NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: Auto Club 400
If you are looking for an action-packed way to replace the NFL in the world of daily fantasy, NASCAR may be a great avenue to explore. Far from just driving in circles, some of the world's best compete nearly every weekend from February to November on tracks across America. NASCAR drivers are scored ultimately based on how they finish in the race, how many spots they advance from their starting position, and how many laps they finish and lead. Avoiding drivers that crash out of the race is a must, of course!
Here at numberFire, we've always got you covered for everything NASCAR DFS. Every week, in addition to this helper, we have a betting guide to discuss the smartest places to lay money for this weekend's race, and our Heat Check Podcast with Jim Sannes gives you insight to how he is approaching this slate. We also have a track preview and driver preview to dive deeper into this weekend's action.
The west coast swing continues in Fontana this weekend at Auto Club Speedway for the Auto Club 400. This 2.5-mile track is very flat for its size and has been incredibly worn out since its inception in 1997. The multiple grooves make for wild restarts and plenty of passing options, but with so much speed entering the corners, track position and clear air (i.e not being behind other vehicles) will be king on Sunday. The first and second practice sessions were held on Friday, and the starting lineup was set by time trials on Saturday.
Here's a DFS breakdown of this weekend's Auto Club 400 slate on FanDuel:
Higher Priced Drivers
Martin Truex Jr. ($12,500): The bulk of this helper will be centered around cars with Chevrolet bowties on the hood, but it leads with a Toyota. A disastrous Saturday for the 2018 winner at Auto Club Speedway vaults him into must-play territory, as Martin Truex Jr. will start dead last in 38th after failing pre-qualifying inspection three times. That starting spot gives Truex an enormous floor with potential for laps led points to work at his ceiling. Truex actually has been down on speed a little so far in 2020, but that should not stop him from smashing value here.
Chase Elliott ($11,500): Someone who has not been down on speed in 2020 is Chase Elliott, and it makes him a feature play this weekend. He was the most impressive driver last week at Las Vegas, leading 70 laps and winning both stages. Especially notable was his speed on the long run. Elliott was the fastest car in the field by a good bit before cutting down a left rear tire, so combining that information with his teammate, Alex Bowman, winning both practice sessions this week, Elliott and Hendrick Motorsports appear primed for another promising Sunday.
Alex Bowman ($10,000): If Alex Bowman's name was "Kevin Harvick," he would be by far the highest-owned driver on the slate after winning both practice sessions and having the best 10-lap times in each session, too. Qualifying third only cemented Bowman as a real favorite to win Sunday's event, and he should still see hefty ownership at this price with those metrics. The core of a cash-game build should likely consist of Truex Jr. for his pass-differential upside and Bowman as a favorite to lead the race.
Lower Priced Drivers
Kurt Busch ($8,500): Kurt Busch pilots another Chevy, and he finds himself as a surprising favorite to win and lead laps in Sunday's race. Busch posted fourth in both practice sessions, and timed in second and fifth on the 10-lap average charts. Busch also qualified fourth, which lowers his floor, but it is evident that the Las Vegas-born driver should find himself near the front at a place where he owns seven career top-five finishes.
Austin Dillon ($7,500): Dillon goes down as the most well-rounded value play in terms of both pass-differential floor and results potential. He starts a deep 25th in the field. That is nothing new, as he started 20th or worse 15 times in 2019 but still posted six top-10s last year. One of those six was at Auto Club Speedway, where Dillon has finished 10th the last two years. Matching that again would certainly pay off his salary here, and he is coming off a solid fourth-place finish at Las Vegas, where he ran inside the top 15 essentially all day.
Tyler Reddick ($6,800): Tyler Reddick, Dillon's teammate, should get some attention, as well, as he posted third and 14th in the two practice sessions. He also added an eighth on the 10-lap charts in final practice. Reddick finished fourth after starting on the pole and leading 10 laps in last year's Xfinity Series race here, so he is familiar with the track despite being a rookie. In the price range, Reddick possibly contending for a spot inside the top 10 would absolutely get it done at this cost, and Chevrolet's speed appears to be more trustworthy if you're hunting a rookie in this price tier -- as opposed to a Toyota like Christopher Bell ($6,500) or a Ford like Cole Custer ($6,000).
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.