NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: O'Reilly Auto Parts 500
Another week, another race to play some DFS NASCAR. This week we are at Texas, where we have quite a few drivers who can get the place-differential and finishing points we need in order to build the optimal lineup. Dominators are important, as well, as there are 334 laps here, so we can see a lot of laps-led points from a single driver.
So without further ado, let's talk about Texas.
Here at numberFire, we've always got you covered for everything NASCAR DFS. Our track preview gives you more information about Texas, our driver preview helps bring you up to speed on recent driver history, and our Heat Check Podcast with Jim Sannes gives you insight to how he is approaching this weekend's slate.
Kyle Busch ($15,000) - As stated at the top, there is a lot to be had here in terms of place-differential drivers. Qualifying was a mess, to say the least, which resulted in a lot of the top drivers starting a little farther back than normal. Busch is no exception to this, starting in 16th. There is no reason to doubt his ability to progress through the field as he sports the second-best average running position of the season (sixth) as well as the best average running position of any driver on the circuit on tracks similar to Texas (Martinsville and Phoenix). But if more confirmation is needed, he ran the sixth-fastest 10-lap average in the second practice. The lone concern here is the price as $15,000 is a lot to pay with so much place-differential upside on this slate. Busch would need to win the race to give you 83.9 FanDuel points. In order to justify the price tag in a GPP, he would need to lead a number of laps in addition to that. If you believe he can do so, then lock him in. Otherwise, it may be best to be underweight on Busch relative to the field.
Kevin Harvick ($14,000) - Harvick and Busch share many of the same qualities this week, except Harvick has even more upside in the place-differential department since he's starting in 23rd. Harvick hasn't gotten off to a great start this season, and while he has disappointed at some of the tracks where we would expect him to lead laps, he hasn't had as bad of a season as many people would lead you to believe. He's third in the MECS in average finish and first in average running position while running 98% of his laps in the top 15 this season -- the latter of which is by far the highest number on the circuit. Harvick is pricey, too, but he's got more place-differential upside than Busch, and his lack of superb finishes may keep him under-owned.
Other Driver To Consider: Brad Keselowski ($14,000) and Joey Logano ($13,500) - Both have the ability to be laps-led dominators and win this race. Martin Truex Jr. ($13,200) - Starting in 20th, he can make it up the field. Kyle Larson ($12,000) - He's another place-differential guy.
Chase Elliott ($11,300) - Starting in third, Elliott needs to be a dominator in this race in order to pay off in fantasy, but he's capable of leading a lot of laps. Out of the three Hendrick drivers starting in the top three, Elliott comes into this race by far the hottest (and not just because of his racing). He has an average running position of ninth at tracks similar to Texas, and he has led the fourth-most laps on such tracks. Elliott could make a move early enough to lead a good portion of Stage 1, and he's could even pace the field for some of Stage 2, which would likely be enough laps led where he can be in the optimal lineup as a dominator. This is a GPP-only pick, though, because the floor is scary if Elliott doesn't lead laps.
Kurt Busch ($11,000) - Speaking of safe bets, the elder Busch in certainly one of them. Starting in 30th, the only place he has to go is up. For starters, he ran the second-fastest 10-lap run, trailing only Jimmie Johnson. Secondly, his recent performances at similar tracks and overall this season have both been top-10 in terms of average running position and average finish. He's capable of pushing forward and finishing in the top-10, which would give him gobs of place-differential points.
Clint Bowyer ($10,800) - Bowyer has not had the best string of luck in the past week. He was penalized twice for being too fast on pit road at Martinsville, and he was blocked by Ryan Newman on pit road during qualifying for this race, which forced him to start 25th. Fortunately for us, we can take advantage of Bowyer's poor starting spot. While he has underwhelmed to start the season, he ran very well at Martinsville, which is a plus for his upside here at Texas. He has the eighth-highest average running position and the sixth-most fast laps of anyone on the MECS circuit. He's good on these types of tracks and is a safe play in all formats.
Other Drivers To Consider: Jimmie Johnson ($9,300) - He grabbed the pole and had the best practice times, so he's clearly capable of leading laps and being a dominator
Alex Bowman ($8,200) - There is a lot going on at the top of the pricing spectrum, so it's important to hit on some of these cheaper guys. Starting in 24th, Bowman is a guy who can climb this field a bit. At similar tracks, he has an average running position of 17.5, good for 18th-best. Bowman and his team should be able to learn a lot from the other Hendrick drivers as Elliott, William Byron, and Johnson have all had solid practices so far this weekend. While he's best as a GPP-only play, Bowman's awkward price could lead to him being overlooked.
Chris Buescher ($6,500) - A solid, cheap driver, Buescher has the chance to make it up the field from his starting spot of 19th. You don't need much out of a guy this cheap, and he can help you fit in the more expensive place-differential drivers.
Matt Tifft ($4,000) - If you really want to jam in as many studs as you can, Matt Tifft is your guy. At only $4,000, he gives you a lot of room to play around with for the rest of your lineup. Starting in 29th, even a top-25 showing would net him a few place-differential points, and Tifft is someone who could wind up in the optimal lineup by staying around on the track in this race.
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.