NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: Pocono 350
If you are looking for an action-packed way to get your sports fix, 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 current form and stats breakdown to dive deeper into this weekend's action. Our track preview breaks down this week's venue, and we also have The Heat Check Fantasy Podcast, where Jim Sannes breaks down his favorite plays for Sunday's slate.
Kevin Harvick has long been the bridesmaid at Pocono Raceway, with four second-place finishes entering Saturday, but Harvick used a little pit strategy and a very fast car that came to life in the final stage to win his first race in the Poconos. It is a quick turnaround for the other 39 drivers looking to leave Pennsylvania with a win, as Sunday's race is right back on the same 2.5-mile, three-turn race track.
The starting lineup for Sunday's race was determined with an inversion of Saturday's top 20. Positions 21 through 40 were set in the order drivers finished in at Saturday's race, which means poor finishes from yesterday make for possible high-upside, pass-differential plays on Sunday. Pit stalls were determined by Sunday's finishing order, which puts winner Kevin Harvick in the best pit stall.
With that, let's preview the Pocono 350 at Pocono Raceway on FanDuel.
Kevin Harvick ($14,000): Yesterday's winner makes a natural starting point, but Harvick well worth it. Of course, it helps that the winner will start 20th due to the inversion, but his pass differential is not the only thing that makes Harvick enticing. His teammate, Aric Almirola ($9,000), led 61 laps from the pole, which was a great surprise given that Almirola had not shown that speed in all of 2020. But it shouldn't have been a surprise. Track position was incredibly valuable on Saturday, and Almirola hung onto his the entire race. Harvick was one of the few able to pass, ascending from outside the top-10 at Stage 1's finish, to seventh in Stage 2, and then winning the race. His ability to pass should help him find the front again on Sunday.
Joey Logano ($12,000): Logano won Stage 1 and showed a great car to lead 11 laps, but a tire issue derailed Logano's day and took him out of the lead group, where he had a top-five average running position throughout the first two stages. For daily fantasy, this is the best possible result for Logano for Sunday's prospects, as he will start an incredibly deep 36th. With a fast car on Saturday combined with the floor/upside combination of starting far back, Logano is close to a must play on FanDuel. Any concerns about navigating traffic should be alleviated by the fact Christopher Bell started 36th and finished 4th on Saturday.
Erik Jones ($10,000): Take two on Erik Jones inside the helper. No doubt it ended poorly Saturday as Jones found trouble in an incident with Tyler Reddick, which ended his bid at Pocono for a fourth straight top 10. But this is one of Jones' best tracks and always has been. He was also fast in Saturday's race and finished Stage 1 in 10th before crashing. Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. both led laps, as well, which shows Joe Gibbs Racing will have plenty of speed. Jones starts a favorable 37th as a result of Saturday's incident.
Tyler Reddick ($8,400): It's tough to choose between Jones, Reddick, and Alex Bowman ($10,600) in this pricing range -- all of whom were fast Saturday but found trouble. Reddick's car was never same after crashing with Jones, but NASCAR's leading rookie still showed enough speed to make him worth rolling out in this spot from 30th on Sunday's grid. Reddick finished second in the Xfinity Series race here in 2019, so it may be best to chalk up Saturday's incident to a true accident. He is substantially cheaper than the other two options mentioned, which dramatically helps on this slate since there's minimal value.
Bubba Wallace ($7,000): As mentioned, value with pass-differential floor is scarce to come by. Many drivers who usually start further back and ascend forward are now starting up front. Bubba was two spots shy of the inversion cutoff, so he will start where finished Saturday's race, which was 22nd. Wallace has had a mediocre record at this track but has stabilized since his a scary crash after losing his brakes in 2018 at this track. With three straight finishes of 22nd or better at Pocono and four top-15 outings in his last six races, he will look to find the top 15, which would be a high watermark for him at Pocono.
John Hunter Nemechek ($6,500): Nemechek missed the cutoff, as well, largely due to an incident with JJ Yeley during Saturday's race. The rookie has demonstrated plenty of speed with seven top-20 finishes for Front Row Motorsports in 2020. It should be encouraging to the rookie that his teammate, Michael McDowell, recorded a very solid finish in eighth, which marks the second straight week a Front Row car was inside the top 10. The small team is finding some momentum, and Nemechek is certainly the one of the duo to play on Sunday, with McDowell starting much further toward the front in 13th.
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.