The NASCAR Cup Series will complete their regular season with a trip back to Daytona. This is truly a wild card race. We have seen drivers like David Ragan, Trevor Bayne, Erik Jones, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Aric Almirola find their way to Victory Lane at Daytona over the last 11 years. There is a good chance it could happen again Saturday night and that makes this race fun for DFS contests. The Coke Zero 400 can be seen Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on NBC.
NO PRACTICE QUALIFYING AT DAYTONA
NASCAR decided to scrap the idea of practicing at the Superspeedways to save the teams some money. They were scheduled to have a 20 minute practice session Friday afternoon, but it was rained out. Now the teams will line up the cars and race without any track time. They are used to it though since this was the schedule during the pandemic.
AVERAGE DFS POINTS ON SUPERSPEEDWAYS (2022)
The Gen-7 car has been a game changer this year. It has leveled the playing field in most of the races, but it hasn’t changed the results on the Superspeedways. The cars have always had similar speed in the draft so the driver’s ability to avoid the wrecks and “be at the right place at the right time” typically determines who wins at Daytona. We still need to focus our picks on the drivers who have a history of running well on the Superspeedways.
There have been four races this season using the Superspeedway aero package. Those races include the Daytona 500, the race at Talladega and the two races at Atlanta. The drivers who scored well in DFS contests in those races should have the best chance to score well Saturday night.
Here are the average DraftKings and FanDuel Points on the Superspeedways (2022)…
DFS STRATEGY FOR DAYTONA
The race this week is scheduled for 160 laps (400 miles). That means there are 40 points available for leading laps and 72 points available for fastest laps (112 dominator points) in DraftKings contest. There are 16 dominator points available in FanDuel contests.
The trend at Daytona in the Coke Zero 400 is for roughly 18 drivers to lead laps and 33 drivers to score fastest laps. The dominator points are spread throughout the field so there is no need to select drivers who we think can lead the most laps Saturday night.
My strategy for Cash Contests has been successful for many years. I typically select drivers who start outside the top-25 (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 many 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-20 but we do not want the popular drivers who start outside the top-20. Bubba Wallace starts 30th and should be highly owned Sunday. It would be a good idea to pivot to David Ragan who starts 34th and hope he makes it to the end of the race.
DRAFTKINGS MODEL (PREDICTIONS BASED ON STATS)
Finish = Finishing Points PD = Position Differential Fastest = Fastest Laps Led = Laps Led
* The number in front of the driver is his projected finishing position based on stats.
** The Model is typically not as accurate on the Superspeedways since these races are so unpredictable.
FANDUEL MODEL (PREDICTIONS BASED ON STATS)
CORE DRIVERS FOR DAYTONA
TOP-TIER DRIVERS: Chase Elliott ($10,500), Ryan Blaney ($10,000), Joey Logano ($9,800), Denny Hamlin ($9,600), Kyle Busch ($9,400), Martin Truex Jr. ($9,000)
VALUE DRIVERS: Chase Briscoe ($8,800), Austin Cindric ($8,500), William Byron ($8,400), Bubba Wallace ($7,800), Chris Buescher ($7,700), Michael McDowell ($7,300), Brad Keselowski ($7,200), Austin Dillon ($7,000), Aric Almirola ($6,700), Daniel Hemric ($6,500), Justin Haley ($6,400), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($6,200)
PUNT PLAYS: Corey LaJoie ($5,800), Ty Dillon ($5,700), Todd Gilliland ($5,500), David Ragan ($5,100), Harrison Burton ($4,900), Landon Cassill ($4,600)
DRAFTKINGS CASH CONTEST LINEUP
* I am starting all of the best drivers who start in the back Saturday night. We need to score the most place differential points as possible. These drivers are all upside and very low downside. Do not worry about leaving a lot of salary on the table this week. Our goal is to win our contest, not to spend the entire salary cap.
DRAFTKINGS TOURNAMENT CONTEST LINEUP
* Every model I have run this week has Chase Elliott as the best pick in the field. He has scored the most DFS Points on the Superspeedways, scored the most Stage Points and has the best average finishing position. I doubt he will be highly owned from the Front row. I also like Brad Keselowski for the 24th position. I will also use Ty Dillon, Corey LaJoie, Noah Gragson and David Ragan. They usually ride around the back stay out of trouble and finish up front when the checkered-flag is waived. I left $10,400 on the table and that will make this lineup unique.
FANDUEL CASH CONTEST LINEUP
FANDUEL TOURNAMENT CONTEST LINEUP
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