DFS NASCAR Picks for Watkins Glen

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The NASCAR Cup Series travel to Watkins Glen this week to race on the road course. This will be the fifth race for the Cup Series on a road course (COTA, Sonoma, Chicago and Indianapolis were the others). There are only three races left in the regular season. We saw many of the “bubble drivers” racing up front for the win at the Brickyard. There is a good chance that the same could happen at Watkins Glen. It will be fun to see how it all plays out. The Go Bowling at the Glen can be seen Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on USA Network.

 

WATKINS GLEN PRACTICE SPEEDS

The Cup Series had a 20-minute practice session to shake down their cars for Sunday’s race. Watkins Glen is a large road course, so the drivers did not have much time to make many long runs. Traffic also comes into play during practice on the road courses. That makes it tougher to gage which drivers actually had the best cars. We can get a better understanding of the speeds each car has by looking at which cars were fastest in practice and showed up with the same speed in qualifying. The drivers who are at the top of both speed charts are the drivers you will want in your lineup Sunday.

Here are the lap times from the practice Saturday at Watkins Glen…

 

CUP SERIES STATS AT ROAD COURSES

The Cup Series has competed on four road courses races this year, but can we really learn anything from those races. COTA is large track with a lot of elevation. Sonoma also has a lot of elevation, and it is more technical than the race at Watkins Glen. The Chicago Street Course was a mess. The race started under wet conditions and this caused some drivers to wreck. The drivers who dominated the race finished in the back because NASCAR decided to shorten the race after they pitted for fuel. The race last week at Indy will be the best data to use for the race at Watkins Glen.

I will use the data from COTA and Sonoma, the Brickyard, but the stats from the Chicago Street Course are useless. I will also add in the data from the last two races at Watkins Glen. This should give us an idea of which drivers are good on the road courses in the Gen-7 car, with an emphasis on the races at the Watkins Glen.

Here are the average DFS Points from the races on the road courses in 2023 (Not including Chicago) and the races at Watkins Glen…

 

 

DRAFTKINGS STRATEGY

I will use the same strategy this week that I used last week at Indianapolis. I selected one dominator for the Cash Contest lineup and paired him with five drivers who had a good chance to score place differential points and finish in the top-12.

I did not worry about dominator points in the Tournament Contest. I wanted six drivers who could finish up front. The lineup easily cashed. The drivers I used included Kyle Larson (finished 8th), Christopher Bell (finished 9th), Daniel Suarez finished 3rd), Michael McDowell (won the race) and Chase Briscoe (finished 13th). I will play a similar lineup Sunday and hope all six drivers can finish in the top-12 and be able to nail the driver who dominates the race (like I did last week with McDowell).

The drivers with the best chance to dominate the race Sunday includes Denny Hamlin, William Byron, Kyle Larson, Michael McDowell and AJ Allemendinger

The drivers with the best chance to score place differential points includes Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., Chris Buescher, Austin Cindric, Alex Bowman, Ryan Blaney, Chase Briscoe and Ty Dillon

 

 

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 WATKINS GLEN

TOP-TIER DRIVERSCHASE ELLIOTT (DK $11K / FD $14K), KYLE LARSON (DK $10.8K / FD $13.5K), MARTIN TRUEX JR. (DK $10.5K / FD $13K), TYLER REDDICK (DK $10.3K / FD $12.5K),  CHRISTOPHER BELL (DK $10K / FD $12K), KYLE BUSCH (DK $9.8K / FD $10.5K), MICHAEL MCDOWELL (DK $9.6K / FDK $11.5K), AJ ALLMENDINGER (DK $9.3K / FD $9.5K), CHRIS BUESCHER (DK $9.1K / FD $10K), DENNY HAMLIN (DK $9K / FD $9K)

VALUE-TIER DRIVERSWILLIAM BYRON (DK $8.8K / FD $8.5K), AUSTIN CINDRIC (DK $8.4K / FD $7.5K), ROSS CHASTAIN (DK $8.2K / FD $7K), ALEX BOWMAN (DK $8K / FD $8K), RYAN BLANEY (DK $7.5K / FD $6.8K), CHASE BRISCOE (DK $7.3K / FD $7.2K), TODD GILLILAND (DK $6.7K / FD $4K)

PUNT PLAYS: RICKY STENHOUSE JR. (DK $5.9K / FD $5K), MIKE ROCKENFELLER (DK $5.5K / FD $2.5K), COREY LAJOIE (DK $5.2K / FD $4.8K), TY DILLON (DK $4.9K / FD $2.5K)

DAFTKINGS CASH CONTEST LINEUP

The dominator points this week are limited, so I will select six drivers who can score some place differential points for my Cash Contest lineup. Chase Elliott, Kyle Busch and Chris Buescher should all finish in the top-10 and score place differential points. Watkins Glen is the best road course for Brad Keselowski. The No. 6 car should be better in the race than he was in practice and qualifying. Watkins Glen is the best road course for Hendrick Motorsports. Alex Bowman is one of the best sleeper picks on the road course tracks. Ty Dillon starts dead last so he is guaranteed positive points.

 

 

DRAFTKINGS TOURNAMENT CONTEST

I used the strategy last week of picking six drivers who could all finish in the top-12. It worked out well. I will use the same strategy. All of the drivers on this list had the speed in practice to finish in the top-12 Sunday.

 

 

FANDUEL CASH CONTEST LINEUP

 

 

FANDUEL TOURNAMENT CONTEST LINEUP

 

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