NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: Ambetter Health 400

William Byron has won the last two weekends, and he also won last March's race at Atlanta. Who else deserves consideration on FanDuel for Sunday's race?

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.

With all of this in mind, let's preview the Ambetter Health 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on FanDuel.

Weekend Primer

Event Time
Practice NONE
Qualifying Saturday, March 18th
11:35 a.m. EST

One of NASCAR's big wins of 2022 was the remodeling of Atlanta into a 1.5-mile superspeedway with drafting elements.

It produced two wild, action-packed races on a track that looked like a miniature version of Daytona. That's led to a superspeedway weekend schedule that includes no practice.

As is the case at Daytona and Talladega, we won't learn a ton from single-car qualifying on Saturday, but it does impact which drivers are desirable (or aren't) in daily fantasy.

General Lineup Strategy

Our superspeedway strategy at Daytona or Talladegais tried and true -- stack the back.

However, this isn't a true superspeedway, so there is a small caveat to that. We see laps led a bit more concentrated here than at one of the larger drafting tracks. William Byron led 111 laps here last spring, and Chase Elliott led 96 laps in the July race, so there could be a dominant car emerge that does end up mattering with points for laps led.

The problem is that Byron started 7th, and Elliott started on the pole. We don't really have a measure of predictability or a large enough sample to identify which drivers will be the best options to do so. However, given the four highest lap leaders from both races last year all drove Chevrolets, they should get the priority nod.

Therefore, our general strategy should still gravitate toward the back. Of the 20 top-10 finishers last year, just 8 started inside the top-10 spots.

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 Atlanta (Fall) - 50%
2022 Atlanta (Spring) - 25%
2023 Daytona (Spring) - 25%

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 William
6.40% 1 7 10
2 Ryan
6.52% 6 7 10
3 Christopher
5.80% 3 7 10
4 Denny
5.22% 9 7 10
5 Ross
5.08% 7 6 10
6 Bubba
5.34% 23 6 10
7 Joey
4.74% 13 6 10
8 Kyle
5.50% 19 6 9
9 Kyle
5.22% 28 5 9
10 Erik
5.26% 2 5 9
11 Alex
4.52% 10 4 9
12 Martin
Truex, Jr.
4.70% 11 4 9
13 Kevin
3.92% 22 4 9
14 Brad
2.62% 17 4 8
15 Tyler
2.36% 7 4 8
16 Aric
3.40% 5 4 8
17 Chris
2.80% 21 3 8
18 Austin
1.96% 16 3 8
19 Austin
2.08% 20 3 7
20 Justin
1.64% 4 3 7
21 Ricky
Stenhouse, Jr.
1.76% 18 2 7
22 Corey
0.82% 14 2 7
23 Daniel
3.02% 15 2 6
24 Ryan
1.14% 29 2 6
25 Chase
1.08% 12 2 6
26 Ty
1.62% 31 1 5
27 Michael
1.02% 25 1 5
28 Noah
0.90% 27 1 4
29 A.J.
1.00% 32 0 3
30 Harrison
0.52% 26 0 3
31 Josh
0.90% 34 0 3
32 Todd
1.10% 23 0 2
33 Ty
0.02% 30 0 2
34 B.J.
0.02% 33 0 1

The viability rankings speak volumes as I write this before qualifying. I'd seriously consider anyone ranked 1st to 31st for a FanDuel lineup spot depending on where they are starting, and there's not really an educated guess on a "dominator" at this stage.

William Byron ($14,000) is the obvious choice at the top now. He won last March's race, and the two-time winner this season also has the best combined median lap time in this week's blend of prior Atlanta and Daytona races. With Hendrick Motorsports' speed, I'd be shocked if he wasn't a player up front.

Other than Christopher Bell ($11,500), most of the rest of the top of our rankings are the superspeedway regulars, including Denny Hamlin ($12,500), Ross Chastain ($12,000), and Bubba Wallace ($10,000). All have won a superspeedway race since the start of 2020.

Kyle Busch ($11,000) led at Daytona to start overtime, and he's also shown solid speed at both Fontana and Las Vegas on intermediate ovals this year. He's viable, and so is Kyle Larson ($10,500), who has had a top-10 median time in all three races since Daytona.

Of the remainder, Erik Jones ($7,500) could be a phenomenal look in any capacity. Jones has been a staple on this track type since the start of 2022, posting a top-15 average running position in all six last year. He's also got the second-best median blend this week.

There's always a case drivers like Jones, Brad Keselowski ($8,200), Austin Cindric ($7,200), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($6,200), and Austin Dillon ($5,800) as former superspeedway winners that don't contend on a lot of track types. They're always more willing to take chances on these formats without a real path to pointing their way into the playoffs.

Salary likely won't all be spent to optimally stack cars in the back, so you shouldn't write off lower-salaried cars like at other tracks. Corey Lajoie ($5,000) was a half of a lap from winning last July's race here at Atlanta, and Justin Haley ($4,200) was a four-time Xfinity Series winner on this track type and has the fourth-best average median lap time ranking in this superspeedway blend.