NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: South Point 400
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular season is under our belts, and we move onto our first of 10 playoff races starting at Las Vegas. Though the series came through here previously this season, it's been more than six months, and you best believe that these cars have changed a bit since then. But before we get into the South Point 400, let's take a quick gander at what happened here in March.
It was pretty much nothing but Kevin Harvick domination as he led 214 of 267 laps on his way to winning the race after starting second. The spring Vegas race was a pretty clean one for the first two stages with the only yellow flags coming from the stage endings. In stage three however, Jamie McMurray would end up crashing into the wall on the backstretch, ending his day. Two laps after going green, Chase Elliot and Kurt Busch crashed into each other on the front stretch on lap 184. That gave the aforementioned Harvick a 72-lap green flag run on his way to victory. So without further ado, let's get into this bad boy!
Here at numberFire, we've always got you covered for everything NASCAR DFS. Our track preview gives you more information about this track, our driver preview helps bring you up to speed on drivers' recent history here and elsewhere, and our Heat Check Podcast with Jim Sannes gives you insight to how he is approaching this weekend's slate.
Kevin Harvick ($14,000 on FanDuel): The price tag is high, but as stated before, we already know that Harvick has the ability to dominate here. He most likely won't get to the front by the second lap like he did in March, but there is no reason to doubt that he can make it to the front of the field and lead a ton of laps again. For this week, I am considering Dover, Bristol, and Darlington as "comp tracks" to Vegas. And at said tracks this season (along with the Vegas spring race), Harvick has the second-best average finish at 5.5, third-best average running position of 8.8, and third-most laps led, leading 11.83% of all laps on comparable tracks. All of these numbers should be kept in mind when looking at Harvick's practice numbers, which have not been the best leading up to this race. But for one of the best drivers on the circuit competing for a Cup series title, this should not matter and is not something that I am worrying too much about this weekend.
Brad Keselowski ($12,600): There just wasn't going to be a NASCAR article from me that did not have Keselowski this week, the hottest driver on the circuit right now, winning back to back races in Darlington and Indianapolis. Starting in the 13th position, this is more of a place-differential play than a laps-led one. Keselowski is coming into this race with not only a strong performance in his last two races but also on all of these tracks this season that are comparable to Vegas. He finished 6th in the March race, has generated the sixth-most fastest laps, fourth-most laps led, and third-best average running position. And let's not forget to mention that he had the fourth-best speed in the final practice. Everything is setting up for Keselowski to have yet another solid performance that can translate into a solid fantasy performance as well.
Erik Jones ($10,400): Jones is pretty much the opposite of Harvick this week when it comes to practice and performance at similar tracks. Jones has been average at best at these types of tracks, but his practice numbers can make one overly excited to roster him. More specifically, final practice was blistering for Jones as he posted both the fastest single-lap speed and 10-lap average. Rostering Jones (and how much exposure you have of him) mainly depends on how much you personally weigh practice and recency. Given how strong the 20 has been in the last five races overall (average finish of 6.6 and average running position of 9.4), it's plausible that Jones and his team have improved the car heading into these playoffs. And I would not be surprised to see Jones lead plenty of laps here, if not win the race.
Alex Bowman ($7,900): Bowman is just too cheap to ignore at $7,900 where all he needs to do is maintain track position and not lose that many spots over the course of the race. Bowman finished 16th here in March after starting 20th but now gets to start 9th. And on top of all that, my man made the very last spot to get into the playoffs, so you just know that he is going to drive like he has something to prove. The thing that gets me the most excited for Bowman is what he did in third practice, which was obtain the second-fastest 10-lap average and the third-best single-lap speed behind only Erik Jones and Ryan Blaney. Unless Bowman has car troubles, I see no reason why he should not be able to make value for your roster in either a cash game or GPP.
Trevor Bayne ($6,700): You have to hand it to Bayne; he is a fighter. Given his health complications, it is extremely impressive that he is still able to drive and perform relatively well, even if it is in only a part-time role in the 6 car. In his last 5 races, Bayne has an average running position of 17th and an average finish of 22.5. At comparable tracks, those numbers are 18.7 and 18.0, respectively. Bayne is certainly the kind of guy who can gain five place-differential spots in this field and leave you with a pretty good fantasy day, and he's also cheap enough that he won't break the bank. Bayne is more of a cash-game play for me with just a bit of upside to get you there in tournaments.
Bubba Wallace ($5,600): I'm not sure that you'll have to dip this low in pricing for your rosters, but if you do, Wallace is a guy who I don't mind rostering. Wallace was 21st on single-lap speed and 20th on his 10-lap run in final practice, which is something that I did not expect to see given Wallace's recent struggles. Wallace has also put up good enough performances at this track type this season (26.3 average finish and 26.0 average running position) to warrant a roster spot if need be. Obviously there are risks here -- mainly that the car has frequent brake issues -- but as long as the car stays healthy throughout this race, I can see Wallace moving up five to six spots from the 31st position to do just what he needs to get you in a GPP.
Evan Cheney is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Austin Swaim also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username theman90210. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.