Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks: Indianapolis Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400
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We’ve got a small window between the end of qualifying (Saturday 7:30 pm) and DraftKings lineup lock for the Indianapolis race (Sunday 2:30 pm). We’re talking exhaust port small. The blurbs will be on light on words or the article light on picks. If you need more convincing or more picks, then talk to me in the FanVice slack chat or accost me on twitter.
Dig into the statistics and find the best plays for this weekend’s NASCAR event with the Daily Fantasy NASCAR Spreadsheet:
Top Tier Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks (plus $9,000)
This is a 160 lap race. There aren’t many hog points out there, but you need them. Place differential and finishing position points get a bump this week.
Kyle Busch is on the pole. He’s won the last two Indy races and he scored the most fantasy points in both races. He’s almost won just about every race this summer. In practice #1, Rowdy posted the 6th fastest lap. In practice #2, he posted the second fastest 10 lap average. Last week, people got cute and faded Kyle Busch. They got lucky when he got busted for not one, but two speeding penalties. Don’t fade Kyle Busch because you believe he’ll get unlucky. If you’re a 150 entry guy, then you know not to put him in every lineup. If you’re a normal eukaryotic organism (Editor’s Note: Pearce is wicked smaht!), then he’s probably in almost all of your lineups.
Kyle Larson got loose and nearly wrecked his car on his qualifying run. Somehow, he still clocked a lap that almost snuck into round 2. He was disappointed with his car all day, but his practice speeds looked fine. In his three career Indy races, Larson has 3 top 10 finishes (top 10 average running position in each race). If you’re worried that Larson was top 5 in practice #1, but only 15th in practice #2, then look at his practice speeds from the previous years. In 2016, he was 17th (practice #1) and 3rd (practice #2). In 2015, He posted times that ranked 19th, 4th, and 3rd. If this race were 250 laps or more, then fading Larson would have some validity. At Indy, points are scarce. With Kyle Busch on the pole, points are scarce. Larson may not put up a big number, but the second most fantasy points at Indy doesn’t require a big number.
Matt Kenseth isn’t a hog (driver that hogs fast laps and laps led points). He works best, if you believe Kyle Busch runs away with this race. If you punt, then you can get Kenseth in a lineup with Larson and two hogs. Kenseth is a place differential and finishing position play, but at Indianapolis, that will earn a top 5 DFS score. Last week, Kenseth was not the fastest, but he had top 5 speed. He was the 3rd fastest in practice #1 and 5th fastest on the long run in practice #2. His track history puts him over the top (7th or better in 5 of the the last 6 Indy races).
Middle Tier Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks ($7,000-$9,000)
Ryan Blaney is always fast and this is a fast race track. It’s not very technical. If you have a fast car, then you run the one groove, and turn laps (he has a fast car – 8th and 3rd in the two practices). That’s what Blaney did at Pocono (long, flat track). His average running position was 10th. He was fast enough to be up front at the end, and win.
Last year’s race at Indy looks bad, but let’s break it down. He started 17th and his average running position was 18th. He was lapped by the leader on a long run, and the caution flag flew two laps later. He finally got the lap back at the end of the race, but then he got caught up in a restart wreck. In 2014, the opposite happened. His average position was 18th and he finished 12th. He should have won the 2015 Xfinity Indianapolis race, but he was blocked by a lap car on the last lap (finished 2nd behind Kyle Busch).
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.
A.J. Allmendinger failed to make a qualifying run because his car was too loose. He’ll start 39th. Allmendinger admitted, “We don’t go to the wind tunnel a lot, or if at all.” That’s scary because this is an aero race, if there ever was one. Still, he’s starting 39th. I said I wasn’t going to chase place differential points this week, but it’s 39th. Based on practice speeds and track history, my machine learning system (my brain) projects Allmendinger to finish around 20th to 25th.
A conservative estimate of 25th place would result in 32 fantasy points. Allmendinger will be popular 50/50 play. He works well in GPPs, too. He’s not a must play because he could earned a mid twenties finish, only score in the mid 30s, and not qualify for the optimal lineup. On the other hand, if he sneaks into the top 20, which is not unheard of, he’ll be in the optimal lineup.
Aric Almirola is cheaper than Ty Dillon, and we need to save every dollar we can. Almirola is in a slightly better position for scoring points (29th), he was much faster in practice (21st in practice #1), and he has more experience. Dillon has been a weekly lock for 20th, but Almirola’s numbers this season are identical. In the last two seasons, the deepest an optimal value driver started was 23rd (Paul Menard in 2016).
If you go back to 2014, then you have two value tier drivers that finished with top 10 fantasy points that started 36th and 41st. These drivers’ average positions were 22nd and 23rd. These drivers were A.J. Allmendinger and Aric Almirola.
Punt Tier Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks (sub $6,000)
J.J. Yeley has run two Monster Cup races for Tommy Baldwin Racing this season. He finished 27th at Texas and 26th in the 400 mile Memorial Day race at Charlotte. Those races require real cars with real engines. J.J. Yeley finished 15th in the Xfinity race at Indianapolis. Yeley was 33rd, in practice #1, practice #2, and qualifying. We’re hoping for 30th and salary flexibility.
Track Cheat Sheet: Indianapolis
It goes without saying that Indianapolis is unique. There is a lot of history at this track, but I don’t really care. The track is an amazing open wheel racecar track. It’s terrible for stock cars. Indy is a 2.5 mile long box with 4 flat corners. Passing doesn’t happen in Indy.
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.