Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks: CAN-AM 500 at Phoenix (Post Qualifying)
This is the final short track of the year and it’s a humdinger. This is the second time NASCAR has traveled west to Phoenix this season. The last time the Cup drivers stirred up the dust in the desert, very little was known about the 2016 low downforce package. Every team knows how the package works now, and every team knows that Kevin Harvick wins every race at Phoenix.
Dig into the statistics and find the best plays for this weekend’s NASCAR event with the Fantasy NASCAR Spreadsheet:
Top Tier Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks (plus $9,000)
The Daily Fantasy NASCAR circuit heads west for 312 laps at a short track. That’s a significant amount of fast lap and laps led points. If you want to win the GPP, then you’ll need to pick the 2-3 drivers that hog these points.
Kevin Harvick is the undisputable king of the desert. He’s won 5 of the last 6. Why not 6 out of 6? Last fall’s race was cut short by a rain storm in the desert. Yes, that’s right. It took a rainstorm in the desert to keep Harvick out of victory lane. He’s scored over 100 fantasy points in each of the last 6 Phoenix races (140 pt. average). Plug him in and move on.
Martin Truex, Jr. is starting 40th, so he’s handcuffed himself to your 6 man roster as well. In the last 4 short track races this season, Truex has either finished 1st or 2nd in terms of DFS points. What about Phoenix? His average running position over the last 4 Phoenix races – 9th, 7th, 11th, and 9th.
Kyle Busch is starting 19th. At short tracks, he’s finished inside the top 10 in 8 of the 11 races. At Phoenix, Rowdy has back-to-back 4th place finishes and 8 top 10s in the last 11 races. Here’s the theory. Kevin Harvick has dominated the fast lap points and laps led points in every Phoenix race over the last three years. How can anyone else score? Finishing position and place differential. A top 5 from Kyle is at least 53 points (not counting possible fast laps). At Phoenix, that usually ranks between 3rd and 5th.
Middle Tier Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks ($7,000-$9,000)
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. costs more than most DFS players want to pay. His starting position limits his upside. His last two Phoenix races ended in wrecks. I’ll take the low ownership. Stenhouse is cheap enough and can score enough points. His first 5 Phoenix races were all top 20s. Last fall, Stenhouse ran around 20th for 85% of the race until a mechanical failure ended his day. In the spring, Stenhouse straight up wrecked. Can’t win ‘em all.
Kasey Kahne likes his car. Drivers spend 99% of their time complaining about their cars, so when they’re happy, take heed. Kahne’s recent runs at Phoenix stink, but that’s because Kahne stunk. He turned his career around halfway through this season. Kahne has finished 13th or better in 7 of the last 8 short track races. Before his slump, Kahne was 11th or better in 5 of 7 Phoenix races (2011-2014). Thirty-five fantasy points are usually good enough for a top 10 DFS score at Phoenix. Kahne is clearly capable of finishing 10th – that’s 37 points.
Value Tier Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks ($6,000-$7,000)
We’re looking for place differential and finishing position. If we can get them both, then awesome. Sometimes it’s foolish to chase both.
Aric Almirola is good at Phoenix. He’s never finished outside of the top 20 since becoming a full time Sprint Cup driver (an average finish of 15th in 9 Phoenix races). Almirola has finished inside the top 20 in each of the last 6 short track races this season (an average finish of 16th). He starts in a perfect place differential spot (27th).
Punt Tier Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks (sub $6,000)
Punts are long shots everywhere. At Phoenix, 15 punts have finished with a top 20 Daily Fantasy NASCAR score in the last 6 Phoenix races (13%). Punts have fared a little worse at the other short track races this year – 20 of 220 (8%).
David Ragan has finished 25th or better in the last 4 Phoenix races. Three of those races were in much better race cars. In the spring race, Ragan finished 24th. That was with his current team, little ole BK racing. If Ragan replicates that performances then he’ll score 27 points. At Phoenix, that’s about 17th-20th on the DFS scoreboard. If you want Harvick, Truex, and another top tier driver, then Ragan may be a necessary pick.
Track Cheat Sheet: Phoenix
- This is the third and final race of the NASCAR playoffs’ third round. If a driver wins a race or finishes this round inside the top 4 in points, then they’ll advance to the championship in Miami. Johnson is in the championship. Edwards is in the championship. There are only two spots left. It’s all or nothing.
- Phoenix is a short track. The banking in the turns is almost non-existent. As if the flat turns were not a challenge enough, the track is asymmetrical. Each turn is different, and the dog leg is on the back stretch instead of the customary front stretch. The desert challenges drivers and crew chiefs.
I am a promoter at FanVice and am also a user (my username is greenflagradio2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of FanVice and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.