NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: Bojangles' Southern 500
It's been a couple weeks since we've seen the top series compete at Bristol, in what was a heart crushing race between Matt DiBenedetto and Denny Hamlin. This week, we have what the drivers might call a "crown jewel race" at Darlington. This is one that drivers look forward to all season long between a great track, and all of the awesome paint schemes that we tend to see here, I have to agree with them. And of course, this makes for a great fantasy race as well. Giving us 367 laps. it's the perfect mix of favoring place differential drivers, and the dominators.
Here at numberFire, we've always got you covered for everything NASCAR DFS. Our track preview gives you more information about the history of the track, 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) - After an engine change, Busch will start 39th for the Southern 500. This gives him a very high floor, as he should be able to move up this field quickly. If having one of the best drivers starting this far back in the field is not already enough to convince you to roster him, here are some other great stats on Busch. Over the course of the 2019 season, Busch is the number-one driver when looking at season-long driver rating (112.7). Busch also comes in here with the fourth-best career driver rating at Darlington of anyone in the field (107.4). He is the safest driver on the board, and it's not even close. Fade at your own risk.
Kyle Larson ($11,500) - In an obvious case of Kyle-based coincidences, Larson is the clear number-two for me when it comes to the high-end of the pricing spectrum. Diving in to the practice data, Larson was the fastest in the second session in every long-run split you want to look at -- edging out none other than Kyle Busch. It's clear that Larson's number-42 car is fast this weekend, showing us that the high line here still can work in spite of the high-downforce package. If not for a bad pit call last year, Larson would likely be the defending champion of this race. He led 284 laps a season ago on his way to a third-place finish. Larson is very much in play as a dominator in this race.
Erik Jones ($10,200) - Jones has quietly been one of the hottest drivers on the circuit as of late, coming into this race with a 99.6 driver rating across his last five races, the sixth-best in the Cup Series. In two career Darlington races, Jones has a driver rating of 105.7, which is good for sixth among active drivers. He is another driver who has been dominating practice this weekend, as well, running third in the 20-lap average in final practice. Mind you, the average green flag run in last year's race was 47.4 laps. There will be plenty of time for him to make it up the field from his starting spot of 15th, possibly putting himself in position to lead laps.
Aric Almirola ($8,800) - Almirola is another safe selection on the board, starting 30th. While there isn't any statistic Almirola stands out in, he is starting far back enough that his place differential should provide a high enough floor for him to be in play for both tournaments and cash games. Almirola did not run a ton of laps in final practice, but he did manage to lock in the ninth-best five-lap average. The only justification I see to fade here is for ownership purposes in tournaments. Otherwise, I would get as much of both Almirola and Kyle Busch as I could get to give your lineups a solid foundation.
Ryan Newman ($8,400) - Darlington is objectively Newman's best track. He has an average finish of 12.1 (his best of any track) and a driver rating of 84.5 (also best of any track) here. Though he is in 15th in the playoff standings, Newman is looking to hold on to that playoff spot through the final two regular season races. Starting in 24th, there is definitely room for him to move up the field to a top-10 finish. He's more than capable of that, especially if the number-6 team can remain mistake free as a whole like they have been for the vast majority of the 2019 season.
Matt Dibenedetto ($7,800) - One of the better drivers in the series of late is starting in 19th, and Dibenedetto is still inexpensive. To put his recent performance into perspective, he has performed just as well as Joey Logano of late and better than Clint Bowyer, William Byron and Aric Almirola, just to name a few. I still have a sneaky suspicion that he can win a race and make it into the playoffs. Realistically, this is his last chance in 2019 to do so, which is why I believe he will be extra aggressive in strategy in this race, making him a nice GPP option.
Ty Dillon ($6,000) - The low-end of the price range is not that great, but Dillon is someone who can provide us with place-differential points from his starting spot of 29th. This won't be new territory for Dillon. In two career Darlington races, he has a driver rating of 67.4, which is just behind Clint Bowyer and right in front of Ryan Blaney in term of career track history. Dillon makes sense if you are going to build a stars-and-scrubs lineup rather than a balanced one. I would consider Dillon a tournament-only play.
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.