NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: FanShield 500
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.
NASCAR stays west this weekend at Phoenix Raceway in Phoenix, AZ. As one of the most unique tracks on the circuit, 1.022-mile d-shaped oval has characteristics of both an intermediate track and a short track. Because it is a flatter, shorter track, this race marks the debut of the NASCAR Cup Series' new aerodynamic package for tracks like these to, hopefully, improve the quality of side-by-side racing. The modifications, especially the very short, two-inch spoiler, should lead to less stability and more passing. No weather issues as one would expect in Phoenix, as practices one and two were completed on Friday, and the starting lineup was set Saturday in time trials.
Here's a DFS breakdown of Sunday's FanShield 500 slate on FanDuel:
Higher Priced Drivers
Kyle Busch ($14,000): Kyle Busch has been the undisputed king of Phoenix Raceway recently, finishing first or second in each of the last four races. In general, Toyotas have been down on speed in 2020 compared to last year's bid that ended with a championship, but this weekend, Busch has definitely flashed some, posting sixth and second in the two practices Friday. Practice results would indicate Busch definitely does not have the strongest car starting 10th, but the most expensive driver in the player pools warrants attention because of his track record here.
Kevin Harvick ($12,500): There has been very concentrated dominance at this race track between Busch and Kevin Harvick, who has an unfathomable 13 top-10s in a row at Phoenix Raceway. Harvick mixed in five wins, including four in a row, in that stretch before Busch has taken more control recently at the track. Harvick had an issue at Las Vegas two weeks with fading speed, where he would start the green flag sequence strong and fade as his tires wore down. It appears, at one of his favorite tracks, he may have corrected this issue, as he paced the Cup field in final practice on the 10-lap average charts. He starts outside pole on Sunday and should be a factor at the front.
Chase Elliott ($11,100): Elliott appears to have the machine of the weekend, posting second quickest in first practice, winning second practice, and starting first on Sunday. Given his strength at flat tracks, his results at Phoenix Raceway are a little surprising: due to bad luck, he has posted a 25.33 average finish in the last three races here. The speed was definitely there, however, as Elliott has earned points in every stage at this track except one dating back to 2017. He will have the best track position early and should start strong Sunday, hoping to hold off Busch and Harvick.
Lower Priced Drivers
Ross Chastain ($7,400): Finding the right drivers to pair with the three notable cars of the weekend is a little more challenging. The first spot in this helper goes to Ross Chastain, who starts a deeper 24th in the field. He has no real history with a competitive team in the Cup Series but has a couple of positive markers in his direction. First, the four races by Roush cars at Phoenix Raceway last year were incredibly positive, as Ryan Newman and Ricky Stenhouse posted top-20 finishes in all four events. Chastain appears to have speed to do that, posting 14th in the first practice session of the weekend. Chastain also dominated a truck race last year at Gateway International Raceway, which is a flat track just over a mile in length -- and therefore profiles well to Phoenix. He won't dominate this event, but a top-15 at this price would get the job done.
Tyler Reddick ($6,700): This is Reddick's third week in a row in the helper, and it is because Reddick has developed a certain pattern in a very small sample size the past couple weeks. He appears to struggle in time trials, which is no different this weekend where he will start 29th. But, Reddick has ascended seven and eight spots in the order, respectively, the last two weeks, so he appears to have speed over the course of a long run inside the race. Even further to that point, Reddick has timed well on the 10-lap charts this weekend, posting 1st and 15th in the two sessions. Look for him to improve upon his starting spot again on Sunday, and battle inside the top 20 should he remain issue-free.
Ty Dillon ($5,500): The Chevrolet resurgence in speed that led to Hendrick Motorsports dominating at Las Vegas (Chase Elliott) and Fontana (Alex Bowman) has echoed through the entire Chevy camp, and Ty Dillon is no exception. Dillon already posted his first top-10 finish of the season at Las Vegas two weeks ago and has shown speed again this weekend, where he was a surprise fifth in final practice. At a shorter track like Phoenix, equipment and aerodynamic excellence is less important, and that is why Ty Dillon has three straight top-20 finishes here even in the slowest periods on track for Chevrolet. He will start a deeper 25th as a poor qualifier, but with a stronger car under him, Dillon will look to post another great run at Phoenix.
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.