NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: Can-Am 500
In the second to last race of the season, there is a lot on the line, primarily for the five drivers left in the playoffs who have not yet clinched a spot in the round of four next week in Miami. One of the main storylines here will be how Kevin Harvick bounces back after being hit with an L1 penalty this past Wednesday after the number-4 car was caught modifying the location of the spoiler, with the penalty putting him only three points ahead of Kurt Busch for the fourth spot going into Phoenix.
Speaking of Phoenix, this will be the second race that the Monster Energy Cup Series has run here this season. The last one being in March. Sunday's race will actually be exactly eight months since the last race.
Without further ado, let's talk about some DFS racing.
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 ($14,500): Back in March, Harvick earned the checkered flag here after starting 10th and moving up to the lead, leading 38 laps on his way to the win. His practice numbers heading into that race were great, but his practice numbers going into this race are even better. In second practice, Harvick ran the fastest single lap speed, and he followed that up with running both the fastest short and 10-lap speeds in third practice. On top of all of that, Harvick starts on the pole and is in position to lead the lion's share of laps barring any car issues. Harvick is a superb option in all formats because of the laps-led upside that he possesses. However, Harvick won't be sneaky by any stretch as he could be the highest-owned driver on the slate.
Chase Elliott ($13,000): It's hard to fit in both Elliott and Harvick this week, and of course, most will choose the former over the latter. However, this is NASCAR, and weird things tend to happen. Sometimes guys are not as fast in the race as we thought there were going to be. This is where the Elliott pivot comes in. There's a chance Elliott finds a way to pass Harvick early and leads laps from there. Elliott did have the third-most fast laps in the March race, when he finished third. Plus, Elliott needs a win for his season to continue next week, so why not consider him in fantasy?
Erik Jones ($10,000): After logging a ninth-place finish earlier in the season at Phoenix, Jones made some noise this week. What stands out the most is his speed of 137.9 miles per hour in first practice (which was fastest) and his third-place 10-lap average in final practice. If performance like that are sustainable for Jones on race day, he could help fantasy lineups quite a bit, especially on FanDuel, where finishing position is weighted like it is. A fifth-place finish for Jones along with the place-differential points that he would receive would be big in a week in which there are not many drivers who offer big upside via place differential.
Daniel Suarez ($8,300): Speaking of place differential, if you want it, Suarez should have it. In second practice, Suarez managed to drive the 12th-fastest single lap speed and the 10th-fastest 10-lap average. In final practice, he drove the 17th-fastest single lap speed, and the 22nd-best 10-lap average. None of these are off-the-charts impressive, and the drop in placement from the second to third practice might be concerning for some. However, these practice number do show that Suarez is capable of gaining spots on the field from his starting spot in the 26th. Suarez actually finished 8th here in March after starting 13th. Plus, Suarez is still in search of a ride for next season, and this race offers one of the last times other teams can watch him before we hit silly season.
Jamie McMurray ($7,900): Some speculate that McMurray could be done in NASCAR's premier division after this season after announcing that he will not be driving the number-1 car in 2019. This leads to the question "Is this Jamie McMurray's last season?" If the answer to that question is yes, then you bet that he is going to do everything in his power to go all out in Phoenix, and this can be seen in his practice numbers. In final practice, McMurray drove the 11th-fastest short run speed, and the 21st-fastest 10-lap average. Starting in 21st, he is capable of moving up the field. Again, place-differential drivers are not plentiful this week, so we need to take advantage of the ones we have.
William Byron ($7,000): Byron, the leading candidate for Rookie of the Year, makes for a strong value and place-differential play. In final practice, Byron drove the sixth-fastest short run speed, and ninth-fastest 10-lap average. Back in March, Byron drove to a 12th-place finish here after starting 11th. Starting from the 19th position, there is room for some place-differential, which makes him an appealing cheap option.
Evan Cheney is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Evan Cheney 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.