NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race
Every year in mid-May, NASCAR takes a week off from its weekly points-paying schedule to have a little fun. That takes place in the form of the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
This race has become a very interesting testing ground for new aerodynamic rule packages to improve the racing conditions every other week. Last year, the incredibly exciting use of restrictor plates in this race birthed the new aerodynamic package we have raced with every week this season.
There are additional changes NASCAR hopes will make the racing even better, and while that is yet to be determined, here is a fact about Saturday night: there's one million dollars on the line for whoever crosses the line first. That will create excitement no matter what. Because of the strange format of the weekend, this primer will discuss a couple of studs already in the All-Star race, a couple of bargain options in the field, and some drivers to watch should they transfer over from Saturday's preliminary race in the Monster Open.
Here at numberFire, we've always got you covered for everything NASCAR DFS. For a great background of this race and format, check out the article on key things to know this weekend. For more specific lineup construction and driver strategy, as always, listen in to The Heat Check Podcast with Jim Sannes.
Note: FanDuel is not adding additional drivers to its player pool for this race. Only the 15 drivers currently in the player pool are available to choose from.
Kevin Harvick ($13,000): A key pivot point at the top of the player pool will be between the two studs that dominated at this track a year ago. Kyle Busch ($14,000) qualified second, and he will be a threat Saturday night. The last time a Cup race was ran at Charlotte's oval race track, Busch won all three stages as well as the race, leading 377 of 400 laps. Granted, that was with an entirely different aero package than is being used Saturday night. I prefer Harvick, who is starting third. Under a similar package to this one, he dominated last year's All-Star Race, leading 36 of 93 laps in a field that shuffles between stages. Harvick was especially quick in practice this week, as well, recording the best 10-lap average time in the joint first session. Given some other options, you may want to choose only one of Harvick or Busch, and it should surprise no one if one of these two paces the field Saturday.
Brad Keselowski ($11,500): Keselowski has won two of the four 1.5-mile races this season as he found the front and won at Kansas last weekend. Kansas is a very similar track to Charlotte, and Keselowski seems to be in a similar spot to last weekend, where his raw speed is not great (only 13th in practice), but he has a proven record at these tracks so far. The best news is Keselowski starts 14th in a race with very few laps -- placing great emphasis on pass differential. Even if Keselowski does not find the front Saturday night, finishing in the top five would generate extremely valuable FanDuel points and give him a nice floor.
Ryan Blaney ($9,500): There will be a continuing theme in this primer as Fords appear to boast great speed this weekend with the slightly altered aero rules. Enter Ryan Blaney, who paced final practice on the 10-lap average charts. This race will not have very many long runs, so 10 laps is a great metric to use when looking for who to roster. All-Star qualifying incorporates a pit stop and therefore is not always the best indication of speed. That is why Blaney will start ninth, but if his practice times are any indication, he will not stay there very long.
Aric Almirola ($8,500): The aforementioned Harvick led the 10-lap charts in the joint practice that also included Open drivers, but Aric Almirola, his teammate, actually led the single-lap average charts in the joint practice that also included Open drivers. Almirola has the right logo -- for this week -- on the front of his car as he is yet another fast Ford. As is the case with Keselowski, Almirola starts deep (13th) in an even with very few laps, which would make a top-five showing extremely valuable at this price point.
Austin Swaim 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 ASwaim3. 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.