NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: Bank of America Roval 400

Kyle Larson won at Charlotte last fall on his way to the title. Can he do the same in 2022, or will another playoff driver emerge?

If you are looking for an action-packed way to consume sports on the weekend, 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, though!

numberFire is always your home for fantasy NASCAR advice. In addition to this helper, Jim Sannes takes a look at the best bets of the weekend in his betting guide. For driver picks and a full preview of the event, he also discusses this weekend's race on the latest NASCAR episode of The Heat Check Daily Fantasy Podcast.

With all of this in mind, let's preview the Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on FanDuel.

Weekend Primer

Event Time
Practice Saturday, October 8th
12:00 p.m. EST
Qualifying Saturday, October 8th
1:00 p.m. EST

Our usual practice and qualifying split will take place on Saturday, but it won't take practice to know who will contend for the win this weekend.

NASCAR's sixth and final road course event of the season is this Sunday's playoff elimination race. Road courses are the most predictable finishing order on the circuit due to the unique skillset it takes to run well at them.

If you look at the four different road course winners this season, they've also scored a combined seven other top-five finishes at road courses this year. This group doesn't include Chase Elliott, who has four top-fives on road courses this year but hasn't broken through for a win. We know who will contend with this style of track.

As a result, we're using practice to rank these guys within that tier, and qualifying will be a measuring stick of which drivers are the best daily fantasy plays.

General Lineup Strategy

Especially in a playoff race with points implications, you're not going to want to sell out for laps led.

With different agendas around stage points, the lead should shuffle quite a bit in this one. Now, if a dominant driver from qualifying starts on the pole, we don't want to ignore them. The last two road course winners came from the front row, so they're still viable, but they're not a must-have piece.

If one of the top-tier "road course ringers" starts deeper in the field, he will be a key priority. For example, Christopher Bell started 38th at Watkins Glen in the last road course race. He finished eighth, but he outscored race winner Kyle Larson on FanDuel.

Ideally, you want talented road course drivers -- in good equipment -- starting deeper in the field. If that doesn't come to fruition, faster drivers starting closer to the front are a better proposition than poor road course drivers and slower cars in the back.

Driver Rankings

Below are my pre-qualifying rankings for each driver based on equipment, track history, recent form, and overall talent level -- in that order. Only drivers with a win probability above 0% in Jim Sannes' win simulations were included.

As a great indicator of overall speed, MLT Rank is the driver's weighted average median lap time ranking at the relevant sample of similar race tracks to this weekend. The prior races in the sample this week are:

2022 Watkins Glen (Fall) - 25%
2022 Indianapolis (Fall) - 25%
2022 Road America (Spring) - 25%
2022 Sonoma (Spring) - 15%
2022 Circuit of the Americas (Spring) - 10%

For dominator viability, the driver is ranked 0-10 on a scale to potentially lead laps and win the race if they start upfront. A "10" is among the favorites to win the race, and a "0" has no realistic chance of leading the race at any point.

For flex play viability, the driver is ranked 0-10 on a scale of potentially finishing inside the top 15 spots. These drivers will be better daily fantasy plays the further back in the field they start for optimal place-differential points.

Driver Sannes'

1 Chase
15.76% 1 10 10
2 Kyle
7.84% 3 10 10
3 Tyler
7.86% 2 10 10
4 Ross
7.52% 8 9 10
5 Daniel
7.08% 4 9 10
6 Austin
5.70% 7 9 10
7 A.J.
3.30% 10 8 10
8 Christopher
3.88% 11 7 10
9 Chris
3.78% 5 6 10
10 Michael
4.50% 6 6 10
11 Ryan
6.90% 9 5 9
12 Joey
4.74% 14 4 9
13 Chase
1.40% 18 4 8
14 William
3.64% 13 4 7
15 Kevin
2.14% 25 3 7
16 Kyle
2.10% 15 2 6
17 Martin
Truex, Jr.
3.42% 16 1 6
18 Denny
2.18% 22 1 6
19 Cole
1.70% 12 0 5
20 Brad
0.50% 19 0 5
21 Bubba
0.34% 17 0 5
22 Erik
0.52% 26 0 4
23 Ty
0.42% 33 0 4
24 Noah
0.88% 37 0 4
25 Joey
0.12% 20 0 3
26 Ty
0.10% 21 0 2
27 Justin
0.06% 24 0 2
28 Austin
1.10% 23 0 1
29 Aric
0.12% 31 0 1
30 Harrison
0.16% 27 0 0
31 Ricky
Stenhouse, Jr.
0.14% 28 0 0
32 Todd
0.04% 29 0 0
33 Corey
0.06% 30 0 0

Tyler Reddick ($13,500) had won two straight road course events entering Watkins Glen, so it was fair to ask if Chase Elliott ($14,000) was still the top option.

After Reddick had a solid -- but not special -- day there, it's safe to put Elliott on top once again. He's collected four top-fives in five road course starts this year, and he's held the fastest average median lap time ranking on those five tracks this season. He just hasn't broken through for a win.

Reddick is still in the mix, too. His second-place finish here from the 29th starting spot one year ago was sort of his coming out party as a legitimate road course ace. He's finished seventh or better on every road course this year except Sonoma, and he lost an engine there.

Defending race winner Kyle Larson ($13,000) is the clear third guy in this top tier. He used quite a bit of contact to get by Elliott at Watkins Glen, but he had the faster car for stretches of that race. After strategy issues at Sonoma and a crash at Indianapolis, it was good to see that his race-winning upside still is present.

The next tier starts with Ross Chastain ($12,500) and Daniel Suarez ($11,500), who are Trackhouse Racing teammates and road course winners this season. Suarez has a faster average median lap time ranking, but I'd give the nod to Chastain, who has competed better on road courses with other organizations.

The only other two I could see actually winning this race on speed -- not chaos -- are A.J. Allmendinger ($10,000) and Austin Cindric ($9,500). They've both scored a second-place finish in the last two road course events and have multiple Xfinity Series wins at a variety of circuits with lefts and rights.

After that, it's searching for flex plays over potential winners. It's hard not to rank Ryan Blaney ($12,000) first. Oddly enough, Cindric, Blaney, and Joey Logano ($10,500) all drive for Team Penske, and they're three of the four drivers with multiple top-five finishes on road courses this season but no wins.

The fourth is Chris Buescher ($7,500), and he and Michael McDowell ($7,000) have led laps and contended for the win at these tracks this year. They're both severely under-salaried, but they've also been qualifying well on these layouts, making them less appealing when we get to Sunday.

Chase Briscoe ($9,000) hasn't posted a top-10 median lap time on a road course this year, but he's a former Xfinity Series winner here with great road course acumen. I'd love to see practice speed from him.

Only Christopher Bell ($9,800) has posted a top-10 median lap time at a road course for Joe Gibbs Racing, and he's done it three times. Bell is supremely gifted on these track types, but the lack of speed in that organization otherwise makes Denny Hamlin ($9,500), Martin Truex Jr. ($8,500), and Kyle Busch ($8,000) unappealing.

In terms of value plays besides Buescher and McDowell, Noah Gragson ($7,000) is subbing in Hendrick Motorsports equipment again, and he's posted a top-10 finish in every Xfinity Series road course event this year.

Justin Haley ($5,000) -- Allmendinger's teammate -- did that last year, so I don't mind him as a dart in that punting range.

Brad Keselowski ($6,700), Cole Custer ($5,800), and Bubba Wallace ($5,500) are also the three value drivers with top-20 average median lap time rankings.