NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: Bluegreen Vacations 500
One of Kevin Harvick's best race tracks is Texas Motor Speedway, and he delivered with a clutch performance there last week there to punch his own championship race ticket for next week at Miami. That leaves two spots left to contend for the championship, and both will be settled this weekend at ISM Raceway in Phoenix. ISM Raceway is a 1.02-mile flat, D-shaped oval that was reconfigured last year to change ends of the race track, and now it is one of the most intriguing and unique tracks on the circuit.
With this being nearly a short track, at just over a mile, there are 312 laps available in this race for laps led and laps completed points. Therefore, finding a driver to dominate the race will be at the forefront of our strategy, but the two heavy braking zones, along with a shortcut on the back straightaway, present passing opportunities for fast cars or possible value plays to rise through the field, as well.
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): Even before the cars were unloaded this weekend, Kyle Busch was a rightful favorite in Phoenix. He has won every race at ISM since the reconfiguration, including a dominant one earlier this year. He even has eight straight top-10 finishes at the track, as well, proving he excels at this flat oval. Then, he unloaded in first practice and won that, and while falling to 10th in the next session, he still captured the pole for Sunday's race. Expect Busch to start up front and stay there for a while as he looks to wrap up a championship race spot, which makes him a must in cash-game formats, and it is worth matching the field's heavy exposure to him in tournaments.
Kevin Harvick ($14,000): When trying to pivot off of Kyle Busch in some lineups in tournaments, Kevin Harvick makes the most sense. His price is expensive enough to lower his ownership in comparison to Busch's, and Harvick presents legitimate upside at this track. He is currently riding a streak of 11 top-five showings in 15 races, which includes seven wins. Harvick would be a clear cut favorite to win Sunday if not for his recent history since the reconfiguration, where his best effort is fifth. He does appear very solid this weekend, posting top-10 times in all practice sessions on both the single-lap and 10-lap average charts. He will start seventh and is already locked into next week's championship race.
William Byron ($10,500): William Byron has one of his highest price tags of the season as he is all the way up to $10,500 on FanDuel, but we should consider paying it. He has top-five finishes in two of the last three races, including a second-place run at the very flat Martinsville Speedway. A flat track with heavy braking is on the agenda again this weekend, and Byron will look to carry over his successful formula. The best argument for his DFS viability Sunday, however, is his starting spot. He starts a deeper 18th in the field, which raises both his floor and ceiling. Byron still is searching for his first career win and could contend for it Sunday.
Aric Almirola ($8,500): Aric Almirola finished a close second to his teammate Kevin Harvick last week, and there appears to be no reason he cannot keep his momentum going. Phoenix is his second-best race track by average finish in the last three years (8.20), behind only Talladega. Almirola was 6th in final practice, and he qualified 11th, so the car has some speed in it this weekend. At least before inspection, this price area is devoid of any obvious chalk plays, so Almirola should be a steady cog today at one of his better tracks.
Ryan Newman ($7,000): Ryan Newman has driven for plenty of different race teams over the years, but one consistent thing is that he runs well at ISM Raceway. He very well may be the horse for the course, posting five top-12 finishes in his last six races in Phoenix. Newman checks in with a very low price tag, and as the case every weekend for Newman and his team, his practice and qualifying times have been subpar, but they are looking to dial in the comfort for Newman to be aggressive in these flat, slow turns. If he can turn in another top-12 run at Phoenix from 20th on the starting grid, he will be tremendous value at this price tag.
Austin Dillon ($6,500): It has been a brutal season for Austin Dillon, missing the playoffs in a year with huge expectations. Dillon, though, is a notoriously poor qualifier, which has helped his daily fantasy value even in a bad season. In four of his last six races, Dillon has gained at least seven spots from his starting place. He starts a deep 28th at a race track where he has finished no worse than 21st in the last five events here, and by matching that, Dillon would yet again gain at least seven spots from his starting spot. At only $6,500, plug him in as a safe, low-cost option who allows you to mix and match studs around Kyle Busch.
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.