Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks: O’REILLY AUTO PARTS 500 at Texas

There are two stories this weekend. The first is the new pavement in Texas. This was already a fast track, but now drivers are entering turns at 200 mph. New pavement means better grip, and better grip means more speed. While ludicrous speed is exciting, there is a drawback. Cars that are glued to the track with grip do not get passed. Wait for it …it’s a lap turner, but not completely. As we witnessed in practice, there is a fine line between grip and hitting the wall. Drivers will feel the pressure to push the car to edge of control. It’s either that or slide backwards through the field, or there is another possibility, push the car past the limit and slide into the garage with a destroyed race car.

Story number two is the new familiar angle. A bunch of really good race cars missed qualifying. They will start in the back with fresh tires. We are all slaves to place differential points.

Dig into the statistics and find the best plays for this weekend’s NASCAR event with the Daily Fantasy NASCAR Spreadsheet:

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Top Tier Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks (plus $9,000)

The Daily Fantasy NASCAR circuit hits an intermediate track for the third time this season. There will be 334 laps on Sunday, and as always, you’ll need the two to three drivers that hog the laps led and fast lap points. These hogs do not come cheap.

Kevin Harvick won every round of qualifying; that’s fast. This year, the drivers that lead laps start up front. Harvick will start up front and he has a very fast race car. This is a race track that has undergone major changes and drivers will tread cautiously. This is the week to be up front. We’re looking for a point hog. A driver that will unfairly pile up the fast lap and laps led points. In the last 5 years, one of the two best DFS scores started 3rd or better at Texas. The last time Harvick won the pole was Atlanta (another intermediate track) and he blew the scoreboard up with 129.5 fantasy points. The cherry on top is that he’s gained experience at this newly configured race track by running the Xfinity race.

Brad Keselowski appears to be the second hog (fast lap and laps led leader). Sure, Logano is starting one position better, and Logano scored the most fantasy points at Texas last year, but this is a new year and a new Texas. BK has scored the second most fantasy points in the two previous intermediate track races this season. He also has two wins and 5 consecutive top 5 finishes. BK was noticeably faster in practice than Logano and Harvick.

Jimmie Johnson is the play because everyone else is chalk. Johnson is chalk, but he’s less chalky. Larson, Elliott, and Kyle Busch are wonderful plays, but they chokes the chalk. Harvick, Keselowski, Junior, Kahne, Jones, Buescher is an all-time chalk lineup. A quarter has a better return of investment in a wishing well than that lineup. It will win money, but for you and your entire neighborhood. Look out your window. That kid across the street playing with matches, he built that lineup, too. The next logical swerve is to include the expensive guys in the back (Larson, Elliott, or Busch). The mass lineup entry bros, you know who they are, are circling around these picks, too. If you want a shot at the big one, Johnson is your man. He’ll be popular, but the ownership should be a tad lower, and on a goofy weekend like this, we’ll take any number in our favor. Johnson has won 5 of the last 9 at Texas, and his car was fast in practice. When everyone was on Harvick at Las Vegas, Johnson was the contrarian play. Harvick wrecked and Johnson scored the third most fantasy points.

Middle Tier Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks ($7,000-$9,000)

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has suffered from bad luck and rough racing this season. Bad luck only lasts for regular people like us. If we roster him, then our bad luck transfers to him, so he won’t race well. Thus, bad luck exists for everyone? Let’s stay out of that rabbit hole. Actually, the weekly picks have had favorable results, so by picking Junior, he will have a great race. Damnit, I said we were going to stay away from this theoretical nonsense. Let’s look at real numbers. Junior is starting in the back, he was fast in practice, and he has 4 consecutive top 10s at Texas.

Erik Jones won the Texas Xfinity race by beating a handful of Monster Cup regulars. I would venture to guess that he’s comfortable with the new repave. Jones is a top 15 driver every week. He’s starting in the back and has displayed his usual speed in practice. We loaded up on Suarez in the back a couple week ago. This play is juicier.

Kasey Kahne will switch to a backup car and start from the back. He forfeits 5 spots in the process. Say it isn’t so! Kahne is not a 40th place driver or a 35th place driver (where he will be scored from). If he were the only big team driver in the back, he would be a lock, but because there are other great drivers in the back his ownership will dip. His ownership does not affect his performance. He’s still a top 20 driver.

#$@&%*! Wait, you’re just playing drivers in the back!!!! We did this a couple of weeks ago and it worked; we’re doing it again. This is fantasy NASCAR. We’re not cracking the DaVinci Code, Skippy.

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.

Chris Buescher was an easy fade when his price spiked $800 this week, but then he missed qualifying. Now, you can’t fade him. DFS players are desperate to save money with top tier drivers starting in the back of the field. Ignoring his wonderful race last weekend, Buescher is averaging a 25th place finish in the four non-plate races to start the season. With the mayhem that is likely to ensue, and as long as Buescher plays it safe, 38th to 25th is projected to be a top 20 DFS score. That may not sound spectacular, but with a 19th place finish, he’s knocking on the door of a top 10 DFS score.

Punt Tier Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks (sub $6,000)

Punts are long shots, but not this time at Texas. With the new repave, we should see an increase in wrecks. Punt should be able to sneak their way forward through attrition. There is just one problem. The punts are not starting in the back because so many drivers missed qualifying.

No Punts. Based on qualifying position and salary, it’s just not happening this week. Hill and Cope are way too cute. They are Puppy Bowl cute. They ran very few practice laps. They will park or wreck

Track Cheat Sheet: Texas

  • Texas and Charlotte are very similar 1.5 mile long intermediate tracks, or at least they were. Texas has new pavement and according to Darrell Waltrip, “there is one really fast groove. The rest of the track, not so much.” Passing doesn’t happen when there is just one racing groove, but drivers don’t want to hear that. They’re going to try to make something happen. What will happen is cautions. We witnessed the exact same thing play out last year at Kentucky. If Texas and Charlotte are sister tracks, then their mom married a new man, and his son’s name is Kentucky.

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.