NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: South Point 400
Here we are, the first week of the playoffs. After an exciting end to the regular season a la the drama at the playoff cut line, we now head to Vegas for the second time this season in what will be its first Cup race at night. The cooler track temperatures that we will have should make for a more exciting race with more cautions then we saw in March. Where the only cautions that came out were for the end of the first two stages, Now that the field is set, let's see who should be on your radar for fantasy!
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.
Kevin Harvick ($14,000) - In the Vegas race earlier this season, Harvick was the best driver on the track that day, but he kept losing time off of pit road because of oil in his stall that no one cared to clean up all race. Harvick finished that race with a driver rating of 134.4, almost three full points better than that of race winner Joey Logano. Harvick is starting third this week, and I see no reason to fade him. Harvick should finish well here and should lead a solid number of the 267 laps on Sunday night. .
Brad Keselowski ($13,000) - To be honest, you can put either one of Keselowski or Logano in this spot, but to me, Keselowski just edges Logano for being the better fantasy play. Amongst all the drivers in the field, Keselowski comes in the with highest career track history driver rating at Vegas since 2011 (117.2) -- nearly five points better than the next-best driver (Martin Truex Jr.). This car showed some serious speed in practice, laying down the best 15-lap average at 30.98 seconds per lap. And Keselowski is also riding the hot hand, having averaged a 103.1 driver rating in his last five races, fifth-best in the field. Starting 18th, Keselowski makes for one of the better place-differential drivers.
Erik Jones ($10,400) - Starting in 26th, Jones is one of the safer drivers you can roster. There is a very high floor here, considering how good of a driver we've seen him be in the last month. In the spring race at Vegas, Jones finished 13th with a driver rating of 84.0 -- nothing spectacular but certainly respectable. A similar or better performance tonight would be ideal for fantasy purposes. His career driver rating here is 87.5 over four races. In final practice, Jones wowed us all with the fourth-best 10-lap average. I am a firm believer in the number-20 car this weekend, and Jones is a safe play in all formats.
Clint Bowyer ($8,800) - I was shocked to see that this was Bowyer's first pole since 2007, and it could not come at a better time for a driver who has seen his fair share of struggles this season. It seems like those issues are behind him now after barely making the playoff cutline and now getting on the pole. Now, let me make this clear, Bowyer is a tournament-only play. More often than not, I don't see him leading the number of laps that he would need to in order to win someone a tournament from the pole position. But we also have to consider the 2019 package for what it is, one where initial track position is key and where passing is hard to come by. We also have to consider the fact that Stewart-Haas Racing is helping Bowyer out in the same manner they are Harvick. I think that there is a chance that Bowyer could lead the number of laps needed for a tournament win, and at this fairly cheap price, he's worth taking that risk on in some lineups.
Ryan Newman ($7,800) - Another tourney-only play, Newman is a driver who might not be the best statistical fit here, but he is also a driver you know is going to do everything in his power to advance in the playoffs. Starting in 17th, there is a chance for him to move up the field. Since 2011, Newman has accumulated a driver rating here of 78.0, which includes a lowly 50.1 rating in the race this past March. However, it seems like the number-six car has found more speed in practice, driving the eighth-fastest 10-lap average in final practice. If Newman weren't a playoff driver, I probably would not be as into him, but the fact that is one tells me that he'll keep his aggressiveness up and give us yet another finish better than we might expect.
Chris Buescher ($7,000) - Starting in 28th, this is yet another week where Buescher is set up to acquire all of those place-differential points. In the spring race, Buescher started in 27th and drove his way to an 18th-place finish, and we could see a very similar performance here as he has practiced just as well as he did leading up to the spring race. Don't expect top-10 upside from him, but Buescher is a very safe play who I have a hard time fading. Whether it be cash games or tournaments, Buescher is in play in all formats.
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.