NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400
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.
Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick dueled at the end of both races last weekend in Pocono, but on Sunday, it was Hamlin who used a superior pit strategy to stay out of traffic longer, shorten his pit stop time, and maintain his gap to the field to win his fourth race of 2020. Hamlin's win puts him ahead of Harvick on the season, and those two seem primed to duel again Sunday.
This famed 2.5-mile oval is definitely designed for open-wheel cars, which makes it a brutal challenge to pass in heavy stock cars. Track position and strategy have always been of the utmost importance on this flat track. Even with a 75% increase over 2018, last year's race still only saw 21 green-flag passes for the lead, most of which were during green-flag pit cycles. Therefore, finding a dominant car who can lead laps is of the utmost importance, and that car will likely be starting near the front.
The starting lineup for Saturday's race was determined by a tiered random draw. Pit stalls were determined by Sunday's finishing order in Pocono, however, which puts Hamlin in the best pit stall for the race at the Brickyard.
With that, let's preview the Big Machine Hand Sanitizer 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on FanDuel.
Kevin Harvick ($14,200): Harvick's dominance at Pocono the past weekend would normally make him a slam dunk at the sister track of Indianapolis anyway, but Harvick has the richest history at this track, as well. His 122.1 driver rating in the last three events at the Brickyard is the best among any driver, and he has posted six straight top-10s at the track -- capped off with a dominating win the last time the series came here. Harvick starting 11th would normally be positive for a little pass-differential upside, but it could still take him a while to find the front from that marker because of the difficulty to pass here. Even with that, do not ignore the top option in the player pool at what is a strong track for him.
Joey Logano ($12,500): The Penske driver got as lucky as it gets here as he was awarded the pole from the tiered draw on Thursday. That may be just what Logano needs to dominate this race as he is not only in strong equipment but has ran well historically at this track. No sexy performances or wins for the Connecticut native in Indy, but he has six top-10s in seven races at this track. Logano has been comfortable running near the front, and he has led a lap in five of those events. Logano will be surrounded by Chevrolets at the start of the race, but he has the ultimate starting spot to lead laps early and often and perhaps win Stage 1 just as he did one year ago.
William Byron ($10,000): As mentioned, multiple Hendrick Motorsports-aligned Chevrolets will start near the front, but the strongest one may be buried in the field at the start. Byron starts 18th, which is probably as ideal as it gets to be close enough to clear air to have the car drive well but still give us plenty of pass differential and a high floor. No one passed more cars in this race last year than Byron, who started 29th and finished 4th, and he will look to do something similar for a Hendrick team that is much stronger on speed than it was in 2019. With a 2017 Xfinity Series win at this famed oval, as well, Byron may be able to contend for his first career win on Sunday.
Christopher Bell ($8,400): Fantasy goldmines do not come richer than Bell's past few races on non-plate tracks. Excluding a crash last Sunday, Bell started no better than 35th and logged top-10 finishes at both Miami and Pocono. Still digging himself out of an early season point deficit, Bell continues to start at the back with a fast, Joe Gibbs Racing-aligned car. Bell starts 35th on Sunday and should milk the same formula as before and give us plenty of place-differential points.
Matt Kenseth ($7,400): Even as a DFS player myself, pass differential and floor is always tempting. This weekend, in such brutal conditions, I tend to favor experienced veterans with great success at Indianapolis. Kenseth certainly fits that mold. Starting 21st is still decently far back, and Kenseth has four top-five showings in his last six Brickyard tries. Kenseth will most likely have a fast car under him, as well, with the 42 car for Chip Ganassi finishing second in both stages last year before Kyle Larson crashed late in the event. At this price point, Kenseth can contend for a top-10 outing just like he did in Pocono last weekend, finishing 11th and 12th in the two events.
Ryan Newman ($7,200): Newman has plenty of Brickyard success, as well, and sits just $200 cheaper than Kenseth. Newman has finished 11th or better in seven of the last eight Indianapolis races, and he punched his ticket to the playoffs here last year by finishing 8th. Newman starting 14th isn't ideal, but he still is a reliable option at a cheap price and should have access to a little clean air with this draw. As tempting as it is to fire up the high floor of Cole Custer ($6,600) or Ryan Preece ($5,500) from a starting position in the 30s, the two young drivers in good equipment may have a brutal time passing on Sunday, and Newman's finish may be well worth spending up for instead.
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.