NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: Coca-Cola 600
After what was technically a week off from points racing during All Star week, we are back at it with a crown jewel race, the Coca Cola 600. This will be the longest race we see all season as it is a 600-mile event (as implied in the title). There will be 400 laps over the course of four stages, as opposed to the normal three-stage format. I do not believe there will be a ton of green-flag passes in this race, meaning that most moves will have to be made via pit road and restarts.
So on that note, let's check out this week's picks.
Here at numberFire, we've always got you covered for everything NASCAR DFS. Our track preview gives you more information about Richmond, 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) - It's hard to ignore a driver who led a whopping 377 laps here last year, and he's starting third this time around. The only difference is that last year, he started from the pole, which was advantageous for Busch considering 2018's racing package. We can't expect him to lead 377 laps this year, considering it might take a considerable amount of time for Busch to reach the front. However, once he does, he's capable of staying there for a while, barring any car issues. Just look at his 10-lap average this week, which was the best in the field. Busch is chalk I am willing to eat this week, even if he may not lead as many laps as he did a season ago.
Denny Hamlin ($12,000) - Moving from a dominator to a place-differential driver, Hamlin is a driver who can make it up the field. A similar race to this one is the Texas race from the end of March. Not to say that Texas and Charlotte are the exact same track, but they do come from the same line of cookie cutter-esque tracks. Texas was arguably Hamlin's best race of the season -- winning in spite of two penalties on pit road. He showed a boatload of speed that day and has shown similar speed in practice, running the fourth fastest 10-lap average in the third practice. Hamlin is capable of putting together a top-10 finish today.
Kyle Larson ($10,500) - Larson is fresh off winning the All-Star Open race as well as the All-Star race itself, and maybe that will be what kickstarts his season after a tough-luck start to the year. Larson hasn't shown the best speed in practice (12th in 10-lap average) and probably won't lead a whole lot of laps, if any. But starting in 25th, he can move up in this field on restarts alone (and pit road if he's lucky).
Alex Bowman ($10,000) - Given the price tag, this is a tournament-only play. However, there is no doubting the hot streak that Bowman is on right now, notching three straight second-place finishes. Isolating his performances from Dover and Kansas, we can see that he has shown incredible speed, maintaining an average running position of 6.5 and an average driver rating of 118.9, which trails only teammate Chase Elliot in that same span. Bowman's recent form should be enough to consider rostering him in a race in which he needs to gain only enough position to get himself in the top 10, which is very much possible.
Daniel Suarez ($9,000) - Also a GPP-only play, Suarez has shown speed in practice this weekend, putting up the sixth-best 10-lap average in the third practice. Starting in 6th, he probably won't be a popular play. But like some of the other drivers mentioned, Suarez has also shown speed at both Texas and Dover, finishing 3rd at Texas and 11th at Dover. As long as Suarez is able to maintain similar position, he should be able to end up in some top lineups this weekend.
Paul Menard ($7,500) - Menard is likely to be a popular cheap guy. Starting in 17th, he has the potential to move up in the field. He put on the a solid showing in the third practice, finishing eighth in the 10-lap average. Menard may be better suited for cash games as he might lack the upside for tourneys.
William Byron ($7,300) - I'll be the first to admit, if this were 2018, I would not give an iota of thought to Byron starting on the pole. But this is 2019, and the package is very generous to drivers who are starting on the pole, no matter who they are. For example, Jimmie Johnson was on the pole at Texas, and he led the first 59 laps of the race. Chase Elliot started on the pole at Dover and led the first 107 laps. Guys on the pole -- particularly ones from Hendrick Motorsports -- can lead a considerable number of laps, and Byron checks both of those boxes.
Chris Buescher ($6,400) - With Buescher starting 23rd, he will need to move up in the field a bit (at least top 15) in order to find himself in the optimal lineup. He was able to show a decent amount of speed in both the second and third practices. While he's better for tournaments, Buescher can open up a lot salary cap to allow you to jam in the studs you want.
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.