NASCAR DFS Cheat Sheet: DraftKings Picks for Coca-Cola 600
Each week, we’ll have an early week cheat sheet for the DFS NASCAR contests at DraftKings. This week, we look at the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
FANTASY NASCAR CONTESTS
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FRWC Qualifier: $15 entry, 1 seat guaranteed
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TOP 5 FAVORITES TO WIN
1. Kevin Harvick
Virtually every stat checks out: Kevin Harvick has been the fastest car at every track this season. He is the best fantasy NASCAR driver. In the races where he hasn’t score the most points, there is an obvious explanation (pit crew mistakes, bad starting position, or losing his cool and wrecking himself). Last fall at Charlotte, Harvick scored the most fantasy points (122 points). In the spring Coca-Cola 600 race, Harvick scored the fourth-most hog points (22 combined fast lap and laps led points). That was when his team was struggling with their switch to Ford. Harvick is on top of his game this season.
2. Kyle Busch
Everyone knows the second-best driver in fantasy NASCAR is Kyle Busch. It’s not a coincidence that Busch’s three-race win streak coincided with unfortunate circumstances for Kevin Harvick. Even Busch’s strong performance at Fontana came when Harvick’s car was towed away. Kyle has never won an official race at Charlotte, but he should have won the Coca-Cola 600 last year. He scored 91 fantasy points, but finished second because of a lucky fuel gamble by Austin Dillon.
3. Martin Truex, Jr.
It’s clear the speed advantage the #78 Furniture Row car had last season is gone. The SHR Fords have the advantage. The Penske Fords have speed. Martin Truex is in for a fight this season, but if there is a track where he still has an edge, it’s Charlotte. Truex scored 98 points at Charlotte last fall. He scored 149 points in the spring race. In 2016 spring race, he scored an unprecedented 197 points at the intermediate track. He scored the second-most fantasy points in the 2015 fall race. In the spring, Truex scored the most points.
4. Kyle Larson
In terms of car, Kyle Larson can’t compete with Harvick, Busch, and Truex. Those cars are the fastest of the fast manufacturers. Larson has gotten the most out of the new Chevy. He may have gotten too much at Kansas. Like several other Chevy drivers this season, Larson was busted for cheating (rear window infraction). But then, cheating doesn’t matter in daily fantasy NASCAR. Please, cheat away. The Kansas night race is a precursor to the Coca-Cola 600. Larson scored the most points at Kansas. Did he cheat? Yes. Does Kansas have a fast groove near the wall unlike Charlotte? Yes. Maybe Larson has nothing for Harvick, but he’s in the conversation.
5. Joey Logano
The hog points will not be there at the end; Logano will be. He is tied for the best average running position at intermediate tracks. If this race goes green, like many races this season, strategy could decide the winner. Austin Dillon stole a win at Charlotte last year because he played the strategy game. Logano will be in position to gamble at the end. If Logano does not win, then he should earn a top five finish. He pairs nicely with Kevin Harvick. If Harvick gobbles up all of the fantasy NASCAR hog points, then Logano will fit into the optimal lineup by only scoring finishing position points.
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LONG SHOTS TO SCORE BIG
1. Daniel Suarez – The car is fast, and they’re willing to cheat to win. As a result, Suarez is a top 10 driver when his crew is mistake free. Unfortunately, his crew has messed up in about 75 percent of the races this season.
2. Ryan Blaney – Speed in the Kansas night race translates into speed in the Charlotte night race. Blaney scored the third-most fast lap points at Kansas.
3. Paul Menard – Throw out his wreck at Texas. Menard has been solid at intermediate tracks. His average running position in the other four intermediate track races was 15th, 10th, 17th, and 12th.
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Kevin Harvick – He’s won three races in a row, plus six this season.
Kyle Busch – A late-race wreck ruined his finish, but Busch led the second most laps in the All-Star race.
Joey Logano – The All-Star race is an exhibition. It does not count statistically. Therefore, his third-place finish was his 11th unofficial top 10 finish in 13 races.
Martin Truex, Jr. (Fall 2017)
Austin Dillon (Spring 2017)
Jimmie Johnson (Fall 2016)
Martin Truex, Jr. (Spring 2016)
Joey Logano (Fall 2015)
PICK TO WIN
Kevin Harvick – Add the million-dollar All-Star race to the list of wins for Harvick this season. More importantly, add it to my list of win predictions (five for seven this season). He’s the best driver in the best car. This is a no-brainer at Charlotte.
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Post Qualifying Update
Kyle Busch won the pole. He has the number one pit stall and his car looks fast. With Harvick starting in the back, and Truex and Larson starting outside of the top 10, all of the early hog points will go to Busch.
Kevin Harvick starting last is the lock of the century. We’ve seen this movie before. Elite cars starting in the back has been a regular occurance this season (Busch, Harvick, Bowyer, Truex, Larson, just about everyone). Harvick started last at Bristol in a backup and suffered damage during the race, but he still scored 80 fantasy points. He will have record setting ownership in the Charlotte race.
Clint Bowyer and Alex Bowman got a little cute in round one of qualifying and did not make it to round two. Both are priced higher than most DFS NASCAR players like, but they have high fantasy floors and will be popular in cash. In GPPs, it will be hard to pair Bowyer in a Busch/Harvick lineup, but Busch/Harvick/Bowman could be very popular.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.