mechanic for Stewart-Haas Racing. He told me that Briscoe is clearly the No. 1 driver for SHR this year. He will get all of their best cars Briscoe did not look great in the Duel Race, but he did finish third in the Daytona 500 last year and 15th in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona. Briscoe starts 30th. All I need him to do is to move up 10 positions in order to score 33 DK Points. I expect Briscoe to be better than that and have a good chance for a top-15 finish.

AJ ALLMENDINGER ($6,100): I thought about using Ty Gibbs in this position because of his car, but I do not trust him in the Daytona. I also love the stats for Ty Dillon (his average finishing position in his last six races at Daytona is 18th and he starts 37th), but Dillon’s car is trash. I will use the veteran Allmendinger. His average finishing position in his last four races at Daytona is 6th. Allmendinger starts 29th and should finish inside the top-20, scoring at least 35 DK Points.

JUSTIN HALEY ($5,600): Haley is one of the better Superspeedways drivers in the Cup Series. He won at Daytona in 2019 and he has a win at the track on his Xfinity Series resume. I expect Haley to work with his teammate (AJ Allmendinger) to get to the front since they start right next to each other. Haley should easily score 35 DK Points Sunday.




 WILLIAM BYRON ($9,700): I listened to Denny Hamlin’s new podcast called (Actions Detrimental). Even if you hate Hamlin, he provides a good look behind the scenes of NASCAR. Hamlin was asked who his top-five Superspeedway drivers are. He listed Byron as one of the best and he picked Byron to make the Championship Four in Phoenix. That is not the only reason why I am picking Byron. He won at Daytona in 2020 and I think he will be overlooked since he is overpriced. I will take a chance with Byron Sunday.

KYLE BUSCH ($9,600): I know Busch is going to be the highest owned driver. I know all of the other “fantasy experts” will be screaming to fade Busch in Tournament Contests. There is good chalk and bad chalk. Busch falls into the good chalk category. He is almost a lock for 45 DK Points Sunday. I will try to be contrarian with my other picks and take the free points with Rowdy in the Daytona 500.

ROSS CHASTAIN ($9,200): The Denny Hamlin podcast is not the only podcast I listened to this week. I also listened to the Dale Jr. Download. Junior was asked who he thinks will win the Daytona 500. He said, “The perfect driver for this race is Ross Chastain. I had so much success because I had the “I do not give a shit attitude.” I did whatever it took to win. Chastain has the same attitude. 90% of this race is about attitude. What are you willing to do to win? Chastain what it takes to win Sunday, so he is my pick.” Earnhardt knows more about Superspeedway racing than I do. I will trust his advice. I also do not think Chastain will be highly owned because he does not have the reputation as a great Superspeedway driver, although he did win at Talladega last year.

 DANIEL SUAREZ ($7,200): I will stack the TrackHouse Racing cars in my Tournament Contest lineup. Ross Chastain and Suarez start right next to each other. I expect these two teammates to work well together and both should have a good race. Suarez is another driver who should have low ownership and a lot of upside Sunday.

RYAN PREECE ($6,800): Preece is one of my favorite drivers in the field. He is known as a short-track ace, but he is really good at the Superspeedways too. Preece finished 4th and 6th in his two races at Daytona in 2021. That was in a JTG Daugherty Racing car. He should be able to finish in the top-10 in a Stewart-Haas Racing Ford.

ERIK JONES ($6,600): There are two reasons why I am selecting “That Jones Boy.” First, his stats at the Superspeedways are good. Second, I love his Guns N Roses paint schedule. Jones won at Daytona in 2018 and he finished 17th and led 25 laps in his last race at Daytona (Coke Zero 400 last August). I expect Jones will “Take me down to Paradise City” this week in his Guns ‘N Roses car.

* Do not be afraid to leave a lot of salary on the table this week




  * Do not be afraid to leave a lot of salary on the table this week





 * Do not be afraid to leave a lot of salary on the table this week

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