NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: GoBowling at the Glen
Denny Hamlin used a little strategy and saved just enough gas to capture his fifth career win at Pocono last weekend, beating teammate Erik Jones in another exciting overtime finish. It is doubtful the excitement ends as NASCAR goes back to left and right turns this weekend at Watkins Glen International. NASCAR uses the short configuration of this road course without the boot, which is 2.454 miles and has 11 turns. Its long straightaways give it, by mile per hour, the undisputed title of fastest road course in NASCAR.
For daily fantasy purposes, pass differential is the name of the game. This race has fewer laps led points available than any other NASCAR race since it features only 90 laps. Last year's race results can validate the strategy. Last year, under FanDuel's scoring system, Chase Elliott scored 58.3 points in a dominant performance, leading 52 laps from a starting spot of third and winning the race. Daniel Suarez started 21st, finished fourth, led no laps, and scored 55.5 points. You will want to hunt for someone to lead laps in tournaments, but trying to find ascending drivers in the field is the play for cash.
Here at numberFire, we've always got you covered for everything NASCAR DFS. Our track preview gives you more information about the history of the track, our driver preview helps bring you up to speed on recent driver history, and our Heat Check Podcast with Jim Sannes gives you insight to how he is approaching this weekend's slate.
Martin Truex Jr ($14,000): Keep an eye at the top of the player pool for any failed inspections, as that driver would vault straight to the top play of the weekend. But assuming things hold pat, Truex Jr. appears to be the top high-priced pick. Even though Kyle Busch ($15,000) appeared to have slightly better practice speeds, you cannot argue against the consistency of Truex at road course races. He's either won or finished second in four of the last five road course events, and the one exception was him getting punted while leading in the final corner by Jimmie Johnson in the 2018 race at the Charlotte Roval. Truex led only four laps here last year, and starting 4th, he appears to not have the absolute strongest car, but his history all but assures that Truex will be in the mix to win Sunday at the Glen.
Joey Logano ($12,500): Joey Logano, starting 21st, is a traditional pass differential play. He figures to be able to rise from there, and he has a solid history at Watkins Glen. He has five top-10 finishes in 10 Watkins Glen starts, including a win back in 2015. Unfortunately, the last two years have found Logano outside the top 20. With that being the case, Joey will likely be more popular than usual at this track given his practice speeds, but he appears to be a solid option to pair with a potential race dominating car. If he passes inspection and multiple cars fail qualifying again this weekend -- like last week at Pocono -- Logano probably becomes far less appealing, but as it stands now, the 22-car is a definite roster plug.
Chase Elliott ($11,500): Chase Elliott has had a brutal summer, finishing outside the top 15 in six of the last seven races. That is just an uncommon performance for one of the sport's brightest young stars, but he returns this weekend to the site of his first career win a year ago. In that race, Elliott started third and dominated, leading 52 laps, and he has another hot rod this weekend. He won the pole going away (by over a tenth of a second) and should use that track position to lead early after also displaying speed to win final practice. His luck may just turn all the way around with a repeat at WGI this weekend, and Elliott is one of the top plays in the field regardless of salary.
Ryan Blaney ($10,300): Blaney is quietly developing into one of the sport's better road racers. He has four top-10 showings in eight career road course starts. His best two have come in the last two -- a win at the Charlotte Roval and a third-place finish at Sonoma in June. He starts 19th and posted sixth and 11th, respectively, in Saturday's two practice sessions. A rough time in qualifying benefits us in DFS as it gives him place-differential upside. Again, if other cars in Blaney's price tier were to fail inspection, he may become less of a target, but right now, he appears to be a great play at $10,300.
Clint Bowyer ($9,000): Clint Bowyer is a midwest dirt racer, but his road course past might otherwise indicate he was a European Formula 1 transplant. He has six straight finishes of 11th or better going left and right, and he has extra motivation as one of the drivers squarely on the playoff bubble with just five races remaining before the postseason starts. Bowyer appears to have just solid speed this weekend, posting 14th and sixth in the two practice sessions, but he starts an incredibly desirable 13th. Bowyer is one of several talented road course racers who would be a must-start in the event his Ford did not pass inspection.
Chris Buescher ($7,300): There has been a theme to winning cash in NASCAR daily fantasy this year -- play Chris Buescher. In 13 of his 22 points-paying starts, he has racked up a finish at least five spots better than where he started, with four of those being top-10 finishes. His consistency in ascending through the field has been remarkable, and even before a stellar 2019, Buescher has always been a solid play at road courses. He has six straight top-20 finishes at road races, and he will need that consistency to hit value this weekend since he's starting 16th. Still, this price tag is too good to avoid, barring inspection.
Matt DiBenedetto ($6,000): "Guido" has actually been one of the most successful drivers in the sport of late, as crazy as that may seem. The Joe Gibbs Racing alliance with his small team is starting to pay off in droves, with top-10 showings in three of his last six races. That was all sparked by NASCAR's last visit to a road course at Sonoma, where DiBenedetto started 19th and finished fourth, just outright passing some of the best in the sport. This weekend he has posted 15th and third in the two practices before not getting a clean look in qualifying, and so he starts a deeper 20th. DiBenedetto's results would indicate he should have a much higher price tag than this, and he appears to have great potential as a value play Sunday.
Austin Swaim is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Austin Swaim also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username ASwaim3. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.