NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: Coca-Cola 600
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 who crash out of the race is a must, of course!
numberFire is always your home for fantasy NASCAR advice. In addition to this helper, Jim Sannes has you covered with his current form and odds breakdown as well as his track preview to spotlight this week's venue. For driver picks and a full preview of the event, Jim also discussed this weekend's race on the latest NASCAR episode of The Heat Check Daily Fantasy Podcast.
Lack of visibility last weekend caused some frightening moments that crashed out several contenders, and when the rain was deemed too significant to continue last Sunday at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA), it was road-course ace Chase Elliott who was out front for his first win of 2021. Elliott will look to defend his title as the last winner on the Charlotte Motor Speedway oval in this weekend's Coca-Cola 600. This 400-lap race is NASCAR's longest of the year.
The lineup for this event was set through time trial qualifying on Saturday. Practice took place on Friday, which was an extended session that saw Austin Dillon post the best single-lap speed and Kyle Larson took the top 10-lap average. PJ1 traction compound has been applied to the middle and upper grooves of Charlotte to help encourage passing throughout the evening.
With that in mind, let's preview the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte on FanDuel.
Kyle Larson ($14,000): If you plan to bet the race outright, hopefully you got Larson early before the weekend started. Larson's strong 1.5-mile performance has obliterated the competition in 2021, with a top-five average running position in all four races and a massive 596 laps led, which made him a guy well worth monitoring entering the weekend. His stock has only climbed since, as he posted the best 10-lap average in Friday's practice session and won the pole Saturday. Considering Larson has already led more than 150 laps in three different races this year and there are 400 available Sunday, his upside is mouth-watering for this event.
Kyle Busch ($13,500): Personally, there is so much reason to believe Larson once again soaks up a bunch of laps led that there is more justification than normal to seek place differential points in this top tier. Busch struggled mightily on most 1.5-mile tracks in 2020, but his win at Kansas earlier this month at least indicates Joe Gibbs Racing has their program pointed in the right direction. Busch has finished in the top-five spots in each of the past three Coca-Cola 600s with a total of 456 laps led across those events. Given that prior success, Busch likely has more than just top-10 upside from his 20th-place starting spot.
Others to Consider: Chase Elliott ($13,000), Joey Logano ($11,500)
William Byron ($10,500): Byron's conquest for a ninth straight top-10 finish ended last week at COTA in the rain, and it must have been embarrassing -- by his newfound standards -- to come home 11th. Jokes aside, Byron has been sensational on all formats this season, and with minimal place differential upside, his consistency is worth consideration. He offers some upside in terms of laps led with 27 already at 1.5-mile tracks in 2021, and even before enjoying a career year this season, Byron has found success in the Coca-Cola 600 of late, as he has finished inside the top-10 spots in five of six stages in the past two events.
Matt DiBenedetto ($9,500): DiBenedetto is the one -- and likely popular -- option to garner some solid place-differential points in this mid-range area. DiBenedetto's subpar time trial leaves him starting 22nd, but his 2021 performance on 1.5-mile tracks gives us a lot of reason for optimism. DiBenedetto has had a top-12 average running position at all four 1.5-mile tracks thus far. Posting 16th in practice with a combined 16.0 average finish at Charlotte in two races last year, DiBenedetto has plenty of upside to improve significantly from his starting position.
Others to Consider: Ryan Blaney ($11,000), Christopher Bell ($9,200)
Aric Almirola ($7,500): Almirola has to be the least profitable driver in daily fantasy in 2021 thus far, as he has had horrendous luck for much of the season. That has not been any different with four straight finishes of 26th or worse. That can't even be blamed for his starting spot this weekend, as well, as he time-trialed in a disappointing 32nd. With six top-10 finishes on intermediate tracks in 2020, Almirola once again offers place-differential upside in solid equipment. Maybe this will be the weekend his luck turns around.
Chris Buescher ($6,500): Buescher has been unheralded in the 550-horsepower package this season, with four top-15 finishes at 1.33-to-1.5 mile tracks in five attempts. His only exception was a 19th-place finish in which he led 57 laps and won the first stage, and that type of performance is well in excess of what we can normally expect for someone with a $6,500 salary. Roush Fenway Racing has never been known for their single-lap speed, so it feels less appropriate to lean into Buescher's 27th-place starting spot to gauge his speed compared to the 10th-place finish he posted in last year's running of this 600-mile marathon.
Others to Consider: Cole Custer ($7,000), Ryan Newman ($5,500)
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.