NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: 1000Bulbs.com 500
After a pretty dominant performance at Dover last week, Kyle Larson has solidified his spot in the round of eight in the NASCAR playoffs. As for the other 11 remaining playoff drivers, they must stay competitive at one of the most volatile tracks on the circuit in order to have their chance, as well.
As a "plate" track, Talladega offers a level of instability that makes it pretty wild on the drivers involved. For fantasy purposes, we are not too worried about laps led, as there shouldn't be any drivers who lead a ton of laps here. The most secure path to fantasy points is through place differential, and there are plenty of drivers this week that can give it to us.
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.
Joey Logano ($14,500) - This is definitely a tournament-only play, but it's one that has a chance of working if things fall correctly. If you look at optimal lineups of the previous three Talladega races in the FanDuel era of NASCAR, there has always been at least one driver starting in the top 10 in there. This occurrence defies the common belief that you always have to use drivers starting in the back. Oddly enough, Talladega is one of Logano's best tracks, one where he has an average finishing position of 3.8 in his last five races, and he desperately needs a good performance after last week's car debacle. Look for Logano to be a lower-owned piece who can give your lineup a boost.
Denny Hamlin ($14,000) - After failing to make a full qualifying effort due to a blown engine, Hamlin will be starting in dead last on Sunday afternoon. This provides him, of course, with the highest floor of any driver on the slate. While this would be a smart and obvious play on any week, a race at Talladega makes Hamlin even juicier. This is because his chances of being able to drive to the front from the 40th position are much greater at a plate track then it would be anywhere else. Expect just about every lineup you see though to have him, and the only reason to fade him is to avoid the chalk.
Kyle Busch (13,000) - With Kyle Busch starting in 26th, this is a spot where we want to roster him. Busch has surprisingly not a won a race since the first Pocono event back in June. While plate tracks have not been kind to Busch over the years, as long as he doesn't wreck out, this should be a spot where he can rack up some fantasy goodness. If I'm building lineups for this race, they are probably going to be very top- and bottom-heavy ones in terms of the salaries of my drivers. This is due to how qualifying shook out as well as the lack of great drivers with place-differential upside this week. Busch is one of the few top-end drivers who offer place-differential upside, and we have to take advantage while we can.
Kurt Busch ($9,700) - With low number of quality drivers who are starting in the back, especially in this price range, Kurt Busch becomes very appealing. Starting in 24th, Busch has the same type of floor as any of the better drivers would starting this far back at a plate track. I can see Busch driving to a top-10 finish from this spot, which would yield him at least seven points from place differential and 31 finishing points. Depending on the type of chaos that goes down on Sunday, this could be all he needs in order to finish in the optimal lineup. I am good with rostering him in both cash and tournaments this week because of the advantageous starting position.
Matt DiBenedetto ($6,500) - While it seems like MDB is always a top bargain play, this is a particularly great spot to use him. Starting in 31st, DiBenedetto is primed to make a run toward the front and maybe even try to lead this race. In the spring race, DiBenedetto was actually able to lead a lap in this race after starting 26th, so it's not crazy to think that he can do the same again. Unfortunately, DiBenedetto has crashed out of two of three plate races this season, making it hard to call him a safe play for this race (although the same argument can be made for any driver). This seems like one of the better plays on the board due to the salary, the quality of driver and the starting position.
Bubba Wallace ($4,500) - Let me premise this by saying there are a ton of rosterable options in this price range and you may wind up having a good chunk of cap space left in every lineup. That being said, Wallace is one of the better choices you can make in this price range due to his performance at plate tracks over the past couple years. With an average finish of 20.4 at these tracks since the start of 2018, Wallace is at his best at plate events. He has a top-five showing, a top-10 placing, and three top-15 finishes at plate tracks in the aforementioned span. Wallace is in play in any format this week.
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.