NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: Consumers Energy 400
For the second time this year, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is in Michigan. This race will be slightly different than the first being that there is now the controversial substance known as PJ1 on the upper groove of turns 1 and 3. I, personally, have not noticed much of a difference in the racing where they have applied the substance, but that's just the eye test, and it could change during the race. In June, Joey Logano was a pure dominator, leading 163 of 203 laps. The same could go for Penske teammate Brad Keselowski, who is on the pole for this race.
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.
Kevin Harvick ($13,000): Harvick sets up the best of any driver in this field from a statistical standpoint, and it's not even close. He comes into this race with a driver rating of 108.9 in his last four races, a track history rating of 118.2, and a 107.2 rating at similar tracks this season. Harvick is also the defending champion of the August Michigan race after he led 108 laps en route to the checkered flag. Harvick is someone who you can easily load into your lineups in any format. Just hope that his pit crew doesn't lose this race for him.
Brad Keselowski ($12,500): Starting on the pole, Keselowski sets up just as well this week as teammate, Joey Logano, did two months ago when the Cup Series was here. Like Harvick, Keselowski comes into this race with great numbers, including a track history rating of 105.7 and a recent driver rating of 93.6. The issue is that he is slightly worse in every statistical category when compared to Harvick. However, the improved track position that Keselowski will have over Harvick will make up for this, as we have seen this season with the package. I have all the confidence in the world that Keselowski can win this race. Presumably, he is as safe -- if not safer than -- Harvick in your cash and GPP lineups.
Kurt Busch ($11,000): While I don't believe that the elder Busch can be a dominator like the aforementioned drivers, he is still a strong place-differential play starting from the 13th position. Busch could easily pay off with a finish around fifth or sixth, which is within his range of outcomes mainly because of how consistent he has been in the 1 car. A 97.6 driver rating in his last 4 races, 100.9 driver rating at similar tracks this season, and 94.8 driver rating in his career at Michigan are all recipes for fantasy success. Busch might not be a driver that you can afford if you have both Harvick and Keselowski in your lineup, but if you decide to fade one of them, then Busch is the ideal pivot.
Ryan Blaney ($10,400): Blaney is definitely one of the more GPP-esque plays that you will find in this article. As much as I really like Erik Jones ($10,600) this week (and I really do), there is something to say about the fact that I have Blaney, in my personal model, ranked higher this week than Jones. Yes, Jones may be running hot and had the best final practice of anyone in the field, but Blaney has the edge over Jones in both track history and form at similar tracks. It might gives knots in my stomach for a few hours, but at least in leverage spots and single-entry GPPs, I am going with Blaney as my higher-exposure driver between the two.
Austin Dillon ($7,200): As you'll see everywhere else, there are two value drivers that both drive for Richard Childress Racing who will become the popular value drivers for this slate. The first is Austin Dillon. His biggest selling point, of course, is that he is starting 37th (after failing post-qualifying inspection) and is a talented driver in good equipment, giving him a solid floor when it comes to place-differential. Even if we assume that he finishes just outside the top 20 (let's say 22nd), that still gives him 12 place-differential spots and a decent number of finishing points. I would fade Dillon in single-entry situations where you need to create leverage over the field. Otherwise, all systems should be a go on Dillon.
Daniel Hemric ($6,800): Starting in 38th for the same reasons as Dillon, Hemric also provides us with a solid fantasy floor, which is advantageous to our lineups in both cash and tournaments. He and Dillon are fairly close when it comes to statistics coming into this race. Hemric has an okay but not great driver rating of 59.5, a track history rating of 78.5 (albeit in only one career Cup race), and a driver rating of 64.5 on the season on similar tracks. What's interesting of note is that both Hemric and Dillon ran well in final practice despite having been caught cheating during qualifying where they had run well. Dillon had the fourth-best single-lap time in final practice, and Hemric was 12th, which tells me that these RCR cars are still running strong, even while following the rules. They will both be chalky, but it's for good reason.
Evan Cheney is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Evan Cheney also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username theman90210. 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.