Daily Fantasy NASCAR Track Preview: Foxwoods Resort Casino 301
As the NASCAR Cup Series heads to New Hampshire from Atlanta, you won't find many similarities between the two tracks.
New Hampshire runs the 750-horsepower package while Atlanta is in the 550 camp. New Hampshire is short and flat while Atlanta is high-banked and fast. You expect a whole different group of cars to push for the win this time around.
But from a DFS perspective, there's a whole lotta overlap.
The key similarity is the race length. Atlanta was 260 laps long, and the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 is 301 laps, giving us 30.1 FanDuel points for laps led. We've also got similarities with the starting grid, which will force us into somewhat uncomfortable situations with value plays.
Let's dig deeper into Sunday's event and outline how we should play things when setting lineups on FanDuel.
Hunting for Lap-Leaders
Entering Atlanta, the thought process was that we wanted at least two drivers in each lineup with the upside to lead laps, and a third was recommended. That played out as expected.
With even more laps scheduled for this week, it's time to run it back.
Our closest analog for New Hampshire comes from March's race in Phoenix. That was another roughly 300-lap race at a short, flat track where the starting grid was set by an algorithm. The perfect FanDuel lineup for the race included three studs starting near the front, even if only two of them led laps.
|Perfect Lineup||Salary||Start||Laps Led|
|Martin Truex Jr.||$10,700||5th||64|
I wouldn't put much stock in the value section of this build; more on that in a second. But we should look to duplicate this approach with the studs.
Any time there are a bunch of laps in a race, the studs are better able to separate from the rest of the pack. That increases the incentive to jam in a third potential lap-leader whereas you can likely get away with two in a race with closer to 200 laps. Plus, as happened with William Byron at Phoenix, that third driver can still pay off for DFS even if they don't wind up leading laps. The finishing points are still worth plenty.
The one tweak from the Phoenix build is that we don't need all three potential lap-leaders to start right at the front. Instead, we can utilize the waves approach outlined last week once again.
The waves approach is most in play when you want to utilize a stud who isn't starting at the front. Let's say you love Joey Logano this week. He's starting 15th. That means Logano's not going to lead laps early on. So, in order to not sacrifice those early points for laps led, you pair Logano with someone starting toward the front -- a "wave one" driver -- who can suck up those points while Logano -- the "wave two" driver -- picks his way through traffic.
Logano's one of the deeper starters we should consider with a three-stud approach. Of the top 13 drivers in my model's projected average running position, William Byron will start the deepest in 16th place. Those are the drivers we should expect to run out front, so we're likely going to want to stick with them when hunting for laps-led upside.
It's likely that a healthy portion of our value plays will come from the front half of the field, as well. If we expand the scope to be the top 20 drivers in projected average running position, only three will start lower than 18th. One of those drivers is Ross Chastain, who barely misses the threshold as he will roll off from the 20th spot. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. -- ranked 19th and starting 29th -- is the lone driver in that grouping starting lower than 22nd.
In other words, if you want good finishing points, you'll have to be comfortable using drivers in the front half of the field.
Obviously, there will be some exceptions to this. Stenhouse has appeal, as do Daniel Suarez and Ryan Preece to some extent. But our core here is going to be similar to Atlanta where we'll largely ignore place-differential and selling out for quality finishes.
In the Atlanta perfect lineup, no driver started lower than 17th, and four drivers started inside the top 12. We shouldn't be shocked if a similar approach comes through this week. It's just the nature of a race where the starting order isn't overly random and where we put a heavy emphasis on laps led and finishing upside. So although it might make us uncomfortable with the value plays, specifically, it's just how we have to play things for a second straight week.