NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: Pocono 400
The new aerodynamics package struck gold again at the Coca-Cola 600 as a captivating race saw Martin Truex Jr. bounce off the wall, bring out a caution, make a monstrous comeback to dominate Stage 3 and capture his second career Coke 600. They will look to keep it rolling with another great race at Pocono Raceway this weekend. "The Tricky Triangle" is a 2.5-mile race track with three unique turns and straightaways, and all of the strategy that usually accompanies a track of this size typically creates an entertaining product.
For daily fantasy this weekend, there are an extremely few amount of laps in this race. The 160 scheduled laps are the least of any oval the Cup series races on, and that leads to only 16 laps-led points available on FanDuel. The size of this track also creates strategy opportunity, and it is why it is so hard to dominate this race. Only one driver has eclipsed 100 laps led here in the last four years, and that was back in June of 2017, when Kyle Busch led 100 on the nose. The premium will be on finishing position, as always, but we'll also be hunting pass differential wherever it may be available -- especially in cash games.
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 ($15,500): If you were to hunt someone to dominate the show on Sunday, the heavy favorite to do so appears to be Kyle Busch. Not only -- as mentioned above -- was he the last one to lead at least 100 laps here, he also won two of the last three Pocono events and led more than 50 laps in three of the last four. Busch struggled at this track early in his career, but since cracking through for his first win, he has been absolutely dominant. He starts second on the front row and paced all drivers in the 10-lap averages in final practice. Busch will be a factor for the win Sunday, and that may justify his gaudy price tag.
Martin Truex Jr. ($14,000): A lot of factors are working in Martin Truex Jr.'s favor right now. First, he's won three of the last five races, including dominating last week despite popping the wall. Second, he's had some success at Pocono, winning this race last year and another in 2015. And finally, a subpar qualifying run should absolutely work in Truex's favor from a DFS perspective as starting 20th gives him enormous upside at a track with not many laps led available. Truex will likely be the most popular driver in the player pool Sunday, so do not fade him in cash.
Joey Logano ($12,500): Searching for speed and pass-differential potential, Joey Logano seems like a good fit. He's starting a mediocre 16th and was 7th on the 10-lap charts in final practice. Add in that he's led the most laps in three other races this year, and the pieces could come together for Logano. If there is a point of concern, it's his track history. He has finished outside the top 20 in four of the last five races at Pocono, and while most of those can be attributed to luck or strategy, it still is a concerning statistic. Logano's starting spot will render him fairly popular, but he has yet to prove himself reliable as a cash play at this track.
Kurt Busch ($11,500): With so few laps-led points available, the core of your lineup will likely be built in this area. Kurt Busch is a solid foundational piece to do just that this weekend. As Kurt has done several times this year, he qualified poorly (21st), but he usually ascends in the race. He also holds the fifth-best average finish in the last three years here (11.25) and won the spring race here back in 2016. Busch also posted the fastest lap in final practice, and it never hurts to see that kind of raw speed in the car. Busch could contend for the win, and he should provide a great combination of floor and upside in any format.
Ryan Blaney ($10,500): Ryan Blaney has dropped considerably in price over recent weeks, but had a nice bounce back at Charlotte with a Top 5 finish. He is no stranger to success at Pocono, adding four additional Top 12s to his first career win back in 2017. He starts right next to his teammate Logano in 17th, which puts him in a similar floor/upside spot to Kurt Busch at $1000 cheaper. Blaney is still hunting his first win of the season, and that will always be a possibility for the talented Penske racer.
Alex Bowman ($10,000): Alex Bowman did not quite finish second again last week, but he was an extremely solid seventh, which will keep the good momentum going. Bowman starts 15th at a track that appears to have some upside for him as he finished 3rd here last fall after also finishing top 10 in both stages. Bowman was at the front and stayed there all day, and that version of the young Hendrick Motorsports driver was not nearly as fast or confident as this current version. Bowman is still hunting for his first career win, something that has come at this track for four drivers -- the last being Chris Buescher in 2016.
Chris Buescher ($7,000): Speaking of Chris Buescher, he is quietly having a career year, with last week's sixth-place finish being his third top-10 showing this season. He comes with a tiny price tag at the site of his first career win back in 2016, although that was on strategy. He starts very deep in the field (24th), but he finished 17th in this race last year. This team is making strides and will look to better their finish from a season ago, even perhaps notching their fourth top 10 of 2019.
David Ragan ($5,500): If you are looking to deploy a stars-and-scrubs format, David Ragan is an incredibly appealing option, and he starts 27th. He is coming off a solid top-15 showing at Charlotte last week, and he finished in the top 20 in both of the Pocono races last year. Because of the quality of the cars behind him, Ragan should finish no lower than 27th should he avoid incident. He provides great salary relief for your lineup, and he carries some upside, too, if he were to match his 16th-place finish from last year.
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.