NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: Hollywood Casino 400
Rain forced a Monday finish at Talladega Superspeedway, and it was a wild one. Ryan Blaney dodged a fiery crash with seven laps to go and quite literally nosed past Ryan Newman for a playoff-advancing win. With Blaney and Kyle Larson already in the Round of 8, six more drivers will officially advance after Sunday's race at Kansas Speedway. The fast, 1.5-mile track should provide for plenty of passing and action.
This track yielded one of the best 1.5-mile races of the year back in May with multiple grooves to race in. That should open up plenty of room for pass differential for daily fantasy purposes, but as always, there will be one or two dominant drivers to target, as well. This is also an impound race, meaning any cars that fail pre-race inspection Sunday morning will forfeit their starting position. It will make the day harder for those who fail inspection, but it also makes them high-floor and high-ceiling options in daily 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 ($14,500): Happy Harvick feels like a free square this weekend. A bizarre sequence of events led to Harvick being unable to post a lap in qualifying, so he is listed 40th on the grid. Even if more cars fail inspection, Harvick should still be the best car of the bunch starting toward the rear. He leads all drivers in laps led at Kansas in the last five races here with 306, including 104 in the spring before being shuffled to the back late. Harvick may not dominate the race from last on the grid, but you will want a piece of his place differential points in all formats.
Joey Logano ($13,000): Same story for Joey Logano from 29th, as his pass differential from this spot is again too good to pass up. Recent history even indicates what may come for Logano, as at the last 1.5-mile track in Las Vegas, he started 22nd and led 105 laps from a distant starting spot. He actually has a record of success at Kansas, as well, with two prior wins here in his career, and his teammate Brad Keselowski took the checkered flag in the spring race. He should be a contender for the win Sunday, with a high floor and high ceiling.
Clint Bowyer ($10,000): Clint is the Kansas native in the field, hailing from Emporia, but he has historically struggled at his home track. However, he has three things working in his favor as a daily fantasy play looking to buck that trend. First, he starts deep in the field in 21st, which makes the consistent driver a high-upside play, as he already has 15 top-10s this year. Second, Bowyer's last race here was his best in the last five in The Sunflower State, as he finished 5th in the spring event earlier this season. And, perhaps most important, Bowyer's future is finally settled, as he signed an extension to stay in the number-14 car for 2020. Bowyer has good momentum surrounding his effort on Sunday.
Erik Jones ($9,000): While all Joe Gibbs Racing entries appear strong once again, as three were in the top four in the 10-lap average charts for final practice, Erik Jones was the lone exception. But, there is still plenty to be excited about at only $9,000 -- by far the cheapest option on the team. He finished third in a great effort in the spring race, and he has five other top-10 finishes on intermediate tracks this year in addition to that one. He's certainly been feast or famine, with two DNFs, as well. Still, Jones should be a solid lineup cog who has far higher race-winning upside than any of his salary neighbors because of his race team.
Chris Buescher ($6,600): In this budget range is where to watch for inspection failures, but assuming none, Chris Buescher stands out yet again. Buescher has been exactly in this race script five times this year. In those five races, he started outside the top 20 and rallied for a top finish at a 1.5-mile track in every one. Buescher appears to just have a knack for taking care of his equipment, avoiding mistakes, and improving throughout the race. At only $6,600, he has become an incredibly trustworthy play in this spot.
Matt DiBenedetto ($6,000): After nearly collecting his first career win at Bristol in August, Matt DiBenedetto was one of the hottest names on the circuit, but while the noise has stopped, his production has not. He still has top-15 finishes in 8 of his last 12 races, which is remarkable given this price tag. Now, if Leavine Family Racing has had a problem carrying speed from their Gibbs alliance this year at a certain type of track, it has been 1.5-mile race tracks. However, starting 27th, DiBenedetto provides a solid floor with equipment that we know is solid this weekend, even if he has stumbled to two practice results outside the top 25. Even before inspection results, there are plenty of options in this area with Buescher, Paul Menard ($7,000), and Ricky Stenhouse Jr ($7,500), but MDB is starting further back in the field than any of them with more positive recent results.
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.