Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400

Chicagoland is pejoratively known as Chicagobland. This race was a hard sell to casual race fans two years ago. That’s not the case anymore. Daily Fantasy NASCAR put an end to those days with the allure of a $10,000 payday. If you’re looking for carnage, this isn’t your race. If you’re looking for engineering excellence and driver perfection, then you’ll enjoy this week’s DFS NASCAR experience.

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)

They’re running 267 laps this weekend. That’s not as many as last week’s 400 laps, but there will be 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. Qualifying position (rained out this week) and practice speeds are solid numbers to follow when picking the top tier drivers at Chicago.

Jimmie Johnson disappeared this summer. Do you know what else disappears in the summer? Intermediate tracks. Summer is over and the intermediate tracks are back. Jimmie Johnson wrecked in two peculiar intermediate track races this season, so there’s a lot of risk surrounding Jimmie. He has 4 top 5s at intermediate tracks this season and he was pretty fast at Charlotte. In practice #1, Jimmie had the fastest car on a short run and on a 10 lap run. This pick could be fool’s gold, but I trust that a 6 time champ with a fast car starting 8th will score fantasy points.

Kevin Harvick cares less about practice than Allen Iverson. He never shows anything and then finishes inside the top 5. This season, Harvick has a top 5 DFS score 70% of the time. Don’t think about it too much. He has the best average finish at intermediate tracks this season.

Martin Truex, Jr. drives a Toyota and there has to be one Toyota on the list. There’s been a Toyota in the DFS top 3 at every intermediate track race this season. Truex is the king of speed this year. He’s averaging 91 points per race at intermediate tracks this season. That’s insane.

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

Chase Elliott has 5 top 10s in the 7 intermediate track races this season. He ran the 5th fastest single lap run in practice #1. While practice speeds can be overrated, unloading from the hauler with a fast car is not. The Hendrick Chevys unloaded with speed and the JGR Toyotas did not. By the time the green flag drops, JGR will be fine, but Hendrick doesn’t have to play catch up. They can experiment, and attempt to answer the what-ifs.

Ryan Blaney has been hit-or-miss this season, but that’s what rookies do. He has two top 10s at 1.5 mile tracks this season. Blaney had top 10 speed in practice #1 and #2. Qualifying was rained out, so the starting order was set by the standings. He’ll start 22nd. If he finishes 16th, then he hits 5x value. If he finishes 12th, he’ll be in the DFS NASCAR top 10.

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.

Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. has driven well at intermediate tracks all season. He has 6 top 20 finishes in the 7 intermediate tracks races (average finish of 14th in those 6 races). His worst finish at Chicago is 18th. If he finishes 18th on Sunday, that’s 31 points. I’ll take it.

Paul Menard is faster than 26th. He starting so far back because of his place in the standings. We can argue over practice, but in this case, it’s clear that Menard is a place differential target. He was 16th quickest on a single lap run and 5th fastest on a long run (for comparison, Larson was 6th). Over the last 5 Chicago races, his average finish is 19th. At intermediate tracks this season, Menard has 5 top 20s.

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

Punts are long shots at intermediate tracks. Only 8 punts have finished with a top 20 Daily Fantasy NASCAR score in the last 6 Chicago races (7%). Punts have not fared much better at intermediate tracks in 2016. Just 8 of 140 top 20 DFS drivers were punt plays (6%).

David Ragan has scored over 30 points in the last two intermediate track races (Kentucky and Darlington). Over the last 6 Chicago races, he’s averaged 33 fantasy points per race.

Michael Annett has a slightly better team than the other sub $5,000 drivers. He’s starting 37th and his typical intermediate track finish this season is 30th. If that happens, he hits 21 points and 5x value. If you go this route, then you have to nail the top 3 drivers.

Track Cheat Sheet: Richmond

  • The NASCAR playoffs start this week. If a driver wins a race or finishes the opening round of three races inside the top 12 in points, then they’ll advance to the next round. The opening race of each round tends to be a little conservative.
  • Chicago is a cookie cutter intermediate track. There’s nothing special here. Track surface, banking, and dimensions are not significant strategy points.
  • This is a green race, but you never know. Richmond is typically void of yellow flags, but last week Richmond set a track record with 16 cautions. Over the last 6 Chicago races, Chicago has been a lap turner. This race averages 6 cautions, and most of those tend to be debris cautions. If there are wrecks, then there normally single car wrecks.