DFS NASCAR Picks for Michigan

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The NASCAR Cup Series travel to Michigan International Speedway for some intermediate track races. NASCAR probably wishes they had a time machine to go back and keep most of the intermediate tracks they removed on the schedule (Auto Club, Chicago, Kentucky….). The Gen-7 car puts on a heck of a show in the races on the large oval tracks. The short track racing has been pretty boring with the new car. I expect another exciting race this week at Michigan. The FireKeepers Casino 400 can be seen Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET on USA Network (Steamed on the NBC Sports App).

 

MICHIGAN PRACTICE SPEEDS

The Cup Series had a 20-minute practice session to shake down their cars for Sunday’s race. Michigan is a two-mile oval track. Some teams decided to run the entire practice and make some long runs (this probably means they liked their cars). Other teams made short runs and then came into the pits for adjustments. Seven of the top-10 drivers in practice were also able to finish the race in the top-10 at Michigan last year. It will be important to look at the practice speeds this week.

Here are the lap times from the practice Saturday at Michigan…

 

 

CUP SERIES STATS AT INTERMEDIATE TRACKS

The Cup Series competed on a two-mile oval track earlier this year at Auto Club Speedway. A lot has happened in the Cup Series race since February, but I still think it is a good idea to use the data from the race at Auto Club to help handicap the race at Michigan. I will also be using the data from the intermediate track races this year (Las Vegas, Kansas and Charlotte), the data from the last race at Atlanta and the race at Michigan last year in the Gen-7 car. This should give us an idea of which drivers should score well in our DFS contests Saturday.

Here are the average DFS Points from the races on the intermediate tracks in 2023 and the last race at Michigan…

 

DRAFTKINGS STRATEGY

The racing on the intermediate tracks has been exciting this year and the race at Michigan was no different last year. There were six drivers who led at least 22 laps and no driver led more than 38 laps in the race. There were 15 lead changes and seven cautions. I expect the dominator points will get spread out again between five to six drivers. These drivers should score between 14 – 28 dominator points each. I want as many of these dominator points as possible, so my strategy this week is to select as many drivers as possible who have a good chance to finish in the top-10. We should run into a lot of the dominator points if we are able to find these drivers for our lineups Sunday.

The drivers with the best chance to dominate the race Sunday includes Christopher Bell, Martin Truex Jr., William Byron, Ryan Blaney and Denny Hamlin

The drivers with the best chance to score place differential points are Kevin Harvick, Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, William Byron, Alex Bowman, Erik Jones, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., AJ Allmendinger and Corey LaJoie

 

 

DRAFTKINGS MODEL (Prediction 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.

 

 

FANDUEL MODEL (Prediction Based on Stats) 

 

 

CORE DRIVERS FOR MICHIGAN

TOP-TIER DRIVERSKYLE LARSON (DK $10.8K / FD $14K), DENNY HAMLIN (DK $10.7K / FD $13.5K), MARTIN TRUEX JR. (DK $10.5K / FD $13K), KEVIN HARVICK (DK $10.3K / FD $12.5K),  KYLE BUSCH (DK $10.1K / FD $12K), WILLIAM BYRON (DK $10K / FD $11.5K), CHRISTOPHER BELL (DK $9.8K / FDK $11K), RYAN BLANEY (DK $9.7K / FD $10.5K), CHASE ELLIOTT (DK $9.5K / FD $9K), JOEY LOGANO (DK $9.3K / FD $8.5K)

VALUE-TIER DRIVERSBUBBA WALLACE (DK $9.5K / FD $8.2K), BRAD KESELOWSKI (DK $8.6K / FD $7.8K), CHRIS BUESCHER (DK $8.4K / FD $6.8K), TY GIBBS (DK $8.1K / FD $7.5K), ALEX BOWMAN (DK $8K / FD $7.2K), ERIK JONES (DK $7.3K / FD $6.5K), RICKY STENHOUSE JR. (DK $7K / FD $6K),  AJ ALLMENDINGER (DK $6.8K / FD $4.8K), MICHAEL MCDOWELL (DK $6.2K / FD $5K), JUSTIN HALEY (DK $6K / FD $4K)

PUNT PLAYS: AUSTIN CINDRIC (DK $5.9K / FD $4.5K), HARRISON BURTON (DK $5.7K / FD $3.5K), COREY LAJOIE (DK $5.5K / FD $4.2K), TODD GILLILAND (DK $5.3K / FD $3K)

 

 

DRAFTKINGS CASH CONTEST LINEUP

Martin Truex Jr. announced that he is coming back for the 2024 season. He also has the fastest car in the field. I will use the No. 19 car as my dominator in the Cash Contest lineup. Denny Hamlin did not look great in practice, but he is too good at Michigan to fade. His average finishing position in his last five races at Michigan is 3.6. Hamlin should score place differential points and dominator points. Kevin Harvick starts 22nd so he is a lock for all Cash Contest lineups. He has won four of the last five races at Michigan. Harvick started outside the top-15 in two of those wins. AJ Allmendinger looked fast in practice. He posted the 12th speed, and he starts 24th. He won a Xfinity Series race at Michigan two years ago. Allmendinger needs points, so his team will play it safe to ensure he has track position. Michael McDowell seems like a bargain for $6,200. He starts 23rd and his average finishing position in his last five races is 13th. Corey LaJoie posted the 17th-fastest speed in practice, and he starts 31st. LaJoie started 32nd and finished 19th at Michigan last year. He will be a great pick if he can do it again Sunday.

 

 

DRAFTKINGS TOURNAMENT CONTEST

I am going to load my Tournament Contest lineup with drivers who can lead laps. I expect a lot of lead changes, so I want as many dominators as possible. I will play Martin Truex Jr. as my top dominator. He has been the best driver all summer and I do not think that will change at Michigan. Ryan Blaney won this race two years ago and he finished in the top-five last year. Blaney was sixth-fastest in practice. He should get to the front and lead some laps. Chase Elliott needs points. I expect the No. 9 car will stay out, while other drivers pit. This should allow Elliott to lead some laps and he should finish in the top-10. Can Ty Gibbs stay up front? His car is fast. I doubt he will have too much ownership. I will take a chance with Gibbs for $8,100. This is the home track for Erik Jones. He finished eighth in this race last year and he has finished three of his last four races in the top-11. Jones should score some place differential points Sunday. J.J. Yeley has been one of the best “punt plays” in DFS. He is averaging 25 DK Points in his last five races. I just need Yeley to stay out of the way and finish the race. He is pretty good at that.

 

 

FANDUEL CASH CONTEST LINEUP

 

 

FANDUEL TOURNAMENT CONTEST LINEUP

 

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