NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: Hollywood Casino 400
If you are looking for an action-packed way to get your sports fix, NASCAR may be a great avenue to explore. Far from just driving in circles, some of the world's best compete nearly every weekend from February to November on tracks across America. NASCAR drivers are scored ultimately based on how they finish in the race, how many spots they advance from their starting position, and how many laps they finish and lead. Avoiding drivers who crash out of the race is a must, of course!
Here at numberFire, we've always got you covered for everything NASCAR DFS. Our track preview breaks down this week's venue, and we also have The Heat Check Daily Fantasy Podcast, where Jim Sannes breaks down his favorite plays for Sunday's slate. Jim also has a current form and odds breakdown to review how NASCAR's best drivers are performing recently analytically.
Despite NASCAR's top series using rain tires for the first time, the results remained the same at road courses when conditions were dry, as Chase Elliott cruised to a win late at the Charlotte ROVAL, marking his fourth consecutive win in NASCAR events with both left and right turns. Elliott clinched a spot in the next playoff round with his win, and he and seven others are the only ones left alive to compete for the championship in Phoenix next month. The first ticket to that championship round will be handed out Sunday at Kansas Speedway, and this multi-groove, 1.5-mile intermediate oval makes for a great, uniform test for the teams this weekend.
This race's lineup was determined using NASCAR's weighted formula that combines owner points, last Sunday's finish at the Charlotte ROVAL, and the fastest lap of each driver in that race, which puts Elliott on the pole for this Sunday's event. All eight remaining playoff drivers will start in the first eight spots -- which will be the case for all playoff participants moving forward. That formula also gives Elliott the premier pit stall choice.
This 267-lap race is an incredibly middle-of-the-road balance of DFS strategy, as there are enough laps led available for upside to fit one or two dominant cars to finish up front and lead. The rest of a FanDuel lineup can be made up from value drivers seeking place differential points and finish bonuses, and there are several enticing options starting in the back-half of the field due to poor performances on last week's road course, and some of those drivers usually perform far better on ovals.
With that, let's preview the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas.
Denny Hamlin ($13,500): Hamlin is one of the favorites to capture the championship overall, and he sits as a +420 favorite on FanDuel Sportsbook to win in Kansas on Sunday. Hamlin has won back-to-back events at the track, leading a combined 210 laps between the races. Hamlin has found the front and led at least 25 laps in each of the last seven races at 1.5-mile tracks, which spans across several different configurations. It is fair to say he has put forth the strongest overall intermediate package this season, and he will look to punch a ticket to the finale from his starting spot of seventh.
Chase Elliott ($13,000): No one has been more dominant on road courses than Elliott, and that places him on the pole for Sunday's race by virtue of winning last weekend. That could be the head start than he needs to win on an oval. Elliott has been solid on intermediate tracks this season. He won at Charlotte in May, and on a track at a similar configuration in Las Vegas, Elliott won both stages and led 73 laps total. He has also been tremendous and running up front in the playoffs, with his only finishes outside the top-10 in races in which he led more than 70 laps.
Kyle Busch ($11,200): The defending Cup champion is out, as Kyle Busch was eliminated last weekend in what has easily been the worst season of his career. He still remains winless with 6 DNFs -- his highest total since his rookie year in 2005. If there was a bright spot for Busch, it was leading 53 laps in the opening stage at Kansas earlier this year, and despite this being thought of as a poor track for him, he quietly has shined here recently. Busch has top-10 finishes in 11 of the last 12 Kansas races, leading in six of those. From 20th on the grid and at a lower salary than usual, Busch contending for another top-10 would make his spot on a FanDuel roster worth it, and he always has race-winning upside.
Aric Almirola ($10,000): Intermediate tracks have been by far the best layout for Aric Almirola this season, and he has five top-10 finishes in seven races in the split. He has also led in two of the seven races, as well, which presents interesting upside at this salary. Almirola finished sixth at Kansas in August, which was a new career-best finish at this track. Almirola was just hoping to advance to this section of the playoffs, which features two 1.5-mile tracks, but unfortunately he was eliminated last week due to a poor performance at the ROVAL. However, that poor performance provides him with some place-differential upside from 16th.
Chris Buescher ($7,000): If there is a "Horse for the Course" in the lower-salaried tier, it would be Buescher, who owns finishes of 16th or better in four of the last six Kansas races. He was running inside the top 20 once again before being collected in a multi-car incident in August. In a year when his Roush Fenway Ford has been disappointing, it should help that his equipment has been strong at Kansas, as this team has finished inside the top-20 spots in four straight races here with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($6,300) in 2017 and 2018. He starts 21st, which likely reduces his popularity compared to drivers starting further in the back, but unlike some of those, Buescher has done incredibly well in the The Sunflower State.
Matt Kenseth ($6,600): No driver in the field will get a larger boost from a their poor finish last weekend than Kenseth does. Kenseth has top-20 finishes in six of his last eight races with the only exceptions being a crash at Daytona and the road course last weekend. Overall, Kenseth has 16 finishes inside the top-20 as a teammate of playoff contender Kurt Busch, and his equipment is far better than the 30th-place starting position he will have on Sunday. He finished 17th at Kansas in August, which would be just fine as an outcome this weekend.
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.