NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: South Point 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 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.
Kevin Harvick is enjoying one of the most dominant seasons of his illustrious career, and his ninth win of the year came at Bristol on Saturday night, when he used some timely lap traffic to hold off Kyle Busch in a wild race with several cars crashing out. Harvick scored two wins in the first round of NASCAR's playoffs, and he will look to score another and punch an early ticket to Round 3 this Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This 1.5-mile track in Sin City is one of the few on the circuit with solid, multi-groove racing throughout, and it will lead to plenty of action in this 400-mile event.
This race's lineup was determined using NASCAR's weighted formula that combines owner points, last Saturday's finish at Bristol, and the fastest lap of each driver in that race, which puts Kevin Harvick on the pole for this event. All 12 remaining playoff drivers will start in the first 12 spots -- which will be the case for all playoff participants moving forward. Since pit stalls were selected solely by last week's finishing order, Harvick also has the premier pit stall choice for this weekend.
There is a more normal formula to this weekend's race in an average-length event at 400 miles and at an intermediate track. An optimal FanDuel lineup will likely involve one or two cars that lead plenty of laps, and those cars will be paired with drivers with an excellent combination of finish and pass differential.
With that, let's preview the South Point 400 from Las Vegas.
Kevin Harvick ($13,500): It is hard to start anywhere else than with the nine-time 2020 winner Harvick. His year to remember continued last weekend, and that gives him a leg up with the pole position on Sunday night. Unfortunately for the field, Harvick has proven that he can take advantage of that in Sin City, as in the last six races at this track, no driver has led more laps than Harvick (455). Harvick has six top-10 finishes with two wins in the last eight races here, and the only exceptions were accidents from a top-five running position. He is a rightful +500 betting favorite to win on Sunday night.
Joey Logano ($12,800): Logano is second to Harvick in laps led in the last six races at Las Vegas, leading 321 of his own. Logano has won back-to-back spring races in Las Vegas, and he holds an impressive run of nine straight top-10 finishes at the track. He also has led at least one lap in all of those races. The recent form is great, too, as Logano has eight top-10 finishes in his last 10 races, with the lone exceptions being a finish of 11th and a crash at Daytona. His current form gives him the slightest nod over Martin Truex Jr. ($13,200), but all three of the aforementioned drivers are worth a long look.
Ryan Blaney ($11,500): The disappointment is probably immeasurable for Ryan Blaney to not even make the second round of the playoffs in his breakout year, but he will have a chance to redeem himself at one of his better race tracks. Blaney has finished 11th or better in six of the last seven Las Vegas races, with the only exception a 22nd-place finish in which he cut a tire early but proceeded to be the fastest car on track the rest of the afternoon while multiple laps down. Given his strong efforts at 1.5-mile configurations like Miami (70 laps led) and Texas (150 laps led), he likely has a chance to play spoiler as a non-playoff driver winning the South Point 400.
William Byron ($8,800): A crash at Bristol ended William Byron's playoff hopes, which was unfortunate for the young racer who earned his berth with a win in the regular season finale at Daytona. Because of that crash, however, Byron will be a justifiably popular option in all formats on Sunday at this salary. Byron starts 28th, which is just too low for a car that has 10 top-10 finishes in 2020, and Byron has even flashed top-five finishes in two of the last five races. That speed and upside should help him overcome a middling track history. Byron has only one top-10 finish here, but that is largely due to bad luck finishing races, as he has the 13th-best driver rating at Vegas since 2017.
Ryan Newman ($7,500): Between Ryan Newman missing time due to a scary crash and generally slow equipment, 2020 has been a frustrating year for him, but he may be headed to the right place to turn it around. Newman has top-15 finishes in three of the last four races at Las Vegas, which presents interesting upside at a lower salary. Newman also has a rather solid floor even if he were to be lacking in speed, as he starts from 27th on the grid. While his equipment is still generally a concern, he does have six top-20 finishes on intermediate tracks this year, with the latest being a 15th-place effort at Darlington earlier this month.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($7,000): The groans are warranted, as Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is an incredibly frustrating DFS play. His 7 DNFs this year are by far the most of any driver who is in the top-25 spots in points, which is the general cutoff of cars which can compete for a top-10 finish weekly. A DNF kills a fantasy lineup, but a top-10 finish from a starting place of 33rd is a tournament winner. Stenhouse Jr. could provide the latter at one of his better tracks. Stenhouse has the 18th-best driver rating at Las Vegas since 2017 and has two top-10 finishes in the last three races at LVMS -- including a third-place finish earlier in 2020.
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.