Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks: GEICO 500 at Talladega

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Now back to the amazing racing content from Pearce!

Don’t worry about practice times. Slightly consider track type history. Most of all, stick to the plan. Pick cars in the back that make you cringe, and leave a lot of salary on the table. Some people just can’t do this, and they will lose. Some people will follow this rule until they’re just about to hit the enter button, but they upgrade a driver and they lose. The winning GPP lineup at a restrictor plate race is never pretty. Do your best Indiana Jones and choose the grungy goblet..

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

If you listened to the podcast this week or if you looked at the past results in the spreadsheet, then you’ll notice that the winning lineups follow a pattern. Five place differential picks and one lap leader is the recipe. You may even be able to go with six place differential picks. What will not work, is starting drivers inside the top 25 that do not lead at least 60 of the 188 laps. Maybe you can bend a little – a lap leader, a place differential driver starting around 20th, and also getting four place differential picks starting between 25th and 40th, but that’s it. Stick to the rules.

Let’s look at 25 through 40:

Landon Cassill $6,100: The starting spot will likely push you somewhere else (25th). He’ll need a top 10, and possibly a top 5, in order to be a part of the optimal lineup. Since 2014, Cassill has 6 top 20s at plate races and 1 top 10.

Matt DiBenedetto $5,800: In the Daytona 500, DiBenedetto finished 8th (10th most fantasy points). His 25th starting position prevented him from being in the optimal lineup. Starting 26th doesn’t help the cause.

A.J. Allmendinger $6,800: If you’re building one GPP lineup, then Allmendinger should be in it. He’s starting deep enough and he’s been very consistent at plate races (14th or better in his last 4, top 25s in 10 of his last 13).

Ty Dillon $6,600: In the Xfinity series, Dillon sucked at plate tracks. He’s not terrible, but he doesn’t seem to know how to finish higher than the teens. He’s in play, but his ownership will be too high for me. DFS players will play him based on his entire resume, when they should only look at his plate track history.

David Ragan $6,000: A former Talladega winner is starting 29th. Ragan will be swapped in and out of many mass entry lineups. If I’m making just one lineup, he does not make my top 5 place differential picks, but he’s very close.

Jimmie Johnson $9,700: How come the best driver gets the shortest blurb? Pick him.

Danica Patrick $6,300: She’s due. Nothing scientific here. Danica earned a pole and a top 10 finish in just her second Cup plate race. In the next 16 plate races, she finished inside the top 10 just once. It’s plate racing, that happens, and she’s due for a break.

Brendan Gaughan $5,600: He scored the 5th most fantasy points in the Daytona 500. He can’t do that again. Well, we’ve see Michael Waltrip do this before, why not Gaughan? He’s a good driver and has enough car to stay on the lead lap.

Reed Sorenson $4,700: I sought guidance for this write up, so I spun the Wheel of Death. Guess what? It picked Matt DiBenedetto. Sorenson did not qualify for the Daytona 500. Shot in the dark.

Chris Buescher $6,500: This guy has been terrible at plate tracks, but remember what I said earlier this week on the podcast. It may behoove DFS players to forget the name and pick based on starting position. This car will stay on the lead lap as long as it doesn’t barrel roll down the track.

Elliott Sadler: The Xfinity regular finished 20th at the Daytona 500 (started 40th). He’s run 49 Cup level plate races and has 13 top 10s. You’ll feel much more comfortable about picking him then the drivers that I’m about to write up.

Corey LaJoie $5,300: This young driver has improved each week, but that doesn’t matter this week. LaJoie finished 24th at Daytona, but he was 7 laps down. It doesn’t appear that he has enough car.

Gray Gaulding $5,700: How many time has Gray raced at a plate track? Once, but that was an ARCA race. This guy has about as much plate racing experience as I do.

Cole Whitt $5,200: This will be the heaviest Cole Whitt has ever been owned. He’s starting 38th and has 3 consecutive top 20s at plate tracks. There is no such thing as a must play at Talladega, but this one looks really good.

Joey Gase $5,900: He survived Daytona, but it’s easy to avoid a wreck when you are a mile away. Gase finished 23rd, but he was 4 laps down.

Jeff Earnhardt $4,900: When you refer to him as Jeff, it’s like he’s another guy. “My name is Jeff,” no it’s not. Jeff finished 26th at Daytona, not bad? He was 55 laps down.

Track Cheat Sheet: Talladega

  • This track is long (2.6 miles), wide, and has steep banking in the turns.
  • The design of the track allows for dangerous speeds. For safety purposes, each car is fitted with a restrictor plate that reduces horsepower. The consequence of slowing the cars down is that every car runs at the same speed (around 200 mph); they can’t separate. If one car makes a mistake, then a lot of cars are headed to the junkyard.


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.