NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
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!
numberFire is always your home for fantasy NASCAR advice. In addition to this helper, Jim Sannes has you covered with his current form and odds breakdown as well as his track preview to spotlight this week's venue. For driver picks and a full preview of the event, Jim also discussed the Daytona 500 on the latest NASCAR episode of The Heat Check Daily Fantasy Podcast.
On a day where many found their way to the front, Joey Logano spent a large chunk of the end of the event pacing the field, and appeared set for victory. That was until Martin Truex Jr.'s Toyota came alive, and Truex drove away from the field late to score his first career win in Phoenix. That victory marked Truex Jr. as the fifth different winner in five races, and the Cup Series will look to crown a sixth this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Boasting NASCAR's most worn surface, this 1.5-mile track is far from a cookie cutter, as it is renown for its multiple grooves and severe tire wear.
The starting lineup for this event was set through NASCAR's weighted formula, which includes last race's finish, the fastest lap in that race, and current points position. That formula puts Denny Hamlin on the pole for Sunday's race, and last week's winner Truex Jr. will start alongside him. Pit stalls were selected in the same order as the starting lineup.
With that, let's preview the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 in Atlanta on FanDuel.
Kevin Harvick ($14,000): There is a clear two-man race for the best driver to use in daily fantasy this weekend, and the two are a contrast between track history and current form. In terms of track history, there is no one in the galaxy of Harvick. Harvick's 377 laps led at Atlanta the past three years are 235 more laps led than anyone else. Harvick has also won two of the three events here since 2018, and he finished 4th in the other, so there is no disputing his dominance at this track. Harvick's current form is the only slight concern. While he has finished sixth or better in four of 2021's five races, he has led only 17 total laps, which is very low for a driver who is usually a threat to lead laps most every weekend. He will look to push those concerns aside with a monstrous performance in Atlanta. Harvick starts 7th.
Kyle Larson ($12,500): The way Larson has looked in a Hendrick Chevrolet should terrify the Cup Series field at the moment, especially heading onto dirt next weekend. Even on asphalt, Larson has been the strongest car in the field this season. Larson has four top-10 finishes and four races in which he has led in 2021 -- both of those include his win in Las Vegas. Las Vegas is a decent comparison to Atlanta as a slick, 1.5-mile track, and Larson has led more laps here than anyone besides Harvick since 2018 with 142 and a solid 7.6 average finish. As the fastest car in the field thus far in 2021 and starting 6th, Larson is a threat to win Sunday's race and could lead plenty of laps.
Kyle Busch ($10,700): Busch is the stand out play in this tier -- not because of laps-led potential but on place-differential upside with him starting 19th. Busch has led only 16 laps at Atlanta since 2018 and had led no laps thus far in 2021. But while he may not find the front this weekend, Busch does have three straight Atlanta top-10 finishes to his name. He also finished inside the top-10 spots at the other 1.5-mile tracks this year (Miami and Las Vegas). The former champion is hunting for a trophy, but he can produce a great fantasy output with a top-five finish.
Kurt Busch ($9,000): The model of consistency in this mid-range has been Kyle Busch's older brother, Kurt, who finished inside the top-10 in 52.3% of races last year. He is coming off back-to-back efforts without a top-10 finish, but Atlanta may be the cure he has been waiting for. Busch has finished 13th or better in 11 straight Atlanta races dating back to March of 2010, which was the same event as his last Atlanta win. Starting 11th, Busch likely joins his brother as a longshot to lead a bunch of laps, but when looking for drivers to slot in alongside Harvick and Larson who could net you a solid finish, Kurt fits the bill.
Tyler Reddick ($7,500): The former Xfinity Series champion, Reddick needs a four-leaf clover. His bad luck has left him with a DNF in three of the five races in 2021 so far, which is the only explanation for how the talented driver is starting all the way back in 29th this weekend. Reddick has already flashed elite speed on similar tracks this year by finishing second in Miami and leading seven laps in Las Vegas, so there is tremendous upside with Reddick and his RCR Chevrolet in this value spot. Reddick's only career effort at Atlanta was a 16th-place showing last spring. A similar effort would result in a quality DFS day thanks to his starting spot.
Austin Cindric ($6,200): From one Xfinity Series champion to another, Cindric -- the defending lower-circuit champ -- will be a viable play in each of his Cup Series starts this season. Cindic will run approximately six races in a Penske Racing machine and will start from the back in all of them as a part-time entry due to NASCAR's new qualifying procedure. Cindric offers access to elite equipment and place-differential upside at a low salary. Cindric is not a stranger to success at this track, either. He led 68 laps in last season's Xfinity Series event here as the dominant car before he ran out of tires and coasted to a 16th-place finish. Starting 39th, Cindric has upside as well as a fairly safe floor, and he checks a lot of boxes. He will likely be a popular value target.
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.