NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: Bank of America ROVAL 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 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 betting odds and form breakdown as well as his track preview to spotlight this week's venue. For driver picks and a full preview of the event, he also discussed this weekend's race on the latest NASCAR episode of The Heat Check Daily Fantasy Podcast.
A Monday finish led to a historic win. Bubba Wallace became NASCAR's second African-American driver to win in the history of the sport at his home track in Talladega last week after he surged by the field shortly before rain hit the track with darkness approaching. Wallace's first career win had no impact on the playoffs, which means one final "win and in" opportunity exists at this weekend's race in Charlotte.
The ROVAL configuration at Charlotte spawned in 2018 to increase the road course volume in NASCAR's schedule, and it has provided a wild 2.28-mile test since. Given the series ran this layout last year, there is no practice or qualifying for this event. This means the starting lineup was set through NASCAR's qualifying formula. That input has left Denny Hamlin on this weekend's pole position, and Brad Keselowski will start to his outside in Row 1.
With only 109 laps and pending stages to shuffle the running order, laps-led points are not significant enough to prioritize this weekend. We will want to focus on finding place-differential options where we can, and there are great ones this week. Finding the ultimate winner of the race, however, remains crucial, as well.
With all of this in mind, let's preview the Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte on FanDuel.
Kyle Larson ($14,000): The key call in tournaments this week will be whether to use Larson or Chase Elliott ($14,500) as the assumed winner in a lineup. Both have a case, but with Elliott's recent ROVAL dominance being obvious, it is worth highlighting how competitive Larson should be, as well. Larson's breakout 2021 includes two wins on road courses (Sonoma and Watkins Glen), but Larson was also in front of Elliott and led 28 laps at Indianapolis before the ensuing mayhem shuffled him backward. Larson already has a tremendous history at the ROVAL, which includes 47 laps led in 2018 before, once again, mayhem ensued. Gapping the field on road courses this season, Larson and Elliott are crucial cogs in tournaments.
A.J. Allmendinger ($12,000): In the only other road course race that Allmendinger entered without qualifying in 2021, he started 34th at Daytona in February and finished 7th. That result -- in combination with a zany win at Indianapolis -- has Allmendinger's salary so high this weekend from his 33rd starting spot. With just four laps led, Allmendinger has not had the speed of Elliott or Larson, but he has posted three top-10 finishes in four road course starts this season. That Hendrick pair is a must in lineups, but Allmendinger is a tremendous place-differential compliment to either.
Others to Consider: Chase Elliott ($14,500)
Ross Chastain ($9,500): The mid-range is wildly fun this weekend. It is loaded with drivers who all have top-five finishing potential, and that includes Chastain. Chastain already has a top-five finish at COTA on a road course this season, and he also tacked on seventh-place finishes at Road America and Sonoma. After a wreck last weekend in Talladega -- which will be a continuous theme of all the remaining drivers -- he starts 27th. Chastain's excellent results and low starting spot are a perfect example of accepting place-differential points from a car with decent speed.
Tyler Reddick ($9,000): Reddick is a slightly watered-down profile match to Chastain. His starting spot (29th) is on par with Chastain's from a potential upside perspective, and his results have been good, but he is missing that top-five finish so far -- although not by much. Reddick has three top-10 finishes at road courses this season: 9th at COTA, 8th at Road America, and 10th at Watkins Glen. It is worth mentioning that Reddick also intentionally handicapped his finishing position for stage points in the latter two results. Both Chastain and Reddick are tremendous mid-range options with high floors.
Others to Consider: Martin Truex Jr. ($11,500), Joey Logano ($11,000), Kurt Busch ($10,500), Chase Briscoe ($9,200)
Matt DiBenedetto ($8,500): With strategy so crucial to road course success, and DiBenedetto's since-relieved crew chief Greg Erwin struggling badly with strategy, it is not surprising that DiBenedetto has turned a corner abruptly with new crew chief Jonathan Hassler. Since the change, DiBenedetto's three road course results are a 10th at Road America, an 11th at Watkins Glen, and a 5th-place effort at Indianapolis after DiBenedetto avoided the calamity. All three of those results would work well on Sunday given his starting spot of 30th. He is a higher-salary "budget" option, but there are three viable punts this weekend who make DiBenedetto a possibility at this salary.
Ryan Preece ($5,500): Of the three aforementioned punts, Ryan Preece is the strongest bet to actually score a top-20 finish. He did just that last year with a 14th-place run at the ROVAL, and his 21st-place effort the year before was not too shabby, either. The wrecks at Talladega have shuffled many budget options closer to the front than we'd like to see, but Preece was in one of said wrecks, so he will start 31st. Preece's car is not chartered, meaning that a mechanical failure is always an above-average risk with his team, but his surplus passing value on road courses is the top mark in the sport, according to Motorsports Analytics. That type of talent this deep in the field is well worth a roll of the dice at a $5,500 salary.
Others to Consider: Christopher Bell ($8,700), Michael McDowell ($7,300), Daniel Suarez ($4,500), Justin Haley ($4,000)