Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks: STP 500 at Martinsville
Martinsville is a one lane, narrow, half mile track. There just isn’t enough room on this track for stock cars. Imagine rush hour when the DOT has shut down a couple lanes. It gets hairy.
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)
The Daily Fantasy NASCAR circuit returns east for 500 laps at a short track in southern Virginia. That’s 250 fast lap points and 125 laps led points. Three to four drivers that finish with top 5 DFS NASCAR scores will hog the laps led and fast lap points.
Kyle Busch is the driver everyone is talking about. His practice speeds back that up (check the spreadsheet – look for the green). Last spring, he destroyed the field. His 180.5 fantasy points was the 2nd biggest score of the 2016 Daily Fantasy NASCAR season. Last fall at Martinsville, Kyle Busch tied for the best average running position. It’s safe to assume that he and his team have this track figured out.
Kyle Larson lives up front. This is his neighborhood just as much as it is Kyle Busch’s. Larson is starting on the pole for the second week in a row. Last week he scored the most points with the ideal starting position and pit position. This position an enormous benefit this week. It’s hard to imagine that Larson does not finish with a top 5 DFS score. According to FS1, Larson was the fastest on 20 and 30 lap runs in practice #2. Larson has improved with every Martinsville race. Last spring, Larson finished 3rd at Martinsville.
Brad Keselowski has a top 5 in the last 4 races (no one cares about Daytona). That’s a pretty good streak. At Martinsville, he’s got a pretty good streak, too. His worst fantasy score in the last four Martinsville races is 7th. It shouldn’t be any surprise that he was fast in practice (very fast – check the spreadsheet). Last week, BK suffered damage early in the race. It should have been game over, but not for the Deuce. He finished 2nd when others would have finished outside of the top 20.
Middle Tier Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks ($7,000-$9,000)
Matt Kenseth is starting 25th because he had bad luck on NASCAR’s west coast swing. Over the last 6 Martinsville races, Kenseth’s driver rating is the third highest. He scored the most fantasy points in last fall’s race (116.5 fantasy points). In the practices leading up to that race, Kenseth didn’t show anything. He’s not jumping off the charts this weekend, either. However, he did run in the top 10 in 10 lap averages in practice #2. Here’s what you need to know, Kenseth has a top 15 finish in 9 of his last 10 Martinsville races.
Clint Bowyer has a new lease on life. Much to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s dismay, there are second acts in American lives. From 2015-16, Bowyer was racing for a dying MWR team and terrible small team, so throw those stats out. Look at the Martinsville numbers before 2015, it’s virtually all top 10s (12 out of 16). Bowyer is a short track guy. Let his 8th place starting position scare others away. The reason he is starting 8th is because he’s 8th in the standings. This is a top 10 car that was very fast in practice. Do not sleep in Bowyer.
AJ Allmendinger is really good at Martinsville, and thanks to Mother Nature, he’ll be starting near the back. The theory around NASCAR is that former road course racers are well suited for Martinsville. The flat banked corners require heavy braking, quick acceleration, and a rhythm. That sounds like a road course. It shouldn’t be a surprise that NASCAR’s resident road racer has finished 11th or better in 5 of the last 6 Martinsville races. On Saturday, Allmendinger was 5th and 17th on short runs, and 11th on a 10 lap run in practice #2.
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.
Paul Menard has not been a successful DFS play this season. That’s why he is starting 22nd. At Martinsville, experience means everything, and Menard gives DFS players affordable experience from a playable starting position. Menard has a top 15 finish in 4 of his last 6 Martinsville races. With a little luck, a 12th place finish will likely result in a top 10 DFS score from this value driver. His practice speeds will lead you to believe that this week he can get it done.
Punt Tier Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks (sub $6,000)
Punts are long shots, but not this weekend. Over the last 6 years, Martinsville races average 13 cautions. That’s 13 lucky dogs and a lot of chances for a wave around. Over that span, 20 cars typically finish on the lead lap. Also, NASCAR is implementing a new tire at Martinsville. That likely means more wrecks. At Martinsville, 22 punts have finished with a top 20 Daily Fantasy NASCAR score in the last 6 races (18% of the top 20 will be punts).
Chris Buescher has finished 24th, 23rd, 27th, and 25th in his last four races. If he finishes 25th at Martinsville, he’ll score 27 fantasy points. That’s right on the edge of a top 20 DFS score, but it’s a 5.2x return and it allows daily fantasy NASCAR players to target multiple $9,000 hogs (expensive drivers that hog the laps led and fast lap points). In his rookie season, he improved at Martinsville (33rd in the spring and 27th in the fall). His practice speeds make him seem more like a top 20 car than a top 30 car.
Track Cheat Sheet: Martinsville
- This ancient track existed before NASCAR formed. It’s as old school as it gets. Half a century ago, short tracks littered the south. Some were purposely built, but most were the consequence of the Bible belt banning horse racing over the fear of gambling. Well, the devil got what he wanted. Horse tracks and fairgrounds were converted into race tracks just as the automobile was becoming a commonplace in American society (a friend of mine, Scott Beekman, wrote an excellent history of NASCAR that you should check out – https://www.amazon.com/NASCAR-Nation-History-Racing-United/dp/0275994244 FanVice and I do not make anything out of this, but we are well rounded entertainment junkies, and this succinct history will definitely entertain).
- NASCAR is implementing a new tire this weekend. This change compounded with a smaller spoiler results in the cars not wanting to slow down. Jamie McMurray commented that the Ganassi team changed their brakes and the cars are on the edge of wheel hopping. This could be a wreck fest.
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.